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  • Israel's sassy gay best friend tells it to 'look at your life and look at your choices' before you start WW3
  • Beinart warns Jews that not talking to Palestinians and anti-Zionists 'makes us stupid'
    • The talk was interesting as a temperature of the Jewish community. I don't know how representative it was, but I'd gather it was a more mixed crowd than, say, the Jpost conference.

      Beinart basically had 20-25 % of the crowd with him, Gordis had the absolute majority. Gordis came across as below Beinart's level on both knowledge and intellect. He was good at cracking jokes and zinging oneliners, though, and he's a crowdpleaser. He gave them what they wanted.

      At one point Beinart got heckled. For me the most powerful point came when Beinart flatly pointed out after Gordis' long rant that he never even mentions the Palestinians. Beinart mentioned both, and he should be honored for that.

      Still, how hard is it to appear liberal when you're facing a man who claims settlements isn't the problem?

      One thing I kept thinking is that Gordis is really isolated intellectually. He may think settlements are a non-issue, because they are in Israel and have been for a long time, but that isn't the case internationally. Whenever Beinart pressed him he went for rants(often clipped-together oneliners) that tickled the crowd but were all variations of the same themes(it's all their fault. Judenrein! The left is dead, deal with it. Settlements aren't the problem!).

      Beinart didn't debate that well, he stumbled a lot. I felt he got emotionally constrained. His power rests in his superior intellect and vast knowledge. The man is an encyclopedia on Israel. He often got strung by Gordis' wind in his back(via the crowd) and Gordis' ability to make jokes and always attack Beinart for "romanticizing the Palestinians" or "saying things no Zionist can do" without much further substance. This constantly forced Beinart on the defence.

      Beinart was best when he simply stated that Gordis has no plan. Gordis nominally opposes settlements(just like Goldberg or Dershowitz do) but like them he says no at everything which might stop their expansion.

      Gordis even slipped at one point and said he supports the 'natural outgrowth of settlements'.

      Yet the most interesting aspect for me was the crowd. I believe the crowd was more diverse than the JPost conference. It was also hosted in NYC(at Columbia), so the demographic ought to be more liberal(but as we know, Israel negates all such natural effects).

      And yet Gordis won hands down with the crowd. Beinart said something true; that speaking with those who disagree make you smarter. And it's obvious that most people simply don't like that, they want to be fed the oneliners that Gordis and people like him feeds them, because that's safe.

      And this made me think. Hasbara isn't just directed towards non-Jews, it's also an internal thing, and it's actually remarkably consistent. The same bulletpoints that Zionists like Gordis preach to the world, they also tell Jewish audiences.

      And it's also somewhere here that it just hit how totally screwed the internal discussion is. Beinart is simply very isolated, we have to admit that. Sure, there are a few intellectuals here and there, but by and large, he has been unilaterally attacked. And he isn't even that much of a leftist.

      This is part of the reason I was disappointed when the Methodists voted down the disinvestment bill; because this conflict won't be resolved within American Jewry. It's too entrenched and too tribal. I think the reason why Beinart will fail is because of the same mechanism that both he and Gordis were in absolute agreement on; that tribalism is the essence of Jewish life. And that implicitly means that tribalism will be in conflict of principles, including liberal principles. So how can Beinart act surprised when he asks why Jews were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle and not for equal rights inside the Jewish state?

      I don't mind tribalism in of itself, but when you say it's the 'foundation' of Jewish life. Gordis went so far as to say that 'for too many Jews, Judaism has become more about the religion than peoplehood' what he really meant was 'we have to preserve our racial purity'. This is also why Zionists talk about 'maintaing the Jewish characte within Israelr' while they of course mean the pureness of the racial balance within Israel.

      But they can't say those things in an open way, they can only wink and nudge so the audience gets it. Why? Because that is not what a liberal says - and they know it.

      And Beinart's constant appeals to this sentiment - his almost only agreement with Gordis during the night - just furthers my point.
      No, change won't come from inside, because tribalism is put ahead of principles.

      It will be forced from the outside and that will be traumatic. But there's no other way, which was proved that evening.

  • The benedictions of Benzion Netanyahu's racism
    • The biggest upset in my mind is how gentle Obama treated him - although I bet he knows the man was a straight fascist.

      Do read Mr. Derfner's rundown:

      It's more than awful to read this and see the man being lionized - why? - because Zionism is the Golden Calf of our times.

      But the even bigger surprise is the praise that Jeff Goldberg - who insists on calling himself a 'liberal' - has showered on the man.

      I remember he did a post a few years ago where he admitted that Benzion had 'a large impact' on me via his books on anti-Semitism.

      And in Goldberg's final words, he kept the praise up. And I think this is a key detail. If your cues about anti-Semitism is taken from a man who believes that 'Arabs are inherently barbaric by nature' and other outright racist statements, then what does that say about you? Yet I bet Goldberg won't have to explain how he can be inspired by the writings of a genocidal racist - let alone still insist on calling himself a liberal.

      Why? Beacause of Zionism. It bends all the rules.

  • Video: United Methodist Church votes against divestment
    • Good catch. And as I noted yesterday, in light of this utter spinelessness, it isn't surprising that mainline Christianity, often associated with upper-scale WASPs, is totally dying out. What do they have? Nothing, only the empty rhetoric to grease the insiders.

      If that movement has any future it is young people, often minorities, untainted by 'white guilt' towards any and all minorities and since they are minorities themselves, they can see themselves in Palestinians much easier, while the feckless white progressives still somehow feel bad about the Holocaust - as if they caused it, despite the fact that their grandfathers fought Hitler.

      But you take in a Zionist troll like Jeff Goldberg who starts screaming Holocaust and Hitler at the top of his voice, and you bet the Methodist establishment all falls in line. Pathetic and weak.

      However, 40 % is a working number. Do anyone know when the next conferece is? I also heard individual Methodist congregations have already moved to disinvest.
      And I'm still looking for the Brooklyn Parkslope BDS motion to be returned at their next annual meeting. Never give up, keep pushing.

  • United Methodist Church rejects divestment
    • This vote confirms why the mainline Protestant churches are in decline and have been for decades. They don't have any energy or a spine to take a stand for anything. They all just chummy along, laying out nice words but when it comes to actually have their mettle tested, they fail each time.

      I wouldn't be surprised at all to see major concerted moves behind the scenes by people like Dennis Ross (or his equivalents) at the major Jewish communal organizations. In fact, it would be a crime of them not to engage in silent diplomacy to sabotage the vote.

      And this phenomenon of white progressives ceding to Jewish conservatives on issues they would never do with non-Jewish conservatives simply because it's Israel and Jews are a minority is something Phan Ngyuen have written about, most recently in the Brooklyn Co-Op. It's a sweet gesture, in some sense, it indicates sentivity to Jews in general, but it's also misplaced. A lot of these 'Jewish representatives' don't really represent anyone beyond their own narrow organizations.

  • His excellency Michael Oren to address American Jewish organization on 'facing our challenges together'
    • This sort of reminds me of the disgraced Anthony Weiner.

      The man went on a brilliant tirade on the need of the public option in relations to health care and then the next second claimed he was part of the "ZOA wing of the Democratic party". ZOA is the oldest Zionist organization in America and routinely compares Palestinians to Nazis.

      And he got away with calling himself a progressive because obviously there's a lot of Anthony Weiners in the Jewish Establishment who hold otherwise progressive views but then tolerate people and opinions of those like the ZOA among their midst.

      Or people like Amb. Oren who ambushes 60 Minutes segments before they even air on the TV, implying they are anti-Semites.

  • When Netanyahu described Iran as Amalek -- read, Hitler-- NYT passed this along as rational thinking
    • Part of the reason why Goldberg is so effective is that he is a natural born liar. He is so breathlessly dishonest that few people can stomach themselves to the levels of pathology as he can.

      His thrice backstepping proves this point. Not once. Thrice.

      He always changes the story when debated. He doesn't defend, he smudges the story.

      It reminds me on the same day as Beinart posted his NYT Op-Ed about what he called the non-democratic Israel etc. Goldberg immediately went on Twitter and threw up all over Beinart, claiming he is disgusted because "boycotts on Jews - I know where this ends". Of course he was talking about the Holocaust.

      But when Daniel Levy of J Street confronted him about this in a smash piece on the Atlantic, Goldberg smudges the facts again and backtracked, playing offended and claimed he never went for that.

      When he can't backtrack any longer he lashes out, calls people anti-Semites or worse. In the case of Jews, he likes a different method; quoted other people saying nasty things and then adding skeptical(but not dismissive) comments next to them. So when he debated Glenn Greenwald, he prominently quoted a reader calling Glenn a 'self-hating Jew', while Goldberg didn't confirm this, he didn't deny it, and then added he thought Greenwald wasn't a very committed Jew (adding fuel to the self-hating Jew meme fire).

      If anyone ever wants to study how to become a slimy mainstream media enforcer(not insider, enforcer), then go look no further than Goldberg. The man has mastered the 'art' of mudslinging like no other person, as well as the propensity to lie and deny at almost pathological rates in almost every debate. Goldberg gets away with it, because his targets are usually left-wingers and often idealistic ones who don't like to lie and who are not often aggressive people, often people who are sensitive. And this is why he gets away. And if anyone non-Jewish pesters him enough, he'll play the race card to finish them. The man has no scruples whatsoever, a fact he greatly exploits to his advantage.

  • Ulpana, high drama in the wild wild West (Bank)
    • Don't worry, those clowns will come out when it's all over and sell scores of book based on empty posturing and false narratives, blaming "all sides equally" like Very Serious People.

      Also, Annie, I believe there were actually three more outposts legalized in the same drive. The Bibi regime has done this in the past. They take an occasion like Independence Day, where they know that the Obama administration cannot really attack them for fear of the donors/lobby and then just go full speed ahead.,7340,L-4221046,00.html

      It apparently just happened days ago, in silence until the EU picked up on it. The article says that the US also 'condemned it' but I would venture it wasn't a high official like Clinton in order to let it fly under the radar.

  • Widely-imitated, Beinart is giving Jews permission to be, unh, liberal Zionists
    • This sounds about right. Beinart should not be attacked or denigrated for unwarranted reasons - but neither should he be treated in a way his deed does not warrant.

      Walt/Mearsheimers were the real trailblazers - and as you said, coming from the non-Jewish perspective too, which is double impressive. That takes genuine courage.

      Beinart's role is to rehash the argument, make them less vague than W/M were forced to do(that's why they kept talking about 'Christian Zionists' to desperately avoid the attacking force of the lobby/Jewish establishment, but failed), and, via his impeccable Jewish credentials, basically tell Jews "it's okay".

      But in the end, he's the back-up guy. The amplifier. But he didn't take the leap when it was dangerous - nor did he back them up when they came under fire. Nor has he given them any credit. He has only casually referred to them once in a reply to Bret Stephens as 'figures widely loathed by the Jewish establishment' and that was it.

      Beinart poses like a trailblazer, but as I previously stated, he has gotten all this free media, there's a huge commotion. Everyone is acting like he is incredibly brave, but all one has to do in his position is to have a thick neck. He is having more access to the MSM than ever before, while W/M were shut off, smeared and were denied any chance to respond to outright calls of anti-Semitism. Their careers languished and they were booted out, kicked off from events. Beinart goes to liberal think tanks and is treated like a hero. But he never says whom he can thank for that.

      Maybe it isn't a coincidence that he climbed up the greasy pole so fast? Maybe I'm being unfair to him. But I am still awaiting Max Blumenthal's book. It will be much more honest and less riddled with false narratives á la 'It's All Bibi's Fault And The Alternative Is So Much Better', while every reader of this site knows deep down that such a line of reasoning can be described as a joke at best.

      But I bet you that Blumenthal won't get an entire section of his own at Newsweek or free Op-Ed's, pick his favourite liberal think tank for long discussions, or having a media blitz to everyone from Charlie Rose to Wolf Blitzer. Because Blumenthal's message may be naked but it is true. But don't expect Beinart to give anything than a backhanded and lukewarm compliment at best, if not outright ignoring him - like Beinart ignored W/M when it was tough. Because Beinart is a self-described Centrist and that means he is always behind the real trailblazers and then rehashing their work and taking credit for it. Don't be surprised to see a sequel on Crisis to Zionism based on Blumenthal's book in a few years from now, and don't be surprised if the MSM hails him yet again as a daring truthteller, while ignoring Blumenthal just like they are ignoring W/M now.

  • Krugman jumps into debate over Beinart with both pinkies
    • I have a slightly different take on Krugman.

      Sure, his main business is economics. But I am an avid reader of his blog and he is clearly very, very interested in politics. He has written about the democratic deficit in Hungary, for instance, and even scolded his readers for being insufficiently interested in democracy when they complained about a 'marginal country'. He said that it matters, because the world is about much more than numbers.

      He also did a seperate post, last year I think, scolding an economist who did an analysis of something I don't quite remember, but there was this throw-away line in this economist's blogpost about dislike for politics. Krugman immediately jumped on it and said 'economists must care about data and models, but politics matter too'.

      Just a few posts before his post on Israel, Krugman did another post on Hungary, linking to another NYT columnist.

      The guy isn't solely focused on economics. He does care about democracy.

      And although I can't comment on his Jewish identity, I believe his wife is Gentile(someone may correct me on this) and he generally doesn't come off as very Jewish in his identity. In his public appearances, like the one at 92nd Y street(a very Jewish institution), he hardly made any reference at all to anything Jewish. He is very much so assimilated. But apparently assimilated in a way which doesn't interfere with his Jewishness, because he brings this up.

      And I concur with Phil's mild critique(is it fair if I charaterize it that way?), because I think that although support from Krugman is important, it's flawed and in many ways cowardly.

      First, he blames this current government. But either he doesn't know or he doesn't let on that the current policy is no major deviation from policy by Labor-led governments on the issue of settlements. The ruling that forbade Palistinians in the WB to marry Palistinians within '67 Israel(unlike Jews who can do it) came under a Kadima government, remember, the 'alternative'? And under which regime did Operation Cast Lead happen?

      The statement of support is in of itself significant as a bellweather, but if his support is for a flawed concept then how does that advance anything, it's the Let's All Blame Bibi-line which lib zionists love because it gets them off the hook and let's them pretend the alternative is vastly different - which it isn't. Likud has in many ways been less bloodthirsty and settlement construction came to a peak under Ehud Barak. It's important to always emphasize this.

      Beinart peddles the same myths. I see Mearsheimer/Walt as far more courageous, because they were non-Jewish and they were the ones who changed the paradigm. They were ahead of everyone else and they paid a much steeper price. Beinart may face critique but his career has actually lifted because of his book, because people understand he is right. Whereas Mearsheimer and Walt stopped getting invitations, they were smeared as anti-Semites and not merely 'misguided' or 'Israel bashers' and they didn't get an opportunity for NYT Op-Eds or their own Newsweek column, their own Newsweek blog/forum, or a media blitz like Beinart has done all over the MSM.

      So no, Krugman is wrong. And his support came much too late, because reading his blog makes you understand the man does care about democracy and politics. He knew what was going on but stayed silent almost forever and now he came out when it's safe and he endorses a false narrative.

      As I said in the beginning, this move is yet another sign of the changing tone of the debate, but Krugman shouldn't be praised for doing something which by now carries little price, especially from an establishment Jew like him writing in the NYT.

  • Algeria and Six-Day War led Lanzmann to make Shoah (and to deny the Nakba)
    • Good catch. And it also underscores that problems in American Jewry is perhaps more global. American Jewry may even be more liberal than it's European, Canadian or Australian counterparts - this despite the thick opposition to human rights for non-Jews in Palestine.

      And Israel, which once (hilarious to view it with modern eyes, I know) was described as a 'light unto the nations' is now instead a blemish on the Western hemisphere and may indeed even act as a trigger to increase clannishness and reactionary thinking.

      This is perhaps the sad, bitter truth underlying the otherwise glorious revolution of Jewish emancipation in the last few centuries. Not only did Gentiles free us (which means we were powerless to do it ourselves) but the Reform and Conservative movements drew their power from the liberal fountain of Western (and overwhelmingly non-Semitic, European) Enlightenment.

      Reform and Conservative Judaism were seen as a path to the future, to escape our brutish ways of the past. We like to think of ourselves as liberals, and in many respects we are, but it is troubling that the closer to our 'roots' we go, the more the rhetoric becomes thuggish and simplistic. Watch it over the reactions against Beinart. Against not just critics of Israel but even critics of Judaism. Debate isn't interesting. Just stamp out all non-believers.

      No wonder Spinoza fled to liberal England, where he could flourish intellectually uninhibited outside the narrow confines of the Jewish community!

      Israel is perhaps our return to the shtetl. Maybe we never left.

  • Auden wrote 'by far' the best book in 1945, but was denied the Pulitzer for alleged Communism and aloofness from WW II
    • I really liked this short snippet out of the hinterlands of the Middle East.
      I hope you can follow this up. I also miss your personal reflections from your own personal life. Sometimes with a Jewish theme, sometimes not.

      The incident with your neighbour, and the builder, is still a short story that I return to.

  • Jodi Rudoren heads for Jerusalem
    • I think she herself has good, balanced intentions. The problem is that she is a marked target. She clearly showed from the beginning that she comes with a clear and stated goal of seeing the truggle from both sides. This means openly talking about apartheid-like policies as well as covering condemnations of calls to terrorist violence.

      The last guy, who had a son in the IDF; still works for the Times on these issues but from back home. I think in some ways will nullify a lot of concerns the lobby has. Because if she ever veers off track, the folks at home can make sure it doesn't get to print.

      I still think chances are high she won't serve the full 5 year term. But the Times don't want to appear weak before pressure and needs her to stay a year or two. She will probably be let go because of 'inexperience' or whatnot. She already has too many enemies.

  • Peggy Noonan blasts Republicans for Iran warmongering
    • Editor of the WSJ page is the ultra Zionist Bret Stephens(former Ehrlich).
      So the question is: how long will she last if she keeps this up?

      My guess is that we won't find out. She will return to the fold like she should.
      Any long-term deviation means you're fired.

  • Denial
    • Mooser, as always you totally misunderstand everything.

      I don't know what mental demons you are fightning but don't project them on me. You clearly understand very little of what I am trying to say.

      I usually don't try to feed the trolls, but I will note that I've never ever seen you post anything thoughtful or intelligent.

      You so want me to be this demonic Zionist. If you even spent a few moments you'd see I don't even believe in a 2SS anymore.

      But of course, that requires mental effort. It requires seriousness.
      It requires that one steps outside of petty trolling.

      Too much to ask.

    • This reminds me of your post about Doris Lessing, as she grew up in white rule Rhodesia, how she was hated by the whites. Most of them weren't bad people. They were just used to British imperialism. It had been so for their fathers and grandfathers. It was the world that they were used to. And they knew that if they took her words seriously, their world would fall down.

      Of course, in the Jewish context it's much more painful. By the time she came about, Britain had ruled the seas for centuries. The British people did not know true suffering(in relative terms, compared to the vast majority of nations in the world). And those who did suffer, at least, did not wind up on large mansions in central Africa hunting and relaxing.

      In the Jewish context, the powerlessness and chronic weakness is the backdrop. Jews don't know power. We've never really tasted it. Sure, you have a Rothschild here and there. But what did that help? Most of them cared more about helping the British empire than their fellow Jew. Some even renounced their Jewishness in order to blend in.

      A lot of Jews do not know this today, but at the onset of the French Revolution, the Sephardi Jews who were at that time the highest-ranking Jews and some of whom had made names for themselves viciously attacked the vast Ashkenazi Jewish masses for being 'not like them'. In fact, when they sought Jewish emancipation, they insisted that Ashkenaz and Sepharad were two distinct races alltogether and any Jewishness is more illusion than fact.

      The french came to their senses and decides to give all (formal) emancipation, regardless of skincolor or ethnicity. But this should be remembered, how Jew turned on Jew. This is the end result of centuries of humiliation. This is what the early Zionists detested when they spoke of the 'Diaspora Jew'. He who crowered in the shadows and sold out his fellow Jews, poor and huddled, for approval to his Gentile masters at whose steps he danced like a clown.

      What happened as a reaction to this was an overreaction, as we can all see. But unlike European peoples, Jews have never tasted power. We cannot comprehend ourselves as oppressors of another people. It's a new role for us.

      So I think it's a generational issue. The price to pay for Jewish normalization is that you have an older generation which is incapable of thinking of themselves as regular humans. Many Jews still think, deep inside, that they are frankly incapable of being racists - as crazy as it may sound. This is all a legacy of Jewish collective history.

      But among those my age, under the age of 30, things change. True, in every population you will have racists and chauvinists. And unlike a white European Gentile, there's no punishment for a white Jew to be a bit of a racist, because, frankly, there is still deep anti-Semitism in the world(although the West). Just look at the TV in a lot of Arab countries(of course, Islamophobia is growing in the West, and totally exploding in Israel).

      But as I've become convinced of now.. the Jewish transformation will take generations to complete. And there isn't that kind of time. That's why I think it will be Gentiles who will do what will be needed. Beinart's book was easy to publish. The pioneers in the American discourse were Walt/Mearsheimer. They weren't the first, but they were the most comprehensive. They had all the right credentials and the high-powered intellect. But most important of all; they had to courage to write of what they wrote without beings Jews. They broke the barrier, despite the enormous backlash.

      The people who ended Jim Crow were a large mix, but most whites, even in the North, did not mobilize. Jews had a special role in that. Not that we were inherently more moral, like some people still think. But because we as outsiders of the power structure understood the hypocrises and the corruption in the system, and we exposed it. The most bizarre thing in Jewish modern life is that in a record short timespan, we've switched places and become part of the corrupted establishment.

      Now it is we that hold another people under oppression, and silence all who wish to write about it truthfully(because they have to deal with our political and media power, the latter of whom which not even Walt/Mearsheimer dared to step into).
      And this transformation is a revolt against all our history. So that we are even having this conversation is itself a small miracle. And we shouldn't perhaps be too harsh against the likes of your friend, while not forgetting to remind her of her cowardice.

  • Anti-Zionism will reemerge in American Jewish life -- Beinart
    • lysias, that's another thing I regret - the death of Yiddish.

      I understand why it had to be buried - too connected to Ashkenaz civilization, the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, who spoke Hebrew (and often even better Arabic) felt alienated by it.

      So when Israel was founded, there had to be a compromise. And Yiddish didn't have the roots in Judea and Samaria that (old Hebrew had), so it lost out on romanticism, and the other communities, jealous and embittered by Ashkenazi domination of the state, didn't want language to be another reminder of their subdued status. So yes, I understand why Yiddish had to be sacrificed at the altar of Jewish unity. But still. That altar was Israel and it may not even last another decade or two. And Yiddish was a thriving language for almost 1000 years. Today few people speaks it and it is slowly dying out, most speakers are quite old.

      Yiddish also had a very strong cultural history in Eastern Europe, further undermining the role of the langauge to be a global Jewish language. But it's a better language, it's a richer language. And yes, as an Ashkenazi Jew, I prefer it.

      Modern Hebrew is a bastard child of last minute nationalism.

    • What's the annual rate of Jews who make aliyah to Israel? 4800? If even that?
      At the same time you have an emigration rate of Israeli Jews to America at about the same rate.

      So for years the net migration of Jews to Israel from America was pitiful and it hasn't changed and probably won't be changed dramatically for the next decade. If anything, the net emigration could probably accelerate in the coming years if things turn ugly and Israel becomes a state in which there are not only wars frequently but where war is permanent(and Israel is fast going to such a place).

      Herzl's dream of Israel, as the central cultural life of World Jewry, has collapsed. Israeli Jews differ from their American equivalents increasingly every year. Judaism is cheap in a country where it's all around you and you don't have to make an effort.

      Israel has instead become our 'insurance policy' and our intellectual pet project. It gives us a cause to unite behind, to stem the 'disease of assimilation' as rabbi Stephen Wise recently castigated it in a sermon intended to attack Beinart.

      It's also a way for secular, atheist Jews like, say, Alan Dershowitz or Sheldon Adelson who have been in Las Vegas or Hollywood all their careers and not exactly had a deep spiritual life. By being an extreme Zionist, they feel they can redeem their Jewish deficit.

      But this blinkered support for Israel, which has long ago moved beyond mere self-defence and now moved into the territory of wars of aggression, makes anti-Semitism in the West slowly re-awakening. People start to take notice that being pro-Israel all of a sudden means you have to support aggressive wars, or else being accused of being in favor of a second Holocaust. And those wars aren't even local skirmishes anymore, they can totally wreck these people's pension plans, their family income and their jobs. Not to mention the source of recruitment for fundamentalist ideologies.

      That is what you get when a state starts getting everything it wants, everything it points at. Without exception like a spoiled child with temper tantrums. Of course, Israel has since long ago moved beyond such harmless metaphores.

      But it also means that to have a true Jewish revival, two things have to happen. The first is to slowly let go of the Holocaust as a central part of Jewish identity as it corrupts your world outlook and makes you filled with venomous paranoia about the goys. The Holocaust should never be forgotten but it shouldn't be the one thing that ties all Jews together. And the second is Israel. Judaism should return to it's humanistic roots. But it's much harder to build something genuine up. To answer the complex questions of young Jews about the ethnocentric streak of Judaism in a time of amazing liberal tolerance and progress.

      To these Jews, the older American Jewry, in a sign of their own deficient Jewish understanding, have given only fear, shame and religious nationalism - layered with Holocaust alarmism.

      It works to some extent of keeping Jews in check. But at what cost? The quality of someone's Judaism is equally - if not more - important than merely being engaged - and for what reasons. And the militaristic uses of Israel as a blunt tool to rally Jews around a common cause has cheaped Judaism beyond belief. To be a 'real' Jew these days means equating your Jewishness to militaristic bloodlust, and if you don't support that you're a 'self-hating Jew'.

      This is, to put it bluntly, a disaster waiting to happen, if it is not already happening.

  • Amira Hass explains why Israel's U.S. model of ethnic cleansing failed, and why 'Jewish regime' will 'crumble'
    • There is an additional point to be made.

      The comparison with America vis-a-vi Native Americans is something even 'liberal' Zionists like Bradley Burston do. He ridicolously compared America at 63 years of age with Israel - despite about 150 years difference. The world was a very different place ca 1840 compared to today. Not a single country allowed women to vote. Slavery was legal. And so on. But apparently this didn't stop Burston from trying to defend Israel by defaming America.

      The same is true of Native Americans. There simply isn't a comparison in the modern, Western world to Israel. That's why it's supporters have to invent facts or go back 150+ years to find a country of equal footing(and what should that tell you?).

      This doesn't mean that Western countries discriminate against ethnic minorities, but it does mean that America or any other modern Western state like Canada, Britain, Australia etc don't control millions who can't even vote or even access clean water. Or have specific laws which prevent people from certain ethnic backgrounds to marry each other (like the law in Israel which allows settlers in the West Bank to marry a Jew in Israel 'proper' but an Arab in Israel 'proper' can't marry a Palestinian under Occupation).

      But again, what's surprised me is the extent of moral corruption even 'liberals' like Bradley Burston, an editor of no less, are filled with. Same is true of Goldberg. We can't have a clean, liberal message until the charalatans and posers of liberalism are exposed and excommunicated from the liberal community unless they actually adopt a true liberal position. The longer people hear outright racist comments and comparisons from 'liberals' - without getting punished for it - then the more it dilutes the message of genuine liberals, like Max Blumenthal.

  • Hasbara in 1988: 'despite difficulties, South Africa is a vital, progressive state with much to admire '
    • One thing I noticed right off the bat was the insistence of white rule South Africa to stress the 'complexity' of the situation. If we look at the hasbarist #1 in the States, Jeffrey Goldberg, that is also his favourite weapon of choice. Critics must understand the complexity, damn it!

      Of course, Goldberg has a second, potent, weapon which white rule South Africa didn't. The appeal of minority status in the West. I am talking about the offensive uses of anti-Semitism, as a weapon of choice, to silence critics.

      Third, white rule South Africa didn't have a strong U.S. domestic lobby to work on it's behalf.

      Despite all these shortcomings, you are right about the similarities in propaganda effort. And the attempt to stall and smear by the likes of Goldberg should be seen for what they are. Yet, as you have previously pointed out, too many white progressives defer to Jews in these matters. And even among Jews, too many liberal Jews defer to the more right-wing ones(even those with a liberal gloss like Ben Adler at the Nation or the increasingly naked Jeffrey Goldberg).

      The complexity attack is part and parcel of this. But the second attack, that of anti-Semitism, is the one that keeps it in check and prevents too many spineless white progressives from actually doing the hard work like you do and look at the similarities of the propaganda.

      One final thing: I am continually puzzled why the best stories are not put at the top of the frontpage. This should be put as the main story you see as you come and visit. Yet it's hidden way down among the other stories. It's a shame. For this long, quality post deserves much more publicity than it gets right now.

  • 'Struggle is now for equal rights for everyone in Greater Israel' --Gideon Levy
    • The time for charade has ended. The 2SS has been dead for a long time. When the top elite of the Israeli political spectrum brag how they increase aid and subsidies to the settlements(in order to expand them) spinning bullshit tales about 'an extremist minority holding the Israeli mainstream captive' simply won't cut it.

      Go look at Mapai. Look at Ehud Barak's record. Look at where Labor today recruits it's voters(tip: it's beyond the green line, often far away).

      'Democratic Israel' is a fiction of a 'liberal' Zionist mind, intended to soothe rather than clarify.

      Levy understands. Even Bradley Burston starts to understand(the guy who attacked Mondoweiss and even compared Israel at it's 64th birthday to American at it's equivalent, despite centuries of difference in the time that they exist in).

      Beinart will some day join Levy. Jeffrey Goldberg will fight until the bitter end, side by side with Dershowitz and Foxman.

      Remnick(editor of New Yorker) isn't far behind. He understands.
      Roger Cohen at the NYT, also.

      And the first step to that is pressing on those who maintain their illusions, like children and their favourite blankets. Delusion only prolongs the inevitable, and by cutting short the path which we are now on anyway, trauma can be spared.

  • Leading sociologist says 'the enemy' includes 'disloyal' individualistic young Jews who push human rights
    • Cohen's words are not only wrong - they are immoral and frankly even a little bit frightening.

      Because you don't want to side with Jews at all costs - even when human rights are trampled - you are now suddenly 'part of the enemy'? How can this guy even call himself a liberal, much as Alan Dershowitz can and doesn't get called out on it?

      This isn't a Jewish issue. Time has moved on, folks. Why should, say, French people ignore human rights just because the abusers are from the same ethnic fold as they are? That's the essence of what Cohen is demanding of Jews. That's tribalism over liberalism, which isn't a genuine liberalism to begin with.

      I sincerely hope that this is merely a generational issue, but even so, I don't hear Gentiles talk like this his age where I live. Something's wrong.

  • The 'Jewbags' photo
    • It reminds us why so many non-Jews want to marry Jews (because of our wealth)

      Sounds like a mini-smear to me. From my experiences, there is now such intermingling at colleges that gentile boyfriends/girlfriends tend to become wives/husbands. I doubt it's about money for a lot of people, except perhaps for a few (mostly female) golddiggers who buy all the stereotypes(with some good reason!) for all the wrong reasons.

  • Beinart gets a Jewish conversation going in the media (just don't call us a cabal)
    • Good catch. Phil's on an ethnocentric streak today. First his smearing of the goys as golddiggers and now these sly comments. I love these emotional highs and lows from him.

      Ultimately, criticising Zionism should be like any other ideology. You shouldn't be a communist to be able to criticise communism. Your personal biography shouldn't matter, which was and is the case with Beinart.

      The only thing that should matter is the logic of your arguments, whatever the outcome. And I don't think most Americans can afford to wait for permission and with the Walt/Mearsheimer breach, they are not doing that either at increasing rates. I still hold both them and their book as far more important than what Beinart did, and much more courageous too.

      Now, if the conversation beyond Jews is starting to open up regardless of our wishes; will it lead to anti-Semitism as Phil fears, if there's too much pushback? Now he does sound like he is voicing (inverted) communal fears, heh.

      But I'm not sure. If there's a more open debate on Israel then that would mean that there's a more relaxed attitude about Jewish power and privilege, especially in-between American Jewry. But would that really alliviate anti-Semitism? If people would start paying attention to owners of Hollywood, major media etc then frankly I'm not sure if "opening the conversation" would reduce any anti-Semitism. Holding back might not be what most of us want, in terms of the Israeli debate, but what's the alternative?

      Because in my mind you cannot explain the total devotion to Israel in our culture, media etc without talking about significant Jewish presence in said institutions.
      But I wouldn't personally want that conversation; call me selfish. I'd prefer the hideous situation vis-a-vi Israel to be solved without this conversation, but I suspect that it's impossible.

  • 'The Crisis of Zionism' and the contradictions of Israel as a liberal democratic fantasy
    • Great point, Annie.

      Even in the event of a creation Palestinian state, the Israeli political climate wouldn't be much changed. This has brewed for decades. Ethnic cleansing would be demanded as a "just compromise" and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see numerous "liberal" Zionists backing it as a fair deal.

    • Great, great post, Austin!

      I've noticed the selective amnesia among many so-called 'liberal' Zionists. Beinart goes to much further lengts than many to be intellectually honest and he deserves credit for that but the fact remains:

      It was Labor, not Likud, which expanded the settlements the most during the 90s. This is why Oslo will always be seen from afar as a bastard child of Israeli expansionism and settlement construction by independent observers. Whether that was the intention or not is really a moot issue. What matters is, as they say, 'the facts on the ground'.

      Beinart himself lashes out against the Jewish establishment but he was editor of TNR, the über-establishment magazine, in the 90s and saw it all happening. What did he do? Nothing. He had a career to tend. Same with Iraq. But there he even pushed for it. And even as late as 2006 he released one of the most bizarre neocon warmongering books I've seen, but with a liberal gloss.

      There is usually a charge by his right-wing critics of vanity and political opportunism, now that criticism of Israel may still be dangerous but isn't instant career-death as it used to(which is probably part of the reason why he waited as long as he did), the charge of opportunism does carry some weight. And where was Beinart when settlements increased the most?

      In many respects he is years, or even decades, too late. But he had a career to tend. And now the settlement projects is so ingrained into Israel so it won't untangle itself. And now, after all these years, he comes out when the ground has already been plowed before him.

      But he still refuses to talk about Labor's role in the 90s, because that ruins his whole 'Bibi did it' narrative. And that's precisely the problem with his polemic. It massages the egos of liberal Zionists but it's totally divorced from the truth. And the truth hurts. Because it's been their dear 'progressive' parties in Israel which expanded the settlements the most.

      Also, Likud has historically been less warmongering than it's more leftist political opponents, as strange as it may seem. Netanyahu has kept that tradition. But that's also something Beinart won't dabble in because it shows Israel in it's full view, and then it's much harder to blame a single party or a movement instead of seeing the broad de-facto concensus that exists in Israel today.

  • Iowa. New Hampshire. Yad Vashem
    • Christie isn't that popular with the Adelson's of the world. He's actually quite against Islamophobia and racism of any kind. When he appointed a muslim to a high post(it was judicial of some sort) he was slammed by the racists in the "pro-Israel" community and called them "a bunch of crazies".

      Still, he's also very much into the whole Christian Zionism business, so it's complex. I think his first trip to Israel has more to do with him posturing for 2016 than as a VP. He's Romney's closest political ally so if he wants VP he will get it regardless. This is a longterm play and I actually don't think it's donor base this time.

      Sure, the Adelsons/Semblers of the donor base matter but there is a genuine and deep Zionism inside the Republican party which coincided with the rise of the Christian Right. It doesn't need money to sustain itself like the much more shallow Zionism of the Democratic party, evidence of Obama no less.

      We shouldn't underestimate the role of rich Jews in the political process but we should neither forget that there are deep cultural trends at play here too. Jewish money may massage those trends but that doesn't mean it's behind them all-together.

  • Activists post mock eviction notices in campus dorms to highlight Israeli home demolition policy
    • Yes, good initiative. This kind of action needs to be made nonstop. Nonstop.

      It isn't possible to do these bursts of actions a few times a year and then hope for the best. Substantive and long-term committment beats flashy confrontations. When a regular student fumbles around in college without a clear direction, if they see this huge clash they just won't tell the difference from afar and think both sides are just crazy and then disengage.

      This kind of unilateral action is far more effective. You'll never win over the hardliners and the racists. Much better to focus on the disengaged middle. It's better to get a general feeling across of what Israel (as it is today) really stands for rather than try to get everyone to become superengaged - it doesn't work that way. Most people in the anti-Apartheid boycotts in the 80s weren't that engaged but there was a critical mass of activists which kept making the topic discussed and debated and informal links were deepened so even if you didn't actively sought out information, you knew enough about the racism and oppression by just being on campus that when the vote came, your vote was sold in advance to further and advance boycotts.
      VP of Comcast, owner of MSNBC.

      The Afrikaaners were never close to that kind of soft cultural power, hence it was much easier to just get the truth out. Activists dind't encounter the kind of mudslinging that pro-peace activists encounter when facing the barrage of hasbara and smear campaigns. But even so, the basic methods are the same. Intensity and regularity is key.

  • A twitter debate on Israel/Palestine and racism
    • Weiss covered the way you can outright racist and nativist stuff like "demographic abolition" under the cover of Zionism. And Beinart even tweeted his approval of Adler's piece on his twitter feed.

      That should give some here pause.

  • Former State Dep't official says Obama calls for human rights and democracy are 'undercut' by position on Palestinians
    • But it doesn't work like that. Dennis Ross operated in silence, and so must the opposition. I think people generally overestimate the amount of power you have in office, even as president.

      Beinart will be able to move the discourse much more than Obama can - because Beinart isn't looking for re-election. Of course, Walt/Mearsheimer were the true trailblazers, especially since they wrote what they wrote without them being Jewish - their biggest crime.

      Beinart to this day uses them as a punching bag, last time in his response in Tablet to Bret Stephens' vitriolic attack. I hope someday he will apologize for his brazen opportunism. We owe more to the new discourse to Walt/Mearsheimer than we do to Beinart or anything else.

      But what can you do in office? There's a pecking order. And even a President has to obey his donor base. So who hold the real power?

      People always underestimate the power of the media. In a real and free democracy, media power usually beats political power. That's why the left won on the cultural issues, because it dominated the universities and it filled up the media over time. The neoliberals won the economic argument because those policies help the rich and powerful(and thus those who can donate cash). Rich guys don't tend to care about cultural arguments, all they care about is money.

      I think Ms. Slaughter will be able to exert more influence on policy debate over the long term out of office if she is skilful enough. Certainly more than inside the Washington bubble.

  • My spirit is American (a religious manifesto)
  • SFO Jewish Library (you read that right-- library) cancels panel on Jewish activism because participant supports boycott
    • Ah silly me, here I thought that blanket Jew-baiting statements concerning millions of liberal Jews is perhaps the definition of racism - that whole groups are judged on the basis of their identity instead on an individual basis or at least sub-group basis(i.e. Jewish neocons) - is somehow the antithesis of liberal discourse.

      Silly me.

    • "American Jews have hijacked liberalism just as neocons hijacked Conservatism."

      Let's slow down there, buddy. If you mean 'American-Jewish liberal Zionists of the Dershowitz/Goldberg kind", I'm with you. But American Jews as a masse?
      I hope you don't mean that kind of ugly rhetoric over a whole group of people.

  • Covering Adelson, Matthews leaves out the 'Obama Oy Vey' factor
    • No, you're right, he's as Establishment as they come.
      He even made sure to team up with the UPenn dean, Amy Gutman, right before the BDS confernce and condemned it.

      My sense from the whole affair was that Gutman is a professional and stayed that way for most of the time but apparently Cohen became irate the closer the conference came and made sure to drag Gutman along him to publish the rant that he had written up, just a day before the conference was to start. It was an astounding political interference and a show of deep unprofessionalism.

      But Cohen has connections to the donor networks that Gutman needs and these days deans are more fundraisers than intellectual leaders so I guess she had no choice when the donor base roared. Sort of the same situation in Congress and for politicians like Obama who needs that $$$ for re-election.

      Personally, I don't care what positions he holds in his heart. He has every right to express them. But when he lobbies the Dean of the school to take a political stance like that, then it crosses the line. Then it becomes political pressure from a guy who is not supposed to get involved on campus politics and it was intended as attempt to chill freedom of speech. It was clearly intended to draw a political line on behalf of Israel alone, and that has nothing to do with a university in America. But Cohen's a devoted guy and if he has to breach professional ethics for his no.1 Issue(like Adelson) then he has shown himself willing to do that. And remember that he's VP of Comcast, the owners of MSNBC and other TV stations.

      And notice that he fundraised millions for Obama too - at his personal home. So of course Matthews is avoiding the topic. He operates within the Establishment. He gets the money but not the freedom. In the end, which is better? Which do you prefer?

  • Jewish food fight (at Park Slope Co-op)
    • Yes, yes, yes and yes. Brilliant post.

      And I cringe when I see terms like "demographic abolition" coming from 'progressive Jews'. It's a racist argument because it's based on blood and race, not liberal principle.
      The same is true of the term 'preserving Israel's Jewish character' which is really 'preserve the race, or it will be diluted!'. Again, often coming from 'liberal' Zionists.
      I had hoped those arguments had died with the Nazis.

      And I remember that some 'progressive' rabbi, when attacking Beinart' used the term 'the disease of assimilation'. We haven't kept our doorstep tidy. We did wonderful work under the civil rights movement but failed to introspect. And now it's all falling out at the same time and it ain't a pretty picture. But we have to start somewhere and we'll be better off from it.

  • Those who criticize Israel join campaign to 'slaughter the Jews en masse'
    • Once upon the time the position this nutcase has was the de facto position of the entire Jewish mainstream establishment. A significant portion still has it, but they are less and less speaking in this manner.

      The fact that this kind of shrill rhetoric is increasingly moving to the fringes is in itself a sign of the times and how the debate is shifting.

      But I would add to what one commenter wrote on Annie's post on Sullivan; namely that this isn't a Jewish issue anymore in exclusive terms. When America(and by implication the West) is gearing for war against Iran basically only to appease Israel(despite the strong opposition of the Pentagon/Army) then it becomes an issue for everyone, including those outside the Jewish cocoon. And I guess that's a good thing. And fact, I'm sure of the fact that it's a good thing. I, too, enjoy how Goldberg is getting hammered by Sullivan and Gentiles like him. Because few people are as risibile as Goldberg, who is a make-pretend liberal and dirty the term.

  • Obama and Republicans have to support Iran war 'because of funding from certain ethnic groups'
    • A sign of the times. I feel uncomfortable when I hear him dabble in anti-Semitism.
      But we can thank AIPAC's bluster and open contempt for American democracy for that.

  • Ethnocentrism and journalism (Beinart's double standard for Israel and Iraq)
    • I didn't think I would be writing "in defence of Beinart" but here we go.

      My main contention is that, as you noted, one part of the reason why the Trayvon Martin case was pushed so hard was because a lot of black (and probably hispanic, too, at least before Zimmerman's photo became public) journalists felt that this had hit home.

      On the other hand, 90 % or so of all deaths that happen to young black men by other perpetrators are by other black men. There was some kind of former NAACP director who spoke about this. But why was this case so hardly fought? Because it had the stirrings of the oldest of racial conflicts in America: White/black. Since then the case had been complicated by a lot.

      But the fact is, in that moment, when facts were scarce, large sections of the (mostly progressive) media rushed to judgement and attacked Fox for holding back coverage before more facts were known(so now I'm even defending Fox, wow, this keeps getting better).

      In an idealistic scenario, this case would have been followed but the tone which suggested that this was somehow an already set case was a disaster, and it was mostly the case on progressive media(where most black journalists are, except NPR which has almost no black journalists since Juan Williams was fired). So did the black journalists act more out of ethnocentrism rather than professionalism?

      I would be tempted to say yes. Even if Zimmerman is found to be guilty, the due process should be observed.

      What is the larger point made here? That ethnocentrism isn't necessarily a good thing, regardless of who is doing it, but that it seems weird why you would attack Jewish ethnocentrism but praise black ethnocentrism. One of the points I'm making here is that this is something that is normal. White(as in non-Jewish/non-Hispanic) ethnocentrism in the media isn't as pronounced, at least among liberals, but it's probably a subtle factor too. You take an outsized interest in stories which are relevant to your upper middle-class life with mostly white friends and family.

      So the devil's advocate might counter: all points made are sound but there's a difference here; scale of impact. Jewish ethnocentrism, because of Israel, and because of our(in my opinion, wonderful) rise to prominence has much more pronounced consequences in terms of bloodshed and war(now let me be precise, I am not saying that 'Jews are behind the Iraq war!' I think we were part of the more minor players but the thing to remember is that no matter how large or small part we were of the pro-war movement, either by silence or by tacit support, we have an obligation to clear our consciences regardless, as moral human beings and Jews. This is especially true because we have an outsized impact on the media and the political process. We cannot play victims forever and we have to take ownership of our privilege, which I think Beinart is in some sense saying too.)

      But whatever the role of AIPAC in the run-up to Iraq, still a debated topic, nobody can argue on the case of Iran, which has basically no chance of producing any plausible deniability for the Israel Lobby(or, more precise, the AIPAC part of it) to hide behind; because everyone knows who is beating the drums of war. And AIPAC is still vastly more powerful than J Street is in terms of funding/congressional power etc.

      And these counter-points are well-taken. And I think Beinart's blind support for Iraq probably inspired him - in part, of course - to write about the 'ethics of Jewish power'. He recently said on a Shalom TV interview that AIPAC celebrates Jewish power but neglects it's responsibility.

      That sounds about right. I don't mind Jews in power; it thrills me. But I agree with Beinart that too often there is an outdated view of the Jew as this powerless, hapless and downtrodden victim. That hasn't been the case for decades. And the fact that he has started this conversation from the inside means that it will be hard to acuse him of anti-Semitism or other dark motives(although the self-hating Jew is still available).

      And that is a contribution, because as Israel is growing ever more militant, we need critical debate in the Jewish community. And whatever criticisms one might have with Beinart, the fact is that he has changed his positions and we are all better off by it.

  • Jewish establishment-backed mayoral candidates rush to denounce Park Slope BDS effort
    • This is why this was always going to be much harder than with South Africa. There was no Afrikaaner lobby in the U.S.

      They didn't have major political figures like billionaire Bloomberg on their side, or Seth Klarman, or entire political streams dedicated to them(like the Neocons is mostly about Israel and then added with a few mashed-up neoliberal domestic policies).

      This will take time. BDS has to be judged in context, not against the near-oppositionless forces that the anti-Apartheid movement faced in the 70s and the 80s.

      Even Congress voted for boycotts in the mid-80s, something Reagan vetoed.
      Can you imagine even getting 5 votes in the House on this issue?

      People need perspective and patience. The Park Slope effort is the kind of effort we need. We need a progressive critical mass first. Do this again in just a few months. Do it in lots of other places. Once the progressive grassroots are taken, then continue to new places. The politicial establishment is always reacting to last year's powerstructures.

  • Bloomberg warns BDS will lead to 'massacres' as Park Slope Co-op holds initial vote on boycott tonight
  • 'J Street' review-- mixed, but positive
    • I had a few hours to kill and spent them on one single panel at their website where they livestreamed the whole thing.

      It was a panel entitled "Christian Zionists, hawks, neocons and Casino Magnates".

      It was apparently aimed at exploring the various alliances in the Likudnik circles.
      I learned quite a bit about the right-wing Evangelicals(which isn't the same thing as 'Christian Zionists, but the topic was only about the farthest-right). In fact... the panel was just about only about the Christian Zionists.

      Not a single word on the last section, like Sheldon Adelson. He was only mentioned once where in passing it was mentioned that he funded Newt's chances at becomming president. That was it.

      I can't talk about other panels, but it appears that Beinart's appeal to speak about the 'ethics of Jewish power' went unheard. Instead, they all bashed the easiest target to attack in progressive circles - namely Southern, conservative hard-right Christians.

      These people make up a significant portion of the alliance but they are they groundtroopers. It's the donorbase which is important. I can understand if J Street(or rather, it's panel, Michelle Goldberg, Sarah Posner, some guy from Media Matters(Jewish lastname) feel uneasy about this topic. Fine. But if the panel wants to explore alliances, what's the point by talking 99 % about Christian Zionists?

      There is still a widespread fear on these topics, which I can understand, but you should and could at least broach them gently. Afterall, we're talking about a specific subset of the donorbase of a small number of right-wing Jews. Adelson is very colorful and people focus on him but you have guys like Seth Klarman(behind the new right-wing 'Times of Israel') and others like him who are not as visible but still keep an important presence. And what about Haim Saban?

      But I guess it's simply much easier to overinflate the important of John Hagee and totally ignore the real power-brokers, for reasons we all know. Expected, but I had hoped at least a more thorough discussion on all these groups. After all, the title of the panel gave the impression of even balance, something which didn't occur.

      Another thing: I didn't like Ben-Ami's throwing of Beinart under the buss when it happened just before the convention. Even if he said he welcomes different viewpoints it was done in an acid manner and the phrases used "I never said I agreed with him on anything" and such gave an impression of a more strong distancing.

      Some people dismiss J Street as AIPAC lite. I'm not sure. I think there are genuine liberal elements and they had quite a bit of influence in the early days. But Ben-Ami has been steering the organization further to the right as time has gone on.

  • Israeli diplomat chased out of Morocco after mass protest
  • Hundreds of soccer fans crowd Jerusalem mall: 'Death to Arabs!'
  • 'I didn't say I liked Beinart's book' -- J Street head sells his star guest out to his antagonist, Goldberg
    • Phil, please don't pretend that Beinart is hated by the right. He's been attacked from all sides. The Forward did a recent editorial blasting him and his ideas. They only gave minor tepid support at the end along the lines of "we need to keep the discussion open". They called him misguided.

      Gary Rosenblatt of the NY Jewish Week blasted him. The Jewish Book Review(!) even found space to blast him. Goldberg is, like it or not, the 'liberal' fig leaf of the Israel lobby.

      The attempted elimination of Peter Beinart - led by Goldberg(who else?) - has come from all sides. This isn't a left/right issue. Basically nobody has come to his defence. And his suggestion is very tepid.

      This incident has exposed Liberal Zionism for the fraud that it is. And it also underscores a deeper truth that no matter what may divide them on domestic policy, on foreign policy there is only the AIPAC line and that's it.

      The "liberal" Zionists like Goldberg or Gershon Gorenberg do three things:
      1. Complain about the Occupation to pretend to have a moral pathos.
      2. Attack the right-wing crazies to gain legitimacy among your own. You see Gorenberg only attacking Bibi and his Republican allies - as if the Occupation was a creation of Likud and not the leftist Labor.
      3. Whenever truly pressed, often from the left, lash out and say it's all "too complicated" and it can't be done. Goldberg's attack on the BDS as 'helping the settlers entrench their ideas'. Duh. Like the status quo is helping them disengage. The worst scenario is that nothing changes. That's the worst part. Anything better than that will mean progress, no matter what economical impact.

      Action must always be delayed because of 'nuance'. This is the essence of liberal Zionism. After gaining (or trying to gain) progressive credentials, the main goal is to cast doubt and delay and delay and delay. There's always a reason for why we can't and shouldn't.

      And if all else fails go and play the anti-Semitism card. Goldberg recently called Sullivan a 'scapegoater of Jews' - and we know what that means. Beinart defended Sullivan on Twitter(which probably didn't make Goldberg's intense dislike and jealousy of Beinart any weaker).

      So in light of this, why should we be surprised that Beinart was thrown under the bus by Ben-Ami?

      Since J Street is filled with liberal Zionists, their organizational role is no different than the indivudal 'liberal' Zionist's; namely, to gain progressive credentials but sabotage any real action by saying it's too complicated, it can't be done, it will encourage the wrong kind of people and so on and so on and so on.

      The role is the same. Liberal Zionism exists as a way to suffocate progressive critical debate. You use all kinds of delay tactics and 'yes, but' and 'hmm, but unfortunately' or 'I wish that was the case, but the situation is much more complex than that, so we can't...'

      And if all else fails, pull the race card. I don't see why AIPAC is so against J Street. By pretending to be liberal, J Street buys Israel critical time.

  • Settlers aren't freelancers-- Israeli government is behind them all the way
    • Beinart's critique is really mild and ultrahedged.

      Yet it has been a remarkable sight basically seeing the entire Jewish establishment turn against him. Not just the neocons(who, it must now be official, basically run the entire discourse on Israel while everyone else has a simple choice of either complying or resisting) but the Jewish Federations of North America. The staff editor of the Foreign Affairs, the apex journal of the Foreign Policy establishment(, and now even the editor of one of the largest and most important communal newspapers that we have in America; Gary Rosenblatt at the New York Jewish Week(

      The attack on Beinart reaches far into both political spectrums.
      This, if anything, tells you about how 'liberal Zionism', if even always at unease with itself, has now quickly reached it's crossroads.

      You can tell by Bradley Burston's(senior editor at bizarre postings. One day he is attacking the left, then he is apologizing for it here at Mondoweiss. Then the other day he was attacked BDS for 'being exposed as anti-Israel'. Then he was attacking the ZOA(the favourite target of the liberal Zionists who can pretend to be sanguine in the process of defending Apartheid).

      I think Beinart's hand will be forced sooner or later to accept the 1SS, but I think he will resist it until the very end. But the force of the Jewish (especially the liberal part) Establishment on him to retract and apologize has made it more than clear that 'reform' won't come from the inside.

      Now it basically hangs on Gentiles. Perhaps a younger generation of Jews can change this dynamic but we don't have 10-20 years. And I think if you look at only the last 5 years you see a massive sea change. In 5 years more it will probably be official even to establishment pols that the 2SS is dead and it's now either supporting Apartheid or work for change.

      And in this extreme environment, expect to hear tons and tons of references to the Holocaust and the whole 'the world is against us & they are all anti-Semities out to get us because we're Jews' meme. This is the scary part. Will Israel use it's nukes once pushed into a corner?

      I'm much less worried about Iran the next decade than a radicalized and vulnerable Israel which won't give up the Apartheid it has created but can't out and pretend to be liberal anymore.

      This doesn't end well. And the 'liberal' Zionists had chance to make a difference. Instead they all attacked Beinart, even if his initiative probably had low chances to succeed anyway, it speaks volumes of their corrupt priorities.

  • Establishment Jews attack Beinart over settlement boycott call
    • By the way hophmi, I saw you responding to Ronn Torossians nutjob Op-Ed attack on Beinart in the comments' section. For a while, you always seemed like a good-hearted liberal.

      And then I read the usual claptrap you come with. It's the whole 'white moderate' dilemma King wrote about. The whole point is that the Establishment is wedded to the Occupation. Trying to appease them hasn't worked.

      But you know that. Which is why it's strange why you're pushing for more unless you want the outcome that will happen - and I think you're smart enough to understand that at some point, if not already, the settlements are permanent.

    • Phil, here's one I think is very important.

      The reviewer is a staff editor at Foreign Affairs. That is THE foreign policy magazine in the States. It's the essence of the establishment and the organization behind it is the Council on Foreign Relations(CFR), which is a bi-partisan apex of the Foreign policy establishment. And this guy is an editor at their magazine.

      And the review is a non-stop attack. He slams Beinart and all who think like him in the following manner:

      "That's why those who embrace The Crisis of Zionism—especially the young, liberal elites for whom it is intended—risk dooming themselves to irrelevancy."


      It isn't just the neocons at Commentary. Goldberg is a usual weatherwane. Even J Street went after him.

      It's official: the 2SS is dead. Apartheid is the choice du jour - full stop!

  • As I read this, I cringe
    • There's a grain of truth in that. On the other hand, Israel is supposed to be a Jewish state and thus most of the internal Israeli debate has to be framed in Jewish terms, since the changes will affect the people who live there, and Jews form a significant portion of that population(especially if you're aiming for a 2SS). This doesn't mean I agree with this position but I can see why it's the case of how the debate is framed.

      I would like to say, however, that the author of this piece did a very intelligent and it is so far the best critique that I've read. Beinart is not going to change, and nor should he.

      But as I wrote earlier in another thread, he has been silent for most of his career, certainly when he was the editor of The New Republic(the gatekeeper to Israel in liberal discourse) when Labor went nuts with the settlements. Nor did he do anything particular in the run-up to Iraq.

      I read a venomous comment from a right-wing Jew at some site where he basically wrote that Beinart is a political opportunist. He senses where the wind is heading and tries to portray himself as this brave/serious intellectual.

      But when it actually counted and when the 2SS wasn't on life-support(if it isn't dead already), Beinart was dead silent. His prescriptions may have had a valid and cogent component to them once upon a time but that was years ago, if not decades. Settlements, including East Jerusalem, now contain over half a million. If Netanyahu can't even disbandon migron, who thinks he(or any of the opposition, like Labor who have historically stood for most of the settlement growth and spend their political energies these days reaching out and wooing the very settlers they are supposed to oppose) can do anything about that?

      I'm inclined to agree with some of his critics that his life's work does contain a grain of opportunism. I also think he's way, way late and this is the last gasp of panicked Liberal Zionists who let the neocons(both Republican and Democrat) run the show. Now they see the fruits of blind and passive loyalty and they want their moral compass back.

      Sorry, too late. You sold it a long time ago.
      Why should these people be listened to now?

  • When good intentions aren't good enough: Liberal Zionists and BDS
    • Yeah, a good, intelligent piece on the subject. Without hyperbole but with a clear, moral pejorative piercing through the entire argument.

      Also, welcome to the roster of Mondoweiss, Austin!

  • Beinart calls for boycott of settlements 'to save Israel'
    • I don't know about that, Annie.

      As 'revolutionary' as Beinart wants to appear, the fact is that his Op-Ed in 2010 and his soon-to-be-released book about Zionism isn't that radical. Mearsheimer and Walt were the real radicals, denounced by everyone(including Beinart) as dangerous anti-Semites even though most people now implictly agree they were right by using the phrase of 'the pro-Israel lobby'. The NYT even called AIPAC an 'Israel lobby'(which isn't far from the truth).

      Where was Beinart before Iraq? Where was he during the 90s, when he was editor of the TNR; the gatekeeper of the liberal establishment as Rabin's government massively increased settlements? Not a word from Beinart then.

      It's only at the very end, when Mearsheimer, Walt, Tony Judt, Blumenthal and Weiss have been calling the obvious for what it is(and paid a heavy career price for it, at least when it comes to Blumenthal who is utterly brilliant as a journalist).

      That Beinart now comes out of woods after literally decades of silence smacks of opportunism. Now most liberals agree that Israel is on the wrong track and that the 2SS may be dead or at least on life-support. To come now and write about the 'Crisis of Zionism' isn't brave or revolutionary or radical. It's merely a statement of fact. If his book came 10 years ago he would have been a radical. Or even 5 years ago. But not now. Others have paid a deep, personal price, often through their careers, for him to say what he says now. Without any price. And it's good for his career as he gets presented as this brave peacemaker, "taking on the Jewish establishment". Please.

      Blumenthal's up-coming book will be much more truthful as it rejects the puerile motion that this is somehow all the fault of a few extremists who have 'unfortunately' pressured Israeli governments into a position that they don't really feel that strongly about. When in fact it's been established mainstream policy under both labor and likud.

      But that shatters the myth of the 'Good Israel' that Liberal Zionists like Beinart feed off on. And where is Labor or Kadima for that matter now? Labor has gone up in the polls because it refuses to talk about the Occupation. It even reaches out to settlers(!) as a voting block. How is that upsetting the status quo? And this shouldn't be a surprise. Labor has long provided a liberal fig leaf to the Occupation from within Israel as well as to the Jim Crow status of Arabs inside Israel.

      Beinart is not really that different, because he comes at the very end after a career marked by acquiescence and even here he refuses to deal with the reality that the Occupation draws it's support from across the political spectrum and not from some sort of fringe. Nor is his timing that brave, as he has stonewalled this issue for his entire career and only come out after a lot braver people essentially sacrificed their careers(like Max Blumenthal) for saying the truth, unmitigated and uncensored.

      Let the mainstream media hype Beinart. I want to know more about Max's upcoming book as it will be much more honest with the situation than Beinart will ever allow himself to be, because he craves insider access. That's what fuelled his silence for decades and that is what is making him portray this as somehow all of Bibi's fault and Obama as some sort of bizarre Jewish messiah. It's a fairytale.

  • How important is it to the Times (and us) that Greg Smith is Jewish?
    • Thomas,

      Your reply says more about your own personal prejudices and preferences than what I wrote. Your reply is making it sound as if I want to forbid this topic.

      What I wrote was that I understand those who are uncomfortable with this topic, not that I advocate censorship. This is also why I think Phil would probably write a good book on this topic, because he would be able to balance honest debate and keeping a historical perspective.

      Your angry and, frankly, slightly bitter outbursts demanding that I stand responsible for how 'Jewish power' should or should not be used has a nasty undercurrent to it. And it's precisely for this undercurrent that some Jews are put off on this topic, and as I wrote, I understand them even though I may not always agree with them. Because to some people Jews are a collective hive mind working in concert with each other. I don't think I need to point out that the leap to outright conspiracies are not far behind once you've crossed that threshold. That is neither an indictment of this topic nor a defence. Just a statement of fact.

    • Post by post, Phil, you're getting to a point when you're saying outright that 'Jews control America'(or more nuanced; We have a decisive impact on the media which in a free society is what sets the parameters of discussions on any given topic.). And if America is (still) the superpower of the world and we have a decisive impact...

      I'm telling you that this road is right down the alley of classic anti-Semitism. But the 'myth' of Jewish power has become a reality. So the boundaries of discourse on anti-Semitism has not yet kept apace with the reality of modern Jewish life in Western societies. So maybe you should wrote a book on this topic, 'Jews and Power'.

      I think it would relevant and nuanced coming from a guy like you, a comfortable Jew with self-distance. Beinart's onto something and if Tony Judt was alive I bet this would be his next topic since the discussion on Israel has been opened up and nuanced and he was constantly pushing the boundaries of the discussion to get to the truth, not necessarily what fits a certain ideology.

      But yeah, there is reclusiveness on these topics. And I'm somewhat sympathetic to that view. Anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Jewish history should be.

  • Wall Street firm slammed the door on young Warren Buffett for religious reasons
    • Good catch. A man who was facing bigotry became a bigot himself.

      "Every white man is a potential Klasman".

      As for the article.
      I think that the Jewish rise to power was ultimately a good thing. The downside was that the aggression needed for the shattering of the old order meant that Wall St, for instance, became much less benign and less focused on industrialism and more on fast money, creating complex securities and algorithms which could be understood if you had the mathematical ability and time, but in essence, did little for the economy than rob pension funds and gutter the middle class.

      Still, if you look at firms like Goldman Sachs, which were very Jewish and family-owned they were very much patrician and long-term too. The same is true of Paul Warburg and other great Jewish finaniciers who were also long-term industrialists. So I don't think that this dictonomy between the WASPish 'long term model' and the Jewish 'smart, but reckless quick buck culture' is true when some people portray it.

      I think there is a case to be made that Wall St became more reckless as Jews started to gain an equal footing, but I think that was more a byeffect of vengance and the state of the situation. Remember that anti-Semitism was very real in the decades leading up to the 60s and 70s. That hardens people a lot. Makes them aggressive and at times, as the Ben Graham story shows, even mild bigots themselves.

      Still, today Goldman may have a Jewish CEO but it isn't owned by Jews. A lot of hedge funds like Andreesen Horowitz are thoroughly mixed. Wall St and the London City financial district used to have a strict divide between the Gentiles/WASPs and the Jews. That's no longer the case. I think both groups are better off because of that, as well as everyone who isn't part of those two groups who are also starting to thrive on Wall St.

      This is why I think that the Jewish ascendancy, even if it brought a more aggressive(or even destructive) edge to Wall St in the coming decades, was a good thing ultimately; because it brought in meritocracy. Even Graham couldn't ignore that in the end.

      And although Wall St may be reformed, we have Hollywood left where the reverse situation has been a fact of life and where nobody has dared mention a word because of fear of being acused as an anti-Semite! And we need more meritocracy in Hollywood too, and less recruitment based on blood.

  • The evolution of Peter Beinart
    • There's a great interview with Max Blumenthal which really gets down in detail and even if you follow the issue closely you can still learn quite a bit.

      See here:

      Now how does this fit with Beinart and Adam's open suggestion of right of return etc?
      In my mind, the right of return is a dead issue because it's so transparant. There is a legitimate talking point on behalf of those who are against it in that there are plenty of world examples of refugees who have to adapt to new circumstances, plus you had the ethnic cleansing of Jews on a mass scale from Arab lands when Israel was founded. My point isn't a moral case; merely historical case.

      And it's also a very, as I've just said, transparent attempt to essentially end Israel as a Jewish state.

      Max Blumenthal's focus isn't on these issues but rather on full rights within Israel. In the interview he goes into depth but still manages to keep a bird's view on issues of land, and connecting the Jewish National Fund. The point, with the long litany of anti-democratic laws, is that Arabs inside Israel aren't merely 'second class citizens', they are essentially without basic rights to purchase property wherever they want.

      There are now laws in place which allows Jewish communities to reject Arab homebuyers on basis of 'social cohesion'.

      This is Jim Crow. And I think this is the most potent weapon to use against the Occupation instead of getting tangled up in arcane discussions of historic precendents of rights of return and the inevitable counter-narrative of Jews were expelled too. It isn't a clear winner like this one. And besides, if this narrative of equal rights win, then RoR becomes an automatic choice.

  • '60 Minutes' goes in for casual racism about 'Arabs'
    • I had the same visceral reaction. She was like a horny teen girl in front of her idol, drooling with amazement as she spoke of his violence against Arabs, smiling joyfully as she quoted one racist quote after another. Even calling him Superman with a wry smile.

      Disgusting. And Mr. Dagan had been briefed well. They barely touched upon the fact that a strike would never end a nuclear programme, only delay it. He confirmed that's the case. But they never went into it.

      Leslie's racism was disgusting.

  • MSM jailbreak: Chris Hayes devotes 2 hours to conflict with panel of 2 Zionists and 2 Palestinians
    • It's stunning.

      I saw the whole thing on Youtube. I was grasping for breath. This guy has courage!

      I think the reason for this is because he has ignored the hasbara. He went to the actualy settlements and saw it all for himself. And he understands where Israel is heading if nothing is done. He's doing Israel huge favours for brining back the spotlight to Palestine in this way, but I'm sure the ultra-Zionists are exploding.

      He said a lot of true things. He plainly rejected the fantasy that there is some mythic left inside Israel that will save it from itself if Netanyahu is kicked out. The peacemovement is dead. The other side represents the status quo too, in some ways more so than Netanyahu.

      He didn't mention that Olmert killed far more people in Lebanon/Gaza than Netanyahu ever dreamed of. Nor did he mention that Labor was the party under which settlements increased the most and Mapai, Labor's forerunner, was the party that initiatied the two rounds of ethnic cleansing ('48 and '67) of Palestinians that we've seen so far.

      Still, he flatly rejected the Hasbara of the woman from the Israel Project when she said that 'settlement construction had stopped'. It was a partial freeze and construction continued within existing settlement blocs, and Hayes called her out on that.

      Same with the whole 'Iran tried to assassinate the Saudi ambassador' meme which there is no proof of but a lot of MSM smoke and mirrors.

      He also asked the Palestinians some pretty harsh questions, even one asking(he admitted it was provocative) that 'what's wrong with the status quo?' which Mr. Barghouti demolished with ease.

      I'm not sure if this is a breakthrough for the MSM yet, but it shows that the liberal firewall of uncondtional support for Israel is breaking down. And it's being led by Gentiles. Just like Jews led the Civil Rights struggle back here at home, it seems an outsider is much more capable of brining justice to the situation than most(but far from all) insiders.

      Another important thing that happened is the way the neocons have turned against The Forward for publishing balanced piece on Abuminah and a personal Op-Ed by JJ Goldberg on his friend, MJ Rosenberg. I think they have a point on the Rosenberg piece which was biased but it wasn't a news article, it was an Op-Ed where Goldberg came clean right away and said Rosenberg had been his friend for a long time.

      But Commentary, the highest neocon temple, devoted a long, angry post to the 'limits of pro-Israel discourse'. He usually has denounced any opposition as 'marginal' and 'extremist' but this opposition within the Jewish community is gaining momentum and his privelege is melting away, and he fears it.

      He lashes out against a 'confused' Jewish left which he says doesn't know what it wants. But what he is facing for the first time in generations is a coherent response which isn't on the margins anymore.

      The neocons have radicalized us. The way they tracked down Goldstone all over the world and even crashed his son's Bar Mitzah in South Africa to harass him and denigrate him in front of his closest family members and friends.

      They broke him down and he finally did what they wanted. He went to the Op-Ed pages of NYT, was rejected when they saw what was going on, and then went to WaPo instead and did his whole 'I was wrong on everything, everyone who disagrees with Israel is a suspect character' piece.

      As long as opposition to these right-wing ideologues is scarce they can pick us off one by one. What's happening now is that you're reaching a critical mass. Are they going to call all of us self-hating Jews?

      Things are finally turning around.
      Here's Commentary's attack on all left-wing Jews:

  • Democratic chair Wasserman Schultz said to cancel speech to Muslim voting-rights group under rightwing pressure
    • Hi LeaNder! It's always slightly amusing, flattering (and if we are brutually honest, a bit creepy too) to be the focus of someone's obsessions. I'm impressed of how closely you read my comments!

      Surely Annie is right. I bring interest to this site(and apparently fanboys too!).

      As for your own comment, it's a mishmash. You complain that you can't 'connect emotionally to me'. This again adds slightly to the creep factor.

      Then implicitly say that Atzmon is an anti-Semite. My comment which you linked is torn on this issue. In some ways he is, or at least he entertains such notions, but on other cases he isn't. My mind isn't made up entirely on that issue.

      But what does strike me as interesting is your absolutist stance. Any other opinion on Tony Judt is a 'misuse', as if it was not a matter of opinion but a purely mechanical matter.

      Perhaps it is in this lens that we should see your attack ('flip flops', 'can't connect emotionally'). Maybe the difference between you and me is that I try to keep my mind open to all viewpoints and not forcefully push all matters into a narrow ideological fold.

      Maybe you'll learn that one can take numerous positions, without regard of how they connect to each other, so to avoid the trap of becomming a narrow-minded ideologue.

      Just a thought!

      (But you're more than welcome to continue to read my comments as obsessively as you do. Mancrushes are cute!)

    • Prejudice or political opportunism?

      I'm not a fan of Wasserman-Shultz so you folks take your pick.

      I casually browsed the website you linked to, Frontpage, and found this ad:

      I wonder if it's true. Even if we disregard the organization behind the ad; if it is factually true, doesn't this concern you? I'm a bit shocked to be frank. I wonder if it's factually true. If it is, it's a stunner.

  • Advice to Zionists from a fellow loser
    • I'm not convinced.

      Study after study here in Europe has shown that young people are conservative.
      They have much more sex. Young women in Sweden have had an average of 20 sexpartners in the (major) city where I live. Although they were students and students fuck a lot more than the general population.

      Men are getting laid too.

      Yet the family formation of young Swedes are increasingly younger. Children is seen as cool and socially responsible. Nobody wants to be that lonely guy or gal at 39, who has drunk too much, smoked too much and live alone and bitter in the city.

      There was a similar study in Switzerland which showed the same thing, measuring the attitudes among their youths on issues such as monogamy, sexuality, children and marriage. He thought he would uncover the long lost revolution that had been in play since the 60s.

      But the dynamic was in some ways similar to yours. The professor who did the study was an old school cultural radical. He actually found that most of the national youths - including in the big, urban areas - were more conservative than two generations before it(as defined by a decade per generation).

      He denounced the youths ironically as 'traditionalist' and 'bourgeois' when he found out how traditionalist the results were.
      He too is being left behind and nobody will shed a tear at his slightly bitter regrets. The cultural revolution is slowly being undone but not without it's marks.

      Social acceptance of homosexuality, for instance, is at all time highs. But notice too what has happened. Rachel Maddow recently bitterly complained and warned against pushing for marriage too much. She said she liked the 'gay lifestyle and culture' and felt threatned by the fact that most gays are like most straight people.

      They want to live happy, fulfilling lives which have an enduring sense of peace.
      Happyness isn't euphoric. It is deeply felt. It is the base on which your life stands on, even with it's ups and downs.

      What I'd say is that people are moving past bigotry. But even the left in America and elsewhere now admits that the decline of marriage is a problem. Out of wedlock births is a problem. That's a quiet revolution. We should remember the days when the nuclear family and marriage were attacked as 'repressive bourgeois institutions'.

      These days gays are fightning tooth and nail to get equal access to just that, shattering a key demographic component of the radical left. Gays have always been very creative and influtential in our culture. They are the trendsetters.

      So what does their embrace of traditional marriage and the nuclear family lifestyle(with adopted children in many cases, but not always) say?

      Means that even if people may be more sexually open, in some ways that is being moderated. People are re-discovering the deeper sense of family life now that the kinks have been worked out(particularly for women and soon for gays too).

      I can only look at my own circle of friends here in Sweden. Sure, sex is easy, but it isn't cheap. It's done with people you know very well and not with strangers. Usually these people are friends afterwards and sometimes become girlfriends and boyfriends. There is a high tolerance of sexual deviation but a tired sigh of the pride parade. Everyone supports it in principle but even the gays around me are tired of the clichés and the stereotypes.

      We're not dancing monkeys, they tell me. These people are stuck in the 70s. And so their eyes drop a hint of sophisticated superiority.

      I may not know America as you do, but Sweden isn't actually the archetype of sexual or social repression. You'd be surprised, I think, if you would see the future in a decade or two. Bigotry shouldn't be confused with family values, although it often is(on both sides of the political spectrum).

  • Walt and Mearsheimer don't think Israel will attack Iran, and neither will we
    • The GOP right-wing turn was orchastrated from the top.
      Basically, the neocons. They got control of the conservative media and pushed all the realists out.

      You go ahead and ask the folks at American Conservative magazine what happened when they turned on the paleocons in the early 90s. I'm no friend of Pat Buchanan by any stretch but it was a Stalinist purge of just about everyone who didn't sign up 100 % on Israel. That's what it was.

      The base never really was for all these wars, but the rise of the Fox News together with 9/11 have brainwashed a large number of grassroots GOP of the 'totalitarian threat' of Islam; ergo we must have endless wars.

      We're seeing some movement away from that with Ron Paul.
      It's important to seperate the neocons and the Israel Lobby. They often work together but they're not a single unit. The lobby spends more time policing the Democratic ranks.

      The neocons basically have the total control of the mainstream narrative in the GOP on foreign policy. Thank Bill Kristol and his allies for that.

      But because this hold is basically a reality because of conservative media control(Weekly Standard, National Review and so on) which demands use of constant fearmongering of Islam, I think it can be broken. A lot of young Republicans know people who went into these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      And they all saw how it was Paul's opposition to neocon orthodoxy on Foreign policy(especially Israel) that drew the most attacks. The newsletters came later.

      I cannot say I know that much about the Republican party but from what I've noticed, many of his supporters are usually young and quite bright. Paul has an intellectual demeanor, even if you disagree with him, it's hard not to notice that. He isn't a dull Santorum-esque sloganeer. He writes a lot of books and engages his audience in intellectual discourse.

      And these people will form a significant part of the future Republican elite, especially the libertarian side which is very strong in Beltway. And the forming experience for these people will be the Paul campaign and they will remember what was the biggest opposition to his candidacy: he refused to bow to Israel.

      So combine this with the anti-war moods of the Democratic base, especially the younger crowd and you got yourself an emerging bi-partisan concensus coming to sweep the corrupt orthodoxy off.

      As they say in Afghanistan: they got the watches but we got the time.

  • 'Forward' joins 'New Yorker' in embracing MJ Rosenberg
    • I'm agnostic on all these defences.

      Max Blumenthal has spoken well about liberal Zionists. Sure, they do good work(I'm speaking of genuine liberal Zionists like Beinart, not Jeff Goldberg/Alan Dershowitz/Spencer Ackerman and others), but what's the point of attacking right-wing Zionism from a 'moderate' Zionist perspective.

      This fits into the comfortable narrative that all that's bad with today's Israel - that a progressive Jewish élite crowd can't defend - is somehow Likud's fault and their enablers in the U.S.

      Sure, they've pushed this direction the hardest. But it pays to be diligent: Who increased settlements the most? Likud or Labor?
      Where is Labor picking up votes these days? The settlers.

      Under which party did the bulk of the ethnic cleansing occur? Mapai(forerunner to Labor).

      And shouldn't we talk about Ben-Gurion's letter to his son in 1931 where he openly and calmly stated that the Arabs had to be at least partially removed/transfered to make room for Jews? Before the rise of Hitler and ergo nullifying the whole 'Holocaust made us do it, we were psychologically vulnerable' hasbara cover that is pulled up whenever the Nakba is coming up for discussion.

      So let's pretend.
      Let's pretend that Netanyahu is defeated and the Likudniks(both in America and in Israel) lose relative power over the next few years.
      Let's even pretend that the war that Netanyahu and his allies(both the neocons and the Israel lobby) with Iran doesn't come to fruition.

      What's different? Did the J14 protests even touch on the Occupation? It's poison in Israel now. And will Labor, now openly courting settlers, do anything to advance peace, considering that Labor and it's forerunner Mapai stood for most of the settlement activity and ethnic cleansing?

      Half of Kadima could easily be placed in Likud.

      But the Liberal Zionists have nothing on this. They don't want to discuss it. It breaks the bubble. So they blame Bibi and his allies. And they do it from the 'liberal Zionist' perspective.

      But from someone who isn't emotionally attached to Zionism, someone looking from the outside of that debate, what concrete difference will their preferred policies do given the history of liberal Zionism, often a fig-leaf for the same practices but with far softer language. Shouldn't these people remind themselves what the current Kadima party leader said after Cast Lead, gloating that she had demanded that 'the IDF would act like real hooligans'.

      For me, this entire debate is filled with fraud.
      Because even J Street has said that it won't even debate Palestinians on these topics, only Jews. Why? Because Palestinians can't be argued with. Their words are too powerful and sear through any propaganda effort.

      I don't want to be too harsh, J Street and the others do good work. But ultimately, they have no answers to the larger questions. They simply don't want to stare into the abyss and see that what is happening now has been brewing for many decades and it's not an 'extremist fringe' responsible for it, it's been mainstream policy across the political spectrum for generations.

      But that would shatter the illusions and would deprive them of the moral indignation they so desperately crave, so they blame it all on Bibi and his allies.

      But I ask; who are the bigger frauds here?

  • 'Putz' -- AIPAC delegates expressed rage at demonstrators
    • One small edit:

      "It probably affects US foreign policy in small, minor ways(such as Europeans boycotting Iranian oil, but that does weave into the Middle East anyway, so the point still stands) but that’s about it."

      Should be read as 'small minor ways outside the Middle East'.

    • The 'shadow government' smear returns.

      So how much influence does AIPAC have on foreign policy towards China's military activities near Japan and Taiwan? What influence does it extert towards the Australia-US bilateral relationship? Brazil? Cuba?

      What does have it to do with US health care policy, alternative energy, immigration, how high taxes should be, our education policy and who funds our universities, for-profits? How about internet regulation?

      I could go on.

      AIPAC is a powerful lobby determined to shape US policy on the Middle East, primarily, because that's the region that Israel is most affected by. It probably affects US foreign policy in small, minor ways(such as Europeans boycotting Iranian oil, but that does weave into the Middle East anyway, so the point still stands) but that's about it.

      A government's foreign policy is very varied, especially a country as powerful as America.

      And then it has a range of domestic issues which has nothing to do with Israel.
      Using terms like 'shadow government' in a Jewish context ought to be verboten. Blankfort may do it on purpose but Scott should know better.

      Critique of AIPAC is vital, but it should be specific. Playing with anti-Semitic undercurrents, or casually quoting other's use of it, in an approving fashion, does not help critics of US foreign policy towards the Middle East to capture a larger share of the mainstream of America, which I think is possible.

      But it's impossible to ignore the ease into which some people wallow into anti-Semitism, even if they don't mean to.

  • Hasbarapocalypse at Ynet: 'Zionism will only cease being demonized when the West stops demonizing colonialism'
    • Things are starting to become surreal in Israel.
      Entertaining, perhaps, but it's also a clear sign just how little 'they share our values'.


  • 'New Yorker' defends Rosenberg (and use of term 'Israel firster')
    • He left out Jeffrey Goldberg as another faux liberal Zionist. Although he is much more clever than Dershowitz(or at least he used to be but he has become much more rabid recently).

      Now he doesn't even want to talk about the occupation. He only wants to talk war with Iran.

      Another 'liberal' Zionist.

  • Netanyahu says, You also refused to bomb Auschwitz
    • Say what you will.

      Netanyahu knows which emotional strings to play. I watched the speech for pure political effect. I admit I was deeply moved. He knows how to manipulate Jewish emotions very well. I wouldn't be surprised if Phil too had a moment of Jewish pride and defiance if he listened to his speech.

      Still, it's important to remember that a very significant part of the Israeli defence establishment is against a war. A considerable number has gone out publicy in irritation stating that calling Iran an 'existential threat' is over the top. And it is.

      It's a threat, no doubt. But Iran isn't suicidial. This isn't a blanket statement. Most Israeli (and Western) military experts have a concensus view on this. I could list example after example but you get the point.

      If it gets the bomb it won't use it. But it would be de-stabilizing for the region because the threat isn't Iran sending a nuclear missile. The threat is the nuclear arms race that would ensue, as well as nuclear proliferation, unintentional or not, to various Iranian-funded terrorist groups.

      These threats wouldn't be coordinated by Iran, rather the nuclear bomb would set off a chain reaction of events that nobody would be able to control, neither Israel, Iran or the West. Saudi Arabia is already started work on nuclear reactions with the help of the Chinese so it may already be too late.

      Nontheless, Iran isn't an 'existential' threat, it's more of a regional threat to both Western and Israeli hegemony.

      And Netanyahu's incessant use of the Holocaust is disturbing, because it may come a time when such talk is warranted, but if the Holocaust is overused then it may become watered down, leaving people asleep at the wheels. Much like today's overuse of the anti-Semitism charge which has led to a subtle acceptance of anti-Semitic lingo in certain quarters(dare I remind people of yesterday's 'shadow government' discussion?).

      All this is depressing of course, invoking a terrible tragedy for regional power struggles rather than genuine survival.

  • Three harsh critiques of the lobby
    • Response to critics

      Chaos4700 wrote:

      "So how many Roman Catholics are in AIPAC again?"

      I don't think you read my post - re-read it again. I specifically pointed out because AIPAC is a Jewish organization, by using terms of 'shadow government' you're wading into murky waters. Blankfort, who has railed about the supposed duplicity of Jews to their own destruction, is probably not unaware of this. If that isn't blatant anti-Semitism then discussing with you has no purpose if you're not willing to admit at least that. And just to remind you: a government has many priorities, most of them are domestic. Tell me again how AIPAC sets welfare/food stamp policy, immigration policy, our policy on solar panels, health care policy and so forth?

      As I said: critique of AIPAC should be specific. Using broad terms like 'shadow government' in a Jewish context is not very specific, but it has a nasty history. Jeffrey Blankfort knows this.

      jewishgoyim wrote:

      "You sound like you want to take the man down. One fellow at a time. CAP style or MJRosenberg style. You want to ban blankfort from the site. Why do you remind me of a wolf in sheep’s clothing?"

      Actually, it seems you've missed the part where Phil announced that he himself has already banned Blankfort. Why? Precisely because of Blankfort's rantings about Jews being responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany. Phil stated directly that such discussions are a direct source of anti-Semitism.

      Again; this is Phil's autonomous decision. I merely stated that I understood why he did it. So I'm not urging anyone to ban anyone, merely underlining that Phil did the right decision. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Anti-Semitism should be fought when found. And it has a very long history.

      It's true that some politicize it for their own campaigns which is disgusting, but we shouldn't ignore it when it re-surfaces. But apparently there are quite a few here who are at least receptive to anti-Semitic undercurrents. This is disturbing.

      Finally, comparing me to a man who has advocated shoving needles under his opponents fingernails', razing Palestinian villages and openly promoted torture ought to be below you.

      That's a smear and if you have any class, you should retract it fullstop. We can have a spirited discussion but outright smears by comparing me to a torturebooster and a man who openly wants to raze entire Palestinian villages is despicable.

    • This may not be popular to some, but folks like me are dismayed at what AIPAC and it's allied lobbies are doing.

      However going as far as Jeffrey Blankfort and claiming it's a 'shadow government' is basically identical to the Neo-Nazi slur of 'ZOG'(Zionist Occupied Government' and we all know what 'Zionist' is code for).

      AIPAC and it's allied lobbies have tremendous power over Middle East policy. But a government has a range priorities, like the economy, energy, immigration, education, housing, welfare and so on.

      Does AIPAC's influence stretch into areas like those in ways which are central and profound? That is why I reject the notion of Mr. Blankfort of AIPAC as a 'shadow government'. It morphs AIPAC from a lobby, a powerful entity to be sure but a lobby nontheless, to something which basically controls our lives on every issue and topic.

      And that is a conspiracy to me with blatant anti-Semitic undertones.
      And pushing that kind of language(or indeed, hosting the quote on this website) would be the equivalent of armoring your enemy with endless smear lines of further proof of anti-Semitism. And you know, they would be right.

      Talk of 'shadow government' is way too sweeping and deterministic. And in a Jewish context(because it aint the Pastor Hagee types who control AIPAC) that does amount to racism, even if unintentional, and we should be careful with that.

      And anyone who whines can gladly look through my comments on this site. I'm hardly a right-wing troll by any stretch of the imagination but just as islamophobia should be condemned, so should playing with anti-Semitic theories. Whether Blankfort meant it or not is a red herring. He said it and he should know better. So should Phil from quoting him and hosting that kind of conspiracy-peddling on this website.

      AIPAC doesn't control our government, but it has captured(to a large extent) a section of our foreign policy, specifically relating to the Middle East - because that's the region that Israel is concerned about, which makes sense from their viewpoint if you're a lobby on behalf of Israel. But talking in general terms of a 'shadow government' is beyond the pale with deep anti-Semitic historical undertones. And as I already said: Jeff should know better so I don't think it's unintentional. He's been rambling about the 'Jewish responsiblity for the Nazis'.

      I am not surprised why he was banned from this site. So why is Phil keep quoting him?

      Let's be specific of our critique without wading into anti-Semitic territory or we'll lose the argument.

  • Opposing boycott, Walzer shares stage with speakers known for attacking Islam
  • How Tony Judt broke with exclusivist ideology
    • Mooser, you know full well(or I delude myself so at least) what I wrote. Namely: that the Protestant morals of Tim and the women that Judt surrounded himself with sharpened his own Jewish ethics.

      It didn't replace them; merely reminded him of what they are about.
      So stop your vulgar, half-baked attacks. You ought to know better.
      And you're smarter than that.

    • There's something to Tony Judt and Midwestern Protestant morals. I remember reading an interview with him when he was still alive a few years back, I think by an Israeli woman who describes the setting in which she interviewed him. They spoke of Zionism and Jewishness and how they are increasingly contradicting each other.

      Then, abruptly, a student(a young woman) came by. She excused herself but Tony being Tony was always the gentleman, letting her in. As the conservation between the young woman - a Gentile - and the old, Jewish man progressed you could see the emotional bonds he forged. She complained about a boyfriend. A Cambridge intellectual, a physicist.

      Tony then warmly remarked, with irony, that he too knew how it is to fall for people that shouldn't be your type and he specifically mentioned 'strictly Protestant, midwestern women' which he often became tangled up with.

      Tim probably reminded him of those traits.
      I do find it fascinating, because I have a similar relationship.
      Midwestern Protestantism is an offshoot of North European Protestantism, or modern Western liberalism.

      Persecution of Jews were always greatest historically in Catholic countries and lowest in Protestant nations(even if both instances occured). A good example is England compared to France or to the mixed-Germany(Catholic/Protestant, Central European culture). Or look at Scandinavia.

      Liberalism, from John Stuart Mills and many other figures, came from the culture of liberal, North European Protestantism. I think the effect it had on Judt was to sharpen his thinking, his reflections and his moral senses. It's very principal with strong emphasis on morality and humility. I don't think it's a coincidence that many of the most brilliant liberal intellectuals came from this religious background(culturally if not religiously). It's connected.

      And because of this, Tony Judt who is remarkably similar to Orwell in his combination of a ferocious intellect and deepfelt moral sense of the world and his utter opposition to oppression and injustice. His subtle and fearless disposition. To speak truth to power, even when it's uncomfortable. Orwell's 1984 was directed as much to Moscow as it was to his socialist comrades, many of whom were still Stalinist and had quite authoritarian tendencies. Judt's searing into Zionism was similar. Neither Judt nor Orwell were really popular among their contemparies. Judt wasn't really a favourite within mainstream liberalism(such as TNR). Orwell was also despised by many, even if many secretly admired his courage, his morality and his towering intellect.

      It's also an irony that both are getting their appreciation once they're dead. Perhaps they are safer to deal with that way.

  • Young activist disrupts AIPAC panel about 'Israel on Campus'
  • Scott Brown tries to score points on Elizabeth Warren by calling on Harvard to cancel One State conference this weekend
    • The bigger statement in this story is the non-statement coming out from Warren's campaign.

      The fact of the matter is, the lobby's presence in the Republican party is smaller because it's base is much more pro-Likud than the Democratic base. Which is why there's much more pressure at the top in the Democratic caucus to keep the pols in line.

      Warren is a case in point. She has already been exposed as a hack to the lobby.
      Her campaign's response has put to rest the question whether she was merely misinformed or actually sold herself out in such a blatant way.

      The rot crosses party lines, a rare thing in these polarizing times. Which is why the lobby's so effective. I personally think that MJ Rosenberg will get fired. Most of the CAP bloggers are either gone or silenced.

      The lobby has shown it's powers. This isn't an easy fight but it must be fought anyway.

  • Finkelstein's prescription for a two-state solution is not realistic
    • Great piece, clear-eyed and logical.

      Finkelstein's transformation from someone who has been relentlessly honest to a bit of a fantasy think perhaps begun to take steam in this interview:

      Mearsheimer's the one who is relentlessly realistic in this piece. I think Finkelstein's denials may be a sign of depression as he realizes that Israel cannot be saved anymore but is now facing the long struggle of Apartheid.

      His recent outburst against BDS as a 'cult' is probably reinforcing that. He fears, rightly I think, that this struggle will increase anti-Semitism a lot because the Israel Lobby will fight to the very end and Mearsheimer & Walt were correct that there was a Christian element in the lobby but the fact is, nobody cares what Pastor Hagee thinks except his minions. Do you think the democratic leadership would crawl around him at CUFI's conferences the way they do of Lee Rosenberg's AIPAC?

      The majority of the Israel Lobby is Jewish and it's nerve center certainly is just about exclusively Jewish. And these people, an isolated elite, have been working overtime to conflate Zionism with Jewishness, with considerable help from reluctant Jewish journalists(I'm talking folks at the Forward, Eric Alterman at the Nation and so forth) so that when Israel's is going to be defend it will not be presented as a struggle for civil rights. It will be presented as a modern-day pogrom peppered with Nazi imagery.

      Truth is, a lot of these people have been complaining about intermarriage/assimilation for a long time. And this presents them with an opportunity to build stronger defences and glue the ranks together again. They might even relish the up-coming fight.

      But meanwhile, however, for millions the accelerating Apartheid continues and the brutal occupation continues in the name of millions of Jews who want no part of it. But we're never asked what we think. We're being told that all who oppose Apartheid is an anti-Semite and/or a self-hating Jew.

      This is a brewing disaster and Finkelstein knows it deep down. Hence his increasingly fatalistic pronouncements which no longer base themselves in reality.

  • Did 'Atlantic' coverage lead to release of Fadi Quran after five days in administrative detention? Updated
    • Who started this debate in earnest(in America)? Walt and Mearsheimer. They made it mainstream. Where was Abe Foxman then? Where is he now, on these issues?

      Who is talking about Hebron, Goldberg or Wright? Who is the Jew of these two?

      It's a sad commentary on the racism in the Jewish community. In the end, too many rather choose the Jewish part ahead of the Democracy part in Israel's creation.

      I admit I'd like a Jewish state. But I want it to be democratic. To choose is a tragedy. But if it has to be chosen there's no doubt in my mind which of the two I will select, no matter what time it is. After all, a true liberal always chooses democracy ahead of blood if forced. If not, then you're not a liberal.

      And Goldberg/Dershowitz are not liberals. I don't care what they think about gay marriage.

  • Gorenberg on why one state is a non-starter: Jews would have to pay higher taxes or receive fewer services
    • There is something else which is overlooked but equally important.
      Goldberg is mentioning Belgium, an extreme outlier. But what about the U.S? Canada? And so on.

      Notice what Goldberg is doing here. He is demagoguing against multiculturalism itself.
      He is, in short, a nativist of the ugliest kind.

      Do you think his liberal creed would allow him to accept, even passively, conservatives to argue for a 'white America' because 'look at what happened with Yugoslavia'.

      This is yet another sign of the tremendous privilege that Zionists inside the U.S. have. They can make the ugliest, most reactionary and racist nativist arguments that would never fly in the nations, like America, that they live in. And what's more, the hypocrisy. Goldberg would call out the white supremacists and nativists, and as well as he should, if they made similar arguments for a 'white America' and then scaremongering of the blood, race war etc that would flow.

      Finally, his argument is that this is middle east and it can't work. But the two nations are now almost completely merged already. His point is moot. The Palestinians already live in a single state, under control by Jews. The only thing the 'one state' paradigm would change is give them dignity.

      Why is Goldberg so afraid of that?

      The mask of the 'liberal' Zionist is ripped off.

  • Surprise-- courageous Elizabeth Warren is craven on Israel lobby
    • This probably solidifies the fact that the Israel Lobby is the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. Wall St is powerful, but you can, after all, talk about it's lobbyists. You can't even mention the Israel Lobby in polite company.

      And you tell me which is more powerful: that which is spoken about or that which is hidden? It's the same with the Koch brothers. The make great villains and I have no sympathy for them. But, really, do you think they are as powerful if they are constantly attacked in the media? The Wall St robber barrons never get profiled. Wall St is just one big gray zone.

      Power is most powerful where it is hidden, or at least silent. I remember a quote from an intellectual.. don't rememeber his name but he is since long dead, and he was most active in the early post-war years all through the late 80s. He said that after all he had seen he had learn that the most powerful people, whether corporate, political or cultural, always explained that they were powerless and in fact the 'real' power was stashed away in some committee or working group.

      People with real power know that it's best not to flaunt it. And the Israel Lobby knows it's much more effective to ban all debate on the issue than allow it. Even if it is strong, by allowing debate means per definition of giving your enemies an advantage.

      So Ms. Warren takes on Wall St. But she dares not take on the Israel Lobby.
      The debate has already been settled for me for a long time, but I think most people who follow the situation closely are increasingly running out of excuses for not saying the obvious: there is no political force more powerful than the Israel Lobby. True, Wall St's reach is wider and in some ways more harmful. But the Lobby's power, when focused on foreign policy in the Middle East simply cannot be strayed or diluted. It is absolute.

      And this discussion has just yet begun. The debate has been shifted. And remember one thing: politicans are not 'progressives' by any standard or stretch. They are reactionary by nature. They want to get elected and please the status quo and the existing power structure.

      So look for progress at universities. That's where the energy should be. And have patience. For this is a decade-long struggle. At least.

  • NJ Star-Ledger runs 'dual loyalty' charge against Rep. Rothman supporters
  • 'Center for American Progress' doubles down with lobby
    • Won't last.
      Podesta is the former Clinton chief of staff. CAP is one of the largest democratic think tanks. These things aren't forgotten by people. Sure, the lobby can hustle it's enemies in the short term.

      But the cat's out of the bottle. I mean, even consider the cover 'Israel vs Iran' in the NY Mag.

      It wasn't the 'West vs Iran' or anything like that. Just 'Israel vs Iran'.
      Which is true of course.

      I personally believe the lobby is trying to goad Iran into attacking first, thereby setting up a casus belli and then basically telling Obama "go for it or the lobby will nuke you on capitol hill". Obama wants to get re-elected. The economy might be in the toilet after a conflict with Iran, but if the lobby wants him out he knows he has no chance. The funding's going to dry up! He'll face a massive media campaign as some sort of Islamic Radical/hater of the West. So he would do what he's told.

      But the thing is...people will ask questions. How did it come to these levels of tensions? Why did Congress pass these extreme bills forcing the President time and time again. Why didn't the President really put up any serious fight, what's he scared of? Why was Sen. Bob Menendez screaming at the administration on Iran, knowing he had the lobby's back full-stop, in a way he would never have the guts on any other issue?

      We know that the lobby and it's media allies will go nuclear on all these questions. But these people don't care about your pension fund. They don't care about the economy, or how well your children are doing in school and their prospects to get a job. All they care about is Israel. All else be damned.

  • Hoenlein says irresponsible 'J Street' threatens Jewish unity (and survival)
    • I'm not so sure if the leadership is that far to the right of mainstream Jews.

      What I know is that Jews of interfaith heritage tend to be more liberal on the Israel question. Jews with parents who are both Jewish under 30 are quite hawkish, a lot of polls show this. Beinart's right that there has been an erosion, but it's in large part due to the decline, across the board, of Jewish life which has meant the increase of intermarriage, assimilation etc.

      But Jews who have interfaith parents intermarry at a rate between 80-90 %. Within a generation or two, most are gone forever from the Jewish faith. And the Jewish population makeup is slowly changing. Among kindergarten children, Orthodox(modern as well as ultra) are a much larger share than, say, just 30 years ago. Estimates vary but I've seen some pretty good numbers pointing to around 40 %.

      And if you look at children in kindergarten where both parents are Jewish, that share increases even more.

      And Orthodox Jews vote republican on domestic politics at a rate of about 80 %. Still, it will take at least 20 years for these changes to wash through, if not slightly more. People in their 20s are notoriously bad voters. The best voters are old people, so this will take time but the change is underway.

      What I'd also say is that you have people like, say, Jeffrey Goldberg who play the liberal role, or Marc Tracy. These people are essentially neocons. The thing a lot of people miss is that the neocons have a Republican as well as a Democratic side.

      After all, if you look at the Republican neocons' position on issues like immigration, abortion and so on, they are actually often much closer to the Democrats. Israel is their guiding star. A lot of them have friends on Wall St so they look out for the oligarchs too, but that isn't a broadbased economic conviction they have, rather than out of necessity.

      Goldberg has quoted Netanyahu's father in positive light. Netanyahu, who is supposed to be the bane of liberal Jewry. His father, who David Remnick(editor of the New Yorker) sat down with a few years ago and had dinner with. His impression? An unrepentant racist and the "biggest reactionary I've met in my life".

      This man is somehow who Goldberg quoted last year or so when on a panel discussion (on Iran, I think, but I don't remember for sure. He was the moderator for the neocon conference organized by FDD, a new neocon outlet) when he said that Benzion had 'deeply affected him'.

      So I mean, it's not like the "liberals" like Goldberg are somehow tricked into this or scared into obedience. He's on it the full throttle.

      Or take Leslie Gelb who, like Goldberg, sometimes does tepid 'criticism' of the Republican side to try to shield his own biases but now his colors are out. He's all but accusing of Iran and the Obama administration of being in cahoots with each other, trying to stop Israel.

      Again, this is the 'liberal'.

      So I'm not sure I buy your innocent-liberal-bystander theory, Phil.
      I wish it was true, but the sad truth is, Hoenlien and co aren't as isolated as people think. People like Eric Alterman, who I consider a true liberal Zionist(with all it's conflicts) don't have any influence with this crowd at all, because he isn't for show. He is for real.

      Beinart's somewhere in-between. He covers for Goldberg and the liberals on a regular basis, in order too keep letting them have credibility in the wider liberal community. It's working right now, but you know there was a time when even Alan Dershowitz was deemed as a genuine liberal. Now all that's gone.

      Goldberg's next to go, he's smoother than the Dersh, but inside it's the same thing.
      The question is, what will Beinart do? The man has genuine liberal instincs but he keeps covering for fakes who don't. At some point, if not already, that will start to undermine him as Goldberg slowly moves from the mainstream. It won't be as abrupt as for Dershowitz, but both have a similar style of ad hominem. Both are deeply in favour of the Commentary crowd. Neither is a liberal.

  • Sanity check on Iran
    • "This piece further undermines the reports by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic in 2010 and Ronen Bergman in the New York Times Magazine that cast an Israeli attack as inevitable and logical, based on Israeli military and government sources. Who were they talking to, and why were they parroting their views? Self-intimidation indeed. "

      Wait, you mean Goldberg et al are not hacks writing for Israeli interests?
      You mean there is actually a much more nuanced debate inside Israel on this issue(which is often repeated but is it really?)


  • Weir criticizes lack of diversity in NYT's Jerusalem appointments
    • I agree, Anthony would have been far too dangerous to the Israel Lobby and it's media allies (like Marc Tracy, Jeff Goldberg and to some extent Kampeas and people like them).

      I mean, just imagine the silent racial undertones when an Arab(!) would be able to cover the I/P conflict. The Zionists would have gone nuts - Arabs can have ingrained biases! This is too dangerous to just play away, would you let an Irish-American Catholic with family in Ireland to be a NYT correspondent in that area when the conflict was at it's worst?

      Yet, when the roles are reversed, the worry isn't the source of a possible bias for Ms. Rudoren but that her bias isn't strong enough...
      I'm reminded by an old joke.. guilt for (gentile) whites is that they are too ethnocentric... guilt for Jews are that we are not ethnocentric enough!

  • Assault on Beinart begins with poll claiming young American Jews love Israel
    • One more thing.

      I have issues in which even the critique is framed in a 'But Is It Good For the Jooos?' kind of way. That's still too narrow and ethnocentric. Israel should be held to a universal(and not a double) standard. And in my opinion, from that point you judge the de facto and de jure Apartheid in the West Bank and increasingly even in Israel proper(denying Arabs inside Israel to marry other Arabs from the West Bank in a clear racial Apartheid law, allowing communities to reject Arabs(but phrased in ways such as 'maintaining the social cohesion) on muddy grounds for muddy reasons in popular votes and so forth).

      If young Jews are comfortable with Israel or not is, in the light of the brutal oppression of racial minorities, disgustingly trivial and arrogant. That is not and should not be the main focus of this debate.

    • The poll that you cited was deeply skewed. First, the sample was really small.
      Second, it had a much bigger proportion of Orthodox students. And third, it had homes which at much higher proportions sent their kids to summer camp and hebrew school.

      The sample was way too small and highly skewed in such a way to give Zionists multiple orgasms after reading it.

      Still, Beinart's case is slightly overstated. I've read fairly good statistical reports that basically lays out the claim that disconnection to Zionism is in large part a result of a disconnect to Judaism as a whole, which means that those Jewish kids who didn't have a 'strong' Jewish background(summer camps, Birthright, hebrew school, mild observance of tradition on a regular basis(if secular) and so on) also didn't have strong feelings towards Zionism. These kids were very often the result of intermarriage.

      But if you look at Jewish kid with Jewish parents on both sides with a fairly strong Jewish background(and not necessarily Orthodox in any shape or form) then you did see a strong support to Zionism.

      So in this case, sadly, the dedication to 'Jewish values' was correlated strongly to outright, often uncritical, support for Zionism. Another example of how Zionism has superceded everything, even Judaism itself.

      It's now more or less an established fact and conventional wisdom inside the Jewish community that anti-Zionism is racism. But if you're anti-nationalist in general, but for all people, why should you make an exception for Jews(on principle) no matter how compelling the historical subtext? Because you know that etno-nationalism(and even more so etno-religious nationalism, which is even more aggressive) leads to violence and, ultimately, facism. Regardsless of which group of people who wields it's sword. So now you're some vicious Jew-hater and/or Nazi-sympathizer if you're a Gentile or a self-hating Jew?

      I think the outburst against Beinart is very telling. Both the neocons on Commentary as well as the masquerading 'liberals' like Jeffrey Goldberg attacked the new NYT beaurau chief's support for Beinart's book as 'more dangerous'(their words) than her casual kindness to Ali Abunimah.

      Beinart is more dangerous, according to the neocons(including the 'liberal' ones like Goldberg), because he's one of us y'know. He speaks our language, he moves effortlessly in Jewish tradition and can point to a counter-narrative in Judaism which is genuine and real and which belies the claim that 'Jewish values' should in any shape or form somehow mandate uncritical support for Israel because the opposite is true. Judaism in it's purest form is question of others but also, perhaps more so, of yourself and your own causes and assumptions dear to your heart.

      And Beinart is, after all, a liberal Zionist who no matter how convoluted in his ideology, tries amiably to draw them together in ways far more sympathetic than the thuggish commisar Goldberg does(who quotes Netanyahu's father's book in favourable light and calls him 'inspirational', the same man who David Remnick of the New Yorker calls a proto-facist. Says all you need to know about commisar Goldberg).

      So Beinart has to be destroyed. Now, of course, I disagree with Beinart's thesis in many ways. But I still see him as far more intellectually honest than the fake liberals, which is why they are trying to tear him down.

  • Foreign nationals willingly gave passports to Mossad
    • Hmm, I'm divided over this one. I agree that you can't really not use any other phrase than the Israel Firster on, say, Sheldon Adelson, Matthew Adler(the newspaper editor promoting mossad to assassinate Obama as 'option C', and many, many others).

      About these people... yes, they're undermining their own national sovereignty, but it is, as far as I can tell, their own identity that suffers. It'd be another thing if they stole the identity of unknowning Gentiles from their homecountries and gave them to Mossad instead.

      These people are in Israel and yes, their 'home'(or previous) countries may not take them in anymore but they have a new national home. And it also sends a message to new Jews who think about becomming an olim - the Mossad might screw up your life!(during IDF service no less).

      I don't think the Mossad would have the nerve to steal the ID of a genuine Gentile, living abroad or perhaps briefly studying in Israel, then you'd see apocalyptic responses.

      This is all motivated by a campaign that justifies any means to attack Israel's enemies, and mainly Iran. Israel has always played dirty - because it didn't have any second chances like a Western country like the U.S. does(which is why we keep getting screwed in our foreign adventures because we know we can always come back and won't be wiped out).

      Think I'm repeating hasbara? Well, think about it, what if Israel lost in 1967 or in 1973? Israel as a state wouldn't even exist and we would probably have seen fairly obscene bloodshed(although most likely not some kind of 'second Holocaust' as some right-wingers sometimes say in a hysterical tone).

      So yes, I think there is nuance to this question even if I do think that the Mossad's methods are questionable to say the least, Israel doesn't have the cushions a normal, peaceful Western state can afford.

  • UN official condemns Israel's 'strategy of Judaization' throughout Israel/Palestine
    • I understand it's painful to come to terms that these are indeed 'our' people, seafoid. But they are. And the mainstream of Jewish debate defends these people at every turn. And if you defend their actions then you take responsibility for their actions. In some measure; you become them through your backing of what they are doing, by protecting and enabling them.

      It's we who are the outcast cult. And that's the sad part.

  • Musings on Post-Apartheid Israel
    • Quality intellect, indeed. Very well written.

      This article reminds me of what one of the Palestinian BDS leaders said recently at the Penn BDS Conference. Namely, that just because Apartheid ended did not mean that the legacy of it was ereased. Same thing with the century-long oppression of blacks in America, which is today far lighter than ever before but still a fact of life.

      Ending Apartheid in Israel will be a huge victory; for Jews, Palestinians and everyone who believes in justice and democracy around the world. But as monumental as it will be, it is naïve to think that the day it happens is the end of all injustice.

      Still, I think once the system falls things can only improve. As bad as SA blacks have it today, I think very few would want to go back to the bad old Apartheid days. Life moves on, progresses and improves. Such is the trajectory of life.

  • How Sarah Schulman managed to get 'Pinkwashing' into the New York Times
    • You know, reading this, I think of when everyone is attacking you for talking about the intra-Jewish communal debate that has to get started - I mean really started.

      You talk frankly about the issues Sarah Schulman raises, the 'Jewish politics' at the Times. And yes, it's all there to see. I mean, the NY Mag frontpage plant by Ronen Bergman, the frontpage NYT story about Adelson - without even a word about Israel?

      All these came after pressure was put on the NYT, probably from the higher echelons of the Jewish American community after the fall which did, let's be honest, for once consist of a more balanced and critical view of Israel, from a purely liberal perspective.

      But her story still proves just biased towards Israel the paper of record remains, despite the right-wing propaganda on the contrary. This is part of the reason why the struggle against Israeli apartheid will be much longer, White-rule South Africa didn't have an entire lobby in America, one that extends far into the media sphere, to protect it.

      But that doesn't mean it can't be done, and that that Apartheid should be taken on - without demonizing Jews in general which is also important to avoid.

  • Israeli officials say Iran's 'existential threat' is-- braindrain of 200,000 'best and brightest'
    • I do not wish to be rude, but the notion that Leon Panetta's careful leak to a WaPo columnist about his inner thinking on Israel would somehow be genuine or a real scoop is truly beyond naïve.

      Anyone who has ever read a good book on the Mossad/MI5/CIA knows that all three agencies use Western media to plant storylines on a regular basis.

      Whatever Israel is planning, it's not going to tell Iran in advance what and when it will strike in a U.S. mainstream publication. And Panetta would never leak this if the Israelis weren't on it, and if they weren't, there would be volanic rage in Israel now and there isn't.

      This sort of reminds me when I read Larry Derfner's response to the total propaganda snowjob at the NY Magazine by Ronen Bergman. He was writing as if Mr. Bergman was really independent and not into the whole charade. Again, why would the Israeli top brass let a frontpage opportunity go to waste instead of planting a careful story.

      The whole point of all these stories is psychological warfare. Make the regime scared and think that a strike is soon to come. What the Israelis really plan is a totally different story. My guess is that we'll either see a strike on Iran very soon or next year. Most likely next year. Remember that the head of Mossad said that Iran can't get a bomb in at least 5 years.

      After getting attacked in public through a torrent of leaks to the Israeli press suggesting he's a bit of a loon and maybe even a traitor, Mr. Dagan went underground. When he resurfaced, several months later, Iran was all of a sudden 'very close to getting a bomb'.

      I'm routinely surprised how easy it is to fool people who should know better. Derfner and Mr. Weiss included. The leak to Ignatius serves a specific purpose and should be seen as part of the ongoing psychological warfare campaign, not serious journalism. Ditto for the NY Mag piece by Mr. Bergman.

  • The Iraq war coverup: What did AIPAC do and when did it do it?
    • This is one more reason why I visit this site. Your brilliance is only overshadowed by your courage to face up to the power structure in any given context - whoever they may be, Jewish, Christian or anyone else - and for this you are hated. And for this I admire you.

  • 'NYT' gives Israelis its magazine to make an attack on Iran 'normal'
    • I don't know why you're dragging in the personal investments of Mr. Buffett.
      As far as I know, nobody of us have raied this point so why should you?

      The people who are driving the debate on Iran is the Israel lobby. Nobody wants the war. And Gingrich et al only push for war because their funders and donors want a war, and without those guys, their election chances are gone. It comes with the territory.

      People in the American establishment don't want war because they know it doesn't make sense, the State department, the Pentagon, the military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and so on.

      If you can get a 100-0 vote in the senate on sanctions which Obama himself doesn't want(and he didn't dare to veto it because he knows he'll be finished then), then that says a lot about your political power.

      It may not be a fun thing to hear, but when it comes to the Middle East, AIPAC and it's allies(both in the media and on the hill) really do control the conversation. That doesn't mean everything goes to their plan or their wishes(like in Syria, or Libya and so on) but when it comes to Israel's interests, more often than that they get their way. Even in such important matters like peace and war.

      It's not pretty and it's disgusting, but face the reality instead of wishing it away.
      Work for change.

    • Something happened between Tom Friedman's Dec 13th column("bought and paid for") and now, but whatever it was, it was effective.

      Probably the same forces who slowly, slowly encircled CAP and forced Zaid Jilani out. The lobby roars. I think the force which they were met with, as the deadline was drawing closer, were shocking them and still does. I think that's part of the reason why Jeff Goldberg, a neocon through and through, but with a domestic liberal agenda, has been so frantic in recent days.

      The piece is notable because it's basically, as you say, war propaganda. You don't get primetime access to Israel's biggest decisionmakers splashed out on 15 pages as a coverstory in one of the defining establishment magazines in America without a lot of strings attached. It's beyond naïve to think that Israel's defence establishment didn't have a clear goal with allowing specifically Mr. Bergman as their vessel. And they should play their hand that way, from an Israeli perspective it's very rational and logical.

      But why should an American paper carry war propaganda on behalf of a foreign nation? That's treason. And that is the real scandal, what are the folks at the NYT doing? Again, contrast the relatively skeptical attitude of the paper in the fall with the slavish submission it now treats Israel's advocates. And this conincides with the snare around CAP's neck, and those around it. As well as the Hitler-orgy at Tablet. All the stars line up. The lobby's scarred and determined to prove who (still) commands the heights of the debate.

      But we would be fools not to call them out on it, as Phil does here.
      The whole 'Israel Firster' debate is a total distraction, aimed at silencing critics ahead of a big war. Ignore it. It's like a wizard, who wants the crowd focused on his hand, while his other hand does something else.

      And that something else is dragging America to war with a country it has no purpose attacking, because the lobby is working overtime for Israel. So we'll have to make a choice: what matters to us, our pension funds, the future prospects of an increasingly beaten down population, especially among the poor, the young and the minorities who all will be dragged down for a generation or more if Iran is attacked and the world economy tanks, or do we care more about the political fantasies of grandeur which is keeping Mr. Netanyahu in thrall?

      Israelis have every right to care about their country, but so do Americans, who may not wish to destroy the world economy and throw their increasingly shrinking middle class into further, destructive disarray and displacement for a foreign power. And shame on those, like Sheldon Adelson, who regret having served the U.S. army or those, like Jeffrey Goldberg, who serve Israel's army instead of America's and takes a national loyalty pledge to Israel(who he now claims he doesn't 'remember').

  • Chris Hayes stunning 'Story of the Week' featuring Sheldon Adelson
    • Let me make a few cynical observations:

      Notice the 'liberal' democrat from New York. She was shifting very comfortably when the discussion about Israel came up, she knows who her donors are. As fast as she got the word, she tried to shift the debate towards generalist 'campaign reform' and blabbing on about judicial proceeds instead of the main issue being discussion; Sheldon Adelson and his ability to move the debate to the right on foreign policy and Israel in particular.

      Second: considerif all these reports would come out at all if Gingrich would be clearly besting not only Romney but was deemed by, in Gingrichian terms, the 'elite media' to actually pose a serious, substiantial challenge to Obama rather than being a bit of an uppity clown.

      The fact that Mr. Adelson himself is portrayed in this way is an improvement, but don't forget the NYT piece a week ago or so - on front page nontheless - who didn't even mention Israel to begin with. Only last day did a new piece on him emerge, which did include some bits about Israel but it was very defensive, his positions were described as 'full-throated defence for Israel', very mild in many ways for a man who officially wants Apartheid.

      What I'd be more interested to know is, what about Romney's donors? Weiss has stepped in these waters, noting that he flew to NYC to meet Wall St titans who are mostly, but not all, fervent Zionists. They might be less colorful than Adelson(who makes a very good bad guy, because he is so brash), but on substance, are they different?

      Yet, Romney's taken much more seriously and I doubt there will be a search on his donors and their motivations. And let's not even talk about Obama. In some ways, I think Adelson's outing, so to speak, was inevitable because the man is larger than life, first, and second he was essentially the only reason why Gingrich was even able to survive beyond New Hampshire in the first place. It was an open goal from the get go, yet it took weeks for the MSM to actually report the issues and often in a muddled way.

      Once Gingrich is cleared out, don't expect any major investigative reports on Paul Singer, one of Romney's main donors who's also a fierce Zionist, but a much more elegent, sophisticated man. Or why not the VP of Comcast, who recently hosted a blockbuster Obama fundraiser, what are his reasons, is he for a war with Iran which would be a disaster for the world economy and could send millions of Americans into renewed unemployment? If the President is relying on people who want a war, the American people should know.

      Gingrich is a clown, who was under special circumstances where it was basically all down to Adelson keeping him alive on life support. But once Gingrich is gone, I don't think we'll see very hardhitting pieces anymore.

  • Robert Reich pretends he's stupid
    • The reason why the Israel Lobby is so powerful is not because of the hard-right crazies like Jonathan Tobin at Commentary. It's the implicit backing of liberals like Robert Reich, Leslie Gelb, J.J Goldberg, Jeffrey Goldberg, Jonathan Chait and so on and on...

      These liberals are the enablers, playing stupid while the neocons burn away.
      The necons would never be as powerful as they are if they did not get this silent backing, contrast this vs the American debate on social issues like gay marriage, where there simply isn't this kind of silent, implicit understanding on the 'left' towards the anti-choice people.

      We'll never break the castles of the neocons, until we realize that the liberals, the moderates are playing along.

      It's kind of like in the movie 'The Help' which focuses on the moderate middle class which defer to the radicals in their Deep South community. These people are not bad people, but they are misguided by a sense of ethnic loyalty and they cannot see their actions the way we can.

      It's just like MLK said(not the "silence of our friends" comment), the biggest threat are the 'moderates', who have misgivings and are not always that enthustiastic, but neverless fall into line when the whip flies.


  • The antiwar movement must rise again. Now
    • Well, I'm skeptical for several reasons. Let me delve into the matter:

      First, there is a blessing on war with Iran in the media. It's not the preferred choice, but it's seen as acceptable, even preferable if sanctions don't bring immediate results and Israel would attack.

      There was no such latent backing of the Vietnam war. The press was simply subdued in earlier generations, but with Vietnam they asserted themselves. With Iran, not so much. A few scattered voices.

      Second, the Republican party has changed. Yes, Ron Paul has shown that there is still an anti-war faction(derided as 'isolationist' by people who should know better on the left) within the Republican party after 3 decades of neocon dominance which has shattered the GOP into a mere ghost of what it used to be.

      Third, Obama is not Lyndon Johnson, he has started all kinds of wars. It means that war itself is now so common that Americans have more or less accepted it as a permanent state of mind. Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq(up until recently), and now Iran is looming.

      Second, the nation is more heterogeneous, not just by ethnic diversity but also by class and common experience. The gated communites are on the rise.
      Aside from things like 'the economy', which everyone cares about, politics have become very much more niched. Hispanics care about immigration, for one, Asians care about affirmative action and anti-Asian discrimination in our culture and in our wider society(especially against male Asians), the situations for blacks are not better.

      Even whites are starting, as they already are a minority among those under the age of 5 and if you discount Jews and Arabs from their population, they already are a minority in the under 18-age range too, to take on more grievances. I think it's just a matter of time before you get equivalent racial organisations. I see 'NumbersUSA' as a mere precursor.

      All this means that it's harder to unite all communities, politics have become much more fragmentized. Another thing: in times of economic decline, people don't tend to want to get engaged with the wider world, as they suffer in their private lives.

      The 1960s was a great decade by most economic means, people could take time to look at our culture or our foreign policy, we could afford it.

      All these internal factors make it hard, but not impossible, for a anti-war left to gain traction and work together with elements of the right to prevent a war.
      But they inevitably have to take on the Israel Lobby in trying to stop a war, because unlike Iraq, where discussion of 'who started what, and when', Iran is a clear-cut case. It's the Israel Lobby all the way, and that means if people start talking about this, the whole 'the left are anti-Semites meme' will resurface again. This is yet another issue which wasn't present in the 1960s when it was Vietnam.

  • New additions to the Mondoweiss comments policy
    • There was a similar post, written by a fairly hysterical non-Jew(I think his name was Donald but I could be mistaken) talking about comments.

      While his post was bizarre, claiming for instance, that it was common to read people expressing blatant wishes for 'Israel to be nuked'(something I have never seen, I've never even seen outright calls for Israel to be destroyed in any shape, merely ending the occupation and at times some are lamenting Zionism as a project).

      However, I did comment in that previous post precisely about 9/11 and how I thought it wasn't the right place for this. Even if I understand there are arguments to be made for this or that positions, I personally don't think it ought to be here and I'm glad the editors have taken this position. This site grows in influence and that means that it's commenters have to think about that too.

      Hopefully, a balance can be struck between following mainstream discourse(where it is warranted and right) and subversive commentary, in order to change the dangerous and reactionary status quo.

      My thoughts on Holocaust/Nakba denial are mostly the same, both events were tragic(although I would say that the Holocaust was far worse in that it eliminated millions of innocents forever. Nakba was tragic, but it wasn't fatal to millions- a key difference).

      Same thing concerns comparisons to Nazi Germany, which was one of the most evil regimes ever, in the history of mankind. Israel may be a lot of things, but it isn't pure evil like Nazi Germany, to suggest that would not only cheapen the lives of those who fell during those terrible times, but frankly, yes, it would be anti-Semitic too in my opinion.

      That would be a truly grotesque case of singling out Israel if there ever was one.

      Discussion should be broad and at times very harsh, limits should be few but when they come they should be based on intelligent reasoning and principle, which I think is what is occuring here.

  • 'NYT' gives big platform to Israeli journalist to espouse Israeli attack on Iran with OK from Uncle Sam
    • The lobby is alive and well.
      They can't use Goldberg anymore, so now they just outsource his work to an Israeli straight away and rid themselves of the theatrics.

      That an Israeli lobbyist, inside Israel, would write a 15-page frontpage propaganda piece for war in the mainstream establishment media outlet says all you need to know about the deficient state of internal U.S. debate.

      Have the higher ups at the NYT been flogged to such an extent by the intra-communal commisars that they now feel the need, I'm thinking Tom Friedman's columns here, to make up?

  • Israel is at the heart of Jewish identity, Gorenberg says
    • Think about how, how many years are we away from the fact that most of the Jews in the world will be in Israel? I wouldn't be surprised if most Jewish newborn were born in Israel already.

      Zionism will only dominate more and more of Jewish life, and this false conflation between Zionism and Judaism is killing me.

      These people, by constantly playing the anti-Semitism card, are debasing it. I am seeing real anti-Semitism emerge, and it scares me. I've become blinded by it, naturally dismissive. I don't even flinch when I read things like "The Jews have too much influence in America, problem is that most American Jews care more about Israel than their own country".

      I wasn't until a good 20 seconds, after I had already closed the page, that I realised what I had read and I didn't even react one bit, until afterwards. It makes you think how much more of that stuff you read and don't even remember reading.

      That scares me.

  • Zbig says Israelis 'buy influence' in Congress and play Obama
    • Has Walt & Mearsheimer been embraced by Jews? Not even close.

      But we're reaching a critical mass in the intellectual class, among those Jews, who do. Joe Klein, Friedman, Remnick(to Haaretz, but not to his American audience).
      They know they cannot embrace them outright, it would be like embracing Soros on Israel, but they are using their language and thus implicitely endorsing their view vs the AIPAC crowd.

      I think this is happening in part because the book W&M released was true way back too but it was released very late, so the deterioation had taken a new, deep plunge after the 2nd intifada and this intensified with the twin occurance of Netanyahu coming to power and Gaza's civilians being attacked.
      The effect was that you didn't need 20 years for a sudden, quiet 'a-ha moment'. The book was proven right not only by the ferocious debate and extraordinary smears thrown at them both, but also in the way Israel handled itself in the last 5 years and America's total inability to do anything about it at all.

      I also think that the people getting involved here are folks like Adelson, a supremacist if I ever saw one. This isn't your moderate liberal Zionist who rationalizes away the oppression of Palestinians by lying to himself. Adelson revels in the oppression and asks for more, and I think this lack of at least an appearance of morality, and the fact that Adelson is so close to Netanyahu rips away the liberal fig leaf for many Jews in the media who are both liberal and call themselves Zionist.

      It's just harder for them to stand up for Israel when Bibi is in power and Adelson is the most powerful media figure there, and seeing him propping up the Republicans. Suddenly there is a shock: wait a moment, aren't we all liberals here, or at least moderates? Nobody of us would vote for Gingrich, then why is the most powerful backer of the Israeli PM doing it?

      And after this thought, you get results like Friedman's column and Remnick's despair.

      Still, Tablet Mag smeared Mearsheimer as a quasi-Nazi. Jilani got booted.
      The conversation is moving, perhaps, but still very slowly.

      I don't think it'll be in time to save the 2SS, if it can even be saved by now, which is highly unlikely.

  • NY labor leader says Netanyahu's bad-faith negotiating tactics foster Arab 'contempt' for Israel (and Israeli official talks w/ his feet)
    • Drip drop, drip drop...

      Reading the news today that several MKs want to ban MK Ahmed Tibi from the Knesset for being a 'traitor' and the fact that 'Baby Bibi' Danny Danon wants to introduce a bill that will ban a MK if 75 % of the Knesset votes for it, makes me wonder, in light of the Republican party's official stance as going for a One State.

      There are now almost 750,000 settlers beyond the green line. They'll get beyond a million within this decade.

      So, how much longer? How much longer will the world pretend that the 2SS is viable (and ignore the fact that the only way Israel agreed to it was when they could build settlements like crazy, like Ehud Barak did)?

      When will the narrative shift that we're dealing with a de-facto One State, which denies millions of it's citizens the right to vote and is on the cusp of banning all Arab parties from the Knesset which had a ceremonial token role anyway?

      And what happens when the narrative shifts?

      I'm willing to bet, since I am poor, nothing than for the sake of it, that it'll happen within 5 years. I think that if Iran wasn't going to get attacked soon we could look at a 3 year window, but the Iran needs to happen first and the aftermath has to play out.

      So within 5 years is my baseline scenario, somewhere around 2017. And I'm talking major turning point, even the conservative outlets too(aside from the fantical pro-Settler WSJ) like the British Telegraph, the American National Interest and so forth. Even these people. Not just as a possibility, like now, but de facto conventional wisdom as established truth.

      Anyone want to bet against and/or differently, and if so, why?

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