Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 14 (since 2015-01-25 07:14:40)

Science writer, member of JVP

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  • A show of weakness: The 'Israeli Peace Movement' marches in Jerusalem
    • In the current climate in both Israel and its major sponsor, the very existence of such a Peace Camp is something to be marveled at. And the best thing to do is to give it critical support, as Ofer Neiman does. It is not clear to me that his recommendation (stop demonstrating that you are weak; be strong and go put your lives on the line as the braver young people are doing) is the best means of giving critical support--only comrades on the ground can know, however, and Ofer Neiman is there on the ground. So, while this might seem curiously lacking in solidarity from a distance, I yield to the better judgment of Ofer Neiman. I caution just a bit: while there are any democratic rights left, it would be wise to use them as much as possible.

  • 'Atlantic' editor says that Israel's 1948 expulsion of Palestinians was not 'a tragedy'
    • An American Black person may very well be tired of hearing about slavery as though it was something done and forgotten; in actual fact, the power relations of slavery are the same power relations of "freedom" and "how far we have come," because Blacks are still held in economic thrall and murdered freely in the streets with no one held to account. While there are anti-Semitic incidents here and there in Europe and America, there is nothing like a level of anti-Semitism here in the United States even vaguely comparable to what Blacks experience. Jews are not watched as they wander through the store, nor are their neighborhoods targeted by police (although there may be comparable drug use)--unless they make themselves visible in traditional garb, Jews in the U.S. are as "invisible" as the white folks.

      What young people (teenagers) are tired of hearing about is just about everything, because they quite rightly feel the world they're being handed is an irresolvable mess. But they should be told about the Holocaust AND about the paradoxical fact that the Israeli treatment of Palestinians is settler colonial apartheid. The very people who claim most often to have learned the great lesson of the Holocaust have, in fact, learned nothing--and the vast majority of them are not even related to the original victims of the Holocaust, much less actual survivors.

      None of the bad news about the world, finally, can be separated from its cause: the long dead hand of capitalism is to be seen clearly in all of it.

  • To my fellow Israelis: We can stop this
  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • Your state, my state . . . but what is a "state"? What enforces the laws of a state within that state? A police force. What enforces the status of that state with respect to other states? An army. At bottom, then, Lenin was correct: "The state is a body of armed men." Or, updated, "men and women and others." Some states (the United States, for example) have many bodies at arms: an army, a navy, marines, national guard, civil air patrol, Federal, state, and county police, etc., etc. But their function is the same: to maintain a variety of injustices that cannot otherwise be maintained. If this is only understood, it makes a complete folly of all the Zionist arguments with respect to the relative goodness or badness of states. Just saying...

  • 'Celebration of ethnic cleansing is intolerable': Baltimore JVP crashes 'Israeli Independence Day' party
    • Thank you, Baltimore JVP! I hope you will be prominently seen today also in the protests for justice for Freddie Gray!

  • If Not Now, When?: Jewish anti-occupation activism and accountability to Palestinians
    • I would suggest that Jewish Voice for Peace has made the most wholehearted commitment to the cause of justice for Palestinians and those who wish to live in a just and peaceful way with them: Jews who abjugate the policies of the current and past Israeli governments.

      JVP fully and completely supports BDS. JVP sees and acknowledges the very clear analogies among and between the oppressed of Palestine and of the United States (JVP has conducted actions with Black Lives Matter and other organizations), and it sees a strategic set of BDS campaigns as key to changing views in Israel and in the American Jewish community. JVP's support of BDS includes support for the Palestinian "right of return." In a just settlement of a hundred years or more of conflict among the two peoples, it must be possible for Palestinians to recover their homes and properties or be justly recompensed for them. Whether the solution is two states or ten states or (as most of us in JVP tend to hope) one democratic and secular state, there must be equity between the two peoples. Hence the JVP slogan "two peoples, one future."

      JVP understands that coming out Just at the end of the day is difficult, at this moment seemingly impossible. But just as impossible, if not more so, are the living conditions in Gaza and the daily brutality and depredations suffered by the Palestinian community. I cannot speak for JVP; I'm only one member--but I think most in the organization stand near me.

  • A lesson from the New York Times on how to mislead with numbers
  • Added adjustable font size
  • Day 2 at JVP: Anti-colonial visions, border fences and the right of return
    • I have tried to read the single-sentence rant of Tao of Jesus. Perhaps I have failed. I
      think this person is claiming, without submitting any actual evidence, that Jews
      of a Zionist persuasion are overrepresented among employees (especially on-air
      people) at NPR. I don't hear enough about JVP on NPR either, but Tao's statements
      border on the antisemitic. JVP is beginning to get big enough that its opinions
      should be sought by NPR in discussions of Israeli policy, but it ain't there yet and
      there are no grounds for feeling that NPR's treatment of JVP is special. Climb down,
      already.

  • Day 1 at JVP: lemon squares, pinkwashing and high rate of miscarriages in Gaza
    • I do not understand the light and slightly mocking tone of this report. I am attending the JVP National Membership Meeting, and my perceptions differ in gravitas from those of your reporter. JVP has doubled in size since last summer. It seems to be an organization I should have belonged to long ago, but I live in San Diego, politically back of beyond, hence I only heard of it after the war on Gaza took place. I had Zionism down on my list of very bad things and I was a supporter of BDS, but I really hadn't brushed up on the history--hence I was like a lot of the other newbies in JVP. I believe this meeting has been very well planned to get all the new folks up to speed. JVP has welcomed us warmly, and maybe the lemon squares are otiose, but the feeling at this meeting is very good. I no longer feel like a helpless little old lady of 73 unable to contribute, and with the welcome of militants of a new generation, I've put my oar in.

  • In praise of Mr. Netanyahu’s political theater
    • I am speaking as a Jew and as a member of the same chapter of JVP as my friends Dr. Graubart and Mr. Deutch. I very much agree that the speech itself laid bare the heart of an imperialist mob to which both sets of rulers (Congress, Obama, Knesset, Netanyahu) belong--and compared to whose major ideological agreement any differences are minor. Objectors in the Knesset are in the same position of impotence as Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Congress.

      It is much more important, then, to call on the American and Israeli and Palestinian peoples to organize outside of the imperialist and colonialist parties of their rulers in order to resist and overcome them. Does the national JVP's joining of the call to "skip the speech" cut across or support this major strategy?

      At first it seemed to me, as it does to my friends G. and D., an empty gesture carried out in the wrong theater. But consider: more than 50 players in the imperialist theater itself withdrew offstage. Not because they are no longer participants in the charade (which they all have the nerve to call "democracy"), but rather because many of their "constituents" threatened to bolt from the theater as well! Those constituents, like the other Americans whom JVP is trying to reach, were thus able to measure the current relationship of forces while not completely abandoning the idea that countries should be ruled democratically. In other words, JVP (and the others who moved the 50 away from the trough momentarily) made the "skippers" draw a sharp distinction they'd rather not have drawn, between the ideal of democracy and the charade that is the U.S. reality. This is not, then, "empty."

      I think it is important that JVP (and other opponents of this show of dog-and-tail--which is which? we are often led to wonder) maintain the distinction between a "demand" (we demand that the U.S., our government, stop supporting/inciting the Israeli government's war on Palestine that is now becoming a war on whomever they deem to be "goyim") and a "call" (we call on the peoples of the United States and of Palestine to unite behind the demand and to organize separately from the quasi-governmental bodies involved).

  • Netanyahu speech scandal blows up, and 'soiled' Dermer looks like the fall guy
    • I agree that this is a fortuitous and welcome development. These kinds of things
      are the little rocker wheels upon which history turns. Those of us who stand for
      human rights must make the most of it.

  • Obama won't meet Netanyahu during 'bizarre,' 'historic,' 'unprecedented' visit (Updated)
    • I was merely commenting on the widespread use of "unprecedented" to describe the Republican invitation to Netanyahu. It was a similar Republican invitation to MacArthur that brought him to the podium, and the idea was to embarrass Harry S. Truman. As these comments prove, it seems to have backfired.

    • I seem to be the first person in this thread to recall that General Douglas MacArthur invited himself to address a joint session of Congress less than a month after President Harry S. Truman had relieved MacArthur of his post during the Korean war. I must be the oldest person here, but I am at least well placed to observe that history happens twice, but sometimes the first time is the farce and the second time the tragedy.

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