Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 11 (since 2010-01-02 19:39:00)

Coordinating Committee member of Chicago's Arab Jewish Partnership

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  • I am not a jew
    • I wish there was a "like" button on Mondoweiss comments because this poem has inspired some great ones. Just a few of my thoughts:
      1) amazing and inspired poem;
      2) I'm from Chicago and was at the JVP conference. Tema, you were kidnapped and harassed by that driver. I have no doubt that he knew about the conference and deliberately went to McCormick Place to pick up JVP'ers. I hope you got his name and/or cab number. If you haven't already, you can report him here: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/provdrs/consumer/svcs/consumer_cab_complaint.html
      3) I consider my Judaism to be a form of my resistance. I hold onto to it despite what Hitler did and the deaths of my grandparents. It is my legacy. I hold onto to it despite Zionism holding Judaism hostage, perverting it and giving people like that cab driver the immense chutzpah to believe they have the right or the power to decide who is Jewish and who is not. If I give up my Judaism, all of these assholes win. I refuse to let that happen.

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • I saw just a few minutes of this episode when it aired . . . and I was horrified, but not surprised, that someone who is considered a historian, would present Zionist propaganda as history. I set my DVR to record the encore presentation, and thanks to this article, I don't feel obligated to watch it anymore and I can free up some space on my DVR.

      I just wanted to add that the "nakba" is always presented as simultaneous to, or in reaction to, the invasion by Arab countries after Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. That is not true. The most well-known massacre is of Dayr Yasin, for example, which began on April 9, 1948 - over a month before Yom HaAtzmaout. During the time the partition plan was being drafted, Arabs made up 2/3 of the population of Palestine and owned 93% of the land. Nevertheless, under the partition plan, the Jewish state was given 55% of the land. Thus, the "problem" for the Zionists at the time, was that they were still a minority, even within the designated Jewish state. Thus began the ethnic cleansing that Palestinians refer to as the Nakba. Zionists, however, always present it as the Arabs referring to Israeli independence as the catastrophe. By doing so, they can re-frame history within the anti-Semitism paradigm: like the European countries previously, the Arabs simply didn't want the Jews there - ignoring the real issue which was, of course, the theft of land and the organized terror by the Haganah, Irgun, and the Stern Gang, to drive out the Palestinian population to create more favorable demographics.

  • Interview with Dr. Haidar Eid: 'The Palestinian struggle is not about independence -- it is about liberation'
    • Thank you for this interview. Dr. Eid very clearly articulated the logical, democratic, and human rights-based reasoning for One State vs. Two States. Like Ron Edwards, above, I love the "liberation not independence" phrase and hope it begins to be used more widely. I just have 2 issues:

      First, in my mind, the question about cherry picking UN resolutions wasn't really very clearly answered. How can Palestinian solidarity activists argue international law and cite certain UN Resolutions, but say other ones are invalid? Isn't that what Israel does - just ignores the ones it doesn't like? I think that is the hypocrisy to which Chomsky was referring. Right wingers/pro-Zionists often quote the mythological argument that Israel accepted the "compromise" of 2-states, but it was the "Arabs" who would not. So wouldn't arguing that Res. 181 is unfair play right into that argument? We need a more succinct talking point on the issue of the UN resolutions.

      Second, there is an inherent problem with international solidarity activists (particularly Jewish ones like myself) advocating for a particular solution when there is not, or at least not yet, a consensus amongst the Palestinians themselves that 1-State is what they want. I just came back from Palestine and met with a number of Popular Resistance leaders who emphasized that their struggle is for freedom and equal rights and they deliberately do not take a position on 1 State vs. 2-States. In fact, there are numerous Palestinian national flags waived around at the weekly demonstrations, and most of the individual Palestinians I spoke with clearly advocated for 2-States or said they didn't care so long as the wall is taken down, they have access to their lands, and freedom with equal rights. Doesn't it make sense for the internationals to more generally advocate for human rights and leave it up to those actually living under occupation to make a clear call for the solution first?

  • J Street leaders praise IDF, but audience cheers BDS
    • "Tzipi Livni wore a tight black dress that looked like a form of body armor"
      "Yesterday the chic-est Knesset member here, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid"

      Commenting on women's appearance is a way of objectifying them and undermining them. What is the relevance of what Tzipi Livni was wearing to the point of this piece? And what is the relevance of Calderon's chic-ness? Why is it that when the substance of what men say is being criticized (or applauded), there is no reference to THEIR appearance?

      I realize, in this case, Phillip Weiss didn't like what these 2 women were saying (and neither did I), so he took a couple of relatively mild shots where it is perceived that women are most vulnerable: their appearance. In my mind, progressives have a responsibility to be consistently progressive and to rise above and set an example. When advocating the struggle against racism, you should take care not to use misogynist language. You do not strengthen one cause by undermining another.

      http://www.now.org/issues/media/070315hillary_media.html
      "The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.' Ashley Judd

      "[M]any journalists don't seem to know what to do with strong women. These professionals, who should know better, often revert to old-fashioned sexism in describing women leaders (e.g. denigrating women for qualities, like aggressiveness or ambition, that are seen as positive attributes in men), scrutinizing their appearance, and concentrating on their roles as dutiful wives and mothers to the exclusion of their political accomplishments and records on the issues.

      Indeed, in Pelosi's first days as Speaker of the House, The Washington Post's Style section ran an article on Nov. 10 dissecting her choice of clothing for her swearing in ceremony, in which writer Robin Givhan used the word 'chic' to describe her appearance and claimed that 'an Armani suit, for a woman, is a tool for playing with the boys without pretending to be one'."

    • "Tzipi Livni wore a tight black dress that looked like a form of body armor"
      "Yesterday the chic-est Knesset member here, Ruth Calderon of Yesh Atid"

      With all due respect, W. Jones, what she was wearing looked NOTHING like what the IDF wears, and I'm not sure what "sabra image" is related to a black dress, a staple in most women's closets in many countries. And what is the relevance of Calderon's chic-ness? Why is it that when the substance of what men say is being criticized (or applauded), there is no reference to THEIR appearance?

      I realize, in this case, Phillip Weiss didn't like what these 2 women were saying (and neither did I), so he took a couple of relatively mild shots where it is perceived that women are most vulnerable: their appearance. In my mind, progressives have a responsibility to be consistently progressive and to rise above and set an example. When advocating the struggle against racism, you should take care not to use misogynist language. You do not strengthen one cause by undermining another.

      http://www.now.org/issues/media/070315hillary_media.html
      "The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.' Ashley Judd

      "[M]any journalists don't seem to know what to do with strong women. These professionals, who should know better, often revert to old-fashioned sexism in describing women leaders (e.g. denigrating women for qualities, like aggressiveness or ambition, that are seen as positive attributes in men), scrutinizing their appearance, and concentrating on their roles as dutiful wives and mothers to the exclusion of their political accomplishments and records on the issues.

      Indeed, in Pelosi's first days as Speaker of the House, The Washington Post's Style section ran an article on Nov. 10 dissecting her choice of clothing for her swearing in ceremony, in which writer Robin Givhan used the word 'chic' to describe her appearance and claimed that 'an Armani suit, for a woman, is a tool for playing with the boys without pretending to be one'."

    • I love you, Phillip Weiss, and great article. Just one bone to pick with you: feel free to criticize away the substance of what female speakers say, but please refrain from commenting on the way they're dressed. You should be above pedestrian sexism.

  • '5 Broken Cameras' co-director's boycott call angers Israeli consul, who brags on the doc
    • "5 Broken Cameras" was nominated in the Best Documentary category. If it was nominated in the category of Best Foreign Film, there can be a national "claim" to the film. However, there is no national identity in the Best Documentary category. This film is a Palestinian story, told by a Palestinian. He joined with his friend, an Israeli filmmaker, to make it into a documentary. It was produced by a French company. And both filmmakers have said it is a Palestinian film.

      That being said, I love the controversy because it will likely inspire more people to see the film. And if there is a rumor of a BDS boycott, all the better: then the very people who need to see it most will see it just to spite BDS! (technically, however, it doesn't meet the requirements for BDS - SHHH, don't tell).

      Finally, if it wins - awesome! But, just by being nominated, the subject of the film will be announced, it will no-doubt be mentioned that it is was a joint effort by a Palestinian and an Israeli filmmaker, and they will show a clip from the film. That will give it worldwide exposure, and lead to more people seeing what I think is the best film about the Occupation thus far.

  • Exchange on anti-Sephardi racism on the left
    • I agree with Rabbi Rosen's very appropriate response to David Sasha. And I think it is particularly egregious when progressive voices within the Jewish community, turn on one another - especially in public. We are an extreme minority within a minority and we weaken our collective voice by attacking each other - especially when it is petty, mean-spirited, and undeserved.

      I just want to add something on this subject of Israeli Jews who originated from Arab and North African countries. Just the fact that people refer to them as "Sephardi" (Spanish) or even "Mizrachi" (Eastern) is in itself denying the truth and symptomatic of denying or ignoring Arab culture. When I spent a year in Israel in the 80's, I missed ASIAN food. One day, I saw a restaurant in Jerusalem called "The Oriental Restaurant". I went in expecting Chinese food. It was Middle Eastern food! Not only was I sorely disappointed that I was still going to be deprived of some chop suey, but it was my first lesson on this subject. Whether it is food, dance, music, or clothing, if it has Arab origins, it will be re-named.

  • Exile and the prophetic: Listening to Sara Roy
  • Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity
    • @American - you can read more about Rabbi Brant's opinions on his blog: rabbibrant.com ("Shalom Rav"). You can do a search for the topics you mentioned.

      This is one example regarding U.S. politics on Israel: "Obama in 2012: Won't Get Fooled Again," http://rabbibrant.com/2012/06/11/obama-in-2012-wont-get-fooled-again/

      Here is one on American Jewish Zionism: http://rabbibrant.com/2010/10/22/on-jvp-zionism-and-jewish-community-growing-pains/

      As for MW, just go to the search field and type in "Brant Rosen," and you will get about ten pages of contributions, mentions and comments. Here is one about getting "edited" by the Washington Post: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/light-a-candle-for-gaza-the-rabbis-piece-the-washington-post-wouldnt-publish-without-major-changes.html

      You can also order his book through Just World Books online which contains articles and comments from his blog from 2008-10.

    • @Mooser - I don't know who you are, or what your life experience has been that you feel compelled to attack one of "the good guys." It is clear that you haven't read this book, and even more clear that you've never met Brant. A number of your comments don't even make sense. Brant never cut off anyone's arm, or hurt anybody. There is a certain segment of left-wing activists that I just don't understand and you appear to be one of them. You raise your voices to get people's attention & educate them - at least in theory to try and change the world for the better, one person at a time. But when people do educate themselves about the issues, question their beliefs, and then join forces with you for the "cause", you have nothing but contempt for them. You insult Brant publicly because why? To achieve what? His efforts are not "pure" enough for you because you always believed this way, and you see him as a newbie? Or maybe you just don't like him because he's Jewish? Or because he's a rabbi? Wouldn't your energy be better spent focusing on the people and the forces that continue to perpetuate the dire human rights situation in Israel and Palestine? On a slow day, Brant's character, intellect, knowledge, and eloquence furthers the cause of a just peace by reaching more people in a positive way than you probably have in your entire life.

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