Trending Topics:

Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 80 (since 2011-05-05 20:43:27)

Retired, living in Israel.

Showing comments 80 - 1

  • 'The past isn’t past': Palestinians and Israelis share eyewitness testimony to Nakba truth commission
    • Yes, it is the same Amnon Neumann. There are other video testimonies from Palmach veterans too. I think they were made about 3 years ago and exhibited at Zochrot's offices at the time.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • The Knesset Members involved don't live in Tel Aviv. They went there to stir up trouble - wasn't it during the run-up to the last elections?

    • Hope no-one here minds me pointing out that Palestinian flags were flown at previous demonstrations in this series of protests in support of conscientious objectors during the month of May. Altogether, they are not as rare a sight in Tel Aviv as this Austrian journalist, who only attended the demonstration he describes above, seems to think.

      The first was in support of Omar Saad, Druze conscientious objector now in jail for his sixth consecutive term and Uriel Ferera, an orthodox Jewish conscientious objector now in jail for his second consecutive term, plus a group of high school students not yet drafted who intend to refuse to serve. Palestinian flags were also also flown at a demonstration a week prior to the one described above, in which Uriel Ferera took part before he entered jail for the second term he'd been sentenced to. The three demonstrations, all opposite the Defense Ministry, comprised both Palestinians and Jews and were also against the occupation.

  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
  • Beinart: Saving Israel took too much time away from my writing career
    • People's views change over time largely through experience, a chance encounter with reality, being exposed to information with which they were unfamiliar... Coming from what used to be called the Modern Orthodox milieu, Beinart's journey was long and is still not ended. The Right of Return's a tough one, but he's not incapable of getting there because he considers himself Zionist.

      "Would you let an anti-Semite write articles for a Jewish rights blog, a homophobe for a gay rights blog, a slavery supporter for a black rights blog, a misogynist for a women’s rights blog?"

      Part of Israel's Declaration of Independence, written before the War of Independence-Nakba promises inter alia, equal rights for all who live within its borders. Innocents need not be consigned to purgatory for having taken that literally in their youth, or because they've had a hard time dismantling early brainwashing.

      Prof. Chaim Gans explores how Israel could effect the Palestinian right to return and accept its responsibility for the Nakba.

  • Update: Assaf's first video as global star affirms role as voice for the voiceless
    • Did I say Abu Dhabi? I meant Dubai.

    • He moved from there to Abu Dhabi to give him more freedom of movement.

      I agree about the plasticized version.

      During Arab Idol I looked forward to a time after his certain victory in the contest, when Assaf - then confined to the standard 3-ish minute format for a song - would be given the freedom to riff for as long as he wants; because he's a phenomenally gifted musical personality too, you can hear it. As the contest wore on and he became more and more spruced and creamed, I would shut my eyes when listening to him. Artists of his calibre don't need to smile all the time or wear formal suits. I hope he grows into a performer who gets to lay down his own rules and leaves behind production teams with tastes like the one that produced this video. Meanwhile I'll go on closing my eyes. He's a wonderful singer.

      Sadly another brilliant Palestinian singer, Shafiq Kabha, perhaps the best-known until Assaf's appearance on Arab Idol, was gunned down on a northern Israeli highway earlier in the week and died of his wounds. RIP.

  • The Desert of Israeli Democracy: A trip through the Negev Desert leads to the heart of Israel’s national nightmare
    • Just two points:
      Re the JNF, a video posted yesterday of an information session/discussion led by Professor Gadi Algazi of Tel Aviv University explains the ins and outs of its arrangements with the Lands Authority, the Society for the Protection of Nature (I think its name has changed) and other institutions better than anything I've read or heard so far.

      The guy in the settlement village of Hiran's name was probably Avshalom (Absalom) not Af-Shalom.

  • From Truth to Redress: Tel Aviv conference to convene on the grounds of Shaykh Muwannis to explore practical aspects of Palestinian return
    • That's a lot of misconceptions in one post. Goy is Hebrew. Yiddish contains a up to 30% Hebrew vocabulary. Contrary to your claim all religious Jews had knowledge of Hebrew even if they did not speak it as lingua franca. All the prayers are in Hebrew, the Torah is in Hebrew. Hebrew was known in Yiddish dialect as Lushen Hakoidesh, which translated word by word means tongue the holy, i.e. the holy language as opposed to Yiddish which was known as Mamme Lushen (mom's language). The word Goy means nation. If Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef calls non-Jews goyim it's not because he was a Yiddish speaker. His official name was Abdullah Yusef (Abd Allah is Ovadia in Hebrew) and he was born in Iraq, only one of many, many countries in which Jews were unlikely to speak or know Yiddish. They spoke and wrote Judeo-Arabic, which is, like Yiddish, written in Hebrew characters.

      What a shame you got side-tracked into discussing whether hasbrats is anti-semitic or not. Art Spiegelman portrayed Jews as mice in Maus and I suggest anyone who is offended by the word hasbrats see the movie Ratatouille.

      To return to the main subject, this ground-breaking conference caused a lot of ruckus when it was announced for the first time several weeks ago. Im Tirzu and a Knesset member tried to get the Land of Israel Museum to change its mind about hosting it, following which, the museum made demands for additional security from Zochrot, that it knew the organization could not provide. At some point its future at that venue looked dicey, but a solution seems to have been found.

      A Times of Israel hasbarblog gives you its side of the story:

  • At a campus near you: an Israeli artist-in-residence, here 'to teach'
  • Beinart and Shenhav battle it out over the two-state solution
  • Update: Netanyahu complains to Kerry of incitement and cites-- Mohammed Assaf's lyrics
    • Hmm. Bibi'd probably have a few words to say about this too if he wasn't so busy recovering from his hernia op.

      "... Assaf is, more specifically, calling for a return to Palestine's 1967 borders, as well as articulating peace demands which include guaranteed security from attack, freedom of movement, an end to illegal Israeli settlements and the return of prisoners and refugees. "The subject of peace is massively complicated," said Assaf. "The Palestinians want independence and freedom, just like everyone in the world. Thousands of us are professionals – teachers, doctors and lawyers. We all want our dignity and rights."

      Assaf's principal message is that the Palestine question is being lost in the realpolitik speak of international negotiators such as Tony Blair. The former British prime minister, who is now the Middle East peace envoy for the Quartet of the UN, US, EU and Russia, has, like many others, lost touch with the human catastrophe on the ground, Assaf believes.

      A mass expression of what people want is Assaf's preferred route to effective political change. He cites the ousting of dictators such as Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, who were ultimately deposed by popular movements after decades in power – exits that would have appeared inconceivable a few years ago.

      Last weekend Assaf strolled through Bethlehem with Barcelona footballers, who were also on a "peace tour". Among them was Lionel Messi, perhaps the most popular player in the world, who posed happily for photographs with the singer, as did Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority.

      It was Abbas who, a few days later, successfully applied to the Israelis to allow Assaf unrestricted movement in and out of Gaza, along with members of his family. Assaf was allowed to move to the less volatile West Bank. The very fact that a potential global singing star needs permission from Israel to relocate to the West Bank is something that few of Assaf's growing number of international fans would have known about.

      "These are the kind of issues I want to highlight," he said, pointing to the harsh restrictions which govern ordinary life for some 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza. Assaf is also concerned at the division between Abbas's Fatah, which runs the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamist movement that administers Gaza.

      "Unity is the key – Hamas and Fatah should come to an agreement," said Assaf. "It's insane that we effectively have two governments at the same time as being colonised by Israel. It's hugely frustrating for me, and for all Palestinians."..."

  • BBC festival features Palestine Strings and condemnation of apartheid to jubilant applause
  • Librarians group calls for boycott to stop 'erasure of Palestinian culture and history'
  • UPDATE: Mohammed Assaf IS Arab Idol!!!
    • Nobody on this earth could have prevented him from winning. Both the other finalists were really fine singers but Assaf was simply way out there in front from the get-go not because he's Palestinian, not because he's good-looking but because he's a truly exceptional singer. Ragheb Alama and company heard that when he auditioned. You immediately remember and recognize his voice, even with your eyes shut. Singers like that don't grow on trees.

      Seems he's also smart. The Guardian's Harriet Sherwood posted his statement.

      ""A revolution is not just the one carrying the rifle, it is the paintbrush of an artist, the scalpel of a surgeon, the axe of the farmer," he said. "Everyone struggles for their cause in the way they see fit. Today I represent Palestine and today I am fighting for a cause through my art and the message I send out.""

      And for the mauvaises langues, yes, people celebrated in Jaffa and Nazareth too. Even the Times of Israel had a good, highly emotional article on him today.

      "This is the place to note that beyond his personal-national story, Assaf has a rare voice, sweeping and powerful. A Palestinian friend of mine told me that Assaf reminds him of [Israeli singer] Zohar Argov. I must disagree. Assaf’s voice is even better than the “king’s.”

      Same song as last nights, a few years back by the look of him.

  • Sharon Stone spouts New Age gobbledygook at Israeli president's party
    • There's a Nicolas Sarkozy who's no longer President of France and there's a Hollande, first name François, who is. Which one was it (I couldn't bear to watch)?

  • 'Your cause is our cause,' Mohammed Assaf tells Palestinian prisoners
    • Palestine was frequently betrayed by the East too, as the late Edward Said, just as an example, did not hesitate to point out.

      It's interesting to see how competition judges do their music. Here's Ragheb Alameh doing Ya Rait, one of the songs Assaf performed in the competition.

      That's the thing with this Arab Idol competition. Assaf is a singer of another caliber altogether and upstages everyone, contestants and judges alike.

    • Just for reference, listen to how deeper voiced Mohamed Abdel Wahab sang it - well, 9 or so minutes of it, arbitrarily curtailed

  • Singing sensation Mohammed Assaf has given us a 'national umbrella' -- writes Palestinian political prisoner
    • Thanks for the translation Enass T and may your cousin get the treatment he needs and be released soon.

      Glad to see you underline how Mohammad Assaf is above all a truly amazing talent. While reading your post I was reminded of another prodigy who went by the name of Muhammad Ali and seemingly floated out of nowhere like a butterfly to prove to the world that he could sting like a bee.

  • I've got Mohammed Assaf fever
    • He's exceptional. I first heard him while trying to find something decent to listen to on the radio and was blown away. My Arabic is scrappy so I didn't catch his surname but caught the words Filastine and Arab Idol, which sufficed google. I discovered the song I'd heard plus that audition video on YouTube (there's lots more now) - and he proved as big a treat for the eye as he was for the ear!

      The public hunger for these TV talent contests with their botoxed juries seems to be bottomless. I just hope what comes after the show won't mess him up and that someone wise and canny sufficiently protects him from the showbiz crap to leave space for his artistry to develop unfettered. I also hope Hamas leaves him that space and that he and his family stay safe. Strange times for a really big talent like this to surface - his music will surely console, delight and inspire the region for many years to come.

      And thanks for putting all this together, Annie Robbins.

  • Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
  • Washington Post defends picture of dead Gaza child after complaints from 'Jews in large numbers'
    • Found it on Donnison's Twitter feed - no thanks to Google.
      He's also just reported that Jihad's brother has died of his injuries.

    • In all reports I've seen, cameraman Khader Zahar lost one leg, not two.

      The BBC reported their Arab Affairs correspondent Jihad Masharawi's baby Omar's death, also the injuring of his other son aged 4 and the death of his sister-in-law in the same incident. Astonishingly, from where I'm googling I only get BBC-Watch's accusations when I try to recover Jon Donnison's written report on that, that I read only yesterday. At least part of it was also broadcast on the BBC World Service's radio program From Our Own Correspondent - I think on 24 November. BBC-Watch claims there's proof (source IDF) that it happened because of shrapnel from a Hamas rocket launched from nearby. It would be nice to suppose that there'll be an independent investigation, but the fact that a report I heard a couple of days back and read yesterday on the BBC's website seems to have been whipped away already, augurs ill.

  • 'Exodus' propaganda even converted Justin Raimondo (but now the dream is dead)
    • Yeah. I recognize the book from Finkelstein's description. That was before Ferrante & Teicher added the finishing touches, and compelling reading for post-WWII kids just into their teens. I only understood what a racist Uris was when I tried to read his appalling Haj years later and never got past the first couple of pages.

  • Omar Saad, a Druze-Palestinian musician from the Galilee, refuses Israeli military service
    • Umm. Don't know whether you noticed, but peace hasn't been achieved and Omar Saad plays viola not piano. Being a decent musician takes a sight more hard work, not to speak of talent, than training to stand near a checkpoint bullying people all day.

  • Lecture at NY's New School aims to place Nakba story 'on shared ground' with Holocaust
    • I remember meeting a guy a few years ago who said he had opened a holocaust museum in Nazareth. I don't know what happened to it, this article on it dates from 2005. But in the article he says "the Israeli ministry of education has never printed more than “a half-page” on the Holocaust in Arabic".
      Read more:

      Reports about Yad Vashem guided visits designed specifically for Palestinians and Jews together appeared in the news recently. In this article an Egyptian journalist who participated says that one of the questions that came from a Palestinian visitor was "why did the Jews believe the lies about the Nazi death camps?".

      He writes:

      "The idea that Palestinians study the Holocaust at school, visit Yad Vashem and display genuine interest in the tragedy that befell the Jews of Europe is likely to come as something of a surprise to many Israelis who see regular reports in the media of Arab and Muslim Holocaust denial.
      One recent example was Hamas’s angry response following the visit to Auschwitz by Ziad al-Bandak, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Describing the Holocaust as an “alleged tragedy”, a Hamas spokesman said the visit was “unjustified and unhelpful”.
      While Hamas’s outburst, as well as the relative availability of literature questioning the Holocaust in some Arab countries, proves that there are certainly Arabs who insultingly deny that this horrendous crime took place, fixating on Holocaust deniers, as many segments of the Israeli media tend to do distorts the reality and downplays the importance of the work of the likes of al-Bandak, who visited Auschwitz and expressed sympathy for the historic plight of his people’s enemy, and he did so during a period of heightened animosity and distrust between the two sides."

      and concludes:

      "The Palestinians wished to introduce the Israelis to al-Nakba (the Arabic for “The Catastrophe”), which is the term Palestinians use to describe perhaps the most defining trauma in their national experience: the exodus of up to three-quarters of Palestine’s Arab population, most of whom were not allowed to return following Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.
      However, they lamented the absence of a museum chronicling this painful chapter of Palestinian history. Some Palestinians suggested that the Israelis should join them on a trip to a refugee camp to enable them to gain a deeper insight into what contemporary life is like for many Palestinians.
      “I want to introduce our Jewish friends to the suffering of the Palestinians… Just as they told us about their suffering in detail from an Israeli perspective, I’d like them to hear all the details about our stories,” reflected Mutasem Halawani, a student of business management from Jerusalem. “This helps build an exchange of ideas and tolerance.”"

      Although the piece appeared in Haaretz, I'm posting the link to the author's blog as well, just in case the darned paywall prevents you from reading it there.

      In case you don't already know this, Zochrot is currently showing recently filmed testimonies by Hagana and Palmach veterans that attest to atrocities committed during the Nakba and also to the ruses used to cause Palestinians to flee their villages. At Zochrot's Tel Aviv headquarters, the exhibition closes in December.

  • If only it was just one tweet: One activist's experience in the 'Our Land' Facebook group
    • @Danaa - "or (2) following a new model based on entirely indigenous Arab/ME support a la Hezbollah or even Hamas. "

      The only new thing about that model is that neither are regular troops like the armies of the Arab States (who let the Palestinians down in the 1940s) were.

      It looks like Hezbollah currently has its hands full frying its own fish; taking up arms on behalf of Palestine would have to wait awhile. Your Hamas option would be logical, self-evident, but the Palestinian factions would have to reintegrate with each other. Nothing new there either.

      Palestine has a big, vibrant, resourceful diaspora both in the ME and beyond. When their fight is waged their way, from both inside Israel and beyond, that will be new. Looks like it's starting to happen.

  • Norr responds to Ash: Who is trying to get the solidarity movement back on track and who is merely fanning the flames of division?
    • Bravo PilgrimSoul. Your blog post, apart from being a great read, has Atzmon down to a T. Shame I hadn't seen it when a call by leftist non-Zionists went out a couple of days back to write and complain to the BBC about an interview they did with him on his music that also touched on his controversial persona.

  • Ninny Middleton doesn't understand the job description
    • The weirdest part of this story is that France ended up blocking publication of the pix of Kate in her birthday suit, defending Charlie Hebdo's right to publish derogatory cartoons about Islam and then denying the public the right to protest against them. Se mélanger les pinceaux I think they call it.

  • Israeli hasbara effort-- ‘Justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries’-- gets pushback from Baghdadi Jews
    • "this clarification is all about a proud people"
      "Layla Mourad was born in Al Zaher in Abbasia, Cairo in February 1917 to a Jewish Iraqi father, Ibrahim Zaki Mordachi, a famous singer and musician in the twenties, and to a Jewish Polish mother, Gamilah Salmon who gave birth to Mourad, Ibrahim, Malak, Mounir and Samihah."

      To add to Shmuel's, Zaki Mourad, an Egyptian of Iraqi extraction, sings a seasonal piyyut with his Polish-born wife and their daughter who in her heyday was considered a rival to Umm Kulthum.

    • As I told Annie (maybe the post didn't go up?), who posted the same links as you did - they're the same links I tried before mentioning it here - when I go to the link I get:

      "This content is currently unavailable
      The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.
      Return home"

      Did you try it out? Were you able to see their facebook page? If you did/could and I couldn't, there are conclusions to be drawn.

    • The one linked by Annie doesn’t work although it still did a couple of months back. Haroun Aaron-Micael Beydoun, who started both the original website and the campaign to restore the synagogue is not Jewish. He claims to be a practising Muslim. Now that I’ve remembered his name I’ll contact him directly. Thanks.

    • I didn't say it was bogus, I pointed out that their site was not updated, therefore it's impossible to tell who is behind it. The only obvious name on the site is Arazi's.

      Thanks for copying the donation address from the website.

    • There is no new Shenhav. Are you suggesting that he ever proposed that Ashkenazim lose their right of movement and settlement?

    • This clarification appeared on the Committee's facebook page earlier today:

      "it is important for us to clarify this point:
      we do not try to idealize our past as Jews in Baghdad, or generally in the Arab world, we do want to see our past life and history and culture in it's complexity, with the good and the bad,
      in that sense, we do not accept the way that is common is Israel, Europe and America, to see our life in the past as only a continuous persecution, with words taken from the christian European experience of old antisemitism and new scientific racism and pogroms leading to the Holocaust,
      the only event from our history taught in israel's schools is the Farhud, and even in the center of Babilonian Jewry in Or-Yehuda this becomes the central event of our history,
      in that sense, without idealizing, in the majority of times until the 20th century we were under less persecutions than Jews in the christian world,
      in the 20th century, with colonialism, arab nationalism and zionism, things have changed a lot,
      we were a minority fighting for it's rights in iraq, and if we would have stayed there - we would have continued fighting for our rights.
      we need to fight for our rights also in Israel (although as jews of the arab world we are not exactly a minority) - against racism and Oppression, and against being used economically, and against the making of our culture into a ridicule."

    • A link to their facebook page, which appears several times if googled, leads to my own page for some reason. It used to lead to a page I'd "like"d a good while back. I enjoyed and reciprocated its goodwill messages regularly. They came from all over the world, often just Shabat greetings, sometimes but increasingly rarely, about the Synagogue and sometimes touching personal stories. I noticed its recent silence the other day and looked for it but it had disappeared despite the fact that google still comes up with the dud links to it.
      The twitter page I was not aware of, it's called Wadi Abu Jmil which I didn't think to look for, thanks for that. I tried to link to the facebook page from there too but got this each time:
      "The page you requested was not found.
      You may have clicked an expired link or mistyped the address. Some web addresses are case sensitive.
      • Return home
      • Go back to the previous page"

      I'd be curious to know whether the facebook site works for other people.

      The Jews of Lebanon website you mention was originally started by an active, enthusiastic, non-Jewish Lebanese who was studying in the USA. Then, about three years ago, it was taken over by what was claimed to be Lebanon's Jewish Community and revamped into the time-wasting, weighty site it is today. It is not, to my knowledge, updated.

      Glad to have the twitter page though even if its links to facebook don't work for me. Thanks again.

    • There is a book out by Yehouda Shenhav, who like other Mizrahi intellectuals of the older generation has moved beyond discussion of Ashkenazi discrimination against Mizrahim (the secular Zionist movement that founded the state of Israel did not limit its discriminations to Mizrahim alone, its intra-Ashkenazi and other less obvious discriminations will hopefully be examined one day too), to the question of what to do now. Shenhav envisages a return of Palestinians that would to a degree both de-mine and redefine the question of damages and reparations.

      This is Dimi Reider on the book, which he recently translated into English:
      "Tel Aviv sociologist Yehouda Shenhav - in a surprising move for an academic long identified in the public eye as far to the left - forcefully argues the case for expanding the conversation to include Jewish rights in his new book, Beyond the two state solution: A Jewish Political Essay.
      Originally published as Trapped by the Green Line and due for publication this month with my translation, the book caused quite a stir in Israel, demolishing virtually every aspect of the Green Line's image as a progressive artifact and, again, remarkably for an author identified strongly with the radical left, coming out in force against the eviction of settlements from a moral as well as a pragmatic perspective.
      The book has drawn considerable criticism and consternation on the centre-left but was welcomed by many on the further left - and right - of the Israeli public sphere, including figures in the settler movement as prominent as Uri Elitzur, Benjamin Netanyahu's former chief of staff and the deputy editor of the main settler paper, Makor Rishon.
      Shenhav points out that the question of Jewish rights as part of the overall, interdependent political framework of the Middle East has a long pedigree in the Zionist movement. He quotes Martin Buber at the Zionist Congress of 1921: "Just as Arab rights should not be reduced under any circumstances, so should the right of the Jews be recognised to develop uninterruptedly in their ancient homeland, according to their national selfhood/independence, and to share that development with as many of their brothers as possible.""

      The idea of one set of reparations canceling out the other has been cooking for many, many years. Now that more are talking openly about Palestinian return, the government has made a public pronouncement on the issue to reassure its electorate which, like it or lump it, comprises many hardline Mizrahi Jews not in the least inclined to share country or identity with either Palestinian or other exiles.

    • The news on this mashallahnews link is not so new, Walid. We're now in September 2012. The synagogue's busy facebook page disappeared in July 2012. Now there's no recent news about Beirut's Maghen Abraham anywhere on the internet except for reports from a few recent visitors to Beirut who were turned away from it by armed guards and others including Beirut residents who were told their cameras would be confiscated when they tried to photograph it from the outside. What happened?

  • Woody Allen expresses typical American Jewish attitudes on Israel: Loves it but has never been there
    • Of course the interview could also be somewhat tongue in cheek in which case everyone's reading too much into it. I remember him saying in an interview, with what looked like pride, that he stole from the JNF box when he was a kid. He put a story about that in one of his movies at some point. And critics of his role in the decades old movie "The Front", about the McCarthy era, called his portrayal superficial - Ebert called it "schlemiel in wonderland", which applies to many of his roles come to think of it.

  • 100,000-strong Zionist youth brigade join settler opposition to Ulpana eviction
    • Brigades?? Umm, there's stuff here that needs clearing up.

      Bnei Akiva claims to be the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with a membership of 125,000 members worldwide.
      But far from being the largest Zionist youth movement in Israel, a 2005 survey put Bnei Akiva at third largest below (HaTsofim)
      and Hanoar HaOved

      The Bnei Akiva youth movement evolved out of Bachad (founded in Germany between the two World Wars)
      with its hopes of reaching out to the Arabs living in Israel and from which emerged figures like Avrum Burg's father Dr Yossef Burg, but also Gush Emunim (seeded the settler movement) and what are known as the Hardalim (acronym for haredi religious nationalists). The Netivot Shalom movement with its short-lived Meimad party also came from a Bachad-Bnei Akiva background as do religious peace mavericks like Rabbi Froman, who signed a peace proposal with Hamas's Khalid Amayreh and people like Eliaz Cohen, Nahum Pachenik, etc. and their movement, Yerushalom. They want to live in a binational state. Here's what Yehouda Shenhav says about them:

      "Eliaz Cohen from Kfar Etzion says that if we don't draw the border on the Green Line, then the right of return for the Palestinians and Jews will be reciprocal: 'Just as I have a right of return to Kfar Etzion, he says, 'there's no reason that Palestinians from Nablus shouldn't have a right of return to Jaffa.' It's a utopia, but this is a group that is a lot more leftist than Amnon Rubinstein and Ari Shavit and Yossi Beilin and David Grossman. This is where the categories have to be overturned and recreated in a new way. For the Zionist left, all the settlers look alike and think alike. But there are at least 250,000 people in the settlements, which are the lower classes that should have been and could be a central part of the Israeli left. "

      I don't see from where this Hirschberg guy is going to bring 100,000 "brigades" onto the streets for those Ulpana buildings, but it sure made a nice headline.

  • 'Ha'aretz' article in Hebrew suggests that racism is inherent in Zionism
    • "Not only would Saul Bellow be incapable of reading the “Tolstoy of the Zulus,” because he can’t speak the language, but he is woefully ignorant of history. "

      Saul Bellow's dead.

  • Switzerland's largest supermarket chain to label products from Israeli settlements
    • Correction: Migros co-founded the biggest supermarket chain in Turkey. Should read instead of trusting my memory. Here's Wikipedia on them:

    • I've been wondering about this and am glad a discussion site has now picked it up. Migros is more than Switzerland's biggest supermarket chain. Migros runs Switzerland's the fifth-largest bank, gas stations, travel agencies, a gardening chain of stores, department stores, cafés and restaurants that sell Migros prepared foods and heaven knows what else I don't know about. It also runs the biggest supermarket chain in Turkey.

      I was wondering whether their decision was limited to food in its supermarkets or whether it has ramifications that haven't yet been explored. As to whether it will actively carry through, it's solid reputation for doing that would suffer if it doesn't.

  • The Palestine National Orchestra: a view from the violin section
    • eGuard, Barenboim's 3 wishes, from the Guardian link you gave:

      "The first is for the Israeli government to realise once and for all that the Middle East conflict cannot be solved by military means. The second is for Hamas to realise that its interests are not served by violence, and Israel is here to stay. And the third is for the world to acknowledge that this conflict is unlike any other in history. It is uniquely intricate and sensitive - a conflict between two peoples who are both deeply convinced of their right to live on the same very small piece of land. This is why neither diplomacy nor military action can resolve this conflict."

      I can see that number three would warrant discussion, but what is so peaceless about the first two?

      A link for you that contains Barenboim's Listen Before it's Too Late in the New York Review of Books a few weeks later . Take a look at the list of people who supported it, that includes the likes of Alaa El Aswany, not particularly renowned for their Zionism.
      And brief discussion of it

      You question the importance of a peace concert in Gaza. I would have thought that was obvious. Hamas allowed it to happen. It was Israel they were afraid wouldn't, which is why it was kept under wraps until the last minute.

      Back to that New Year (celebrated both in the west and in the east) message you posted, were those the only objectionable quotes you could find?

    • Your words, Walid:
      "Working at cross-current with the PNO, the PYO and other Said Foundation cultral groups, there’s the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra initially set up by Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim although today the Said Foundation is no longer associated with it for good reason."

      Since you've waved it away with a cock-and-bull cadenza, I'll repeat the apparently intentionally dishonest part of your sentence: "there’s the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra initially set up by Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim although today the Said Foundation is no longer associated with it".

      And now to the bum notes, one by one: "although today the Said Foundation is no longer associated with it".

      Mariam Said has explained in detail her differences with the boycott people who started the defamation. You are again invited to read the links I posted and retract.

    • Complete nonsense.

      Edward Said's widow Mariam Said, Electronic Intifada, March 2010:

      "On 28 January 2010 the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a statement to the Qatari government calling for a boycott of Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO) and condemning the Qatari Ministry of Culture for hosting the orchestra in Doha. The statement goes so far as to accuse Daniel Barenboim of being an ardent Zionist. I would like to point out that the PACBI policy is “to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel.” It does not call for a boycott against all Israelis, but those affiliated with institutions that support the Israeli state and its policies and who do not express support for the Palestinian struggle against occupation. Daniel Barenboim and WEDO do not meet any of those criteria."

      WEDO is but one of the many educational programs of the Barenboim-Said Foundation (BSF) which was founded by Daniel Barenboim together with my late husband, Edward Said. It is registered in Spain and the regional government of Andalusia is the main partner in this project.
      WEDO is not a project for normalization. The yearly workshops in Spain are advanced musical summer courses. When students from Arab countries and Israel attend the same courses at any university around the world where the professor’s competence is the reason for which they enroll, it is considered furthering their education, not normalization.
      The only requirement to attend the workshop and become a member of the orchestra is musical competence and talent. The musicians have to pass rigorous auditions and the ultimate goal is musical education on the highest level. The BSF has been offering music education programs in the occupied West Bank in partnership with the al-Kamandjati Music Center. We are actively supporting the AM Qattan Foundation’s Music Center in Gaza, as well as pioneering projects in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. We also offer music education programs for Palestinians in the Galilee (we have a conservatory in Nazareth) and in Jaffa. The aim is to bring together all the Palestinians in Palestine through the language of music.
      Most importantly, nowhere in PACBI statement is it mentioned that the WEDO was established by Edward Said as well as Daniel Barenboim.
      By attacking the orchestra, PACBI is attacking the integrity of my late husband and his legacy. It is not the first time PACBI has used this skewed approach. The deliberate omission in the statement of any reference to Edward and his support for this project is a manipulation of the media and a conscious effort to mislead the Palestinian people. Edward passed away more than six years ago. I do not know what he would have said about all this today, but I know how he felt about this project and what he wrote about it. A couple of weeks before his death, when a Palestinian activist friend who had reservations about the project asked him about WEDO, Edward unhesitatingly replied in an email: “It is the most important thing I did in my life.”"

      You're invited to read on and then to retract your libelous claim.

      To prove that nothing has changed since then, a clip of Mariam Said talking about the orchestra last summer:

      and the West East Diwan Orchestra website announcing auditions for 2012:

  • The Toulouse killings and the false specter of European anti-Semitism
    • "this seemed to me to indicate the impact is not negligible but a predominant feature"
      Annie, "not negligible" doesn't equal predominant, no way. What I meant is that it's out there too, a reality among other realities to be considered. So yes, you did misunderstand me.

    • My point was not whether these people should be locked up or not, it is whether the views of pro-Palestinians like these, some of whom have been to the region on lecture tours and acclaimed, should be associated with the Palestinian struggle. Whether "without Jews there is no Zionism" is likely to be helpful or harmful, a focus or a damaging distraction. Racism is not a false specter. Not in Europe, not anywhere.

    • That's too convoluted, Annie. I don't understand what you're trying to say but I accept your apology and I apologize if I offended anyone.

    • His first name is Robert, Annie.

    • Will Faurisson do you, American? I don't want to dignify any more of the well-known ones.

    • Annie, I'm not American. You are talking about American access. Actually we're both talking at cross-purposes. Toulouse is in Europe.

    • Fake friends was not my expression and pointing out something that is there but not always included in the picture is not a fixation. If I have a fixation it is the serial abuse of a defenseless population, not "the movement" whatever that is. Even so, I never claimed that was fake either. Check it out.

      I posted a link to Anne Karpf's article in response to the "false specter" claim in the title of the piece we're commenting on: the Toulouse killings. She described most of the picture, I added something she didn't say because it has crossed my path.

      Phil Weiss, today, on the subject of Beinart: "I've spent enough time moderating comments at this site to know that such explorations can give rise to vicious anti-Semitism. "

      Why, in order to utterly condemn the Israeli government's scaremongering, the purpose of which is to panic as many Jews as possible into emigrating to Israel for demographic purposes, does one have to pretend (fake) that Jew-hatred is negligible, a "false specter"? It isn't.

    • "The difference between the fake friends of Israel and the fake friend of Palestinians is purely cosmetic"
      Absolutely, Laurent.

    • I wasn't trying to impress anyone, Annie, or to sell myself as a poet. It was an attempt to say things as they are instead of dressing them up in their usual anti and phobe uniforms.

    • And people here are pathetic in their predictability Annie. The equivalent of the old reds under the bed. I'm neither a he nor a hasbaroonie. It's my explanation for why the world isn't outraged by what is happening to Palestinians in Israel and the OT. Please supply a better alternative if you have one. I'll be happy to cede the argument.

    • "The “segment of Jew-haters” of old is negligible." - Klaus Boemker

      1) They still manage to make a buck in some parts of the world on that ticket.
      2) In Europe they aren't particularly negligible.

      That is not to say there's a danger of genocide, only that they are there and for the moment some of them have hatred of Muslims and people of color as a distraction and profess therefore to be judophiles while others are faithful their hatred of Jews and sometimes profess to be Palestinianophiles.

      Re Germany, I agree, but it's only natural given the circumstances. Germany fears itself. Incidentally, people often forget that the Jews of North Africa, many of whom live in Israel and France, lived precariously under a Vichy government during WWII, even though most of them are, as you say, not WWII refugees.

    • Garaudy and Faurisson worship, to name but a couple. Not in the mood for giving any more of them publicity, but some swallow it lock stock and barrel.

    • This is further complicated by the segment of Jew-haters that plights its troth with the Palestinian struggle. For that exists too. It would be less of a cause for concern if certain ME supporters of the Palestinian struggle as well as some Palestinians themselves did not sometimes allow such theories to fuel anger with Israel (which is justified without needing to resort to frills) which then taint and hamstring the Palestinian struggle in the eyes of the world.

    • It's not that virulent anti-Jewish sentiment doesn't exist in Europe (it does, it always has, European governments themselves admit it, ignorant attempts to minimize it only help cloud the picture) so much as Israel's use of it to justify its calls for Europe's Jews to come to Israel freely and makes that possible by infringing Palestinian rights - to put it mildly. Plus the fact that it does so by courting the very societal elements where anti-semitism, Jew-hatred, call it what you will, is traditionally found, to direct it against Muslim immigrants. Anne Karpf pointed out how mutually beneficial this is, as well as how dangerous, in a CIF piece earlier this week:

      "On Saturday, in the Danish city of Aarhus, a Europe-wide rally organised by the English Defence League will try to set up a European anti-Muslim movement. For Europe's far-right parties the rally, coming so soon after the murders in south-west France by a self-professed al-Qaida-following Muslim, marks a moment rich with potential political capital.
      Yet it's also a delicate one, especially for Marine Le Pen. Well before the killings, Le Pen was assiduously courting Jews, even while her father and founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was last month convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying that the Nazi occupation of France "wasn't particularly inhumane"."

      Karpf goes on to look at the rise of similar parties in other parts of Europe, all of which suddenly see Jews as European because the electorate is currently more panicked by Muslim immigration.

      "Indeed you can blithely sign up to both antisemitism and philozionism. Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik described himself as "pro-Zionist" while claiming that Europe has a "considerable Jewish problem"; he saw himself as simultaneously anti-Nazi and pro-monoculturalism. The British National party's Nick Griffin once called the Holocaust the "Holohoax", subsequently supported Israel in its war "against the terrorists", but the day after the Oslo murders tweeted disparagingly that Breivik was a "Zionist"."

      Read Europe's Racists are not Discerning @
      (The ME's racists are no more discerning, btw.)

  • Hasbarapocalypse at Ynet: 'Zionism will only cease being demonized when the West stops demonizing colonialism'
    • Lighten up, people, forget the paeans to colonialism. If someone on Ynet claims that anti-semitism can be cured by showing movies about the holocaust - and at this time of year en plus ...

  • ADL enlists city of Oakland to block Atzmon event
    • Excellent post, Danaa, one caveat:
      “all goys are anti-semitic at heart, and cannot be trusted. They resent us Jews because we are so superior”
      is not a Jewish viewpoint, as you yourself point out in your post-script, although you substitute the word ideology and then qualify even that.

      The education system that avowed center-left, tolerant, westernized Labor-led governments installed during their heyday will provide interesting material for study one day.

  • Etgar Keret in the 'NY Times Magazine' tries on orientalism with an iconic 'Arab' look
    • urihoresh, being Polish did have a stigma. Jews from there called it the biggest Jewish graveyard in the world and who wants to call themselves the living dead? Also, it must have been difficult for his generation to call some parts of what was Poland Poland because they changed hands so many times. Hungary, Germany, Russia, Ukraine,... it gets pretty muddling. Nothing to do with white man's problem.

      It's sad that people can't read authors without allowing them to tell a story in the kind of language the kind of characters they have invented would use. This reviewer expected Keret to write a pc lecture rather than a story?

  • In Jerusalem, the Nakba is a fresh memory
    • Right, Turgeman House has a nice line in pockmarks to show for it. The Mandelbaum Gate was the only crossing between West and East Jerusalem - for tourists and diplomats rather than residents. Turgeman means translator/interpreter, in Aramaic originally. But it's also used in Arabic and Hebrew. Neat name, I always think, for a house that served as a Jerusalem border crossing.

    • "Equally weird, the windows of the upper floors on the right & left seem to be partially bricked up, with just wide ‘slots’ – some wider than the original opening – left. It’s a bit decrepit. Maybe somebody fancied himself a diy expert?"

      It was a military position on the Mandelbaum Gate until 1967. The DIY was adjustments for gun slits and the like.

  • BDS interview fallout: Finkelstein 'showed his own fear of the paradigm shift in discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict'
    • "Do you know how stupid it sounds when you say there was no Arab State established in Palestine? "
      Being stupid doesn't bother me as much as it seems to bother you, Hostage. I didn't say no Arab state was established I said the other state was not established, take a look. I meant a state called Palestine (that would, naturally, defend the interests of the Palestinians). I'd be a lot cleverer if people who presumed to enlighten me didn't use fools to piggy-back their pet tirades on. And you must be making the Jordan-is-Palestine brigade mighty happy. In that case, now please explain why Hussein relinquished his claim on the West Bank and its population.

    • Hasbara myths notwithstanding, the other state, i.e. Palestine, did not exist at the time Israel became a state. One of my sources for this not very controversial contention was Rashid Khalidi's The Iron Cage chapters "A Failure of Leadership" and "The Revolt, 1948 and Afterwards".

    • Untrue. The other state did not exist at the time Israel became a state and in a sense turned down its opportunity to become a state at the time, thanks in part to some bad counsel from those who promised to fight on its behalf. No need to tell me why, but those are the bald facts.

  • Cooking magazines dish on new trend: labeling Arabic food Israeli!
  • BDS update: Rage in Israel as BNP Paribas is pressured to pull out
    • "This is the first case in years of a foreign bank leaving Israel. BNP Paribas has had operations in Israel since 2003. "

      Well, it isn't actually. This happened in spring 2011:

      "Dexia is leaving Israel as part of its streamlining measures caused by the financial crisis and a refocus on its core countries, which do not include Israel. The French and Belgian governments nationalized Dexia in 2008 after it verged on bankruptcy. Another reason for the sale of Dexia Israel is lobbying in Belgium to divest from Israel by pro-Palestinian groups."

      Haaretz's Motti Basok evidently doesn't read Globes.

  • 'Segregated country': Israel envisions Orthodox-Jewish-only 'cities' in Palestinian area
    • Careful. The ultra-orthodox in the West Bank do not necessarily terrorize Palestinians, ultra-orthodox is not the same as haredi-nationalist. The secular are just as likely to terrorize them, viz articles posted here such as last month's Anatot-Anata "pogrom" against Palestinian and Jewish activists.

      "Second, and even more important in my view, is the fact that the Anatot settlers are mainly secular, quite ordinary Israelis, whatever the latter term might mean. Many, including some present at the attacks just described, serve in the police. I meet them in classes at the Hebrew University; they see themselves as living in a northern suburb of Jerusalem and, no doubt, as part of the Israeli mainstream and the so-called “consensus” about the political future of the country. Some of these same ordinary citizens turned out to be capable of being transformed, within minutes, into what Elias Canetti called a “pack”—a rampaging, bloodthirsty mob that knows no limits."

    • Ah, you're a stranger to the laws of purity patm? Impregnating the wife only occupies two weeks per month max. Plenty of time left over for study and at least a part-time job.

  • Q: Should Palestinians be able to ride Israeli buses? A: No, it's a Jewish state.
    • She isn't necessarily, but you must be. Zionism and treating people fairly do not have to be antithetical, but it's such a tired and tiring discussion to get into.

    • 63 years in a country (that came to them without asking), 45 years as citizens (thanks to the end of military government for their "sector") until they get a bus service? I wouldn't wish to be treated like that, ruthie, would you?

  • Six Palestinian Freedom Riders arrested traveling on Israeli-only bus
    • Buses in Israel are not, apart from haredi mehadrin lines buses, segregated. Buses in the West Bank aren't either - if they were the Palestinians who boarded them today would have been barred entry on the spot. There the segregation is effected by checkpoints and random checks that prevent Palestinians from getting to destinations Israel wishes to keep them from.

  • Israel's threat to attack Iran-- will Obama capitulate to that as well?
  • '48 is beginning to replace '67 in discourse -- even at UVa

Showing comments 80 - 1