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Total number of comments: 4575 (since 2010-05-21 23:21:46)


I am a lawyer with several degrees in Classics (Greek and Latin).

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  • Northeastern president is urged to restore SJP's First Amendment rights
    • The establishment foreign policy mag is CFR's Foreign Affairs.

    • Challenge these universities in their wallets, where it hurts. Submit complaints to the organizations that give them accreditation.

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • The Irish Free State and its successor the Republic of Ireland did strongly favor Roman Catholicism (although on paper it gave equal rights to religious minorities,) but, to all intents and purposes, those days are over. The Catholic Church so disgraced itself with the child abuse scandal in the eyes of the Irish that the favored position of the Catholic Church is virtually gone. To all intents and purposes, Ireland is now a secular state, and the land of all Irish, of whatever religion (or lack of it).

      And there have always been Irish Protestants living in independent Ireland, with theoretically equal rights, even if many Protestants left Ireland after independence, largely because it was psychologically difficult for them to accept the loss of political dominance (they retained much economic power). A Protestant has occupied as high a position as President of Ireland (and a Jew has been Lord Mayor of Dublin).

  • University of Windsor President pressures Student Union to not ratify BDS referendum following demand from pro-Israel donor
  • 'Northeastern SJP will not be silenced or intimidated': SJP responds to suspension from Northeastern University
  • Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation
    • I once attended a reception at the UK Embassy in D.C. in honor of a Labour MP who was a big shot in education policy. This was late in the presidency of George W. Bush and while Gordon Brown was PM. I overheard the British Ambassador discussing with the guest of honor how, after the reception ended, he and the guest of honor were going to attend the AIPAC meeting which was then going on in D.C.

    • Joseph Aoun appears to be a Christian Arabic name. Aoun's first degree listed in his Wikipedia entry is a Master's in Oriental Languages and Literature from Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon, 1975. Two years later, he got a diploma from the University of Paris.

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • Hophmi, to regard Christ as both the Messiah and as divine is two different things. Christians believe both. Muslims only believe the first (that Isa/Jesus was al-Masih, the Messiah).

      You conflate belief that he is/was the Messiah and belief that he is/was divine, but your very willingness not to cast out Jews who are also Muslims surely shows that you too see -- or at least sense -- the distinction.

      But surely that means that what you find objectionable is not that anybody should think Christ is/was the Messiah, but only that they should think he is/was divine.

    • Racism towards Persians puzzles me. They speak an Indo-European language. They are quite fair-skinned. And the Old Testament is full of praise of Cyrus and the Persians, who freed the Jews from their Babylonian capitivity and were quite tolerant of other religions, including the religion of the Jews of that time.

    • I thought Jews' objection to Christianity was that it asserts the divinity of Christ. Why is saying that he was the Messiah so objectionable? Did the followers of Sabbatai Zevi automatically become non-Jews when they accepted his claim to be the Messiah? I thought they were only rejected after he and they converted to Islam.

      Which raises the matter of why Jews (or at least a lot of Jews) consider Jews who convert to Islam as non-Jews, just they way they look on Jews who convert to Christianity. But what is so objectionable about Islam? It's a monotheistic, legalistic religion that has taken over dietary laws and a lot of other stuff from Judaism. I find it hard to understand why somebody couldn't be both a Jew and a Muslim (as many people claimed to be in the first couple of centuries after Mohammed, and as the Dönme followers of Sabbatai Zevi claimed to be, and indeed still claim to be). Is the objection that Muslims regard Jesus (Isa) as a prophet, a messenger of God, and even the Messiah (al-Masih)?

    • They believe in Christ, but also observe some, but not all of the Jewish faith.

      That's what the first Christians did as well, isn't it?

  • Robert Caro, Nakba-denier
    • Arthur Krock is said to have been hired by Joe Kennedy to write most of JFK's Why England Slept.

    • The Irish always side with the side they consider the underdog. It's in our blood.

    • Judging by Caro's treatment of the JFK assassination, I expect no anti-LBJ (or, perhaps more to the point, anti-Israel) treatment of the USS Liberty incident. In his latest volume, Caro accepts the Warren Commission fairy tale lock, stock, and barrel. He says at one point that he will say nothing about the charges that LBJ was involved in the assassination conspiracy, because he has seen no evidence that he was (thus ignoring, for example, the testimony decades later of the recently deceased Billy Sol Estes, as well as the mountains of evidence presented just a couple of years ago by Douglas Horne, Chief Analyst of Military Records of the Assassination Records Review Board, in his five-volume, 2000-page Inside the Assassination Records Review Board). Despite the portrait that Caro's earlier volumes paint of LBJ as a moral monster, Caro's latest volume accepts at face value LBJ's proclaimed liberalism during this presidency.

  • 'Apartheid on the Hill': Students transform Tufts campus to highlight Israeli occupation
    • I just read in Craig Steven Wilder's Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities that the Tufts campus was earlier occupied by Ten Hills Farm, the 600-acre plantation of the Royall family that had many slaves before slaves in Massachusetts were emancipated during the American Revolution.

  • Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department 'midwives' democracy
    • The reason Reagan started that policy was his anti-Communism. That he was willing to change that policy if circumstances changed is shown by his behavior towards Gorbachev in the last years of his presidency. Now, Communism is dead (certainly in Russia), so I think it is very unlikely that Reagan would have continued that policy.

    • The Soviet Union is dead. Putin and his government are closely associated with the Russian Orthodox Church, which was severely persecuted under Communist rule. Just what policies are the neocons continuing?

    • Anybody who wants to know what Scientology is really about should read Kate Bornstein's A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today. Bornstein does not paint a pretty picture of that "church".

      According to Bornstein, the "Church" of Scientology plans to take over the world. And for no good purpose. It all seems to be for selfish ends.

    • I just read an allegation that Yatsenyuk (and his sister) are scientologists. Oh boy!

    • In the case of Ukraine today, those neocon Zionists happen to be supporting a bunch of neo-Nazis. Perhaps not so surprising.

      Interesting that "Yats", who Nuland was saying should be prime minister and who, lo and behold, now has become prime minister, happens to be Jewish (as well as a financial expert apparently liked by the IMF).

  • 'NYT' provides frank descriptions of lobby's power in review of Truman book
    • The next shoe to drop on Brandeis will be the idea that he converted to Zionism in 1912 so as to be representative of the attitudes of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and thus to be qualified to be the first Jew on the Supreme Court (i.e., Thurgood Marshall not Clarence Thomas)

      Interestingly, in that same year, 1912, Brandeis played a major role in Woodrow Wilson's campaign for the presidency. Indeed, after Wilson won, he credited Brandeis with having had a big share in the victory.

  • Anti-anti-semitism: How did a movement against bigotry lend itself to another form of bigotry?
    • You're wrong. I'm Irish (well, Irish-American), and I know how the Irish feel. Apart from some antediluvian troglodytes.

      And what needs justification is treating people unequally. Ireland treats its citizens equally. (Unlike Israel.) It can no longer be called a sectarian state. The Catholic Church has lost most of the excessive power that it once had.

      If Israel ever starts treating its citizens equally, I will no longer say that it needs justification. But then, it will no longer be a Jewish State.

      And it's interesting how you react to my call for imitating the forgiveness of the Irish with insults.

    • Just to be clear, I, unlike my late cousin, am proud of the fact that most Irish Catholics have buried the hatchet.

    • Will the Jewish people ever get over the Holocaust the way (to take my own people) the Irish have gotten over Cromwell and the Potato Famine? If and when they do, what will remain of the justification for a Jewish State? If they never do, will that be right?

      (Mind you, the Protestants in independent Ireland have, on paper at least, equal rights. In fact, one can make a case that in fact they retain a privileged economic position -- a fact that a radical nationalist cousin of mine much resented, while he was alive.)

  • Netanyahu mentions 'BDS' 18 times in denouncing movement and its 'gullible fellow travelers'
    • I am almost finished reading Gareth Porter's Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. It's astonishing how much mendacity it reveals on the part of the Israeli and U.S. governments. Especially by Netanyahu and Obama.

  • Scarlett Johansson is featured at AIPAC, to applause
  • 'NYT' dismisses Wieseltier attack on Judis as tempest-in-a-teapot
    • Not many Irish-Americans go to live in Ireland (economic reasons), but some do. And all those who qualify for Irish citizenship and an Irish passport have the right to.

    • The idea that I should enjoy a right-of-return to Odessa is ridiculous.

      Perhaps debatable, but hardly ridiculous. Anyone at least one of whose parents or grandparents was born in Ireland (either Northern or the Republic) has the right to Irish citizenship. (Since all my parents and grandparents were born there, I do in fact have Irish citizenship, in addition to American.) And I believe much the same is true of all countries that use jus sanguinis to determine citizenship.

    • I think my explanation is more likely to be correct: BDS is already affecting investment in Israel.

    • But the Zionists always play up any threat to Israel. Why the sudden shift in tactics?

    • Notice how that story quotes some Zionist big shot saying that BDS does not threaten Israel, but does threaten the peace process. Why would he play down the threat to Israel? Methinks it's to stop people failing to invest in Israel because they think it is a hazardous investment. I.e., BDS is already working.

    • Times story features a photo of Hughes (with Wieseltier). Besides being very handsome, Hughes looks very gay (as I understand he is). I wonder if the reason he chose to buy The New Republic was that Andrew Sullivan, as editor of that magazine, was the first to make a big issue of gay marriage.

  • Israel lobby AIPAC is down, but not out -- yet
    • Why does neocon Victoria Nuland (formerly of Cheney's vice presidential office, and married to Robert Kagan) occupy such a powerful position in the State Department? As we know from her intercepted phone conversation, it cannot be because she has any diplomatic skills.

    • Interesting article on AIPAC's decline in today's Financial Times.

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
  • 'NYT' says East Jerusalem isn't occupied, and Israel lobby takes credit
    • I'm sure they must have. Tobacco companies were big advertisers back then.

    • If what matters is what the situation was pre-1948, does that mean that Lydda/Lod (with lots of other places) is now Israeli-occupied territory?

      Sorry, David Samel, I see that you already made my point.

  • AIPAC member threatens to sue Code Pink over parody video (Updated)
  • Sheldon Adelson to honor Sean Penn at neocon ball
  • 'New Republic''s literary editor attacks its senior editor as nasty, ignorant self-hating Jew
    • If I were Judis, I would be delighted to be compared to Rosa Luxemburg. Talk about someone who has been vindicated by history.

    • As the son of a Kerrywoman, I hope that Power and Sunstein did not choose to be married in a (Catholic) church in Kerry because of any family connection between Power and County Kerry.

      However, I am glad to learn from Power's Wikipedia entry that she has seen to it that their two children have Irish names: Declan and Rian.

    • Peretz critical of Israel? If he ever was, I bet it was over things like the Oslo peace process.

  • AIPAC chair pushing sanctions on Iran is crucial Obama backer
    • A book that I'm currently reading, Gareth Porter's Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, has a lot to say about the involvement of Israel and the Israel Lobby in perpetuating U.S. hostility towards Iran.

    • I wonder just what Israel's objectives are that she thinks Iran ought to satisfy.

    • Penny Pritzker is now Secretary of Commerce.

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • What time period was Dershowitz talking about? Felix Frankfurter was hired as a full professor by Harvard Law School before 1917. Around this time, Harry Wolfson was a full professor of Jewish Literature and Philosophy, Milton Rosenau was a full professor of Medicine, and Paul Sachs was an associate professor of Fine Arts. Oscar Handlin taught at Harvard from 1939 to 1984. I believe he became a full professor in the 1950's, and he was made head of a newly formed institute there in 1958. I think Henry Kissinger would have had to have been already a full professor -- or at least an associate professor on tenure track -- when he was made associate director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs in 1957.

  • Truman feared backing Israel would involve US in 'new world conflict' -- Boston Globe
    • Yes, but the counterfactual that could have prevented Israel is if FDR had lived.

    • Since 2012, Chris Hughes has been the owner and editor-in-chief of TNR.

    • FDR had such great self-confidence and such political clout that I don't think he would have felt obliged to surrender to the lobby. And the promises that he had made in early 1945 to the King of Saudi Arabia suggest strongly that he would not have wanted personally to create a purely Jewish state in the Mandate of Palestine. So it is a pity he died when he did.

      (Henry Wallace, on the other hand, was so committed to the Zionist cause that a President Wallace, although he would probably have done other good things like avoiding a Cold War, probably would have supported the creation of Israel.)

    • [Truman] felt put-upon by Zionist groups clamoring for his administration’s support and comes across as whiny — the “one constant in his reproaches were the ‘emotional Jews’ of the United States,’ ” writes Judis — but also aware of the political risks of taking sides.

      Any political risks were only if he opposed the creation of Israel. As the passage later points out, there was no Arab or Muslim constituency that would have opposed his siding with Israel.

      As far as a new world conflict is concerned, there was no immediate danger of that occurring if he supported Israel. The Soviet Union, remember, also supported the creation of Israel. Any conflict that resulted from the creation of Israel would only have been a regional one (as indeed happened), not a world conflict.

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • I think it would have made most sense to establish a Jewish state in the former East Prussia. By the winter of 1944-45, most of the Germans had fled. Those remaining were expelled by the Russians and Poles in the next couple of years. The Soviets wanted Königsberg/Kaliningrad as a port/naval base, but that could have been established in a Jewish republic within the Soviet Union. Such a republic would have been in no military danger. The Russians and Poles had great difficulty finding people to settle in East Prussia after the Germans had left.

      Stalin eventually turned against the Jews, but his motive there seems to have been disappointment at Israel's turn towards the U.S. and distrust of Soviet Jews' enthusiasm for Israel. Without an Israel, I wonder if he would have turned, and anyway he had only a few more years to live in any case.

  • Krista Tippett puts occupied East Jerusalem in Israel
  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
    • Last week in Haaretz, author David Harris-Gershon wrote about the cancellation. He said Washington JCC ceo Carole Zawatsky called him to tell him just before his fourth-grade class to tell him he was a “mensch” and

      that my political views are so untenable that the DCJCC could no longer host my “Authors Out Loud” book event, at which I was to talk about the power of reconciliation and dialogue embedded in my memoir, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?

      So now it's bad to be a Mensch? Huh?

  • Student who exposed 'leftist' teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats
    • Thank you. I'm glad to have my instincts on this confirmed.

    • @Daniel Rich: "Nazi" was just a shortening of the full name of the party, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, not NDSAP). The nickname was not just used by enemies of the party. One of the party's own publications was entitled "Der Nazi Sozi".

    • Mädchen is not a diminutive form of Mädel. Both words are originally diminutives of the word Magd (= English "maid"), with different diminutive suffixes -chen and -el (variant of -lein) appended.

      I'm not sure why the Nazis used the form Mädel for their girls' organization. Mädchen is a much more common word. Perhaps it has to do with the Nazis' predilection for archaic words. The -el suffix is common in South German dialects, like Austrian German. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Nazi party arose first of all in Bavaria.

    • Not just in Nazi Germany. Also in Stalinist Russia. Pavlik Morozov.

  • Why is the American elite scared of BDS?
    • Yes, you're right. Earlier they were terrified of the Occupy movement for the same reason. And it is for that reason that they have constructed their massive surveillance state. If the populace ever becomes really rebellious, they think they have the means to keep it under control.

    • In 2001, I argued that policy in every area must be debated vigorously, but respect for those who risk their lives for our freedom must be a basic value.

      The post-9/11 American state no longer stands for the freedom of Americans, and therefore it is no longer for the freedom of Americans that the members of the U.S. military now risk their lives. This retired naval officer says that with deep regret, but he has to face the truth.

  • Congress is next battleground over boycott of Israel
  • Ultra-nationalist rabbis warn John Kerry of divine punishment for the peace process
    • This punishment (if it ever happened, which I very much doubt) was inflicted on the Persians, who freed the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, allowed religious freedom not only to the Jews in Palestine and elsewhere but to other religious minorities like the Greeks and Babylonians (we have an inscription in Greek from Darius proclaiming this policy, and the cylinder of Cyrus from Babylon in Akkadian proclaiming the same about Mesopotamia), and created an atmosphere where the Old Testament could be put together.

    • Why does a god who punishes attempts to make peace deserve to be obeyed?

    • If bringing disaster upon the Jewish people is enough to cause divine punishment, these guys had better start worrying.

  • Coke Super Bowl commercial featured a Palestinian but don't fall for the sugary sweetness
  • Don't expect this NYT ethicist to talk about the Nakba
    • Mandela was unique.

      Is that a way of telling us that the South African example is no precedent for other places in the world and that we can't talk about apartheid anywhere else?

  • Bill targeting Israel boycotters introduced in Maryland
    • I wouldn't say Joan Carter Conway is uninterested in money:

      In 1999 Conway was arrested and charged with hindering a law enforcement officer after a six-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle in front of her office and she allegedly refused to provide space for the paramedics to work on the child. The charges were later dropped by State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy.[3]

      In a 2005 complaint filed with the Baltimore Circuit Court, Chief liquor inspector Samuel Daniels Jr accused Conway of acting in collusion with other members of Baltimore's Liquor Board to replace him with her husband, Vernon Conway. At the time the complaint was filed Daniels had been suspended for reasons he claimed stemmed from his attempts to investigate bars on The Block which had quid pro quo relationships with other liquor inspectors and with Senator Conway.[4] Daniels was later found by the city's labor commissioner to have been unfairly suspended and after being reinstated he eventually dropped the charges.[5]

      In 2010, while serving as the chair of the committee that hears alcohol bills, Conway went on the record saying that a bill that would allow wine to be shipped to residents of the state “is not going anywhere” despite the fact that 6 of the 9 members of her own committee and both chambers supporting the legislation. Conway cited the fact that it would be difficult for the state to ensure taxes were collected on wine shipped into the state and that it would give minors the ability to tap the internet to obtain alcohol. 37 of the 50 States currently allow wine to be shipped directly to residents.

      But some proponents of the direct-shipping bill question whether she is too personally tied to the system to be fair. Her husband, Vernon "Tim" Conway, is a city liquor inspector since 1995 who made $67,000 in his position last year, according to city records.

      According to a 2008 analysis by The Baltimore Sun, more than 80 percent of state legislators have received campaign contributions from the liquor lobby.

  • Jewish groups used anti-semitism smear to try to stop boycott debate -- Holocaust scholar who heads MLA
    • The Nazis, of course, thought that the Soviet Union was run by Jews, as the Communist movement was, and that the participation of the Western democracies in the coalition against Germany was due to the machinations of Jewish plutocrats. So this writer shares an important element of belief with the Nazis.

  • Bill targeting academic groups that boycott Israel halted in New York Assembly
    • I meant to say about Hett's book not just that it presents evidence, but that it presents evidence, some of which is new (not in the Bahar/Kugel books). In my view, the most spectacular such new evidence concerns how Fritz Tobias basically blackmailed the Institut für Zeitgeschichte into accepting his lone-nut account by using information about individual historians and their Nazi-era past to which he had access as a civil servant in the German equivalent of the FBI.

    • I wouldn't assume that the account of what happened on 9/11 that the U.S. government would have us believe is the true one.

      The JFK assassination is one example where the official account is obviously false.

      I recently read the new book in English on the Reichstag Fire, Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich's Enduring Mystery by Benjamin Carter Hett. The book makes clear that the orthodoxy among historians for the past 50 years or so, that the fire was set by the lone nut Van der Lubbe, is indefensible, impossible to square with the evidence. The orthodoxy seems to have prevailed as a result of Cold War politics. Since Hett's book is published by the Oxford University Press, I assume that, when it does start to get reviewed, the reviews will be respectful.

      Hett presents evidence, so his book is a valuable one (besides the other value of its being in English -- even for someone who knows German pretty well, legal terminology and technical terminology about fires can be daunting), but his basic case -- that the fire was set by the Nazis, was already argued -- convincingly, in my opinion -- by the historian Alexander Bahar and the physicist Wilfried Kugel in their 2001 book Der Reichstagbrand: Wie Geschichte Gemacht Wird [The Reichstag Fire: How History is Manufactured, and repeated in shorter, more digestible form in their 2013 book Der Reichstagbrand: Geschichte einer Provokation [The Reichstag Fire: History of a Provocation]. Actually, that was the view of most people, including historians, from 1933 until Fritz Tobias put forward his lone nut theory in articles in Der Spiegel in 1959-60. Nazi culpability was persuasively argued by Hans Bernd Gisevius in his 1946 book Bis zum Bitteren Ende [To the Bitter End]. However, Bahar and Kugel proved that Gisevius was right and Tobias wrong by using new evidence that only became available after the fall of the Soviet Union and East Germany. But nevertheless Tobias's view remained the orthodoxy among historians, both in Germany and in this country. Only now, with Hett's book, is the case made by Bahar and Kugel becoming available to English-speakers who don't read German.

  • I stayed away from Israel just as I stayed away from Nazi Germany -- Hugh Trevor-Roper
    • Wasn't the Stalinist phrase "rootless cosmopolitan [безродный космополит]"?

    • And how dare Trevor-Roper have criticized the militaristic atmosphere in Nazi Germany when his own empire was guilty of such abuses.

      I guess that must be how you think.

  • New York Assembly pressured to reject bill targeting Israel boycotters
  • The real SodaStream commercial they don't want you to see
    • Another indication of how fanatically pro-Israel Harper's government in Canada is.

      And just think, just 11 years ago Jean Chrétien's government opposed the Iraq war. I recently heard former Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark say on radio what a departure from previous Canadian practice Harper's extreme bias for Israel is.

  • 'FT' blast on settlements will strike fear at Hasbara Central (if not among liberal Zionists and 'glitzy blondes')
  • Rep. Grimm threatens to throw reporter off Rotunda balcony
    • Mysterious line in the 2014 Almanac of American Politics's piece on Grimm:

      Military Career: Marine Corps, 1991 (Persian Gulf).

      Those biographies usually give a stretch of a few years for a politician's military career. Was Grimm only in the Marine Corps for one year? How could he do that? Did he get a discharge for health reasons after the Gulf War?

    • What an ad this clip will make for Grimm's Democratic opponent this year!

  • Pete Seeger interview: 'The greatest people will come forward, after I kick the bucket'
    • Plague is no danger as long as our antibiotics work.

      Occasionally, it kills people in this country, because it occurs so rarely that the doctors don't diagnose it in time.

      But no widespread outbreak is possible (as long as the antibiotics work), because in a widespread outbreak it will be diagnosed.

    • My mother (who immigrated into this country in the 1920's) always said that wood (and coal) stoves were better for baking bread than gas stoves, because they cause greater heat. And electric stoves are even worse in this respect than gas stoves.

      My mother baked delicious bread, even in a gas oven.

  • 'I'll believe a corporation is a person the day it gets a colonoscopy'
    • More and more whites aren't doing that well either, as the middle class disappears.

    • I just happen to be reading Michael Smith's memoir Notebook of a Sixties Lawyer (copyright 1992) at the moment. On page 15, he has this to say:

      What specifically did it mean for me to be a Jew? Judaism is not a religion with a creed held in common, not if you take into account the spectrum from Reform to Hassid. It's not a race. My two sisters have blond hair. My brothers and I don't. It's not a nationality. Jews live around the globe and the majority of them have lived outside of Israel since before the Roman conquest two thousand years ago, the efforts of the Zionists to obscure this notwithstanding.

      I think in its essence what it means for me to be a Jew is the holding of a common morality. The learned great Rabbi Hillel was asked, the story goes, if he could explain the meaning of the Talmud while standing on one foot. He replied, "Don't do unto others what you wouldn't want done to you." That ethical injunction distills the wisdom of Jewish teaching. As Rabbi Hillel added, "All else is commentary."

      Carrying out this perspective in actuality means holding an internationalist view of world problems and seeking a common solution to oppression with other victims. Finally, I would say that to be a Jew means to identify with a culture and history, although interpretations of that culture and history may vary.

      If that's what Judaism is, Israel ain't Jewish.

  • At Auschwitz: 'The IDF is the Jewish people's answer to the Holocaust'
  • De Blasio's leftwing base is enraged by AIPAC moment
    • Most of the American left was very much committed to the Israeli cause in the late 1940's. Pete Seeger just died. I remember having a Weavers LP back in the 1950's. There were a few mentions of the Israeli cause there, I believe. (I have no idea what Seeger thought of the I/P issue in later decades.)

      But the Republicans, most of them, were pro-Israel too. Dewey tried to use Israel as an issue against Truman (which is one reason Truman felt he had to support the creation of Israel). But not just Dewey. Isolationist Bob Taft, of all people, also supported the creation of Israel.

  • Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to 'fanatical' Zionist lobby
    • AND his closest advisors?

      It's true that Jimmy Byrnes supported nuking Japan. But that step was opposed by Admiral Leahy, all the leading admirals in fact, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Hap Arnold, and all the other people mentioned as opposing it in Alperovitz's The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.

    • FDR had already agreed with the King of Saudi Arabia that there would be no Israel until he had consulted with him, the king.

    • Of course, there were good reasons why Truman failed to achieve a federated or binational Palestine, and I don’t intend by recounting Truman’s qualms to suggest that he was wrong to recognize Israel.

      Certainly there were reasons, but why does Judis say they were good reasons?

      Truman lacked the self-confidence to stand up to the lobby. Probably this is one of the reasons it was a tragedy FDR died when he did. He could have stood up to the lobby.

    • TNR has a new owner, doesn't it?

  • 'NYT' publishes Holocaust trivia on front page
    • German wallowing in self-pity over the supposed injustice of the Versailles Treaty played a major role in bringing the Nazis to power.

    • I should have added, with respect to the Bengal famine of 1943, that Germany was not the only country that committed mass atrocities in World War Two.

      (And we Americans, with our atom bombs, are not so innocent either.)

    • As Madhusree Mukerjee documents in Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II, between 3 and 5 million people died in the Bengal famine of 1943. The famine happened because Churchill rejected the pleas of the British authorities in India, notably Viceroy of India Lord Linlithgow, his successor Wavell, and Secretary of State for India Leo Amery, to send food to Bengal because he considered it more important to maintain the standard of living in Britain, and he was notorious for his prejudice against Indians..

      About 10 million people died in the Bengal famine of 1770 (soon after the British East India Company took control of Bengal). Those 10 million amounted to about a third of the population of the affected area.

      In the Irish Potato Famine, an estimated 1.5 million people died and a further 1 million emigrated out of a population slightly exceeding 8 million.

      Some scholars estimate that the population of Ireland was reduced by 20–25%.[130] All of this occurred while taxes, rents, and food exports were being collected and sent to British landlords, in an amount surpassing £6 million.[131]

  • Liberal Zionists support Scarlett Johansson-- and settlements. Why?
  • Deconstructing Scarlett Johansson’s statement on SodaStream

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