Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4517 (since 2009-11-18 22:41:33)


I'm retired after teaching philosophy for some decades. I am a secular Christian, very interested in biblical scholarship, with decent Greek but must learn some Hebrew. Rather obsessed with ancient multiculturalism and belief that Palestine was always multicultural and multiracial, while Jewish cultural influence in the wider ancient world was greater than is supposed.

Showing comments 4517 - 4501

  • Anti-Zionist protest at LGBTQ conference was smeared as anti-Semitic
    • 'Somewhere between the river and the sea
      A bit of Palestine should be free'. There now - moderate, conciliatory, morally sound, building so many wide bridges you can hardly see the waterway or the abyss. And it rhymes. I waive copyright for the good of the cause.

  • 'Barbarism by an educated and cultured people' -- Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin
    • The belief that they were so cultured, educated and Western contributed to a hideous sense of superiority, with terrible results. This story is quite shocking but it will have very little impact in the Western world.

  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000
    • Mooser might be interested to know that both Gervais and Winslet come from Reading, the talented county town of Berkshire, of which he normally speaks, not sparing my feelings, with a certain air of disrespect.

    • And she duly did both those things, The Reader being the film. She won the Oscar for it around 2010.

  • The irreconcilable differences of liberal Zionism
    • I think that it was because certain terms like 'the natives' and 'going native' had or began to have negative overtones - though 'this is my own, my native land' did not - that 'indigenous' began to supplant 'native'. But there's nothing wrong, I think, with reclaiming words and removing those negatives.
      I think that the Zionists are would-be conquerors, not colonists.

    • I don't know why you describe the questions you want to put to the liberal Zionists as irrational, when they are in truth perfectly sensible and helpful in revealing that lib zio is what yourstruly says it is.
      What we face in the academic world is indeed a demand for censorship and it is based on the idea that any large scale event,, conference or suchlike intended to support the Palestinisn cause - anything that might get itself noticed - is objectionably one -sided and even that threats against them are understsndable. This is what happened here in the UK last year when a big conference was banned at Southampton University. Anyone trying to organise anything relevant anywhere now has to fear a similar fate.
      In truth there is nothing wrong with a one-sided proclamation provided that no one is compelled to listen and that the other side can invite the same audience to its own one-sided event another time.. No one has any obligation to bandy words, though I think occasions may arise in which you invite a response. It would be no bad thing if someone attempted to reply to your three questions: you would have made an impact.

  • 'New York Times' picks up Bernie Sanders's 'socialist' kibbutz but leaves out the ethnic cleansing
    • Axioms are propositions taken to be true without supporting argument. If we take all those 5 as axiomatic the presumably desired conclusion, that Zionism, at least in pre-Nakba form, was justified, still does not emerge. There is no proof that all measures to promote survival, even the wildest, most desperate and most cruel - or even the merely misjudged - are justified even if there are alternatives which may be, on morality or in effect, be better.

    • Yonah is entitled to his definition, though as Ro)Ha explains, this doesn't get him off the hook. It might anyway be convenient to define the term just as the conjunction of its two halves, so that it covers any kind of ethnic or population shift brought about because those causing it regard the others as in some way dirtying the area. At that rate e-c occurs even if the cleansers go the extra expense (which they would probably think proved they were wonderful people) of paying a substantial sum to all those cleansed and in practice encountering very little opposition.

  • Pro-Israel group wants to send army colonel to your campus to explain battle for west's 'way of life'
    • The plan to expand a way of life into a territory where it is not yet practised and to use all means including brute force for the purpose is in any case an immoral one. Many attribute an extreme version of this to Islamic State and are very indignant. But the claim that 'we' can rightly establish 'outposts' of 'our' way where we think it necessary or desirable to do so is not that different.

  • Israeli designer eroticizes the Palestinian keffiyeh
    • Outrageous and extreme political and religious opinions, violently put into practice, do not exclude anyone from normal humanity. I think. So they don't abolish the human rights of those subject to them.
      The Merchant of Venice has its Jewish character vengeful in theory and practice, its Christian characters responding warmly to the idea or theory of being merciful but immediately acting highly vengefully, given the chance - so it displays various parodies. of which Shylock's terrifying speech is one, of the idea that we call 'human rights'.

  • Biggest loser in Iowa was foreign policy
    • I read about the tossed coins and the remarkably improbable result this morning - I thought it was impressively fishy and may do the Clinto reputation no good.

  • 'We are all Jews' -- the Holocaust as imperial export
    • The Hilberg-Arendt theses , both imputing some blame to at least some Jewish people for those dire events, in a sense suggesting timorous or even meek behaviour, were not at all well received in Israel. Those ideas are any event open to objection for overstating the opportunities for resistance, but I also think, especially since reading Snyder's Bloodlands, (I'm not its greatest fan) that there is an underestimate of real opportunities for resistance that were seized. Resistance that was called communist or partisan surely had a Jewish element that will be more recognised as the fog of propaganda lifts. The Jewish people caught up in those things were in a terrible situation but they didn't disgrace themselves.

  • Park Slope Food Coop puts up firewall against boycott of Israeli goods
    • Mooser, you say that occupiers etc. don't get to make rules for those under their thumb. They do get to make them, quite a lot, and often secure obedience to grievous effect. You may say they have no validity under the universal moral law. I did say that someone lashing out against enforcement of some horrible rule, ie under attack and driven beyond endurance, might kill an oppresor without injustice,, so maybe we're not that far apart.
      Might is not right - absolutely true. No one acquires rights by killing and stealing, still less by pursuing a ruthless programme of conquest mendaciously called an occupation. However, I think that if you make a moral demand that the full might of the conqueror be not used and that a certain distinction (resisting and not resisting) be treated as very important you may also, if you are to be consistent, have to impose certain restrictions on yourself.
      Echino - I think you have no patience with making this sort of moral demand, treating that distinction as important, since for you it either doesn't exist - there's nothing from which resistants can distinguish themselves - or at least should be reduced as much as possible, the law solemnly giving everyone the right, which sounds close to the duty, of resisting by any means to hand. This was the view taken in occupied France by those who despised the idea of restraint or 'correctness' on both sides - the resistants de la premiere heure. I understand that idea, though its implications are terrifying in multiple ways.
      We've come a long way from the peaceful world of food co-ops, haven't we?

    • I don't know where this will end up in the sequence - in reply to talknic, I agree that individual situations may have exceptional features - but that doesn't and shouldn't entirely prevent discussion of principles.
      If soldiers in these situations are always on duty and always amid enemies then it follows that they are always under attack and always have the right (which you accord them, I think) to self protection, presumably including lethal forms of precaution and deterrence, just as if they faced an ambush in conventional battle. Unless, surely, there is a practical distinction between active and inactive enemies. It's still my argument, which I don't think anyone has answered, that you can't regard that distinction as practical if instant transition from one status to another is generally permitted.
      Mooser, you refer to excesses and atrocities, theft, forced labour and the like. Some invading foreigners, even Nazis, have shown some temporary restraint in these respects - the occupation of France, by contrast with Poland and the Netherlands, was regarded as 'correct' initially and it was more clearly like that in Denmark for a while, which was why the crisis of Danish Jewry did not arrive for some two years. (I do not attribute good intentions to the Nazis in any respect.) Is the point that the form of resistance should be what most deters excesses by the foreign forces?

    • As to Jon's list of requirements, I would not want to exclude desperate resistance where some small group or even one individual is subject to the enforcement of the will of a hostile force, Ie is already being attacked. If someone lashes out, turns the tables and kills someone I would not call him or her a criminal simply because of not belonging to an organisation with rules.

    • Well, oldgeezer, I am still uncertain about how you can demand that the Wehrmacht man not kill civilians not openly resisting while permitting any civilian at any time to kill him: I don't see how 'not openly resisting' would in that case be a significant, action-guiding category, since it can cease to apply at less than a moment's notice.
      Perhaps there is a distinction between a soldier actively patrolling and searching for resistants and one not so engaged: there is a difference there, surely? There was an incident mentioned in Le Chagrin et Le Pitie, I think, where a patrol was ambushed in the countryside by people pretending to be working the fields. Survivors were still complaining of a 'murderous' attack years later. Perhaps we would say that if they were taken by surprise it was their own folly.
      Mooser rightly mentions our invasion fears back then and the readiness of our leadership to tear up the rule book - nothing banned, higher law and higher necessity perhaps. The Higher Law argument has its own dangers. On the other hand, the more the other side breaks every law of God and humanity the harder everything gets.

    • I think that it may well have been murder if the Wehrmacht soldier was simply there - perhaps if he was taking part in a military operation it may have been different. I did suggest an argument. I'd be interested to know your view.

    • Page: 45
    • Sorry, 1942, dir. Alberto Cavalcanti - 'loosely based', they say, on a story by no less a person than Graham Greene.

    • There was fear of invasion even after the Battle of Britain - do you know the 1943 film 'Went the day well?' which is about a dastardly German raid on an English village, quite possibly in Berkshire,. They are preparing the way for an invading force with the aid of a rich smoothie collaborator.
      I didn't say that any argument is beyond error or critique.

    • Just to add that I"m not saying that the point I make is conclusive, only that I don't think that Jon66's 'facts' can be dismissed quite as conclusively and simply as may first appear.

    • Thanks for comments, lysias and Kris. There were many in British circles who were preparing to give the Wenrmacht a very ferocious welcome in 1940. The Independent yesterday had an article about the formation of the Home Guard, often portrayed as a comic organisation, was a cover for a plan of ruthless terrorist resistance. The head of the Secret Intelligence Service was asked 'Is anything banned'? and replied 'Nothing'. The almost ununiformed nature of the Home Guard and the assassination of senior Germans planned by the Auxiliary, secret behind enemy lines, units both raised certain problems. Joseph Kennedy was horrified to hear that some Americans in London wanted to form a Home Guard unit, saying that the Germans would feel entitled to shoot all Americans they could find. The ruthlessness of the plans is understandable, of course.
      Kris is quite right to say that the requirement to be distinguished from the mass of people may set a standard that in effect forbids that kind of resistance.
      However, none of that shows that the argument I mentioned is invalid. If we ask the occupiers and conquerors to keep to the rules we surely have to accept that the rules will limit resistance also, or limit what can be done against horrible people doing bad things.

    • Is it so completely clear, talknic, that military personnel are always valid targets? If we call on soldiers not to use violence against members of the civil population who are not openly resisting them then it is hard to see how we can give members of that civil population the right to ambush soldiers, ie suddenly change from being unresisting civilians to bring combatants or resistants. If we gave that right to civilians in general then 'not openly resisting' would not be a stable or reliable description.
      I don't get much involved in the legal arguments here but I've come across the phrase 'distinguishing themselves from the civil population' as an obligation of resistants, presumably by more than actually attacking someone. That does seem to make some sense.

  • 'I cannot support Israel as long as Netanyahu is in office'-- many American Jews are saying
    • That, Les, is a really good question. It may also be asked of all claims to a Eminent Domain based on any consideration, such as the general advancement of civilisation.

  • Cultural Zionism good, political Zionism bad
    • I share Sibiriak's scepticism about the Confederated States. I can't make sense of the self-determination of groups. If every individual had their rights that would be good. It is possible that in a situation where those rights were granted there would be a genuine agreement on two states. But if that agreement were based on equality in the decision-making process it would result in nothing like the pre-67 partition, with a massively greater share of land and resources for one side.
      Still less would it result in what is occasionally offered in a half-hearted way by Israeli governments, that is a massively armed and powerful Isrsel beside a demilitarised Palestinian protectorate, unable to defend or even speak for itself - the formula that there must not ever be a request in the future for a better deal is often mentioned. That is what a confederacy based on the 67 borders would have to be.
      The international consensus in favour of the 67 borders is really a miserable thing. International committees lack and have never had - who do,they think they are? - the right to break up or give away territory regardless of the inhabitants' consent, in this case the right to insist that the Palestinians accept something which is quite screamingly unfair. The consensus is based solely on the wish that these people would just stop bothering us.
      Israel is planning its own method of making them stop bothering us, which is removing them from the place altogether but for a remnant compatible with Israeli culture. The wicked plan for population transfer is slowly coming into the open, even here where the Nakba justifiers are being joined by the Nakba intensifiers. I don't look at American right-wing websites very much but I stumbled on one the other day - it's called Townhall - where this proposal was made fair and square. The illogical sweet talk of the liberal Zionists is something of a smokescreen.

    • At this rate, cultural Zionism seems to be the belief that people who are Jewish have always had a right to create in Palestine an area where Jewish culture flourishes. In a certain sense this seems utterly innocuous. The same right has been exercised in London and New York: in parity, there are Englsh cultural colonies in some Italian cities.
      However, if the claim is intensified to include the right to acquire political power beyond what is usual for individuals, to override normal tmmigration rules and to use force, even extreme force, even to the point of driving others out from the desired cultural area then it becomes, from the first step, morally mistaken and misleading.
      At that point it is not redeemed by added liberalism in the sense (which it seems to have here) of being happy with the existence of other cultural areas in reasonably close proximity. In itself this form of liberalism - an insistent presence, a half-assurance that demands are limited (on,y half, because more may always be needed for the security of what we have) a confident, sweeping promise of benefits for all - is patronising and menacing. Its further implications are worse.

  • After 'tepid' welcome at Israeli Embassy, Obama's pro-Israel speech brought down the house
    • If I said that I feared aJewish conspiracy that would control the lives of my children and assassinate them if they resisted I would be regarded as much worse than eccentric, indeed as mentally ill, stupid and malevolent. But the comparable Jewish fears are treated as acceptable: people who are not even regarded as eccentric and who hold highly respected positions may voice them. If it is said that the history of Jewish suffering justifies all these fears we should ask what the resemblance is between previous societies that caused people to flee and the contemporary societies of the West - and should expect a reasoned answer, such as I have never seen, just as I have never actually felt threatened from any Jewish quarter.
      Moreover 'I can't trust you, even when I have no specific evidence' implies 'You can't trust me: I suspect, fear and despise you too much'.

  • The Israeli government is as responsible for Duma murders as those who threw the firebomb
    • Anyone can prejudiced, unfair and unjust towards White people, something which I might call racist. White Jewish people have been known to be at the receiving end of injustice; perhaps that was not because of their whiteness but it shows that being White is not always a protection against serious harm.
      It may be that white people in general are so powerful that they cannot in general be harmed by prejudice, so if your definition of racism includes the proviso that it should be harmful on a significant scale then again it may be, just may be, that we shall find that Whites never experience racism in that particular sense. But that would be to treat exposed subgroups of Whites as if their vulnerability did not matter, which in itself seems to be a kind of damaging prejudice.

  • Dennis Ross says Clinton was the only president to stamp down anti-Israel forces inside the White House
    • Well. Ross says that 'apartheid' means oppression of a large majority. He is entitled to use the word as he wants, but what word does he apply to the disfranchisement by a sovereign power of a large minority subject to it? Does that practice, under whatever label, seem acceptable to him?
      And I agree with David K that if this undeclared term applies to the whole Sea to River area, what tern except 'apartheid' applies to the WB? - Except that I think 'apartheid' is too generous, since it is not just that the Palestinians are being set apart but that they are being set up for expulsion and annihilation as a political force.

  • 'Maximum Jews, minimum Palestinians' -- Yair Lapid is the pretty face of ultranationalism
    • Another illustration, I think, of how liberal Zionism is in a hopeless position and of how its beloved project, the 2ss, is not around any nearby corner.
      From their Western fastnesses the liberals often strike the pose, which may be all too sincere, of Israel's best friends, who just know that 'the occupation' is not in Israel's best interest or that the 'security' apparatus surrounding it is excessive or counterproductive. But they cannot find anyone of political significance on the ground who agrees with them, on the contrary finding that those who voice admiration for Western liberalism think 'the occupation' and the 'shoot on sight of a screwdriver' security measures are essential. The liberals are then left saying that matters of national interest and security are best judged from a long distance, by people whose own involvement is sympathetic but not immediate, whose own lives, property, families etc are not at direct risk. Even they don't really believe that.

  • 'If we lose the West Bank, we lose everything': An evening with a liberal Israeli
    • I agree with that - Zionism demands control, in accordsnce with Biblical tradition, of all Plalestine. If some of the land goes the principle is frustrated.
      It won't happen any time soon.

  • Among the settlers
    • The settlers have sometimes talked to critical visitors - but that is to invite posing and bravado. I see the value of having some illustration of how they talk among themselves. I do agree that deception is always problematic.

    • I was saying that Phil's words were not weaselly. He wasn't suggesting that he might not share the world's perception of illegality. I think that your own remarks, Harry, show that claims about law-breaking do make sense - they may well mean that, just as you say, that prosecutors and courts ought to act.
      I also think that Phil was quite right to say that world opinion in general thinks that the settlements are illegal.
      I was also thinking of moral law, in the end the most important.

    • I don't see those words as weaselly, maybe a bit too optimistic. The settlers are breaking laws of many kinds and the world sees this clearly: the second clause is a significant addition. And true in that the settlers are unpopular in most of the world, slightly disowned even in Israel. However, the West tends to think of them as untypical and unrepresentative of the society that underpins them.

  • The world the settlers made
    • There is a long article in Norman Finkelstrein's blog by Nathaniel Popper 'In Memory of a Mensch' about Hilberg, his relationship (quite negative; they never met) with Arendt, and alleged Jewish responsibilities. 2010, July I think.

    • I think that Denis is producing something comparable to the remarks of Hilberg and Arendt about the destruction of European Jewry, which caused great anger (though they did not agree with each other in many respects) by saying that the victims, through their efforts to make the best of the reality they faced, bore some of the blame. I don't think that Denis is a Nakba justifier. We have heard similar sentiments from Theo.
      I've never found Hilberg-Arendt that persuasive. Arendt, very much influenced by Plato, should have paid more regard to Plato's picture of tyranny in full flood. Outsider calls for victims to face reality less and resist it more can be somewhat imperceptive.

  • Israeli mayors initiate boycott of Sweden over foreign minister's criticism
    • Miracles do happen, of course, but I think that Levy is right and Sfard unconvincing for the short and medium terms. It's interesting that Sfard's optimism flourishes on a visit to NY, the world capital of liberal Zionism. There must be many liberal Zionists telling themselves that the nightmare is almost over and that their consciences will soon be clear. But their readiness to tell themselves that is another reason why there is really very little current pressure on Israel. The provinces of the liberal Zionist empire seem to include every European country (perhaps the Swedes are a little restive) and significant religious organisation.

    • The recent television drama The Bridge III, a Danish-Swedish co-production, had as one of its themes the Danish view that the Swedes have an excessively earnest preoccupation with human rights. In real life, as far as I can tell, the new Prime Minjster, Mr. Rasmussen, seems to have avoided much involvement with the ME problem. I think the Danes will just keep quiet.

  • Kerry and Shapiro bring the one-state news the NYT failed to deliver
    • I don't altogether agree with the imagery of closing doors and things' becoming impossible. Israel has locked and barred the door from the beginning but could at any time throw it wide open. It's as possible as it's always been. They're just not going to do it. Refusal is a sign of possibility. Refusal in the face of incessant appeals is a sign of power.

  • Clinton baits Sanders over 'destruction of Israel'
    • She did lose to Obama after unfair attacks but in the mist important of those, the one concerning Jeremiah Wright - which was really about the ME - she failed only because Obama responded so brilliantly by convincing everyone that it was dreadfully unfair to think that he shared or had ever shared or had ever given Wright reason to think he might share Wright's view of life. The promises he made at that point coukd never be retracted. Whether he sold his soul thinking he could buy it back when in office or whether he had no soul to sell may be debated. Part of the upshot was the boost to Ms.C by becoming Secretary of State. She and the Zionists among her backers have reason to think they know their business well.

    • We certainly face propaganda, which has worked fairly well, whereby the call for the destruction of an oppressive system in the name of human rights is portrayed as a call for death and destruction regardless of human rights. It may not work for ever.

  • Israel destroys homes for Bedouins, builds homes for Jews
    • I think that this is the battle that will decide the future of the ME. No one human group has ever kept another of comparable size in subjection for ever and ever. So the plan must be make the Palestians decline to the point where many will accept a 'generous' resettlement scheme and a small, culturally acceptable remnant can settle down to being favoured and subsidised, with scholars from round the world (in a nightmare vision) competing to give the Museum of Palestine Annual Lecture, which will always be sternly critical of Israel. All this would be part of a rather grotesque, but absolutely necessary, 'proof' of being on a higher moral plane than certain other violent powers in world history.
      I have been convinced that this plan was not even beginning to work and that the enormous resources it would need are nowhere to hand. So I was disturbed to see Weareallmadeofstars' remarks. Is there hard evidence that the plan is indeed beginning to work?

  • 'Little Jewboy' moment highlights coming divorce between US Jews and Israel
    • I do see what you mean, yt. I admit that anti-Zionism, even if rooted in belief in common humanity, can itself go wrong and produce excesses and crimes but it is still a different thing from anti-Semitism, whose roots are not in that belief. I understand that even humane anger at events such as the Gaza horrors may lose its good sense and produce, but not excuse, anti-Zionist excesses. However I hope that the element of humanity and sense of shared humanity in this sentiment will always act as a major restraint.

    • The sentiment building up around the world might be strong objection to what is being done by certain people who are Jewish - and who remind you twice a minute that they are operating a 'Jewsish Stste' - but I hope and believe that it is not anti-Semitism but something more to do with our common humanity.

  • Israel arrests human rights campaigner Ezra Nawi and puts gag order on case as part of growing 'witch hunt' against activists
    • I'd think of racism as prejudice based on ancestry, so unreasonable claims made on the basis of ancestry, which being unreasonable must result from prejudice, certainly qualify. Zionism makes unreasonable claims, I believe, on grounds of ancestry linked to a certain religion, so is racist by my standards. I think that any Palestinian might have some good reason for not wanting to sell property to people who are involved in advancing this race-based agenda: it would not be on the purchasers' ancestry that this reluctance was based.

  • Groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report shows how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli occupation
    • I do think that millions of people can believe something that is completely good or completely bad - or not far short of completely. There's not too much wrong, to look on the brighter side, with the moral aspects of the 10 commandments.
      I take Zionism, to look on the darker side, to be the belief that Jewish people, and they only, have an inherent right (birthright) to a share of sovereignty in the Holy Land, others only by the grace and generosity of the true heirs. I think that this is completely false and stood no chance of being implemented and turned into practical reality without extreme and continuing cruelty.

  • Pope Francis's missed opportunity to speak the truth
    • You take the enduring covenant, WJ, to be the same covenant that we have - and indeed the Pope's language of fraternity supports that view. I'm sure the same language will be used in his forthcoming Mosque address and many will applaud it. But there is another meaning of enduring covenant, that is that the special relationship with God of old times continues unchanged even though there is now a second covenant applying to the nations in general. Sinai stands and Calvary does not modify it.
      The first interpretation is surely a theological rejection of Zionism: if we all share in the same covenant there are no distinctive rights and no strictly distinctive status for Jewish people. The second interpretation is a theological endorsement of Zionism - the divine laws which established the Jewish Kingdom are in full force.
      I think and fear that the ambivalence of the enduring covenant idea is going to lead to much misunderstanding and recrimination.

    • Marc is a believer in prophecy but the Pope is practising a kind of diplomacy and these two are very hard to combine.

  • British Parliamentarians pay homage to Dick Cheney during debate over ISIS
    • It's a truism that there are risks in inaction, of course there are. I think that Cheney is famous for an absurd extension of this truth into 'the 1% doctrine', which called for a violent response to a risk even as low as 1%, whose immoral nature as a cloak for any exercise of power that takes your fancy and whose start-at-shadows paranoia ought to be obvious. I don't think that Cameron and his cohorts want to be reminded of this. If I'm maligning Cheney please correct me. It's late at night in the UK.

  • Extremists vandalize Jerusalem church with Hebrew threats: 'Death to heathen Christians'
    • Is it your view, AD, that Jesus was forgiving his Jewish opponents and was not listened to? This seems to be a widespread reading and I note that Bart Ehrman shares it, arguing that the absence of these words from some important manuscripts is due to removal by anti-Jewish Christians. For years I had thought that the natural reading was that he forgives or calls on God to forgive the ignorant Roman squaddies - and was listened to.
      It could well be argued that people inflamed by fanatical talk and are young with no real experience outside their bubble 'know not what they do'.

  • Are Palestinian citizens of Israel banned from New York Times headlines?
    • Ms. A seems to be saying, per Annie's quote, that she is in some degree making the best of a bad job. We might see her as taking up the offer made by Zionism since Altneuland, which amounts to saying that though the on,y natural rights in the Holy Land (now commonly called birthright)!belong to people who are Jewish, others may share these rights by the grace and generosity of the true heirs. I think it is very important to the Zionist project that a small,,culturally compatible non-Jewish minority survives - looking smart and well cared for - in the long term, whatever terrible things 'have to' be done to many from the same background. But then the tender mercies of people operating a plan of conquest are not very nice, even if they seem like the best of a bad job to some people.

    • As for names that sound like 'Palestine' there's a good study by Mark Weeden of SOAS, London, called 'After the Hittites: the Kingdoms of Karkamish and Palistin' (2013). For my money the Hittites called themselves Palestinians, at least after the loss of their northern territories and relocation of the capital to Karkamish maybe not long after 1200, and the 'ist' element in the name represents a word like 'hestia', making 'Palestine' = 'the land of hearth and home'. Mind you, there's a danger of being over-imaginative in relating the northern Philistines with the 'classic Philistines' further south, seemingly called 'Peleset' by the Egyptians. And sometimes Palestine seems to be Walestine - makes you wonder who the Welsh really are.

    • Maybe we can agree to differ rather than pursue a question rather tangential to Mindoweiss' main concerns. I think we are agreed that names had a political significance back then.

    • Well, I think that Koine speakers were already accustomed to speak of 'Palestine' as the standard name of Palestine, as per Aristotle authorised by Herodotus. I do suspect thst the LXX translators, knowing of this (in their time) established usage, wished to convey the otherness and foreignness of the non-Jewish presence in Palestine. Thanks for the reference to elloipos - I see that they recommend the Victorian translation of the LXX by Sir Lancelot Brenton, a copy of which stands on my shelf. It has indeed never been superseded! Mind you, one should indeed be careful not to read modern motives into ancient actions, as you say.

    • To me this is only half good news - it resists Israeli policy, but the suggestion of a 'stark distinction' is misleading and conscience-salving. Israel 67 is where what Beinart calls 'fundamental oppression' (he does have a few apt phrases!) is taking place but Israel 48 differs at very best by being the place where the same oppression is organised rather than overtly taking place. That's not a very stark distinction,

    • It's been going on for some time. As the Greek Bible began to take shape the word 'Philistines' in the Hebrew text mutated at almost every significant point to 'assorted foreigners'.

  • African asylum seekers fear for safety with racism on the rise in Israeli society
    • I share the view that anything we say along these lines should be considered and put in context and that chucking a few 'proof texts' around without thought about context, background etc, usually proves nothing. I'm thinking especially of some of the Islamophobes. This should be remembered when it comes to statements associating religious traditions with cruelty in an absolute and unqualified way, but then the contrary statements - traditions from old times have nothing at all to do with cruelty now - are also unqualified statements. Some unqualified statements may in the end be true.
      I remain concerned about some of the texts which as a Christian I am supposed to regard as sacred.

    • Defining terms is very important when people are trying to mislead.

    • Heaven knows where this will end up in the sequence.
      All logic depends on distinguishing definitions from descriptions, but that doesn't make definitions (words about words) unimportant. They are essential if we are to use descriptions effectively.
      I think that prejudices do indeed exist among all groups but claiming that they exist is a different matter than using a term to apply to them. 'Anti-gentilism' perhaps - though I find the word 'gentile' and its derivatives deeply unpleasant and like to avoid them.

    • Perhaps we're close to an understanding on this point,,Keith, and I hope I have, by now at least, made myself clear about my use of 'anti-Semitism' to mean 'anti-Jewish prejudice'. Making ourselves clear is all that any of us can do to prevent Zionists or others from 'twisting of our words'.
      I seem to have responded in the wrong tone to your question and I quite understand your concern. It's true that I am applying the term to some thoughts that have no major consequences, so if I call something anti-S I am not thereby saying it has terrible effects, just that it is in itself an example of prejudice - even though no political prejudice is completely trivial.
      I wanted to mention to you why I would not call anti-Zionism anti-Semitism.
      It might help me, not that helping me is a major objective of Mondoweiss, if others would give their definitions too.

    • If there was such a thing as belief among Jewish people that non-Jewish people were inveterately anti-Semitic, what about labelling it 'paranoid antipathy to non-Jews'? Not very snappy, perhaps. Saying how you would label something if you found it is of course not the same thing as saying that you have found it or that it exists, which is another matter.
      And one might use 'irrational antipathy against white people' in parity. Again, the claim that this sentiment actually exists is another matter.
      Definitions are words about words. They are not descriptions or words about the world.

    • I didn't say 'and nothing more'. I suppose that in anything I (and you, I expect) would call 'Jew hatred' there would be a major element of prejudice: which had better be true, or there would be such a thing as 'Jew hatred' which was unprejudiced in any major degree and therefore somewhat rational.
      If you cross the line into prejudiced, therefore not rational, negative ideas about Jewish people the term 'anti-Semitic' applies to you, as far as I'm concerned, whether or not you proceed into hatreds and hostilities.
      Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitic in my opinion because it expresses reason and not prejudice.
      If you wanted a term for 'prejudice with no further expression'' maybe 'limited anti-Semitism' would be suitable.
      I'm saying how I use this term. No one owns words and others may use it differently. I think that one of the problems is that people don't explain what they mean, do not take much care with emotionally loaded terminology and speak inconsistently. The term 'anti-Semitc' is certainly canvassed and exploited by those who will not say clearly what they mean by it.
      I still ask what is the unprejudiced assessment of ethics influenced by the remarkable poetry of Isaiah 34.

    • Anti-Semitism to me, Sibiriak, is anti-Jewish prejudice. We have recently noted, with the aid of Shmuel commenting on vandalism, Isaiah 34, whose Greek translators introduced the unforgettable term 'day of judgement', which has so much influenced Christianity. There's a very good note on this passage by R. Coggins in the Oxford Bible Commentary, mentioning the horrific portrait of a human community made into a huge sacrifice and the way in which the atmosphere of the piece anticipates the modern genre of. science fiction. Margaret Barker in the Eerdmans Commentary regards the victims as supernatural beings fallen from heaven.
      What are we, fairly and without prejudice, to say of 'Judaeochristian' or 'Abrahamic' ethics if they are influenced by this passage or poem and by others like it?

    • The complaint, right or wrong, was not that too few individual Israelis sponsor immigrants but that too many maltreat immigrants on arrival. In any event, refugees in fear of their lives should be admitted everywhere without question of individual sponsorship. Those admitted should be treated reasonably and certainly not put in renewed fear on racial grounds. I admit I'm not sure that we honour these principles in London or Reading much better than they do in Tel Aviv.

    • Ungrammatical, sorry.

    • It's a sad story. I can't immediately think of any incident here like the bus station murder but the simmering atmosphere doesn't seem so different from what we find in the UK that I won't be looking on Israelis with any special smugness.

  • Methodist divestment highlights Israel's place in the world
    • Maybe Zionist opinion will now swing behind the Brexit campaign, which might lead, some are saying, to the collapse of the EU. That'd teach them.

  • A Response to Ben Norton on silence over war in Yemen
    • if the 'complicated' story about Yemen is true, ie that the both the Saudis and their allies and also anti-Saudi side are of very questionable popular support and have committed atrocities there has to be some limit to commitment to either side. It's not clear that either side has a moral point so clearly convincing that other problems can be overlooked. By contrast the Pakestinians can make an uncomplicated point, that they suffer fundamental oppression and daily cruelty in the name of Zionism, a false idea.
      To be pro-Palestinian is certainly to oppose Western policy in a very important respect and so to hope that the success of the Palestinian cause will bring change to the West, that is discourage the delusions and the distorted decision processes which have made Western policy so bad. It is not, in logic, to think that everything the West does is bad or that everyone whom the West supports is, just by having that support, the greater evil. So I don't think that it is illogical or hypocritical, still less anti-Semitic, for pro-Palestinians not to mobilise over Yemen.
      That said, I think that we in the West do need and need urgently to re-think our readiness to prop up despotic regimes because we are so afraid of instability in the oil lands. There are, as was rightly said above, both moral and practical reasons.

  • 'Netanyahu at War' on PBS was dreadful but not without interest
    • Black female admirers of Donald Trump are to be estimated in the same way as their white male counterparts. Anything else would be racist and patronising: there is no racial imbalance when it comes to common sense.
      Mondoweiss is under attack from impostors. This should stop. As should the Nakba justifications and the threats.

    • ''What doth the Lord thy God require of thee?' asks the King James Version of Micah 6:8. The answer is to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

  • Another Netanyahu lie exposed: Hamas is not ISIS
    • I'd understand Netanyahu to be saying that Hamas and ISIS are so alike in their ultimate aims that any differences are insignificant in practice, hence that there is no serious distinction, hence that they may - in language seriously used - be identified with each other. I am sure he means this in the fullest sense of the words, au pied de la lettre. He does not mean to be understood as using metaphor or hyperbole. People on Mondoweiss who have studied these things say both that significant differences do indeed exist as to ultimate aim and to legitimate means do indeed exist and that this is sufficiently obvious for N's statement as it stands to be classified as a lie. They may be wrong about Hamas, though for my money they aren't. But I'm sure they're not attacking a straw man.
      However, I don't want anyone prepared to operate within the rules to bud adieu to Mondoweiss.

  • The sons of Sa'ir
    • Israel holds under its sovereign power a large number of people whom it disfranchises, is has constitutional processes to which some have full access while masses of others, just as much subject to its decisions and decrees, are excluded. That is the heart of the problem and it has no parallel elsewhere. In other states formed in part by colonisation and conquest and in others where there is a long way to go before we are free of racism - I include the UK in both those categories - there is enfranchisement and the opportunities that come with that. United States citizenship is a thing reasonably to be sought if you live in that part of the world and want to do some good, it's the wrongs of the present that need to be righted.

    • Not anthropophagi; nor do their heads grow beneath their shoulders.

    • I'd put it to Mr.M that to react to any objection to anything with some significant Jewish connection,,such as the way Palestinians are treated by the self-proclaimed Jewish state, by claiming that it must be an example of anti-Semitism,, ie historic prejudice against Jews, amounts to a claim to Jewish impeccability - which cannot be right because Jewish people ate (only) human.

    • The Land of Creation, where Adam named the animals, was Iraq, surely. There's plenty wrong there: and whose fault is that?

  • Sick of Zionism’s stranglehold on Jewish culture? There is an alternative.
    • There's a new article in Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentlische Wissenschaft (in English, I think) by Israel Finkelstein arguing that Chronicles is greatly concerned with territorial expansion and reflects the Hasmonean agenda. You may say that this expansion was all within the Promised Land but what moral difference does it make if the expansionist merely says that the whole territory was promised by God to him? In a way it makes the whole thing more terrifying, even if the claim of divine donation is actually true. On the whole, though, Zionists do not ask us to accept the theory of divine donation as the truth. Judaism and Christianity both have brilliant theological ideas but Judaism - and Zionism even more emphatically - still bears the marks of the Hasmonean period, just as we bear the marks of the Crusades.

    • And see II Samuel 22:44 'nations I did not know are subject to me'

    • I'd take 'nation' to mean a group of real people treated in certain stories as a) having an affinity with each other and no comparable affinity with anyone else b) glorious c) to be trusted, because affinity promotes cohesion and glory inspires admiration and trust, with political power d) associated with a certain territory.
      The group may not be defined clearly either in extension (who belongs to it) or in intension (what are the crucial characteristics) and it may be that not everyone claimed for the group by the stories would want to be claimed.
      There then arises political debate, often impassioned and often very protracted, about whether the stories are true, but this is of limited importance because political rights are not determined by stories about groups in the past but by facts about individuals in the present, though a few historical facts about how individuals came to be where they are - as refugees, as invaders, as normal participants in a social contract - remain important.

    • My reply to Yoni has slipped into the wrong slot, sorry.

    • 'Mentally crippled' is violent language, Yoni. I think we have to accept that all the major views of religion can look strange and somewhat frightening from the outside - 'he thinks THAT?!' - but are all held by people who are not disabled mentally in the sense of having some generally remarked lack of ability to reason, to gather information or to have humane feelings. I've been impressed by your arguments about the Palestine problem in all these respects.
      On another level I' m concerned about the appearance here of comments about Judaism harsher than I wpuld expect to see about Islam or Christianity.

    • It might seem that the ancient Israelites and Judahites were not in the position where they were already in possession of one land and then moved on to seize another. I would say first that this, if it is the whole truth, not does not distinguish them from other smaller political units of those days, who may have had fairly frequent frontier squabbles but few big territory shifts and often put themselves under the protection of greater powers (Jerusalem/Babylon; Samos/Athens). Second, that it is not quite the whole truth: if you read the stories connected with David, Joab and Edom and with Omri, Ahab and Moab do you really see simply an ideology of defence of the promised land?
      The idea of a kingdom from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates, connected to the area from which 'the United Monarchy' is said to have drawn tribute, is part of the political ideology of the Hebrew or Hebrew-Greek Bible.
      Many other conquerors have said 'not for us, but for Liberty!' or 'not for us, but for God!' - vain propaganda, you may say. But does the story of Joshua, where 'tribes' subsisting in the desert invade a more prosperous area and drive out, sometimes kill, and take possession from people who have done them no harm really put those tribes on to a moral plane clearly different from that of others at the time or since? Does the claim 'this was God's promise' make such a difference to the true description - conquest, frightfulness - of these events, as they are reported to us? To the evaluation of the events if you accept the theology, perhaps.
      Alexander's claim to be liberating the cities was in great part dishonest propaganda but contained a grain of truth.
      Well, all these old things are long gone. But it surprises me that the Joshua narrative should be treated as it is, with much desire for its truth, and with the assumption that it is in some way a sound moral basis for claims to peaceful possession - and a peaceful disposition - both in those old days and now.

    • I'm sure it's true that Judaism has - present tense - no programme of conquest. No mainstream religion has. For the ancient world things are not so clear cut: everyone calls Joshua's activities a conquest, evidently portrayed as pursued with little restraint against people who had done the conquerors no harm. You might say that the Bible paints a kindlier, if slightly less significant in religious terms, picture of the Persian Cyrus than of the Israelite Joshua, traces of whose work modern Israel has made massive efforts to unearth. Perhaps the Joshua Conquest did not really happen, but in King John just before 100 BCE we find a real and very significant expansionist and sometimes harsh ruler, whose territory was never on the grand scale but who surely left a greater matk on history than is often acknowledged.

  • Why are American pro-Palestinian voices silent about the brutal war on Yemen?
    • Dragons lay eggs, I suppose. Cutting off its head doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be lots more little dragons - o mi God, I'm sounding like that horrible woman - left to cause trouble.

  • How Zionism helped create the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
    • I still think that in view of the publicity a statement from the Principal would be useful to the public in the same way as a statement from each of the conflicting parties might have been useful to him. If he approached both students without indicating that he was on the side of either one he may have been acting fairly. The video of intimidation didn't play for me, so I may have missed important information. There is a possible constructive outcome in the form of wider discussion of the topic at school level.

    • Has the Principal given any explanation?

  • The candidates debate the U.S./Israeli relationship
    • The 'Coptic' murder to which she refers took place in New Jersey in 2005 and was utterly horrific. The name was Armanious. The wider family blamed the Muslim community in NJ, it would appear, because the father of the family had certainly expressed strongly negative views about Islam. However in 08 'physical evidence" was found which led to the confession by and then the conviction of the fsmily's former upstairs tenant, who appeared to have no Muslim connections, He had joined a conspiracy to rob them. His sentence was 300 years and he appealed without success.

  • 'Had I only known less, perhaps I would have lived here'
    • Am I right in thinking that the nativist groups of the time were to some extent a loosely organised conspiracy against 'non-natives' and suspected of terrorism - and that they got their name because they were trained to say 'I know nothing' when questioned by the police?

  • Goodbye to all that (my Jewish-WASP shtik)
    • So we are talking about the universal rights of groups who have little in common and who are denoted by a word which may not mean much?

  • Our Top Ten posts of 2015
    • Yes, amigo, endless boring rain over here in the Deep South (my iPad insists that I capitalise that phrase) of England, in the North worse. One of my wife's friends in Northumberland expects to be out of her home for 6 months. Peter Belmont has a right to remind us of the climate change problem. At least we've had some vocal discontent with the complacent Cameron. When it comes to Zionism he's rather worse than complacent, as you know.

    • Perhaps Ireland has more Mondoweiss readers per head of population even than the Unted States, with us in the UK a little behind. Keep up the good work!
      I was delighted to see Shmuel's return - missing seafoid and Walid.

  • Who Do You Honor?
    • I think that Mondoweiss is by no means a place of bigotry, but one where great efforts are made to respond to any argument that approaches being reasonable.
      Anyway, we confront an Israeli apologist who does not deny, it seems, that Israel actively limits the human rights of Palestinians but puts Palestinians into the category of those whose rights deserve to be limited. The normal members of this category are children, not voting, and criminals, losing liberty. This categorisation of Palestinians, these analogies, are extraordinarily insulting, in their own way inhuman. I wish to mention that they are not only that but also illogical.
      If people's rights are rightfully limited it is either because they are in the hands of others who can be trusted to protect them or because there is an overwhelming public interest put into effect by those who represent the public. Nowhere do we with any semblance of right or reason put them into the hands of others whose personal or communal interests conflict with theirs and who have every intention of putting their own interests first.
      But that is what happens when Israel, a deeply self-interested party, sits in judgement on Palestinian rights (when it has no incentive to judge impartially!) and presumes to limit them. So yes, there are people around whose talk of human rights deserves discredit, but it isn't us.

  • US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the 'special relationship'
    • The threat may not be in the least bit realistic - though I don't particularly trust illustrious universities - and the intended victim may be of Imperturbable sang froid. Still it should be a matter of principle that a forum of rational discussion should not allow itself to be used to convey threats and people who have uttered threats should never be allowed to participate again.

    • I'll,just say again that one might normally think that the existence of a big and expensive lobbying system, fully accepted within the wider system and not counteracted by anything equivalent on the other side, would indicate that the lobbyists, in whatever cause,,are exercising a degree of control. There is no reason that I can see to set this argument aside just because the lobby in question is Isrsel-linked.
      It's also true that the system would not operate if it were not in the interests of the politicians who are lobbied and to a degree controlled: no contradiction there, I think. It's also true that the system is regarded as morally good by most of those involved - and in a casual sort of way by a large mass of people - because 'Israel's security is sacrosanct'.
      There's not much point in saying things are nonsensical or absurd, that people are intellectually lazy and so on, without giving reasons - and much of that stuff constitutes personal attack which Mondoweiss says it will not publish. Mind you I now see Mondoweiss publishing a personal attack not just in the form of negative words but in the form of an employment-related threat. This really should not happen.

    • The two propositions just mentioned, that Israel might have attacked Iran on its own, regardless of dire consequences for others, and that it has control of US power, in important even if limited respects, both do imply that Israel is in some degree a tail wagging the dog. I tend to think that the first proposition is false, seeing that the "'threats', based on annual,repetition of 'an Iranian bomb next year, I tell you!' got more and more hollow every time. I tend to think that the second is true, else what sense does the existence of a vast lobbying apparatus make?

  • Novel featuring Palestinian-Jewish romance threatens 'Jewish identity,' Israeli gov't rules
    • That's the most realistic and encouraging wish that I've encountered for a long time. I'm sure we all reciprocate it.

  • Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps
    • The Teflon of the Man is made of years of uncritical thinking, unstoppable habit and abundant money. The likes of us have made the transition from negligible to noticeable, which I think is very much to the credit of Mondoweiss especially. The transition from noticed to respected has yet to be made. But perhaps the Man will turn out to be like King Minos' bronze version, who had a little catch behind his knee - if you could find and open it his life would flow right out.

  • Top ten ways Muslim-Americans can do more
    • To add that the demand for partition was unreasonable and the claim to enforce it by military means outrageous, as was any claim that an international committee had the right to authorise it. Refugees (not that all immigrants of the time were refugees) have a right to be protected but not a right to dismantle the sovereign power whose protection they seek and take over some of its territory. Imagine if the Syrian refugees claimed the right to turn Bavaria into Lesser Syria. Any international committee supervising a territory on a temporary basis has an obvious duty to care for the interests of the inhabitants at least as carefully as they would care for it themselves, since it is only their best interests that can justify the international intervention in the first place.

    • The quote marks are indeed interesting. 'If partition had not been accepted, what you call ethic cleansing would not have occurred' - that may (or indeed may not) be true, but is just as plausible to substitute 'if partition had not been demanded' - then the questions would be: was the demand for partition so reasonable in all the circumstances that its refusal justified the so-called cleansing? Whatever we call it, this event involved the exclusion of a multitude from their homes, which is unjustifiable absolutely and a scandal, by whatever name we call it. The difference between a home and a prison is that you have the right to come and go, leave and return, without anyone's permission.

    • If the Martians suggested that they should take over the county of Berkshire, where I live, saying that it was less than 1% of the surface of Earth and a negligible sacrifice for Earthlings in general I would not agree. An act should be assessed by its impact on those affected, otherwise there is no role for sympathy (without which we are not really ethical beings) or for individual rights. It's not as if stealing from one person is OK because a ten thousand others are untouched. Nakba justification rolls on, sometimes with a maddening touch of cynicism.

  • Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step
    • I've often noted that Nakba justification, in all its horror (somewhat masked by complacency) often appears here and often wondered what the fate of a Holocaust justifier would be. Mind you, if we had no Nakba justifiers I suppise would have no Zionists.

  • Brazil and Israel square off in diplomatic showdown over settler envoy
    • Is he the deeply civilised wine connoisseur and committed opponent of apartheid of whom we have heard before or was that someone else?

  • In rare move, Palestinian police kick Israeli soldiers out of West Bank town
    • I have no such record as a fearless (or any other kind of) warrior, so I am more hesitant. It isn't easy to demand elite courage or other exceptional qualities from average people, I suppose. The experience of occupied Europe in WW2 has often been discussed and it seems that most people tried to find middle ways between collaboration and resistance. Hilberg got into trouble, I understand, for 'blaming' the Euro Jews for insufficient resistance, but I have reservations about that opinion too.

    • I'm reluctant to call people cowardly unless I think I would behave with more resolution than they do were I in their place.

  • Seething with anger and fear
    • 'Live free or die' is horrifying if it implies many deaths - what else can many deaths, women and children included - even if necessary for a greater purpose - be?
      I would consult Palestinians if I thought to judge them - my demurrals when confronted with Theo's judgements were because I thought he was judging rashly. I'm glad in any event to be taking part in a forum open to Palestinian and to Western voices, but I intend to express my opposition to Zionism and support for the outraged rights of Palestinians in my own way.
      Population transfer is in the logic of Zionism and it is a wicked idea, hiding behind the sham of negotiations, that should be recognised and opposed. But I've said that before in several comments and there's no point in vain repetition.
      You seem to have taken against me, gamal, which I regret. I will reply to you further if I think you make any substantial points, otherwise not and not for a while in any event. My business here is to oppose Zionism. There I go repeating myself again.

    • And would be wholly unfair to Eva to suggest, if the phrase 'your settlers' makes that suggestion, that the settlers, of all people in this world, are hers in the sense of commanding even a shred of her sympathy. Moose quite rightly says that it's difficult to be optimistic all the time about the future of Palestine and as the waves of pessimism strike one finds various awful scenarios competing in one's imagination. Eva is saying that the terrific suffering of population transfer is at least not as bad as massacre. Theo by contrast thinks in effect that the motto 'live free or die' should be followed in all its literal and terrifying horror.
      That said, Ossinev makes a perfectly fair point about the immense difficulties faced by ethnic transfer plans. It's quite true that receiving states all round the wide world would be reluctant. But they would co-operate if offered enough money.

    • I understand your feelings, Eva - however. I'm not quite as pessimistic as you. The war-dancing settlers do sometimes perpetrate real violence but they are in some ways a theatrical troupe, characters in a pantomime in which the shocked and respectable also feature. It's a double act and both major characters matter. From the shockers we see the true intention, which is ethic cleansing, from the shocked we see the intended means, which is to pile on the frustration and misery without ever allowing the shockers, the Mr. Kurtzes, to bring things to a climax. The plan has to be to achieve population transfer by means that can be presented as consensual - this time there have to be 'compensation' and a few ceremonial handshakes. However, it may well just fail to work: the requisite resources may never be assembled. The piled-on misery may never be quite enough.

  • Valentino's Ghost makes comeback after 4 years of suppression
    • There was the UK television series about the last days of the Mandate, broadcast in 2011', by Peter Kosminsky, called The Promise. It was denounced by Howard Jacobson, that prizewinning satirist, for presenting Jewish people in little other than a villainous guise. It was shown in France, I understand, to protests from CRIF but in the US only on certain minority channels or to Jewish community groups.

    • That Nakba justification was pretty startling, though I think it's probably a minority view among Zionists, who really still look to the Bible.
      It's a paradox that we are not supposed here to deny the Nakba or trivialise it but we are allowed to justify it. In parallel, we don't admit the deniers who say that the Holocaust was all got up by postwar propagandists - imagine if someone said 'It all happened as Hilberg said and a good thing too'.

    • I would welcome a film about Zenobia, the Arab businesswoman who turned her camel firm into an irregular armed force which, by raiding the supply lines of the invading Persians c.260 CE saved the Roman East and provided the West with a continuing bastion. Her main ideological supporter was the Christian Paul of Samosata, who liked a pretty face. She suffered from the ingratitude and mistrust of the new Emperor, who could be portrayed as a rather racist Westerner. Many Christians turned on Paul, whose interest in women was denounced vehemently - perhaps Dan Brown coukd contribute to the script. The audience of Cannon Films seems, from calm's links, to like stories of militant women, so here could be an Arab heroine for them.

  • 'NYT' reports differing perspectives when there is no doubt that one is false
    • I'm surprised that the British Embassy in Israel has sometimes funded BTS, or rather I"m surprised that our generally pro-Zionist governments have let them get away with it. I have heard indirectly that diplomatic staff are often utterly appalled by what they see in Israel. This is far from making me suspect that BTS reports are false.

  • After 10 years of ignoring an important story, 'NYT' finally gets to 'Breaking the Silence'
    • I presume that Krauss's 'lesser light' comment is ironical. Just to say that anyone who takes time to argue rationally against falsehood cannot be wasting time completely, though I do sometimes think that rising to mere taunts of 'anti-Semitism' and suchlike is too defensive and distracting.

  • Video: O little invasion of Bethlehem
    • I suppose you're right, Atlanta, but I somehow don't think they quite trust her. Then again. I suppose they have a shell full of blackmail materials.

    • I'm sure that Israel plans, at government level, to create a situation where the misery and hopelessness is such that a relocation scheme becomes attractive enough for enough people for a final solution to come into sight, with the holdouts being few enough to be picked up and carried off. All the problems mentioned by Ossinev are genuine but they can all be solved by money, if there is enough. Reputational damage would need to be addressed by the father and mother of all propaganda campaigns but that is not impossible. Receiving countries would have to be paid off but for enough money they would cooperate. Israel itself would receive a certain number, enough to make any comparison with other population transfers rebuttable.
      It's just that there isn't anything like enough money in short-term prospect. However, the status quo - 'living without a solution' - is perfectly acceptable.
      I'm sorry to be saying such sad things on Christmas night. Better counsels may yet prevail.

  • Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby
    • Spot on indeed. I still hope that many Israelis will begin to see that that Israel as we know it implies settlements and that settlements imply ruthless terror - and will do something about it. Over history others have become involved in projects that went wrong and have come to see that things must be put right to what extent is possible. It's Christnas, so peace and goodwill to all on Mondoweiss.

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