Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 28 (since 2013-12-20 05:53:29)


Jewish activist in Los Angeles, CA. I was co-founder of Los Angeles Jews for Peace ("LA Jews for Peace") in 06. Previously was Exec. Dir of Jewish Labor Committee, SW Region. I work with Jewish Voice for Peace as a member (non-staff).

Showing comments 28 - 1

  • Why has the Israeli occupation lasted so long? It's good for business.
    • I find it discouraging to read ad hominem attacks on Halper (or anyone else) on this site; it means to me the attackers have no argument of substance, and the mind-dulling assertions that a Jew living in Israel who has consistently put forward well researched observations and also put his body up against the Israeli state in defense of Palestinians is attacked for his living there; Is it more noble to attack Zionism from the U.S. or elsewhere in relative comfort and safety?. Otherwise, I also think it is a distraction to exclude the valuable and well documented narrative that he puts forward if our aim is to get our best understanding of what we're up against. I think part of the push back to Halper's argument is the shallow desire to have a simplistic one-size-fits-all explanation rather than factor in a new, and from what I see, obvious motivation of the State of Israel. Halper offers something that is in line with what we now see even more clearly in the U.S.; the U.S. and Israeli push to place "security" as the all-encompassing priority for the nation that devours all human advancement of every kind for the 99%. I don't see Halper as excluding the Israel Lobby or other considerations, but I see his detractors here as not factoring in the clear facts he brings forward, which does not fully explain why Israel doesn't simply wipe out the Palestinians quickly. Here is one perfectly good explanation; they need the Palestinians as continuous targerts, i.e. the gift that keeps giving.

  • Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the 'merchant of JVP'
    • I've had a very thorough email exchange with Gilad Atzmon a few years back, as he is a friend of a Palestinian friend of mine who encouraged me to get to know him. I found him to be disengenuous in extreme and clearly intent on defaming Jews, thus establishing himself as a "go to" guy for people who, like he, assert some inherent evil of the Jewish people. That is racist on its face, as it would be about any other ethnos. Most ethnic or ethno-religious groups have perpetrated evil at one point or another, and I don't think there's a quantification formula to decide who's better or worse than another, but apparently Gilad gets to be the "inside guy" to name his own, but notice: he's against against Zionism but also against organizing against it. That's what JVP does successfully while Gilad throws eggs and beats his chest about what a brave iconoclast he is.

    • I've had a very thorough email exchange with Gilad Atzmon a few years back, as he is a friend of a Palestinian friend of mine who encouraged me to get to know him. I found him to be disengenuous in extreme and clearly intent on defaming Jews, thus establishing himself as a "go to" guy for people who, like he, assert some inherent evil of the Jewish people. That is racist on its face, as it would be about any other ethnos. Most ethnic or ethno-religious groups have perpetrated evil at one point or another, and I don't think there's a quantification formula to decide who's better or worse than another, but apparently Gilad get's to be the "inside guy" to name his own, but notice: he's against against Zionism. That's what JVP does successfully while Gilad throws eggs and beats his chest about what a brave iconoclast he is. And Mr. K. no, asserting that because a line of racist banter about one's ethnic group makes one uncomfortable does not make Gilad's questions "impressive"...No, even if they make me "uncomfortable" they're still childishly stupid questions. Granted, Gilad has found a way to make himself the center of debate, just like our narcissistic President.

  • I am not a jew
    • Professor of history Charles O'Connell at UC Irvine documented "outbreaks" of Palestinian-Jewish labor cooperation in Palestine throughout the 1930's and 40's. They were all systematically blocked by the Zionist movement's leadership which was united in enforcing their policy of "Hebrew Labor" excluding such cooperation. This was often in direct opposition to Jewish rank and file outpourings of support for cooperative actions. The largest such case was in a rail strike in Haifa in the Forties. Histadrut was the most powerful actor in the blocking of such actions. (I will try to get more details today, if possible.)

  • A defense of UCLA student paper's decision to publish Netanyahu cartoon
    • meone once said, "anti-Semitism used to be about people who hated Jews, but now it's about who Jews hate." This is the perfect example. All the polls have shown for years that Israel is less and less popular amongst Jews in the U.S., and that the younger the Jewish demographic the more critical of Israel Jews in the U.S. are. There is a very good reason for that: the myth of a lovely little Jewish country just trying to survive as a democratic state being menaced by Arab dictators and terrorists has given way to the reality that is very different. That reality shows a colonial settler state that has viciously displaced and dispossessed an indigenous people. As an American Jew, it took me over 50 years to wake up to the fact I had been brainwashed in a liberal synagogue and household, with the strong inculcation of a biased media to believe in this fantasy of "poor little Israel", the "only democracy in the Middle East". Now that the truth is out, the argument gets shifted by those defending the indefensible to a crude level of accusing critics-- including Jewish critics, of anti-Semitism for one reason: Israel's defenders do not have the facts to back up their argument. I challenge anyone who goes to the West Bank or the Gaza strip to tell me that is the working of a democratic state or of "Jewish values". Rubbish! That is a Jim Crow segregation as ugly and deadly as Mississippi was in 1950 or 1900. So when you hear the slur, "anti-Semitic", know that's because they have no other argument. To censure the obvious political act of criticizing a political entity such as Israel and conflate that with anti-Jewish sentiment is cowardice abetted by ignorance.

  • New Israel Fund response to Ben Gurion harassment reinforces very system it claims to oppose
    • Brw-encino, you are one-up on me. I also know Daniel from the old days and he Did put one over on me, since I thought you could have a democratic Israel at the time. Even more recently, at a very large gathering here in Los Angeles called by APN he was one of the 2 "expert" speakers in 2014, as the mechanized massacre of Gaza was in full motion, and the Zionist left-liberals convened. Daniel and I exchanged greetings before the proceedings, but when they refused to acknowledged the carnage, I challenged them from the floor, "the IDF is deliberately targeting civilians and killing large numbers right now." Daniel called me out by name and said, "he always interrupts meetings like that." Not true, but it is true that he is a "cry and shoot" fraud for "peace", by which they mean Palestinian disappearance and acquiescence. He makes a nice living at it too, as does the much put upon ex-CEO who "raised millions" for the Colonial settler project. They have much worse coming to them if there is "a Just God", as Jefferson opined.

  • The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies
    • This is a very "convenient" myth which allows those identifying with "American" culture to not look at the very deliberate which took place over 400 + years, and of course not to the consequential guilt and humility, god forbid. I recommend reading Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz recent "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States". There is generous documentation of not only the outstanding instances of deliberate mass murder, including Pres. Jackson's infamous Trail of Tears of the Cherokee, but also explanation of many of the official and unofficial strategies for mass extermination. Yes there was also 'inadvertent' disease killings, as well as very deliberate state directed disease killing. Otherwise, Dr. Dunbar-Ortiz stated directly that there is a very direct parallel between the American genocide with the Israeli one (when I asked her in a public forum.). So, "denial is not the name of a river in Egypt."...Alas.

  • Jewish organizations' response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel
    • Yonah, Thank you for reminding me of the bizarre mentality that in its obfuscation and raking the sand clear, leaves huge plain footprints with clear signatures. "Zero sum" between who? The Israeli gov't shouts to the world that they have "no partner in Peace" while occupying the whole of Palestine and ceding only nominal "garbage pickup" to the so-called PA, who is banging down their door begging for a "free" 28% landlocked Bantustan. Those who look into these things a little have seen the pattern of Israel spurning all peace deals from any quarter in favor of a progressively voracious dispossession of Palestinians and a predatory oppression of their rights. So who is playing "zero-sum"? After 100 years of this game, "the jig is up"; "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." (- A. Lincoln) When the fastest growing Jewish organization in the U.S. is JVP and pro-BDS, this should be obvious, even to Zionists.

  • To those who were here before us
    • What must be understood is that First Americans/Indigenous Americans and Palestinians are both victims of the same historical phenomena: and its "total war" terrorism. Include Canada, Australia , Rhodesia, Apartheid S. Africa, et al. Each has undergone various degrees of genocidal aggression whereby indigenous peoples have been methodically driven off their land, each accompanied by a specific racist ideology justifying the elimination of the indigenous people.
      See the book, An Indigenous History of America, by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz.

  • Palestinians mark 68th anniversary of Deir Yassin massacre
    • We all know that killing of civilians is criminal. How about a settler colonial state, whether the U.S. in the times before the 20th century, or Israel, pre-state of post, when as a matter of official Zionist /Israeli policy civilians are inside indigenous lands with the clear intent of establishing political control for the purpose of displacing the indigenous people, and with certain knowledge that these acts of aggression will be resisted by the indigenous? I put that question out because it seems to me that the act of a colonial state, such as Israel, is being most disingenuous and cynical in using civilians to create "facts on the ground" for the purposes of strengthening the colonial project. It does not excuse indigenous violence against civilians, but it almost guarantees it. I think that is a separate category of evil.

  • Israeli farms exploit Thai workers and Palestinian children as government looks the other way
    • Right, it is a form of slavery. But it is also the only "democracy" that is the most highly funded by U.S. (more $$s in aid than any other country) and touted by gov't and media as such as a"friend". As pointed out indirectly by other writers on this page, these practices are inherent to the colonial settler state model and go hand in hand with the incremental genocide of the Palestinian people (Pappe's phrase). This can only be changed by U.S. pressure generated by popular disgust. It's already building steadily but the question is how to ramp up the dissemination of this info to accelerate the process.

  • Iran Deal aftermath brings warnings of donor backlash against Dems
    • I think you're on to something. Since 59 or 60 Congresspeople absented themselves from Netanyahu's speech to Congress, and now seeing the break with the Israel Lobby/AIPAC by so many on such an important vote, we should try to understand how this break of the "don't vote against Israel taboo" looks historically. What I got from Eric Foner's "The Fiery Trial" about Lincoln, slavery, and the Proclamation, was that although Lincoln hated slavery he was a foremost a consumate political tactician and did not move against slavery until popular opinion became became inflamed against slavery at which point it became useful for Lincoln to publicly embrace abolitionism as policy, but one that left out the border states, since Lincoln when asked about 'divine' backing of the war, he said, "I'd love God's blessing, but I absolutely need Kentucky"...(paraphrase). I believe the Palestinian rights movement, to call it that, is somewhat similar in content and in political momentum in the U.S. right now. The more outrageous Israeli policies become and the more desperate pro-Israel measures are in the U.S. the faster the increasing growth of BDS will become. Will it ever crescendo into "state policy" here, and if so when? Who knows? But, we are witnessing dramatic growth and a new trend in that direction.

  • What I learned crossing the Qalandia Checkpoint
    • I think what you're onto is how these Israeli actions are a betrayal of who we are as Jews. I went through Kalandia with my wife and experienced being the object of rude conduct that tries to humiliate people. The young soldiers obviously delight in doing that. Because of her appearance they thought my wife was Palestinian (olive skin, kinky hair) and yelled at her in Hebrew. So I saw and felt, as I watched helplessly in the frozen turnstile, what Jews had been turned into by becoming the Cossacks to the American empire; degenerate sadists.

  • Obama says peace talks are pointless because Netanyahu won't see the 'best' in others
    • I've had a conversation with a Congressman who was Jewish, who said with staff and guests in the room at his office, that Palestinians should be able to go back to their homes (meaning in Israel). He was publicly associated with J-Street, which was a brave thing to do. He didn't say this in a public forum but was very plain spoken about it. He's probably not the only one who this way, and I think the space for these views to be more openly discussed by elected officials will begin to exist very soon. I believe as "tip-toed" as Obama's remarks are, they are nonetheless ground breaking because they are breaking the taboo against public criticism of Israel at all. I find this extremely significant and encouraging.

    • Obama's comments signal the end of Americans being BS'd by a false Israeli narrative based on a racist assumption that Israeli "feelings" of insecurity are not even linked to their colonizing someone else's land. When you name "stabbings, stonings, and attacks with cars...etc." and leave out the killing of 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza with a 70% civilian victim rate, its obvious whose live are of value to you and whose are not.

  • ‘They said we drink the blood of children’—Netanyahu goes off the deep end after FIFA campaign
    • In the 2014 "Protective Edge" operation, Israel killed over 500 children and wounded 3,106 children. Citing the absurdities of medieval calumnies against the Jewish People while simultaneously committing war crimes is a way of firming up the cult-like pro-Israel base while further "delegitimizing" Israel in the eyes of the world.

  • Jewish and Palestinian women are segregated in Israeli maternity wards -- Chomsky
    • One thing I find most interesting is that the "pro-Israel" posters seemingly apologize for documented racist actions on the part of Israeli society or gov't. I would think they would be smart enough to acknowledge what is alleged if it will come out anyway and be documented beyond doubt, and say, "true, we can do better" or "this should be fixed, and so and so will be notified". This seems to confirm that Israel boosters are not interested in making their society more just or inclusive. That puts them at odds with American Jews and Americans in general, and the (fictional) image of a "democratic" Israel.

  • White House 'trolls' Netanyahu by co-opting infamous UN cartoon to sell Iran deal
    • You're more right than you realize. Read Eric Foner's The Fiery Trial about Lincoln and slavery. You'll see the parallel with the BDS movement. If moves from extremely marginal to central in a very short period. Also, Pal. Territories are ruled under Israeli Military Courts and an arbitrary bundle of laws that are not applied to Jewish residents, who fall only under Israeli law. The Army, which is the real authority there , cannot arrest Jew. Israelis, only border police, who only arrive very very late, if at all. It is very much like Jim Crow only much much worse. It was the Brits who outlawed slavery and started the ball rolling. it never stopped rolling.

  • 'Walls divide and segregate' -- New Marine video might apply to Israel
    • Hewlett Packard and manages the data base for the entire population of Israel-Palestine for contract by Israel, and manages the ID cards. They also are in the business on US-Mex border and in prisons in U.S. This is the updated analog to IBM in WWII Germany where they knew exactly which doorways led to Jews. The database is the weapon that will keep people on either side of any border. They are a legitimate target of the BDS campaign with JVP leading the way here in U.S.

  • Trevor Noah, next 'Daily Show' host, is no fan of Israeli attacks on Gaza
    • They could get the concert master to get permission for an open meeting to insult the conductor. That would distract everyone from them selling all the violins, pocketing the proceeds, and re-populating the violin chairs with viola players. If anyone complained, they were obviously always anti-Violists all along.

    • "Throughout history"? Zionism claims to represent Jews, but not all Jews agree, and less Jews in US even know what crimes Israel has committed. "all are responsible some are to blame"...What other crimes are you referring to, rather than a blanket accusation? Killing Jesus, "biblical" stories? And "insecurities"? Again, do you find it surprising that people who have always been a small minority and have been occasionally oppressed might feel "insecurities"? I assume this dialogue is about information as well as personal preferences or blanket stereotype prejudices, so please clarify.

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
  • Who can save Israel now?
    • I love your insight and your sentiment...until, "It would also mean the end of the one state in the world that has as its mission statement the protection of Jewish life. Those of us who still believe in such a state, alongside a Palestinian one need another way." That mission statement has always been a cover for settler colonialism in the service of empire. There's no way around that and there's no way to square that with anything remotely about the welfare of the Jewish People. The only way we can be of service to Jews in Israel is to disabuse ourselves of the romantic notions that have misled us to support such a monster in the first place, including whatever nonesense about "the first Jewish country..." (We) Askenazi Jews never came from there- we came from non-Enlightenment Poland /Pale and were blocked in our exit to England by Balfour in 1916 and to the U.S. in the 1940's. From the Ulster Planatation to Andrew Jackson and Falluja, we have to rid ourselves of our identification with Jewish Manifest Destiny and realize that Jews in Israel can and must come to terms with Palestinians as equals. If they/you can pull that off by means of a "2 state solution" its ok with me, but don't blame BDS if you can't.

    • Nevada, you're right. I just got back from the Jewish Voice National Membership Conference. The last one I went to 5 years ago had under 100 people; this one had 500. It went from about under a dozen chapters to 60 and is growing very fast. It clarified its stand on BDS and represents well informed ex-Zionists, such as myself, never Zionist Leftists, Democrats, ex-J-Streeters, mixed with a few gentiles and Palestinians. It's strength is its commitment to real equality and democratic principles- and that is how it operates internally as well. With family in Israel who are devastated by this defeat of democratic forces within Israel, I feel uplifted because I don't think the liberal Zionists will have a chance there- in part because they have not yet come to terms fully with how intrinsically ill-liberal Zionism really is. Americans believe in - even if they don't always act it- in equality. That is the strength of BDS and its ability to reach out to the vast majority of Democrat party identified Americans.

  • I am hopeful
    • "Publish the miracle" says the Talmud. The miracle is that there are people courageous enough to brave the intimidation of psuedo-historians and their settler state backers like Ruth Seid, who I have publicly debated face to face. They wouldn't know the facts of Israeli history if it bit them in the arse- because they refuse to challenge the indoctrination they were spoon fed as children- and yet the evidence to refute them abounds in every bookstore and now even in the NYT. They are so fragile as false historians that they must- like the Israelis- resort to the ugliest of human expressions; threats and force. They are losing and know it which makes them all the more desperate. They are being defeated in every forum they allow free expression, and even the ones they used to control, like Hillels, etc. The ugliness of common Israeli bigotry and smugness the billow out on the streets of that country is being seen for what it is on an accelerating basis across the world and here. BDS is now a reality they cannot hide from and will force the U.S. leaders to come to terms with.

  • Podhoretz leaves 92d St Y stage after saying Swarthmore Hillel deserves 'to be spat upon'
    • When you have a proto-fascist Israel enforcing a deliberate policy of literally emiserating the lives of millions of Palestinians to make them leave and take their land -house by demolished house- the regime needs tearing down. Enough excuses and appeals to fear; that is what is so intolerable about Israel other than its extreme violence toward its people, unless Palestinians aren't people. Every Israeli national institution is governed by Zionist principles which demand Jewish control and dispossession of Palestinians ("Nishul"). You cannot expect the world to tolerate "Us over here and them over there" in completely oppressive inequality of rights. The principle is wrong and won't be corrected until there is one country with equal rights - regardless of what is happening in Egypt or Syria. It won't work because it is Fascism and it must change. The more Israelis hide from that fact the more people will suffer.

    • Israel and Israelis in the main don't give a rat's behind for humanity- and they will tell you that. Their indoctrination is so thorough that the whole of "humanity" hates Jews and therefore Jews/Israelis will take land and kill Arabs- that's 60%+ of younger people in polls. When they take high school kids by the tens of thousands to Poland to visit the camps they're telling them, "any violence you do to 'Arabs' is justified" ..."We are victims unless we attack and take regardless. There are many exceptions and many really wonderful and conscientious Israelis, but life is becoming unbearable for them and they're coming to LA or Berlin. Sad! Israeli Universities are part of the ongoing ethnic cleansing; weapons, security systems, demographic Jewish domination, etc. Ilan Pappe and others published the true history of '48, for example: death threats and left the country....Only outside pressure will change Israel. Settler States do not modify unless forced to.

    • You've hit the nail on the head. The Zionists have managed to repress every dissenting voice from every Jewish organization for 60 years, and people like Jewish Voice for Peace and other advocates of BDS have pierced their perimeter. Once the question of Equality for all humans in Israel is before the American people they are doomed - and they know it. That's why they explode and panic. 15 years ago I was summarily drummed out of an executive position in a national Jewish organization for merely the occupation: Boom! Gone. They have held the dyke until the leaks multiplied. Netanyahu himself said, "physical security is not as serious a threat as de-legitimization", because you cannot run a Settler State legitimately- and everyone there knows it. If you read Max Blumenthal's book you will see Israel hurtling toward full fascism. The wheels are coming off.

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