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Total number of comments: 532 (since 2009-09-05 23:35:02)


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  • Saving the daughters of Israel from the annihilation of intermarriage
    • Sibiriak November 29, 2016, 12:20 pm

      Mikhael refers to citizenship — “the Jewish State of Israel does apply the designation Israeli citizen to them–while your quote refers to nationality , so there is no necessary contradiction.

      The problem remains that within Israel there is discrimination based on nationality (as defined in Israeli law).

      That's an unsubstantiated allegation. There's no legal discrimination against Israeli citizens of non-Jewish nationality. Which is to say that there is no right under Israeli law that Israeli citizens designated of Jewish "le'om" have that is denied to Israeli citizens of non-Jewish "le'om". There is, of course unofficial discrimination, but I am not sure that calling re-designating every citizen ("ezraḤ") as of Israel as having Israeli nationality would solve the problem of unofficial discrimination. However, Israeli citizens who feel that they are discriminated for any reason have recourse to redress these issues, through many venues including the court system. There are anti-discrimination laws in effect.

    • Mooser November 29, 2016, 12:59 pm
      “Mikhael” You are simply trying to evade the question posed at 12:45 pm.

      You mean this question? “When will women ever be able to claim sole ownership of their own bodies, every part?

      No evasion. In Israel, the answer is today, yesterday and (hopefully) tomorrow. There's no law in Israel that outlaws the rights of women to marry whom they please (well, I suppose excepting incest or minors or people deemed to be mentally non-capable) and women have the right to terminate pregnancies in Israel. Women in Israel have more control over their own bodies than they do in the US (where some states place onerous obstacles to abortion, and soon will ban it completely) or Ireland, which already bans abortions

    • talknic November 29, 2016, 9:21 am
      Poor poor Mikhael’s cup of Ziopoop runneth over

      Residents cannot identify themselves as Israelis in the national registry because the move could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s Jewish character, the Israeli Supreme Court wrote

      You're still demonstrating that you don't understand what you read. Try reading again what I wrote:
      "However, as I’ve noted before, the Jewish State of Israel does apply the designation Israeli citizen to them.” Not "nationality," but "citizen." And it's the best solution, really.

      ” I am technically an “expat from” Israel, as were my parents”

      But you were born in the US. So you’re spouting crap
      An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, as an immigrant, in a country other than that of their citizenship

      According to this definition, since I'm temporarily residing in a country other than Israel, where I hold citizenship, I'm an expat. Although I also happen to have US citizenship, from the perspective of Israeli law I am simply an Israeli citizen residing abroad, and thus I am an expat from Israel.

      ““Repatriation” implies citizenship in the country which one is an expatriate from. Israeli citizens, Jewish or non-Jewish, already have a right to repatriation in Israel”

      Bullsh*t! Israel does not allow the return of non-Jewish Israelis dispossessed in 1948

      There were no citizens of Israel, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were ever dispossessed 1948. The Arabs who fled during Israel's independence war (mostly of them on their own accord) never were Israeli citizens. This is where you, as the predictable wind-up toy that you are, will link to the Israel's Declaration of Independence and make the ludicrous assertion that the clause "appeal[ing]" to "Arab inhabitants" to "participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship" is a legal instrument that granted Israeli citizenship to the Arab inhabitants who rejected that appeal. Again, for the edification of your very muddled mind, the legal instrument that governs who and who is not an Israeli citizen is "Hok haEzrahut", not the Declaration of Independence . Go read it, it's all written in very plain Hebrew.

      “Non-Israeli citizens do not have any right to “repatriation” to a state that they are not and never were citizens of”

      Except in Israel which extends the right to Jews no matter what their country of origin or citizenship

      No. Jews from abroad who are not citizens of Israel have the right to immigrate to Israel (not "repatriate") and after being found eligible, receive Israeli citizenship. If they move abroad subsequent to obtaining Israeli citizenship, then they are Israeli expats, and have the right to repatriation to Israel, where they hold citizenship. Non-citizens cannot "repatriate" to a country that they are not a citizen of.

      “I already welcome Jews who wish to take advantage of their legal and moral right to obtain citizenship in Israel and move there”

      except those who don’t meet with your Naziesque approval

      Godwin's Law, loser.

      “Here’s a great story about a young Israeli citizen, a non-Jew, born and raised abroad, who took advantage of his legal right to be repatriated to Israel”

      Uh huh.
      A) If he was born abroad he wasn’t Israeli.
      B) The article says NOTHING about him being Israeli

      Again, Israeli law grants Israeli citizenship automatically to the 1st-generation foreign-born children of Israeli citizens. The article discusses someone who's the son of Israeli Druze expatriates (meaning citizens) who moved to Brazil. Israeli law deemed him an Israeli citizen automatically by birth, with no need to "immigrate" to Israel. Again, go read the relevant Israeli statutes in plain simple-to-understand Hebrew, that I have linked to twice already.

      C) BTW This yours?
      “Non-Israeli citizens do not have any right to “repatriation” to a state that they are not and never were citizens of”

      Yup. Non-Israeli citizens don't have a right to repatriation to a state that they never were citizens of, just as non-Australian citizens can't be repatriated to Australia. The young man in question, IDF Private Fadi Abd Elhak is an Israeli citizen, born to Israeli citizen parents in Brazil. he had a right to repatriate Israel, where by law, he was considered a citizen from his birth according to black letter Israeli law, a right he took advantage of in order to do his duty as a soldier. Here is another fine example of a non-Jew born outside Israel who took advantage of her right to repatriate to Israel, using her birthright Israeli citizenship obtained through descent from her Israeli citizen father.
      I am referring to ISM founder Huweida 'Arraf, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA to a father who was an Arab citizen of Israel at the time of her birth:

      Huwaida Arraf is a Palestinian lawyer with American and Israeli citizenship. who had

      Arraf was born to two Palestinian parents - her mother from the West Bank town of Beit Sahour and her father from the village of Mi'ilya, in the Galilee.... Under Israeli law, she has Israeli citizenship through her father, an Arab citizen of Israel.

    • talknic November 29, 2016, 8:14 am
      Poor poor Mikhael

      ” My father was only “Palestinian” from October 1932 until May 15, 1948 … when “Palestine” ended”

      No matter how many times you repeat bullsh*t it’s still bullsh*t. The Israeli Government claimed it was fighting in and occupying non-Israeli
      territories “in Palestine” May 22nd 1948.

      So stop repeating bullshit. The document you constantly link to is not a proclamation of the extent of Israel's boundaries by the then provisional government of Israel, nor a recognition (implicit or explicit) of any state called Palestine, but an answer detailing where Jewish forces were deployed within the former Mandate territory.

      “but I have held dual Israeli and American citizenship since I was born”

      Bullsh*te! You were born in America in 1970. You could not have had Israeli citizenship until you immigrated to Israel

      You're so ignorant, that you don't even know what you don't know.
      Children born abroad to Israeli citizens are deemed Israeli citizens from birth.It's all spelled out in plain Hebrew right here:

      אלה יהיו, מיום לידתם, אזרחים ישראליים מכוח לידה:
      מי שנולד בישראל כשאביו או אמו היו אזרחים ישראליים;
      מי שנולד מחוץ לישראל כשאביו או אמו היו אזרחים ישראליים

      “I have a good Israeli anchor, which provides me with peace of mind that I will always have a country of my own to return to.”

      The US is your first country, not Israel

      At the time of my birth, my parents were on temporary student visas. Despite being born in Boston, I was actually registered by my parents with the Israeli Consulate as an Israeli citizen soon after I was born, well before they ever troubled themselves to get a US passport for me.

      ” You can get one too, if you’re really a Jew. (Not if it was up to me, though)”

      The Naziesque nature of Zionism shows thru

      More histrionic hyperbole from the unhinged.

      “But if the USA or Israel ever in future pass a law banning dual citizenship, there’s no doubt I’d have to forfeit my US passport”

      Good for the US

      Not really. They'd lose another taxpayer (US citizens who live and work outside the US, whether they hold an additional passport or not, are required to file, and if necessary, pay USS income tax), which is why they the US doesn't look too kindly on US citizens voluntarily renouncing US citizenship.

    • RoHa November 27, 2016, 12:48 am
      “Anti-Zionists are simpletons who believe in a binary world and who think that Jews, alone of all national groups, should be denied right to national self-determination in their original ancestral homeland.”

      I assume that by “national groups” you mean the sort of thing I call “n-nations”

      At the risk of falling into the trap of your nomenclature Jews collectively constitute more than what you call a"c-nation". They do have a common ancestral territory where their national identity was forged that the present-day State of Israel exists on, even if it is not coterminous with it

      By general moral principles of equity, then, the decision and right (insofar as there is one) to set up the state is a matter for all the population of the territory

      You're wrong. A national group living in a territory, whether you want to designate it an "n" nation or a "c" nation, has a moral right to set up a state in a region where it dominates. The Slovenians who lived in the former Yugoslavia had the right to secede and establish a state for themselves in the region where they dominated even without the consent of the rest of the population of the former Yugoslavia, and the Kosovar Albanians had the right to secede from Serbia and establish a state without the consent of the rest of Serbia, and the Abkhazaians and the Ossetians had the right to do the same in Georgia. The Jews of the former British Mandate of Palestine constituted more than 1/3 of the population of that entity and they had a right to govern themselves in the area where they were the majority. The Palestinian Arabs who currently constitute a majority of the population in the formerly Jordanian-controlled part of the former British Mandate as well as in formerly
      Egyptian-controlled Gaza also have a right to establish their own state in that area.

      But national groups are not necessarily co-extensive with the population of the territory. If the right to set up a state were vested in national groups, it would exclude some the population who, by equity, are entitled to it. Thus, the right cannot be a right of national groups

      Had the utopian Partition Plan been accepted by both sides (and not just one party) and implemented as envisioned in November 1947, it would have allocated to an Arab state regions of the former British Mandate where Arabs constituted a clear majority of the population and to a Jewish state regions where Jews constituted the majority population. That was the most equitable arrangement feasible at the time. Since it was rejected and never had a chance to be put into place, other solutions must now be considered.

      Let us look at my paradigm example: the Finns.
      The territory of Finland is largely inhabited by (national group) Finns, but it also includes Finland-Svensk and Sami. To say that the Finns, as a national group, have the right to set up a state is to say that the rights of the Finland-Svensk and Sami do not count

      The Finns had a right as a national group to set up an ethnic nation-state for themselves and a duty to extend civil rights to Sami citizens as well as citizens of other recognized national minorities living under that state's jurisdiction. If national minorities are dissatisfied with the rights extended to them in a larger state, they have a moral right to secede and form their own state in the area if it is feasible in which they dominate.

      Now, you might want to reject this argument, claiming “the Jewish People has a right to national self-determination and independence in its own historical and ancestral homeland … is in fact intrinsic to Orthodox Judaism” but that is just to say that you, and Orthodox Judaism, reject the normal moral principles of equity

      My statement about the Orthodox Jewish attitude towards Zionism was directly responsive to "Mooser's" insinuation that Orthodox Jews "sold out" their principles when most of them moved into the modern political Zionist camp.

      A majority of Israel's citizens are Jews. A majority of those Jewish citizens desire that the state continue to define itself as a Jewish state by and for people who regard themselves as members of a Jewish nation (although there's controversy within Israel about what that implies) and whom the state recognizes as fitting that description. Principles of equity won't be served and conflict won't be resolved by uselessly insisting that Israel shouldn't exist as a Jewish state despite the clear wishes of the majority of its population. Principles of equity can be upheld by insisting that the Jewish State of Israel continue to extend the same legal and civil rights to its non-Jewish citizens as it extends to its Jewish citizens in the future, just as it has in the past.

    • Mooser November 27, 2016, 1:43 pm
      Mikhael, you don’t need to worry about any of this!

      2 billion Jews make their own race!

      How is "race" pertinent to this discussion?

    • talknic November 28, 2016, 8:41 am
      Mikhael November 27, 2016, 7:42 pm

      “Now, re-reading my comment, I will admit an error I made when I stated that ““[a]ll Jews can claim these deep roots in the country anyway”. That was a mistake on my part, I should have written “the vast majority of Jews can claim deep roots in the country” rather than “all.”


      I'm glad that we agree that indeed, the vast majority of Jews today can claim deep roots in Ereṣ Yisra’el (including most likely the descendants of the Kaifeng Jewish community).

      ” Your example of the Kaifeng Jewish community (or rather, the claimed descendants of the community who have re-embraced a Jewish identity, since the community effectively ceased to function some centuries ago) is, however, a very poor example of a group that has no Jewish ancestry traceable to Ereṣ Yisra’el and indicates racist thinking on your part.”

      Typical Zionist in desperation ploy, make a completely unsupportable accusation

      If I misunderstood your intent in highlighting the descendants of the Kaifeng Jewish community as unlikely to be descended from ancient Jews who inhabited the Land of Israel because of their appearance, please correct me and explain how I misunderstood your intent in bringing up the fact that the Kaifeng Jewish descendants, were "very Chinese-looking" in response to my assertion that most Jews trace their origins to Ereṣ Yisra’el

      If my assumption was correct and your point was to suggest that they can't be descended from Jews with deep ancestry traceable to Ereṣ Yisra’el, solely because they are "very Chinese-looking", then would you say that the Armenians of Burma, who are quite "Burmese-looking" can't trace descent to Armenia after a few generations of intermarriage with native Burmese?

      “Your characterization of them as “very Chinese looking”
      They don’t look Chinese? WOW!! I wonder if they know

      I don't think it's all that important to them. And within China there is a vast diversity of phenotypes, so there's not one way to look Chinese. But I guess they all look the same to you.

      ” It does show a racist obsession on your part”

      Again with the nonsensical accusation.

      If it's not indicative of a preoccupation with phenotypical "racial" characteristics, why did you bring it up?

      “… it’s a silly argument to make against Jews having a shared national identity”

      I didn’t make any such argument. Another false accusation on your part

      Okay, if you didn't make such an argument, then you came up with a complete non sequitur for the hell of it. It's apparent that I stated that "Jews around the world share common ancestry traceable to Eres Yisra'el" and you essentially countered with "But THESE Jews look Chinese". Right. And so? How does the existence of "Chinese-looking Jews" disprove my contention?

      “I am in New York most of the year but I will probably be in ..etc etc etc”

      Proves exactly nothing.

      So let me know when you will next be in the Israeli capital (Jerusalem) and I will contact my relatives to host you and show you our family records.

      ” Your counterfactual and tiresomely tendentious argument that Israel’s borders are delineated only by the 1947 Res. 181 Partition Lines has nothing to with the current topic under discussion”

      Another false accusation.

      Your argument is counterfactual and tendentious and had nothing to do with the current topic under discussion. But since you like repetition, let's do it again

      A) Israel’s Internationally recognized borders were proclaimed effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) by the Israeli Government

      No. The document you incessantly link to was not a declaration of borders by the Provisional Government of Israel (also, here's a homework assignment for you, look up the word "provisional" when you get a chance). There's nothing in the plain meaning of the text to support
      your interpretation.

      B) They’re Israel’s ONLY Proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders. They have everything to do with the current topic

      (1) Israel never proclaimed its borders at independence. (It's not customary for newly formed states to do so.) (2) There is no binding international law that fixes Israel's borders. (3) This allegation was not responsive to the present discussion anyway. Read back up the thread.

      ” My bringing up my ancestry was in direct response to “Mooser”‘s insinuation, that I, a scion of a family that has lived in the country for centuries somehow have a less right to live there as an Israeli Jew”

      You have no right to live in Palestine as an Israeli

      When and if an independent Arab state called Palestine is established for the first time in history, its future borders as yet to be determined, the government of that state and the government of Israel will need to work out an agreement regarding Israeli citizens who live on territory that will be under the sovereignty of that still-nonexistent state. Some of my family members live in a part of Samaria (Elon Moreh) which is likely to be ceded to a future Palestinian-Arab state and which was formerly under Jordanian control from 1949-1967 and in the event Israel cedes that area to a future state of Palestine, it will be determined between the two governments whether my relatives and other Israeli Jews have a right to live there. You have no say in this matter. However, until that day arrives, they have a right to live in that disputed territory, just as every Israeli citizen has a right to live in every part of Israel that lay on the former Israeli-controlled side of the former Armistice Line established that existed between Hashemite Jordan and Israel. It should go without saying (although you will no doubt repeat this nonsense, because you're so predictable) that the never-implemented Partition borders are null and void and never represented the borders between a Jewish state and a never-declared Arab state within the former British Palestine Mandate west of the Jordan River.

    • Raphael November 27, 2016, 10:55 am

      Thank you for your thoughts about Israeliness the Jewish Identify, and other identities. ...
      But, I think of Israel as being more as a theocracy run by the Orthodox, rather then say a ideal liberal democracy with a multicultural twist with all the other religions tolerated. Perhaps on paper Israel is that… but, day to day, while I lived there I did not see it

      I'm afraid that Israel has the potential to become a theocracy, and that's an existential threat, in my opinion. But a theocracy is run by a clerical class that enforces religious law as civil law, so while religious factions in Israel have major influence on how the society is run (as they do in other democratic liberal countries, like Greece (where different religious confessions have to be legally authorized) or Ireland (where due to Church influence abortion is still illegal in 2016, in an EU member state), Israel still strictly speaking can't be called a theocracy. Where did you live in Israel, if I may ask? If you lived in an Orthodox area, your perception would be influenced by those norms. Everybody is in their own bubble. Another friend of mine was telling me recently how secular Israeli society seemed to him on a recent visit.

      I think most of Trump voters want that theocratic traditional (orthodox Judaism, the magical Jerusalem) Old World political process as a part of the American Dream. They hope that Trump will bring them this during his time in office, as well as jobs in a theocratic religious democracy; that is more Old Testament in thought then New Testament. That is why the far right in Israel likes Trump

      Also Orthodox American Jews, and -Jewish immigrants to the USA from the former USSR who are on the whole extremely secular) were solidly pro-Trump. I think the ex-Sovs were drawn to his bombast and strongman facade, as well as his tough talk on Iran and for Israel, and Orthodox Jews as well.

      For example, I was able to predict that Trump would easily win… though I voted for Clinton I knew she was not going to win. Most voters in time of fear I’m sure as most voters know vote Republican, conservative or traditional (orthodox).

      All my Orthodox friends and family told me he would win and I thought they were in a delusional bubble. Oh well. I didn't vote anyway. I wish I bet on him though because I could have made some money with the Vegas oddmakers.

      I’m guessing that the Germans that immigrated to the rust belt were of the protestant form of Germaneness… so that the way I interpret it is that people in the rust belt did not vote for Trump to only give them their Middle Class jobs back… but to bring about a change to bring America to the far right. So far right where it is also regression to Old World German values.

      I thought a lot of them were pretty Left in their politics back in the day... Debs supporters and such in Wisconsin; no?

      There are no Jewish Catholics parish communities in the Catholic Church. They have Irish Catholic, Polish Catholic, German Catholic, and Russian Catholic; but basically Jews within the Catholic Church are and invisible presence

      Well, most Jews who convert to Catholicism do so for marriage, and a few odd spiritual seekers, like Stephen Dubner's parents. Did you ever read his memoir?
      There is a Hebrew Catholic community in Israel, though. Did yuou have any contatct with them?

      Even after Vatican II things have not changed much from the times before Vatican II in wanting to change the theology in which Christianity is more open to Jewishness. It is on paper… but not, day to day, more open to the modern world.

      Well, why should it be?

    • eljay November 28, 2016, 9:07 pm
      || Mikhael: There’s no such thing as a “Zio-supremacist” … ||

      Sure there is. You are one.

      I am a Zionist. There are no indications of any supremacist leanings on my part in evidence.

      The rest of your post is just one massively verbose dodge. I guess it’s too much to ask that you bullshit more concisely?

      I addressed your allegations one at a time, thus there was no dodge. I can't help it if you can't keep up, but I hope it's an incentive for you to practice your reading and thinking skills.

    • Maghlawatan November 16, 2016, 8:55 am
      Look at Twitter. Israelis run Groupthink Hebrew. Liberal Jews don’t

      Mag, plenty of "liberal" (or the people who you think exemplify "liberalism", rather than rational liberal Zionist Israelis like me) Israeli Jews are also guilty of groupthinking in Hebrew.

      Guess which group is educated.

      Mag, which group is more educated? Hebrew-speaking (and reading and writing) Israelis of all political tendencies are a highly educated group. It's common for Israelis to be literate in several languages, and thousands of books are translated into Hebrew annually. You make a lot of assumptions about a language you don't know.

      Palestinians would bring a bit of depth to the gene pool.

      Because Arabs are all highly individualistic and never guilty of groupthink?! Which universe do you live in?

    • Mooser November 27, 2016, 1:50 pm
      I knew a Jewish man who got married. His wife used to tell him “Must you go on talking about things you know nothing of?”
      But he slapped her a good one, and ran off to see what he could get.
      And what is more, every woman he married, he was intimate with!

      It seems as if you're trying to say that you've physically abused your wife.

    • eljay November 28, 2016, 8:12 am
      || Mikhael: … My Jewish identity is not contingent on any religious belief or ritual observance. … I no longer practice or believe in Judaism in any meaningful way. I’m Jewish. … ||

      That’s nice. It doesn’t change the fact that Jewish is fundamentally a religion-based identity

      It's only "religion-based" for people who believe in or practice the religion. For others, it's more cultural and tribal than cultic.

      || … It defines Jewish status based on ancestry … ||

      Yup, the ancestor being someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

      Well, while it is highly likely that most Jews have some Diaspora ancestors who underwent a religious conversion to what later became known as Judaism, most Jews (excepting very recent converts) also have ancestors who were Jews (or Israelite, or Hebrews, take your pick) before the diverse belief systems, rituals and practices now called "Judaism" in English ever developed. Jews were so called not because they practiced any "religion" called Judaism, but because they traced descent to a tribe called Judah, originally part of a tribal confederacy, and later an eponymous kingdom. When the Kingdom of Judah existed, its state religion would have been unrecognizable as the "Judaism" that exists today and many other cults were practiced by the Jews (and the Israelites) until they were purged (e.g., that of Baal and Asherah). There were in the ancient past "Yehudim" (the word in Hebrew for a "Jew" and someone from the tribe of "Yehuda" (Judah) and/or the Kingdom of Judah (Yehuda). For a very long period, these Jews were not monotheists and worshiped the same idols as their Canaanite neighbors. They were, nevertheless, Jews, and their conversion to Judaic/Israelite monotheism is not what made them Jews. Most Jews alive today are Jews because they trace their ancestry to these tribal people living in the ancient Land of Israel.

      || … You’re a goy … ||

      I’m a goy, I’m a goy
      but my ma won’t admit it

      It happens in the best of families. That's the least of your problems.

      || … However, functionally speaking if a Jew adopts a creed that demands that he abnegate the Jewish aspect of his/her identity then the Jewish identity will disappear in that person’s family. … ||

      It can’t, since the person and his descendants will continue to be culturally and nationally Jewish…unless by some mechanism those non-religious identities are stripped from them. So, please do tell this ADD-afflicted goy by what mechanisms are those non-religious identities stripped from them.

      If someone adopts a creed or an outlook that demands a renunciation of the culture or nationality they were born into, then they will strip it away from themselves and their descendants. Cultural, ethnic and national identity can be forgotten, denied and erased. This is a well-known pattern and this shouldn't be hard, even for you, to understand. (Especially as you have stated several times that you no longer identify with the ethnic identity or nationality of your Croat and Italian forebears.) Every free individual has a right to choose whether to embrace or reject his/her ancestral ethnic heritage and I never stated otherwise. I also wrote nothing that could be construed as endorsing a position that Jews in Israel who choose to marry non-Jews and abandon their Jewish identity should be coerced back into the Jewish fold.

    • Mooser November 28, 2016, 12:07 pm
      Mikhael, if you got married you could expound at, or even just sit and mutter to your wife. And she could say “Yes, dear, you are so smart! Such an expert!” Makes a guy feel good

      None of my exes ever told me that. I wonder if you've ever been married.

      “but I have held dual Israeli and American citizenship since I was born”

      Yup, that’s right, isn’t it. You got a good ol’ US anchor

      I have a good Israeli anchor, which provides me with peace of mind that I will always have a country of my own to return to. You can get one too, if you're really a Jew. (Not if it was up to me, though)
      But if the USA or Israel ever in future pass a law banning dual citizenship, there's no doubt I'd have to forfeit my US passport.

    • echinococcus November 28, 2016, 8:22 am
      Michael and his post November 27, 2016, 8:38 pm

      Thanks for the detailed history. It’s a very clear-cut case. If true, of course you are an American from a true Palestinian father, and religious members of his family would presumably have been Jewish.

      My father was only "Palestinian" from October 1932 until May 15, 1948. He and the rest of his family permanently and joyfully ceased to be "Palestinian" when "Palestine" ended. He was a religious Jew and an Israeli, and I am an agnostic Jew and an Israeli.

      So your acrobatics trying to reject your heritage under pretext of official citizenship has definitely documented that heritage as very Palestinian

      I embrace my Jewish national heritage and lengthy lineage in Ereṣ Yisra’el, don't be silly .Try to read more carefully.

      Also, your trying to correct Mooser’s Yiddish is more than ridiculous. He knows it much better than yourself

      He used words derived from Hebrew, the Jewish national language, and I'm trying to help him improve his skills in pronouncing Hebrew. There's no reason for him to use his Leo Rosten-acquired Yiddish (and I wager as an ex-yeshiva student in Brooklyn that I actually have a better grasp of Yiddish).

    • eljay November 28, 2016, 9:56 am
      || eljay: … OK, so Jewish Muslims and Jewish Christians are not an issue. … ||

      Given (the Zio-supremacist assertion) that Jewish is like any other nationality, Muslim Jews and Christian Jews should not be an issue, either.

      There's no such thing as a "Zio-supremacist", but Zionist theory in and of itself doesn't exclude Jews who adopt non-Jewish religions like Jesuscult or Islam from being part of the Jewish nation.

      So there’s no reason not to grant Jewish nationality to all non-Jewish citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees from “Jewish State”.

      I think that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, most of whom identify as Arab and proudly cherish their own Arab nationality (and other non-Jewish and non-Arab Israeli citizens), would resent being characterized as "Jewish" and having a Jewish identity foisted on them. However, as I've noted before, the Jewish State of Israel does apply the designation Israeli citizen to them. For most of the history of the Jews, "Israeli" , "Jew" and Hebrew" were essentially synonymous and interchangeable words. So granting status of "Israeli citizen" to a non-Jew is functionally equivalent to including them in a civic conception of Jewishness.

      immigrants to and expats and refugees from “Jewish State”

      "Immigrants to" the Jewish state are by and large of Jewish nationality or ancestry already, or married to such people. Non-Jewish legal immigrants to Israel who become naturalized Israeli citizens can share in the civic Israeli conception of Jewishness. "Expats from" the Jewish state (Jewish or non-Jewish) implies that they already have Israeli citizenship, hold an Israeli passport and identity document and have the legal right to travel back and forth and establish residence as they please. I am technically an "expat from" Israel, as were my parents. "Refugees from" the Jewish state don't exist. Israeli citizens don't need to become a refugee from Israel and seek asylum in another state

      Repatriating all of “Jewish State’s” refugees would no longer result in a “demographic threat” since they would all be Jewish

      "Repatriation" implies citizenship in the country which one is an expatriate from. Israeli citizens, Jewish or non-Jewish, already have a right to repatriation in Israel, as I stated above (ergo, my late father, who after decades of legal residence in the US gave up his green card and went back to Jerusalem). Non-Israeli citizens do not have any right to "repatriation" to a state that they are not and never were citizens of.

      What’s not to love? C’mon, Mike, embrace your new Jewish compatriots and welcome them home. :-)

      I already welcome Jews who wish to take advantage of their legal and moral right to obtain citizenship in Israel and move there and I also am happy when Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish, repatriate themselves to Israel, as is their legal right do so. Here's a great story about a young Israeli citizen, a non-Jew, born and raised abroad, who took advantage of his legal right to be repatriated to Israel, so that he could serve in the IDF, just as I did when I was a younger man. Enjoy!

    • echinococcus November 28, 2016, 2:36 am
      Michael again (and again…)

      I no longer practice or believe in Judaism in any meaningful way. I’m Jewish

      Bullshit. The first statement has entirely canceled the second.

      You're wrong. I disavow any belief in a Sinaitic revelation, or any omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent deity that has any agency in human affairs. I'm just a run-of-the-mill secular and agnostic Jew.

      I actually stated quite clearly that a religious conversion of a Jew to Christianity or Islam does not in and of itself strip a Jew of his or her ethnicity and nationality.

      You stated total nonsense.

      There have been many famous believers in Jesuscult who continued to identify with the Jewish People, Jean-Marie Lustiger, for instance. Nevertheless, throughout history there were many more Jews who adopted Jesuscult whose relations with Jews remained more fraught, e.g., the aforementioned Pfefferkorn and Pablo Christiani.

      What ethnicity? Eskenazi,

      It's actually correctly transliterated in Roman characters as "Ashkenazi" The letter is 'alef (אַ) with a pataḥ underneath it indicating a vowel comparable to "car" (but shorter) and a "shin"(שׁ), indicating the "š" phoneme (as in English "shoot"). While "Eskenazi" is a common variant surname spelling among some (mostly Balkan Sefaradim), those with decent knowledge of Hebrew, the national language of the Jews, wouldn't use this transliteration in reference to this segment of the Jewish People known as Ashkenazim.

      maghrebi Arab,mashriki Arab,

      I'm not sure why you are bringing up Arabs, whether of North African, Levantine or other origins. Jews by definition are not Arabs, so how exactly is that pertinent?

      Falasha, Bukhari, Sefardí, urban European common-French or common-German, Roman, Piedmontese-Catalan, Byzantine…

      "Falasha" is a pejorative epithet used by Ethiopian Christians to refer to the Beita Israel, the Jews of Ethiopia. Bukhori Jews are an offshoot of Persian-speaking Jewry, who trace their origins to Ereṣ Yisra’el along with the other major Jewish groups. I have to correct your bad transliteration again, though. If you are going to be pedantic about accentuating the ultimate vowel in "Sefaradi", you need to know that there are four syllables. It's correctly transliterated Sefaradi, not "Sefardí" in English (if we were conducting this discussion en Castellano, maybe it would be correct to transliterate it as you do). Another hilarious misnomer is your reference to "Byzantines" in regard to the Jewish community that existed in the Byzantine Empire. The Jews who lived in the Byzantine Empire were a persecuted minority group and wouldn't have identified themselves (nor been identified by non-Jews), as part of a Byzantine "ethnos" and didn't have loyalty to the Byzantine state. Their descendants survived into the 20th century as Romaniote Jews, and most of them shared the same fate as their close kin, Sefaradi and Ashkenazi Jews, in the Nazi death camps.

      No common language (except liturgical), no common customs or traditions or food or anything –nothing that is not directly religious!

      Hebrew is the common national (and ancestral!) language of the Jews. Dispersal in various corners of the globe for 2,000 years will lead to cultural diversity with regards to things like cuisine. By your logic, the Chinese can't claim a common collective national or ethnic identity, they really no have common language except to the extent that a central government forces them to adopt a specific dialect of Mandarin as a standard, the cuisine in various regions is extremely divergent, and when it comes to the Chinese Diaspora, even more so.

      Come with one single, not directly religious-liturgical element common to all so-called nominal Jewish. Or stop polluting the air, because no common culture equals no common ethnicity. Period.

      To the extent that any group's conception of itself as a distinct people is objective, Jewish ethnic and national identity is an objective fact. You can assail and pick apart any population that calls itself a nation and find aspects that seemingly contradicts its perception of itself as a nation . There are fewer culturally unifying elements knitting all the groups who identify as Chinese into one nation than the Jews have. Jews (whether they believe in or observe any of the varieties of beliefs or ritual that have come to be known as "Judaism" in English) share common ancestry and have a common ancestral land. Religion was the vehicle for preserving Jewish national identity in the Diaspora. For those Jews who cling to religion specifically in its rabbinical form, it's the most (and for some, only) relevant thing. For Jews like me, with no belief in God (because belief in the "god" of Rabbinic Judaism is not necessary for one to be a Jew), the corpus of the Torah she bi'khtav and the Torah she'Ba'al Peh is a repository of literature, folklore and philosophy of my nation. I am very fortunate to have Hebrew, the national language of the Jews as my native language (even though I was born in the Diaspora), and its rhythms, its humor and poetry are intrinsically part of my being. I'm very happy that my twin daughters in Israel knew no other language for their first 9 years. Of course, those who are not ignoramuses are aware that there is a long tradition of secular Hebrew Iiterature in the Diaspora and it was never merely a liturgical language, as you assert.

      No amount of writing in Aramaic letters or insulting people for using their logic while being Goy will get you out of that rathole

      There's nothing insulting in calling someone a non-Jew a "goy". That's not his fault, nor is it a defect. And goyyim and Jews (like you) alike can always benefit by having their limitations and defects pointed out so that they may improve themselves.

    • Mooser November 27, 2016, 1:48 pm

      And to think that I hear Jews complaining about their entire families being lost in the Holocaust. They don’t know what suffering is, until they’ve been a “Catholic Jew” like Pablo Christiani or Johannes Pfefferkorn, and “Rafael”..

      You remind me more of Pfefferkorn (I wrote an undergrad paper on him and Reuchlin, and the Christian Hebraists many, many years ago) and Pablo Christiani much more than Rafael does.

      Rafael, IIRC and if his description of himself is to be believed and I see no reason why it shouldn't, is a product of intermarriage. Absent an Orthodox conversion, the Orthodox won't accept him as a Jew, but he's not going to do it, because he believes in Roman Catholicism. He still embraces his Jewish heritage and as someone with a Jewish father he had a right to make aliyah and get Israeli citizenship. His description of himself as a Catholic Jew rings true to me.

    • eljay November 26, 2016, 10:00 am

      || Mikhael: Of course this is not true. My Jewish identity is not contingent on any religious belief or ritual observance. … ||

      Your Jewish identity is fundamentally religion-based. No Judaism, no Jewish.

      No. It's not. I no longer practice or believe in Judaism in any meaningful way. I'm Jewish. I'm as Jewish as Maimonides.

      || … the religious definition of Jewish status primarily conceptualizes Jewish belonging in terms of ancestry … ||

      The religious definition of Jewish primarily conceptualizes that Jewish springs from Judaism

      No. It doesn't. It defines Jewish status based on ancestry and not in adoption of a creed. You're a goy, and in this matter, extremely ignorant; so your input in this respect (like most things you scribble) is not valid.

      || … I guess you’re not clued in to basic Christian or Islamic doctrine. Christianity famously demands of its believers that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile .. you are all one in Christ Jesus”. … ||

      Telling me what “Christianity famously demands” does not explain how a religious conversion to Christianity or Islam strips from a Jewish convert his non-religious ethnicity and nationality

      If you had read carefully what I wrote (you've admitted to your ADD and inability to focus in past posts, so you may not have understood) I actually stated quite clearly that a religious conversion of a Jew to Christianity or Islam does not in and of itself strip a Jew of his or her ethnicity and nationality. Although Orthodox Jews recoil at the thought and consider such beliefs a deviant and disgusting sin (just as they recoil at the thought of gay Jews -- never mind the fact that are Orthodox Jews leading closeted gay lives) , there are indeed Christian Jews (and there may be some Muslim Jews, I have yet to meet one).

      Nevertheless, the maxim ישראל אף על פי שחטא ישראל הוא applies in these cases.

      However, functionally speaking if a Jew adopts a creed that demands that he abnegate the Jewish aspect of his/her identity then the Jewish identity will disappear in that person's family. It is of course an individual's right to choose, therefore I condemn the tactics used by the group featured in this article. However, some people today believe you can be simultaneously a Jew and a Christian/Muslim, and I don't disagree, I just think that they have to adopt a version of Islam or Christianity that doesn't demand they renounce their Jewish identity and find a group of Jews who are willing to accept them as Jews. Orthodox Jews who believe that they are committing a grievous sin won't want to associate with them or would persecute them if they could, but still would have to admit that they are Jews. I would consider a Jew who willingly becomes a Christian to be somewhat distasteful or mentally disturbed, considering the harm that Christianity has done to Jews over the centuries, and I would be curious as to why, if such a person couldn't accept religious Judaism, he/she didn't simply become a Jewish atheist or agnostic. But I'd have to recognize that such a person is a Jew.

    • talknic November 26, 2016, 6:05 pm

      Palestinian according to maps in the Jewish National and University Library no less.

      Poor Mikhael …

      Reasonable and informed people understand that maps showing a large area dubbed "Palestine" by European foreigners, using a vaguely descriptive name for the region roughly equivalent to "Holy Land" which include large chunks of territory that are presently governed by the Palestinian National Authority (in its Fatah and Hamas incarnations) and the State of Israel, as well as areas that are currently part of Lebanon and Syria (to the extent that the governments of the aforementioned states actually control territory given present circumstances), Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, don't demonstrate the existence of a Palestinian Arab nation-state or a geopolitical entity governing territory in the name of a Palestinian People in the past, nor do they prove the existence of national group claiming a Palestinian identity during that period. However, as a defender of the rights of national self-determination for all peoples, I certainly recognize that a group of non-Jews who lived in this region who speak Shami (Levantine) dialects of Arabic, due to the confrontation with Jewish nationalism (Zionism) have formed a distinct Palestinian national identity. It's certain that none of my ancestors ever regarded themselves as sharing in this self-definition, although some of my ancestors and relatives briefly were British Palestinian citizens during the Mandate period. I am, of course, a very strong advocate of a Palestinian Arab nation-state in the future, its borders with Israel to be determined, hopefully by mutual agreement between the governments of both peoples (if said agreement cannot be reached, the contours of such borders will have to be unilaterally decided by Israel). This would be first sovereign Palestinian-Arab nation state in recorded history known by that name.

    • Mooser November 26, 2016, 12:47 pm

      ” … but in my case, I come from a family that can document continual and unbroken residence in Galilee and Jerusalem from the 16th to the 21st centuries.”

      Mazel Tov “Mikhael”! Pat yourself on the tuchus and shout “Hooray!” You’re a Palestinian!

      You mean "MaZAL tov" not "Mazel tov". And it's "taḤath" not "tuches". However, considering that I was born in Boston, to Israeli-Jewish parents, citizens of Israel (who duly registered my birth with the Israeli Consulate as required by Israeli law) in 1970, more than 22 years after the British Mandate of Palestine ceased to exist, there is no way that I can be a "Palestinian-American", but I have held dual Israeli and American citizenship since I was born. My late father, who was born in Jerusalem in 1932, was a Palestinian citizen for almost the first 16 years of his life, but his "Palestinian" status permanently ended when "Palestine" ended in May, 1948.

      His parents were born in Jerusalem in 1900 and 1904, and held Ottoman citizenship from birth until 1925. They first became "Palestinians" only after the British introduced the category of Palestinian citizenship and started issuing Palestinian identity documents, first to the former Ottoman citizens residing in the Mandate, Jews, Arabs, Armenians , Greeks and others, and then to other people,including many long-term resident Ashkenazi Jews whose families had been living in places like Jerusalem,Hebron, Sefat and Tiberias for centuries but who had been under the diplomatic protection of foreign consulates (like Imperial Russia and Austria-Hungary). In addition to the long-term resident Jews, whether Sefaradi families like my paternal ancestors who had been in the country some four centuries at the time of the British conquest, or religious Ashkenazi families whose families had come in waves from the late 17th through the 19th centuries, the other group of Palestinian Jews in the British period were the Zionist pioneers who came in the early 20th century, people like Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir. Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir both held British-issued Palestinian citizenship documents at one point in their lives, thus they were as legitimately Palestinian during that period as my father was, his parents, or Yasser Arafat, because that's all being Palestinian meant at the time. Luckily for my family, on May 15, 1948, the State of Israel was declared and all of my erstwhile Palestinian relatives as well as other Jews who formerly held Palestinian citizenship documents permanently ceased to be Palestinian and joyfully embraced their Israeli identity.

      gee, considering your family comes from Brooklyn (you’ve got an archive, chump)

      For such an avid archivist, you've done really poor research. No gotchas! in my Mondo archives. Since you're so interested, my family lived in Brooklyn, and most of my upbringing and formative years were there (with some detours in the Midwest and back in Israel for a few of my childhood years) . So while an argument can be made that I am from Brooklyn (but not quite, as I mentioned above and as I'm sure you'll find confirmation in my archive, to my chagrin I was born in a 2nd-rate city called Boston, MA and even lived in flyover country (Lincoln, NE) for a couple of years as a kid), my family is certainly not. My father traced 17 generations in Ereṣ Yisra’el to a well-known Sefaradi/Mizrahi rabbinic and mercantile family, my mother's family came to Israel as Hungarian Ashkenazi refugees from Hitler. They raised a family mostly in Brooklyn -- Gravesend (with the Syrian-Jewish community) and later Boro Park but they were not but not from Brooklyn.

    • talknic November 26, 2016, 10:50 am

      Mikhael “All Jews can claim these deep roots in the country anyway”

      Uh huh. Including very Chinese looking Chinese Jews … Right?

      Highlighting the Kaifeng Jewish descendants, who trace their roots to Persian Jewish traders who arrived in the Middle Kingdom via the Silk Road, because they phenotypically resemble Chinese doesn't contradict the fact that Jews by and large trace their roots to ancient inhabitants of Ereṣ Yisra’el. Now, re-reading my comment, I will admit an error I made when I stated that "“[a]ll Jews can claim these deep roots in the country anyway”. That was a mistake on my part, I should have written "the vast majority of Jews can claim deep roots in the country" rather than "all." It's true that a statistically insignificant number of recent converts to Judaism, an even smaller proportion of which has actually taken advantage of the right to gain Israeli citizenship and joined other Jews in Israel under the Law of Return, is unikely to have deep ancestral roots in Ereṣ Yisra’el, unlike people descended from the major Diaspora Jewish communities. Your example of the Kaifeng Jewish community (or rather, the claimed descendants of the community who have re-embraced a Jewish identity, since the community effectively ceased to fucntion some centuries ago) is, however, a very poor example of a group that has no Jewish ancestry traceable to Ereṣ Yisra’el and indicates racist thinking on your part. The origins of the Kaifeng Jewish community comes from Persian Jews, who trace their origins to the Jews of Ereṣ Yisra’el. Your characterization of them as "very Chinese looking" doesn't demonstrate that they have ancestral ties to Ereṣ Yisra’el. It does show a racist obsession on your part, however. I suppose that if you have children (I shudder to imagine that you have procreated) who marry into an Asian-Australian family and produce "very Chinese looking offspring" who in turn marry Asians who have even more "Chinese looking offspring", you will deny that they can be descended from you. People from one ethnic group do intermarry across so-called "racial" lines across generations, you know, and their descendants will show traits of the group they marry into. In the USA, many Native American tribal members look entirely like European- or African-Americans as well. Does that mean that they can't also claim Native American descent or identity? What a stupid argument you make. I hope you are aware that the Arabic-speaking non-Jews who have declared themselves to be of "Palestinian" nationality exhibit a diversity of racial and ancestral backgrounds. Many of them resemble sub-Saharan Africans while others look like white, Northern Europeans. The fact that people claiming a Palestinian Arab national identity can look like many different racial and ethnic groups doesn't undermine their claim, so it's a silly argument to make against Jews having a shared national identity.

      … but in my case, I come from a family that can document continual and unbroken residence in Galilee and Jerusalem from the 16th to the 21st centuries.”

      A) Prove it …

      I am in New York most of the year but I will probably be in Jerusalem (you know, the capital city of Israel), in February or March. If you happen to be in Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, at that time, perhaps I can arrange to meet you there and I can give you a tour of the Jewish Mt. of Olives cemetery (where we may risk getting stoned by Arab youths) to view my ancestors' tombstones. Then we can travel to Sefath and see family graves dating to the 1500s. I can ask relatives to show you the family records and host you for a Shabbat lunch. However, like most of the people who post on Mondoweiss, including "talknic" or "Mooser" , I don't divulge my full name, for a variety of reasons. To publicly prove that I am descended from a Jewish family that has resided in Ereṣ Yisra’el for centuries, I would have to disclose my actual identity. If you research the names of the old Sefaradi families that have lived in Sefat and Jerusalem, you can find the names of quite a few of my ancestors and cousins (one of them is my paternal grandmother's maiden name and one of them was a "Rishon le'Siyyon", the Sefaradi chief rabbi of Jerusalem).

      So what, it’s entirely irrelevant to the the limits of the Jewish State according to its self proclaimed and Internationally recognized borders and the Jewish State’s illegal activities in territories outside the Jewish State

      Try to focus. Your counterfactual and tiresomely tendentious argument that Israel's borders are delineated only by the 1947 Res. 181 Partition Lines has nothing to with the current topic under discussion. My bringing up my ancestry was in direct response to "Mooser"'s insinuation, that I, a scion of a family that has lived in the country for centuries somehow have a less right to live there as an Israeli Jew.

    • Mooser November 25, 2016, 2:14 pm

      “It’s obvious though that ignoramuses like “Mooser” aren’t qualified to talk about what taking Judaism seriously entails.”

      Oh no! I think I failed the Jewish Nationality Citizenship Test, and will soon be a nebbish without a country.

      If it were up to me, I'd definitely shut the door on you when you came knockin', because I believe in limiting the number of obnoxious people in Israel. Unfortunately, absent a criminal record or a determination that you pose a threat to state security (as an ineffectual "nebbish" you simply don't rate) they would probably have to approve your aliyah application if you really are the Jewish person you claim to be.

      when all those Palestinian’s convert their nationality to Jewish, you is going to be in a whole lot of trouble, “Mikhael”.

      If their conversion is sincere, then surely they would be happy for Israel to remain a Jewish state. And as a lineal descendant of a family that's been in in the Land of Israel for 17 continuous generations, I can trace deeper roots in the country than many of the Arabic-speaking non-Jews whose ancestors arrived in more recent times and who assert a "Palestinian" national identity. (All Jews can claim these deep roots in the country anyway, but in my case, I come from a family that can document continual and unbroken residence in Galilee and Jerusalem from the 16th to the 21st centuries.)

    • RoHa November 25, 2016, 9:06 pm

      “the notion that the Jewish People has a right to national self-determination and independence in its own historical and ancestral homeland ”

      A mistaken notion, of course. There is no such right.

      Of course there is. And the Jewish People have regained that right in their own homeland and won't forfeit it. Hundreds of years now, there will be a society of Hebrew-speaking Jews who live in their own ancestral homeland (Ereṣ Yisra'el, of course) under a Jewish government of their choosing. Although one can never know what the future holds for one's descendants, or even if natural disasters, accidents or disease will kill off my future progeny, there is a very high likelihood that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be included in the population and will live as free Jews in their own country. The idea troubles and displeases you, but this is your problem, not mine, and there's just not one thing you can effectively do about it.

    • Mooser November 25, 2016, 3:50 pm

      “It’s not as if the notion that the Jewish People has a right to national self-determination and independence in its own historical and ancestral homeland is somehow extrinsic to Orthodox Judaism to the extent that Orthodox Jews would need to “sell out” to embrace the modern political Zionist ideology.”

      Yup, that’s what anti-Semites have been saying for hundreds of years. No doubt it’s one of your basic beliefs

      Anti-Semites claimed that Jews could never truly integrate in non-Jewish sociey no matter how assimilated they were and they fulfilled this prophecy by slaughtering entire Jewish populations, including the most assimilated Jews. A reasonable person would not infer from the statement "It’s not as if the notion that the Jewish People has a right to national self-determination and independence in its own historical and ancestral homeland is somehow extrinsic to Orthodox Judaism" that I believe Jews can never truly integrate in non-Jewish societies, ,which is a core anti-Semitic belief. Anti-Semites never, to my knowledge, advocated the idea that the Jewish People has a right to national self-determination and independence in its own historical and ancestral homeland, but even if they did, it would not negate the fact that this idea is in fact intrinsic to Orthodox Judaism, which has been the normative expression of religious Judaism for two millenia. The fact that you feel threatened by this belief doesn't make it an un-Jewish idea.

      OBTW, “Mikhael” have you caught on to the fact that the entire “conversion” conversation was introduced as an ironic jest?

      Only intelligent people are capable of ironic jest, so I have to assume that whoever suggested that meant the question sincerely.

    • Raphael November 25, 2016, 9:19 pm


      As a Catholic Jew, I’m still trying to figure out why the Jewishness of Jesus is not understood. I started reading a book called Empire Baptized, by Wes Howard-Brook about this.

      Haven't read it. He clearly (if he existed) was a Jew andc thought of himself as a Jew.

      he way I interpret 21st century Judaism is that for a majority of Jews in the world perhaps 60%… is that it is a theonational (mostly religious) system, and, that in Israel that perhaps 95% think Judaism is theonational. When I lived there the secular and atheistic Jews all fall in line, or under the religious laws created by the orthodox

      I've seen the term "ethnoreligious" I guess that's more or less the same thing you're getting at with "theonational".

      But in the US, the American Jews in the 21st century are much more diverse… but tribal in their ways in smaller tribes making up perhaps thousands of different types of Judiasms, secular, atheistic, religious and hybrid Americanized Jewish tribes etc. But, Jewishness I personally think is something more to the point of what all the controversy is over.

      I'm not Orthodox , although I was raised in an Orthodox family and received an Orthodox education. I'm convinced though that there is little prospect for Jewish continiuity in the US outside of an Orthodox religious framework. Only they do a good job of educating their kids with Jewish values, literacy and Hebrew language, besides the fact that the Orthodox outbreed non-Orthodox Jews and they also are the only group that consistently doesn't marry out.

      As Jesus as a icon of faith for Christians was developing in the early years; his Jewishness was forgotten when his followers stopped being mostly Jews and started to be a faith of mostly goys.

      yeah, well, that goes back to Paul, doesn't it?

      . And, the talmudic Jews it seems to me developed as a consequence of the destruction of the second temple in a attempt to nationalize Judaism even without having actual borders of a nation. They then defined the Judaism that we have to this day

      Absolutely. It was a Temple-centered cult but after the detsruction of the Temple they said "Give me Yavneh and its scholars" and Rabbinic Judaism developed and it became the defining expression ifor the following centuries (althouugh Karaite Judaism lingered on and contended with Rabbinite Judaism), but there were a plurality of Judaisms and ways to be Jewish in the 2nd Temple Period, Sadducceees, Pharisees, Ebionites, and even the Jesus Cult, originally. The Talmud and the Shulhan Arukh and all the other corpus of Jewish literature functioned essentially as a portable homeland, a vehicle to preserve Jewish national identity in the Diaspora. Early modern political Zionists idelogues diagnosed this and believed that Jewish religion would wither way once Jews regained sovereignty, I guess they were wrong, as Orthodoxy is ascendant in Israel these days. But I still maintain that only in Israel can there be a civil, non-religious Jewish national identity that can be inclusive of people who don't conform to a halakhic definition of "Who Is a Jew?"

    • Mooser November 25, 2016, 12:35 pm

      “As Jewishness is primarily a national and not a religious identity, this is not a contradiction.”

      That’s the reason why Jews should not be admitted to citizenship in any non-Israel country. Jews already have a national identity (“Jewish”), and can never be loyal citizens of any other country

      That’s the reason why Albanians should not be admitted to citizenship in any non-Albania country. Albanians already have a national identity (“Albanians”), and can never be loyal citizens of any other country.

      That’s the reason why Chinese should not be admitted to citizenship in any non-China country.Chinese already have a national identity (“Chinese”), and can never be loyal citizens of any other country.

      That’s the reason why Estonians should not be admitted to citizenship in any non-Estonia country. Estonians already have a national identity (“Estonians”), and can never be loyal citizens of any other country.

      That’s the reason why Koreans should not be admitted to citizenship in any non-Korea country. Koreans already have a national identity (“Korean”), and can never be loyal citizens of any other country.

      That’s the reason why Irish should not be admitted to citizenship in any non-Ireland country. Irish already have a national identity (“Irish”), and can never be loyal citizens of any other country.

      I don't believe that any of the above is true, but I guess you do.

      Zionists want all non-Jews to know that Jews, having their own national identity (They are from the State of Jewish) should always be held under civil disabilities and suspicion, as outsiders and alien nationals.

      Right Mikhael?

      Anti-Zionists are simpletons who believe in a binary world and who think that Jews, alone of all national groups, should be denied right to national self-determination in their original ancestral homeland. Self-styled "progressive" (who are anything but that) anti-Zionist Jews who live in democratic societies of the West and enjoy the freedoms in such countries, people like Phil Weiss and Mooser are secure. They fear that the existence of a militarily strong and culturally secure Jewish state in the ancestral homeland of the Jewish People threatens their ability to assimilate in places like Bremerton, WA. This fear is unwarranted.

    • eljay November 25, 2016, 8:05 am

      It works with what it’s given, including repeated confirmation by Zio-supremacists that no matter how you dress it up, Jewish is fundamentally a religion-based identity

      Of course this is not true. My Jewish identity is not contingent on any religious belief or ritual observance. I am a non-believer in any sort of deity (although as an agnostic I am open to the possibility of some supernatural intelligence or creator) and I certainly don't believe in the revelation at Sinai or any of the nonsense or superstitions that traditional Jewish religion demands of its believers. I do relate to these myths as national folkore of my people, however. My lack of belief in no way negates my Jewish national identity, which is a function of my ancestry, my heritage, my language and my cultural identity, and I will always remain a Jew despite my lack of belief or observance of ritual.

      || … Even Jewish religious law … does not consider an apostate from religious Judaism to another faith to have lost Jewish status … ||

      Funny how your mind works. What Jewish religious law has to say on the matter is irrelevant – Jewish is an ethnicity and a nationality, remember?

      It's irrelevant to secular Jews like yours truly but it's not irrelevant to religious Jews, who comprise a significant part of the Jewish nation. And it's instructive because even the religious definition of Jewish status primarily conceptualizes Jewish belonging in terms of ancestry rather than mere faith, which is what a "religion-based identity" would demand.

      || … So certainly religious Jewish people regard it as a tragedy when a Jew professes a non-Jewish faith. … ||

      But they shouldn’t regard it as a tragedy given that the convert remains part of the Jewish tribe, collective, culture, ethnicity, people, nation and civilization.

      Religious people (like Orthodox Jews) believe in the value of religious things, and they will condemn apostates from Judaism with the well-known maxim "velamalshinim al tehi tiqva", as "aloeste" did. They think it's a tragedy that people like me don't observe the Sabbath or strictly keep the dietary laws as well. Most Orthodox Jews will condemn a Jew who converts to a non-Jewish religion as someone who commits a grievous sin and who should suffer punishment in this life and the next (but who still retains Jewish status). But as for me, speaking as a non-religious, secular Jew who doesn't believe in divine punishment, I certainly have no problem accepting a Jew who converts to another religion as a fellow Jew, if he/she still defines himsef or herself as such.
      And while there are certainly some Jews who adopt non-Jewish religious traditions and still retain a Jewish ethnic and national identity (e.g., the late Leonard Cohen, an ordained Buddhist monk who remained a proud Jew all his life, or even the late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris who always insisted that he was a Catholic Jew until his dying day) most Jews who convert to non-Jewish religions, especially Islam or Christianity, do so with an intent to totally discard all aspects of their Jewish identity, ethnic as well as religious.

      I'm very curious to know by what specific mechanism(s) Christianity and Islam strip a religious convert’s Jewish (non-religious) ethnicity and nationality from him

      I guess you're not clued in to basic Christian or Islamic doctrine. Christianity famously demands of its believers that "There is neither Jew nor Gentile .. you are all one in Christ Jesus". Although the early Church was composed of practising, self-identified Jews, for centuries the guiding principle of most Christian denominations has been that Christian belief replaces Jewish identity. Only lately has there been a resurgence of such groups as "Jews for Jesus" (which is basically a missionary group) and some self-identified "Hebrew Chrtistians" or "Messianic Jews" who claim to synthesize Judaism and Christianity and a greater tolerance in established Christian denominations for converts to retain a Jewish identity along with a Christian identity. Some of the people affiliated with such groups are indeed of Jewish nationality who were raised with a Jewish cultural identity and came upon some strange belief in the allegedly resurrected godling, yet retain a feeling of connectedness and affiliation with other Jews and the Land of Israel despite their bizarre belief system. As a secular Jew and a Zionist, I would be a hypocrite to deny that Jews who espouse a belief in Christianity have cut away their Jewish national affiliation while I insist that secular, agnostic and atheist Jews like me retain a Jewish national identity. But most of the so-called "Jewish Christians" have no Jewish affiliation and define themselves as such merely to engage in missionary work to attract Jews to belief in the mythical crucified hairy fairy. Nevertheless, some do see themselves as Jews and are Jews, e.g., the aforementioned Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish Roman Catholic, rejected the notion that he had to renounce his Jewish identity after his embrace of Catholicism. As for Islam, most interpretations of that religion demand of Muslims to abjure expressions of nationalism (even going so far as to insist that feeling of national solidarity with Muslim countrymen interferes with loyalty to the pan-Islamic ummah). So while on its face a religious expression of Jewishness might have more in common with Islam than , say, Buddhism, most new Muslims understand that Islam demands of a new convert (who they insist on calling a "revert") a renunciation of previous affiliations for loyalty to the ummah. Of course, as a secular Jew and a liberal Zionist, I would have no problem with recognizing someone who defines him/herself as both a Jew and Muslim, but I have yet to meet such a person. I have known a few Jewish Buddhists (and Buddhism is much further from religious Judaism than Islam) and some self-defined Jewish Christians. If their cultural and national identity and ancestral background is Jewish then they are Jews.

    • Maghlawatan November 20, 2016, 11:46 pm The persistence of Jewish culture is amazing but it means there is a lot of old mumbo jumbo in the religion that was needed in the past for specific reasons, a bit like those furry hats the Lithuanians wear in Jerusalem.

      the "shtreimel" (or the "spodik") today is typically worn by "Galitzianer" (from Austria-Hungary) and Hungarian hassidim, not by "Litvaks" (Jews whose ancestors lived in the areas roghly comprising today's Lithuania/Belarus). There is one exception, and that is the community that descends from the "Perushim" whose ancestors first started arriving in the Ereṣ Yisra'el in the early 1800s. Their descendants are unique among non-hassidic Litvaks for wearing a shtreimel.

    • Stephen Shenfield November 20, 2016, 8:31 am
      I suggest that the world’s Palestinians all visit the United States, arranging in advance to get converted by more cooperative Reform rabbis. Then they all apply to enter Israel as Jews under the Law of Return. What happens then? I’m getting confused so I leave it to others to take it from there.

      You're imagining that the world's most desperate Palestinian Arabs ( e.g., Arabs claiming Palestinian roots desperately clinging to life in places like Syria) who get a visa to the US (which as difficult as it is now, will likely be much harder for them after the new administration is installed), won't prefer to make new lives in the US and do everything they can to stay there rather than try to get Israeli citizneship via an insincere conversion to Judaism.

      And even though Israel accepts non-Othodox conversions performed abroad for purposes of aliyah under the Law of Return, the Reform or Reconstructionist rabbis who perform such conversions must still be on an approved list and there must be convincing evidence that the non-Orthodox convert and would-be future Israeli citizen has been an active member of a Jewihs community of some sort for a certain duration of time. They can't just undergo the quickie Reform conversion on a Sunday (which are not always so quick) and Reform conversion certificate in hand, have their application to to immigrate to Israelbe approved under the Law of Return on the Monday after.

    • Mooser November 23, 2016, 7:12 pm

      “again, this assumes that moslems take their religion as unseriously as non-orthodox jews do…”
      I don’t know, the Orthodox sold out to the Zionists very quickly. They sure didn’t take Judaism seriously, when they thought they could get something.

      It's obvious though that ignoramuses like "Mooser" aren't qualified to talk about what taking Judaism seriously entails.
      It's not as if the notion that the Jewish People has a right to national self-determination and independence in its own historical and ancestral homeland is somehow extrinsic to Orthodox Judaism to the extent that Orthodox Jews would need to "sell out" to embrace the modern political Zionist ideology. Some Orthodox Jews (clearly not all) are/were opposed to political Zionism, for among other reasons, the fact that the Jewish state is not governed according to theocratic principles, a Sanhedrin, a Jewish king, but has taken the shape of a multi-party secular parliamentary democracy. Other Orthodox Jews, like the bizarre Neturei Karta, who portray themselves as "true Jews" and are lionized on sites like this for supposedly championing Palestinian rights and opposing Zionism, cling to a masochistic idea that Jews should suffer in Exile until the final Messianic Redemption. If you question Neturei Karta adherents closely, though, they are convinced that when the Messianic erra arrives, God and his annointed will sweep the Holy Land clean of all non-Jewish infidels as well as secular Jews).

    • re This may all seem like a bizarre anti-miscegenation religious-nationalist fringe aberration, one which would be funded by donations from extremists"

      This is a religious-nationalist fringe abberation, it is not in any accurate sense of the word an "anti-miscegenation" campaign. The people involved in groups like "Hemla" or "Lehava" are religious fundamentalists who are opposed to Jews (whether men or women) abandoning a Jewish religious identity, which often happens in the context of intermarriage. Anti-miscegenation activists, would, by definition, be opposed to people of different "races" marrying each other. Leaving aside the fact that there is no significant marked "race" difference between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel, religious fundamentalist Jews in organizations like Hemla would be quite pleased if Arab Muslim husbands of Jewish women accepted Judaism and agreed to raise the children of such marriages as Jews.

      When such unusual events occur religious fundamentalist Jews in Israel wax triumphant and there is no lamenting of any "miscegenation. "

    • eljay November 15, 2016, 1:49 pm
      So what if Jewish females convert to another religion: Jewish is a tribe, a collective, a culture, an ethnicity, a people, a nation and a civilization – remember?

      Oh, that’s right, Jewish is all of those things except for when it’s not because Zio-supremacists have (invariably) reduced it to religion. Funny how that works…

      Funny how eljay's mind doesn't work. "Jewish" indeed primarily refers to a tribe, a collective, a culture, an ethnicity, a people, a nation and a civilization and when someone officially converts to a non-Jewish religion, they can still retain their Jewish culture and national identity. Even Jewish religious law recognizes this and does not consider an apostate from religious Judaism to another faith to have lost Jewish status, although it does regard them as having committed a grievous sin. So certainly religious Jewish people regard it as a tragedy when a Jew professes a non-Jewish faith. Since this article refers to people involved with a religious fundamentalist Jewish organization, it is understood by people of normal intelligence that such people would seek to minimize Jews abandoning religious Judaism. Secular and atheistic Jews understand that one can be a Jew and a non-religious person, or even, in theory, a Muslim or Christian Jew (were it not for the fact that both Islam and Christianity make demands on a Jew who adopts Xtianity or Islam to abandon a Jewish identity). There certainly are, however, many Jewish adherents of non-theistic religions like Buddhism. (E.g., the late Leonard Cohen, an ordained Buddhist monk.) As Jewishness is primarily a national and not a religious identity, this is not a contradiction.

    • Page: 5
    • Katie Miranda November 15, 2016, 5:54 pm

      The fear of being cock-blocked by an Arab keeps these guys up at night

      A bigger fear for Orthodox Jews who believe in the principle of matrilineal Jewish descent is Jewish males who marry non-Jewish females, because then the issue of such unions are not considered Jewish, but the offspring of a Jewish female and a non-Jewish Arab male is a Jew, to their understanding. That said, religious people in Israel (as elsewhere in the Middle East), Jewish and non-Jewish, are usually are very opposed to any interreligious marriages. However, while Shari'ah law permits Muslim males to marry women from ahl al kitab (e.g., Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians) most religious Muslims are adamant that it is haram for a Muslim female to marry a non-Muslim.

      It is of course a given that Orthodox Jews (as well as devout Muslims and Christians), rarely if ever marry outside their faith community, and when they do, the formerly religious person is either leaving the fold or convinces his/her spouse to join his/her faith community and convert. Although Orthodox Jews are opposed to ALL Jewish and non-Jewish marriages, they nevertheless frequently occur in Israeli-Jewish society -- secular Israeli-Jewish men often marry foreign non-Jewish women who they meet abroad or who come to Israel (e.g., Filipinos, Thais, Russians, Scandinavians) and bring them home to mama, sometimes this goes well and sometimes not so well, and secular Israeli-Jewish women often find foreign, non-Jewish husbands and mates. When Muslim-Jewish intermarriages occur in Israel,these unions are almost always between a Muslim man and a Jewish woman and almost never between a Jewish man and a Muslim woman.* The reason has more to do with the taboo in Muslim-Arab society for "their" women marrying outside the faith and the extreme sanctions that can result for a Muslim woman who flouts this taboo (including death via honor killing). I will patiently wait for the Mondoweiss feature that condemns this phenomenon in Muslim-Arab society.

      *There have been two prominent Israeli-Arab Muslim women in recent years who have been involved with Jewish men, the newscaster Lucy Aharish who briefly dated actor Lior Ashkenazi and the documentary filmmaker Ibtisam Mara'ana-Menuhin who married an Israeli Jewish man. Both were subjected to taunts of "sharmouta" (whore) on Arabic-language social media.

  • The Jewish confession on a future Yom Kippur
    • Mooser October 20, 2016, 5:01 pm
      “All my relatives on my father’s side…”

      Well, I guess you dissipated that family line.

      Why would you come to such a bizarre conclusion?

    • CigarGod October 16, 2016, 9:21 pm

      They killed or drove out any original Jew who spoke up in opposition to Zionist tactics.
      Plenty of history on it if you dig deep enough.

      History belies your assertion. Leaving aside the fact that the Zionists who moved to Ereṣ Yisra'el in the 19th and 20th centuries were just much "original Jews" as the many Jewish families that had been living in the country continuously for centuries and whose descendants still live there today, most of the veteran Jewish community that traced their ancestry to the "Old Yishuv" (i.e., the veteran Jewish community that had lived in Ereṣ Yisra'el before the emergence of modern political Zionism), with the exception of some haredi fanatics (most of them Ashkenazim whose families arrived in the early 19th century) quickly embraced modern political Zionism. Veteran Sefaradim whose families had been living in Safed joined Zionists who had come from Romania to to build Rosh Pina at the start of what's come to be known as the "First Aliyah," for instance.
      All my relatives on my father's side (my paternal grandmother traced her ancestry 17 generations in the country, dating to the mid-1500s, to Sephardic Jews who settled in Galilee after 1492, and my paternal grandfather was the son of Jews who arrived in Jerusalem from Halab (Alleppo) and Damascus in the 1870s), took part in the struggle for Jewish independence and were in the ranks of Haganah and Eṣel before the British left and all of them served proudly in the IDF after.

  • Dozens of Spanish cities declare themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’
    • Talkback September 10, 2016, 4:48 am
      Because it is about Israel I am reminded of the fact that you can’t intermerriage in Israel and we all know that it is for the same reasons.

      Except marriages between Israeli citizens of who belong to different nationalities and different confessions are in fact legally recognized in Israel, although if they are between members of different confessions the marriages must be solemnized abroad due to the absence of civil marriage in Israel. So why lie so much?

  • Druze Arabs in the occupied Golan Heights discuss borders, identity, colonialism and war
    • Raphael August 28, 2016, 12:44 pm

      It’s not all that difficult to convert to Judaism

      It's not that easy. If you want an Orthodox conversion, you have to spend a significant time studying Judaism and you should be able to show knowledge of the dogma and rituallow and demonstrtae that you intend to keep the commandments to the satisfaction of a beit din before being allowed to undergo berith mila and immersion in a mikveh. Of course, some people sail through the process faster than other people from what I understand. A lot of it is dependent on who is the rabbi guiding the potential convert through the process and the impression the convert makes on the rabbi and the beit din. And yes, in Israel there have also been a few documented cases of graft and bribery -- some Orthodox rabbis have approved people who wanted to convert (often female immigrants from the former USSR with paternal Jewish ancestry who wanted a Jewish marriage in Israel and wanted their offspring universally acknowledged as Jewish), although this is uncommon. If Israel sanctioned civil marriages within the country this would happen a lot less.

      I did not convert when I became a Israeli American. As a Mischling (mixed-blood) Jew, I’m already a alien to the tribe.

      You should try to avoid using the term "Mischling" as it's a word the Nazis invented to describe people of mixed Jewish and "Aryan" heritage (whether or not they identified as or practiced Judaism or whether or not they were Jewish per halakha, Jewish law). The word "Mischling" means nothing in Judaism. As far as Orthodox Jews are concerned if your mother was Jewish, even if your father was a Martian and you don't believe in or follow any oof the tenets or practoces pof Judaism, you're still Jewish. Reform Judaism would consider you a Jew despite the fact that your mother isn't Jewish. Conservative Judaism does not. The State of Israel allows people who are not Jewish per the definition of Orthodox Jewish law, but are of at least 1/4 jewish ancestry, to make aliyah, as you know from personal experience.

      If I converted I would be in Hebrew a convert called a Geir (legal alien) which would only be reinforcing my alienation from the club. And, it is only the Orthodox that would love for me to convert; so I would still be alienated; from the rest of the Jewish community that is not Orthodox.

      The Orthodox always say it's a mitzvah to love the convert but in reality many of them can be rude and supicious of a convert's motives. Then again, many aren't. And many secular Jews (and secular Israelis) have no problem accepting a convert as a fellow Jew either but there can often be morbid fascination and if they are resolutely non-religious Israeli Jews, if the convert becomes a devout and fervently practicing Orthodox Jew, some militantly secular Israelis will hold them in the same contempt they have for all Orthodox Jews. Then other secular Jews (people like me) will shrug and think things like "You gotta be crazy to want to be a Jew but whatever floats their boat".

      When I was living in Israel, it was only the Orthodox Jews that took me under their wing; as if I was one of their own. I think because I look Jewish.

      Although for centuries Jews were extremely hesitant to proselytise, some Orthodox Jews in Israel and elsewhere are now making outreach efforts, especially in the cases of people with Jewish heritage like you. Rabbi Haim Amsalem, ,a Sephardic Orthodox rabbi, wrote a book a few years ago that was somewhat controversial in Orthodox circles wherein he specifically advocated easing the process (for example, doing away with the tradtional three-time refusal when the convert asks to convert) for people with Jewish roots but without maternal Jewish ancestry and thus non-Jews), but still demand that the prospective convert commit to adopting an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle. Of course it's much easier not to convert, so I don't recoomend it.

      here's some fun Q&A with Israelis and their opinions on converts:

      Of course, "zaid" initially asserted that the Druze were the only religion on the planet that didn't accept converts, and I replied that that didn't sound right tpo me.
      I did some Googling and this was what I found about Yazidis and Mandaeans

    • Mooser August 28, 2016, 12:11 pm

      “Of course, Orthodox Jews won’t and can’t ever accept the validity of such conversions.”

      Oh, the Orthodox! Glad you mentioned them. It reminds me, I’ve been meaning to tell you “Mikhael”, if Jewish history is any guide, the Orthodox will end up being the scapegoats for Zionism.

      Scapegoat for Zionism? What does that mean? Zionism is the national movement that empowered Jews and and gave them back national sovereignty in their own homeland. We use words like "scapegoat" for negative phenomena and Zionism is a good thing. During most of the 2,000-year Diaspora , the religion that we now call "Judaism" (with the exception perhaps of Karaite Judaism and and Samaritan Judaism) was synonymous with what is is now known as "Orthodox Judaism" (the term "Orthodox" in reference to Judaism only started being used after the emergence of Reform Judaism in 19th century Germany, iniitally as an epithet by the Reformers, but eventually embraced by the Orthodox themselves). Of course, although in the 19th/20th century many Orthodox rabbis opposed political Zionism, which is a secular poliitcal movement, the central idea of Zionism is embedded and inseparable from the tenets of Orthodox Judaism.

      And since they comprise such a small, isolated section of the Jewish community, well, they might want to shift a bit before they take it in the shorts.

      You've got it backwards again. Orthodox Jews will be the main part of the Jewish community in the Diaspora (at least in North America) for the simple reason that the non-Orthodox are assimilating and intermarrying themselves out of existence. Most of the children of intermarriage don't identify as Jews (even if they have a Jewish mother and thus are halakhically Jewish per the Orthodox definition) and among non-Orthodox Jews in the US the intermarriage rate exceeds 50%. and is climbing, whereas in the Orthodox world the population is burgeoning and the attrition rate is low. While some haredim (notably Satmar) have an officially anti-Zionist stance, most are neutral and many are effectively pro-Zionist. Non-haredi (Modern Orthodox) Jews are nearly all staunchly Zionist. The Orthodox Jews in their various streams are the future of American Jewry, are certainly not "isolated" (especially Modern Orthodox Jews in the US, who are one of the highest-earning and best-educated groups) and the majority of them will maintain close ties to Israel.

      ” I’d never recommend to any of the goyyim I know that they should be Jewish, however.”

      Of course you would. Every new Jew means a smaller share of the benefits and goodies go to you. Why, there’s hardly enough to go around as it is!

      I'm not sure what benefits and goodies you think I have. What I inherited from my father has been split between me my siblings, the IRS, and the Reshut ha Missim (Israel tax Authority) and then went to child support. When I move back to Israel in a few years and start working there again, as a dual U.S/.Israeli citizen (I have the dual citizenship due to the accident of being born in the US to Israelis citizens who then resided in the US), I will be legally required to file double income tax again.

      (BTW, didn’t you mention that Judaism turned you into an atheist and religious hypocrite? That’s what you said upthread. That doesn’t seem very rewarding, but I can’t tell from here) “I was fortunate enough to free myself from the yoke of Jewish

      Nope, I never said that "Judaism turned me into an atheist". I also never said I was an atheist, but stated that I was an atheist-leaning secular Jewish agnostic. Most likely if I had been raised in another faith tradition, I would have also eventually discovered agnosticism. And of course, since being Jewish never merely meant observing or believing in a religion, there's no hypocrisy at all in declaring one's non-belief in religious Judaism and affirming one's national and cultural Jewish identity. And why would I recommend to non-Jews that they get circumcised and keep Shabbat and avoid some yummy foods like shrimps when these practices were never part of their cultural identity and heritage?

    • Mooser August 26, 2016, 2:43 pm

      “There are probably other religions and cults that severely restrict or ban conversions.”

      And those “religions and cults” don’t have half as much to offer their devotees! “Mikhael” has hit upon an essential point! If there was open conversion, there would be too many Jews.

      Of course, unlike with the Druze or the Mandaeans or Parsees, anyone of non-Jewish ancestral heritage can become Jewish, so there already is in theory open conversion to Judaism. But even non-believing agnostic Jews like me can see the value in making it difficult to become Jewish. It's obvious that Judaism is not and should not be a proselytising religion.

      And the difficulty of conversion, along with the complete absence of out-marriage and 100% retention is serving us very well.

      It's not all that difficult to convert to Judaism in the non-Orthodox branches, especially Reform, from what I can tell. Of course, Orthodox Jews won't and can't ever accept the validity of such conversions. The rigours demanded of a potential convert by an Orthodox beit din make sense as usually the people who are willing to through this process (including years of study and circumsision, if male) show a lot of dedication to being Jewish and don't enter into it lightly. I'd never recommend to any of the goyyim I know that they should be Jewish, however.

    • Elizabeth Block August 19, 2016, 9:42 am
      An Israeli soldier I spoke to in Jerusalem in March – American, from New Jersey, I think – said “The Druze love us.” Really?

      Depends which Druze (with the caveat that as a group they do what they deem to be in their community's best interest). The people interviewed here are Golan Druze. As opposed to other Druze who became Israeli citizens after Israeli independence in 1948, Golan Druze were part of Syria and only have lived under Israeli rule since 1967. Like the Arabs of East Jerusalem and unlike the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, they became permanent residents of Israel with an option to apply for Israeli citizenship. Initially, most Golan Druze rejected this offer and kept their Syrian citizenship, as they couldn't be sure that the Golan wouldn't revert to Syrian control and they would be deemed traitors. They had a unique status of permanent residents of Israel who swore loyalty to Syria and even sent their kids off to uni in Damascus, Golan Druze orchard owners could even send their apple crops into Syria. Increasingly, as the chaos in Syria mounts, more Golan Druze have come to the realization that their future is in Israel.

    • zaid August 22, 2016, 12:23 am
      True Misterioso,

      They are the only religion in this planet that doesnot allow people to join them!

      Not so. The Parsees in India (an offshoot of Zoroastrianism) also do not permit conversion. I am not sure about other Zoroastrians. I don't think thee Mandaeans or the Yazidis permit outsiders to join them either. There are probably other religions and cults that severely restrict or ban conversions.

    • Misterioso August 19, 2016, 3:06 pm
      My late friend also told me that many Druze stood shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian Christians and Muslims during the Nakba and although it was desperately short of weaponry and manpower, also joined the ALA, the Arab Liberation Army

      Some, but not many, Druze initially fought against Jewish forces in the civil war period after Novermber 29 1947 and joined Qawuqji's ALA, but by late May 1948 most had defected to the IDF. Druze are essentially first and foremost loyal to the Druze and to their own interests. In 1948, the wise Druze communal leadership realized that it was in the interest of the Druze community to not seek the destruction of the State of Israel. Since, as a community, the Druze didn't show hostile intent and didn't threaten the newly born state, none of their members suffered the negative consequences of losing a war.

      That said, in earlier periods, Druze-Jewish relations were not always so good. Druze brigands sacked and looted the Jewish community of Safed in the 1660s and again in 1838, for example. (My family left Safed for Jerusalem around this period.) This was not due to any special Druze animus against Jews, however, in the pre-modern political Zionist era, the Jews in the Land of Israel were then weak and thus were an easy target for Druze malefactors. When the Druze realized that Jews were no longer constituted a victim class, they realized it was to their benefit to ally themselves with the Zionist movement.

  • Israeli mayor: No Arabs in our pools because their 'hygiene culture is not like ours'
    • @Mikhaelsbara:

      Face reality. Zionism is a racist (and religiously bigoted) ideology that’s infected Jewish minds since the late 19th century.

      Zionism is an essentially secular modern national movement of the Jewish people, although its roots go back to the beginning of Jews and are embedded within relgious Judaism going back 2,000 years ago.

      I take it your nickname for me is derived from the "Saboraim" (סבוראים) the rabbis from the Talmudic period who were so called because they were known as the "reasoners". That is quite a complient, thank you! Or was it a clumsy reference to "hasbara". Of course, "hasbara" means to explain and that is also quite a compliment and can never be thought of as pejorative by any thinking and reasonable person. So thank you again.

      I’ve seen all too often how pro-Israel, or rabidly pro-Israel Jewish people refer to Palestinians, Arabs generally, and non-Jews from the Middle East generally. It’s really revolting and stupid- – no other way to describe it.

      You have, along with Kay24, failed to establish how Moti Dotan's comments, however miguided they may have been, are, in her words evidence that" Apartheid is alive and well in zio land" To convincigly demonstrate this, you must show that his suggestions had the force of law.
      Kay24 also asserted that "If this was said by a non Jewish person anywhere in the world, there would be howls from the zionists and accusations of anti-semitism", suggesting a double standard and that Dotan's comments were ignored by the Israeli media. However, the reality is that the mainstream, Zionist Hebrew-language Israeli media lambasted him and he hastily and shamefacedly apologized for his statement.

      But meanwhile. all over France, the land of "liberte, egailte et fraternite" reigns, municipalities are actually banning Muslim women from wearing the so-callexd "burkini" at public beaches and citing the same rationale of enforcing "hygiene" standards that Dotan used to justify himself. Of course, it's a rubbish excuse in both cases.

    • Ossinev August 7, 2016, 7:52 am Has Monsieur Moti Dotan ( sounds like a retro Italian motorcycle

      Sounds like a normal Israeli-Hebrew name -- "Moti" is a diminutive for Mordekhai (which may be Babylonian in origin) and his surname "Dotan" is derived from a geographical place name in Eres Yisra'el.

      You're welcome.

    • Kay24 August 5, 2016, 4:59 pm

      Two points:

      1. Apartheid is alive and well in zio land

      For your"[a]partheid is alive and well" comment to be meaningful and accurate, you need to demonstrate that Moti Dotan's insulting suggestion that all Arab citizens of Israel have different hygiene habits and thus should be segregated from Jewish bathers, is backed up by the force of law in Israel. Whatever Mr. Dotan, a public figure may have meant, it is clear that there is no law that requires segregation of Jews and Arabs at public pools in Israel; therefore your allegation of apartheid is false on its face.

      If this was said by a non Jewish person anywhere in the world, there would be howls from the zionists and accusations of anti-semitism. In fact they would have already passed around the begging bowl to fight this so called anti-semitism.

      The mayor was challenged to explain his position on radio talk show publicly funded by the Israeli government hosted by Zionist Jews who were indignant at his statement and demanded that he clarify his position. He backtracked and claimed his words were misunderstood. Whatever his intent was, he put his foot and the Israeli mainstream media roundly condemned his statement -- that's why you folks at Mondoweiss know about it.

  • Israeli racism unmasks Netanyahu goodwill video
    • talknic August 25, 2016, 6:38 am
      @ Mikhael August 5, 2016, 1:00 am

      digs his cathole deeper

      “There is not one right under Israeli law that Jewish citizens of Israel have that non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have”

      Marriage law. Jewish Israelis can marry a non Israeli and cohabit in Israel. Non-Jewish Israeli Arabs are restricted

      Israeli Arabs (who of course by definition are non-Jews, therefore it's superfluous for you to write "non-Jewish Israeli Arabs") can marry non-Israeli citizens and cohabit with their non-Israeli spouse in Israel. All Israeli citizens are restricted from marrying and cohabiting in Israel with foreigners who are citizens of certain designated states that are either in a technical state of war with Israel or known to be state sponsors of terror. This list includes Iraq, Syria Afghanistan and Sudan, as well as the Palestinian Authority, which of course is not yet a state. This restriction applies to all Israeli citizens, whether these citizens are of Jewish nationality, Arab nationality (which of course by definition denotes people who are not of Jewish nationality) or Israeli citizens of any other minority nationality (e.g., the Armenian community long resident in Israel and East Jerusalem, many of whom hold Israeli citizenship, or foreign-born non-Jews who become naturalized Israeli citizens). Of course, under Israeli law, there are no restrictions on any Israeli citizens (whether of Jewish nationality, Arab nationality or other nationality) marrying and cohabiting in Israel with non-Jewish and non-Israeli citizens of Arab countries that are not in a state of war with Israel, e.g., Egypt. However, although Egypt is technically at peace with Israel, it has a law that can strip Egyptian citizenship from any Egyptian citizen who marries an Israeli citizen. In a truly discriminatory fashion, the Egyptian law takes into account whether the Egyptian citizen married an Israeli Jew or an Israeli Arab -- at first any marriage of an Egyptian to any Israeli citizen was potential grounds for loss of Israeli citizenship, after protests that many of these marriages involved Egyptian Muslims married to Israeli citizen non-Jews rather than the accursed Zionist Israeli Jews, it was decided by the Egyptian High Court that the Interior Ministry could review how unpatriotic the marriages were on a case-by-case basis. But it's all good because Israel is at peace with Egypt.

      Oh WOW!! Most if not all countries, grant their citizens more rights than they do non-citizens

      “Non-citizens of Israel, especially those who live abroad, Jewish or non-Jewish, do not have the same rights.”

      But a certain commenter here frequently and explicitly asserts that Israel should be a "state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally" without regard to whether "immigrants, expats and refugees" are citizens of Israel or not. He's also subsequently denied that this statement implies that non-citizens of Israel who he deems to be "immigrants, expats and refugees" are due all the rights and protections of citizens of Israel.

      “Now, you will predictably link to the Israeli Declaration of Independence and claim that it grants every non-Jew who fled the former British Mandate of Palestine Israeli citizenship. This is false.”

      Your assumption as to what I will claim is false.

      You quite predictably linked to the Israeli Declaration of Independence and you quite predictably misinterpreted its plain language and falsely asserted that the text grants Israeli citizenship to millions of foreign Arabs who claim to be refugees or descendants of refugees.

      The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel is quite clearly talking about non-Jewish Israelis

      It's quite clear that you arrive at conclusions not supported by the text that you append.

    • talknic August 25, 2016, 6:17 am
      @ Mikhael August 25, 2016, 1:01 am

      “… you’ve offered no refutation of them except repeatedly intone a mantra of a state that should treat non-citizens as equally as citizens” Your mantra, not eljay

      Eljay's mantra. See here:

      “… which is the only logical conclusion that can be arrived at from your incessant repetition that Israel is at fault for not treating “citizens, expats, refugees and immigrants equally”

      Word search : “citizens, expats, refugees and immigrants equally” 1 result … your words. Typical Ziopuke tactic. Make something up, falsely attribute it, then base a pathetic nonsensical argument on your fabrication

      Eljay's words. Littered throughout this funny blog in varying permutations hundreds of times. You don't know how to do a "word search". Here are some examples:

      “Whether my comments are verbose or not doesn’t address the validity of their content”

      Your comment content has no validity in respect to justifying Israel’s illegal actions in non-Israeli territories held under Military Occupation by Israel

      Try to focus. The current matter being discussed here is the citizenship status of Israeli citizens and the rights that all Israeli citizens (whether said citizens hold Jewish or non-Jewish nationality). It was falsely alleged that non-Jewish citizens of Israel don't have the same rights under Israeli law as Israeli citizens of Jewish nationality. It was also falsely alleged that non-Jewish foreigners who assert refugee status are "non-Jewish Israeli refugees", a made-up category.

      The status of the disputed territories that were formerly occupied by the Hashemites after the armistice was signed between Israel and Transjordan in 1949, and which are currently claimed by the Palestinian Authority in their entirety, is not pertinent to this particular discussion. (However, I will say that whatever the contours of the borders of a potential future Palestinian Arab state and the State of Israel may be in a two-state solution, it is clear that the UN-proposed 1947 boundaries for a Jewish state and an Arab state in the former British Mandate of Palestine are null and void.)

      “I guess you’re making up your own definitions for these words that you use then. For example, “non-Jewish Israeli refugees”. You’ve never explained what that is. “

      Try the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel non-Jewish Israeli citizens

      The passage you predictably highlight and cite from the Israeli Declaration of Independence which was promulgated on the 5th of Iyyar, 5708 makes no reference at all to any "non-Jewish Israeli citizens. The clear, unambiguous language of the text refers to an "appeal" to Arab
      inhabitants to participate "on the basis of full and equal citizenship". The Declaration of Independence, however, was not a legal instrument that governs the acquisition of Israeli citizenship, but only had the legal force and effect of declaring the establishment of the State of Israel and as an independent state by Israel's then-provisional (look up the word "provisional" when you get the chance) government. The Israeli Nationality Law of 1952, legislated by the third Knesset, covers the eligibility requirements of Israeli citizenship in Section 3 and clearly excludes "Arab inhabitants" who rejected the Declaration's "appeal" to "preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State". It did extend Israeli citizenship to non-Jews who could prove that they were legal residents of the Mandatory at the time it expired and who were counted in the 1949 census and legally present in Israel in 1952. A subsequent revision was conducted in the 1980s to include people who weren't counted in the 1949 census and the law was extended to apply to such individuals.

    • Annie Robbins August 25, 2016, 2:52 am
      Mikhael, when i was in israel in 09 i met a man who was a citizen of israel but he was a refugee from his village

      If he was a citizen of Israel and lived in Israel, then by definition he is legally not considered a refugee, although he may come under the category of an "internally displaced person".

      Of course, there were many Jews who had to flee East Jerusalem and what became known as the "West Bank" after it came under the control of Transjordan's Arab Legion in 1948. Of course once these people became Israeli citizens and were resettled they were no longer "refugees", even if they had to abandon property and assets during the period from 1949-1967 when the West Bank was under Hashemite control.Of course, Israel is not alone among many countries in nationalizing private property (you've heard of eminent domain, haven't you?), and private Jewish property was also expropriated by the government of Israel as well. Nevertheless, Israel's Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law, 5713-1953 (חוק רכישת מקרקעין אישור פעולות ופיצויים תשי"ג 1953), provided for compensation to be made to Israeli citizens who were private owners of expropriated land at the time of the expropriation.

      he took me to palestinian land a kibutz had confiscated but it was now in control of the JNF.

      Did he say whether if it had been privately owned land or state land prior to its acquisition by the JNF, and if it was privately owned land if the former owners accepted comensation pursuant to the Land Acquisition Act, or did you bother asking him?

      there was a mosque on it covered w/barbed wire to make sure the palestinian – israel citizens di not come worship there any more

      There were synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City that were used as stables and chicken coops by the Jordanians after the Jews were expelled in 1948. Cry me a river. If they want to use the mosque, they must try to come to an arrangement with the current owners of the land.

      he lives in an unrecognized village. before this trip i (naively) didn’t understand there were people inside israel waiting to return — to their own land. so yeas, there are refugees living in israel as citizens. but they don’t have the same (privilegeG) rights as jews.

      There's no Israeli law that denies non-Jewish citizens any of of the same legal rights that Jewish citizens of Israel have. Israel's non-Jewish citizens, just like its Jewish citizens, may lease land from the Israel Lands Administration or the JNF. However, Jewish citizens of Israel, just like non-Jewish citizens of Israel, don't enjoy an automatic right to live on or enter nationalized property just because they are Jewish.

    • eljay August 24, 2016, 7:47 pm
      || Mikhael: … [snip a (typically) excessive amount of blather] … You (typically) didn’t bother to consider any other arguments … ||

      I did consider other arguments.

      I'm pretty sure you haven't and if you have, you've offered no refutation of them except repeatedly intone a mantra of a state that should treat non-citizens as equally as citizens, which is the only logical conclusion that can be arrived at from your incessant repetition that Israel is at fault for not treating "citizens, expats, refugees and immigrants equally" . You've failed to offer any example of any state that treats "expats, refugees and immigrants" who are not citizens on an equal basis under the law with its citizens and you've failed to show how Israel does not treat all of its citizens on an equal basis under the law.

      || … and you (typically) have done nothing but repeat the same meaningless and ludicrous formulations … ||

      As have you, only your meaningless and ludicrous formulations are significantly more verbose.

      Whether my comments are verbose or not doesn't address the validity of their content. And it's obvious that AI can;t compete with your net prolixity -- as of today you've racked up an impressive 4,662 comments since 2009 on this funny website as compared to my 400 or so. Where do you find the time?

      || … You don’t even know what your own words mean and you don’t even know what you mean by them. ||

      I know what they mean and what I mean by them. You just don’t like it. :-(

      I guess you're making up your own definitions for these words that you use then. For example, "non-Jewish Israeli refugees". You've never explained what that is. Can it mean a non-Jew who flees political or some other kind of persecution and becomes an Israeli citizen? In that case such a person becomes an Israeli once he or she gains Israeli citizenship, like the hundreds of non-Jewish Vietnamese "boat people" who received asylum in Israel in the late 1970s and eventually became naturalized Israeli citizens. Upon receiving Israeli citizenship, they became non-Jewish Israelis with all the same rights as other Israeli citizens, thus they became "non-Jewish Israelis", but their refugee status ceased. So clearly "non-Jewish Israeli refugees" can't refer to such individuals, can it? The other possibility of what you mean by "non-Jewish Israeli refugees" is that you're referring to the non-Jewish Arabic-speakers who now assert a Palestinian national identity and live outside the borders of the State of Israel after they or their ancestors fled what became Israel in 1948-1949. In most cases these people cannot and should not be considered refugees, as they have become resettled and in many cases accepted citizenship in third countries, although the refugee status of many of them is perpetuated by organizations like UNRWA. But even if one accepts that the people living in UNRWA camps are "refugees" in what way are they "Israelis" as per your formulation, whether Jewish or non-Jewish? You've failed to clarify which group you are referring to by "non-Jewish Israeli refugees" and why, if they are not citizens of the State of Israel, they are owed all the same rights due under Israeli law to citizens (whether Jewish or non-Jewish) of the State of Israel.

    • Mooser August 24, 2016, 6:34 pm
      “Michael” does your branch of Judaism believe in reincarnation? Just asking. You seem to be determined to come back as a fish

      I don't adhere to any "branch of Judaism" as I am a secular, atheist-leaning (albeit still agnostic) Jew with no particular religious or spiritual inclinations. You suggested that such a declaration would make me an apostate according to Judaism and the validity of the religious bill of divorce I granted my ex-wives should be call into question. I corrected your ignorant assertion and informed you that according to halakhic opinions, an individual Jewish male's religious belief or lack thereof does not affect the validity of a get or his obligation to grant it to his wife. As two of my ex-wives are observant Jews and wished to be granted a religious divorce, I complied.

      Nevertheless, to answer your insincere question, some streams of Judaism (notably among the Hasidim) teach that reincarnation happens. This of course is almost certainly poppycock, like the idea that there is a omnipresent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity with agency in human affairs who revealed the law at Sinai and chose the Jewish People to observe that law. My declaration of disbelief in such a deity or the core tenets of what is simplistically referred to as "Judaism" does not make me a non-Jew, however.

    • Mooser August 22, 2016, 1:37 pm

      ” I didn’t stop being a Jew when I ceased to believe in God or keep Shabbat and kashruth.”

      Oh, this is just great. Now Mondo is letting apostates comment on Judaism.
      Good ol’ “Mikhael”! Doesn’t believe in God or keep Shabbat and kashruth! But don’t, if you know what’s good for you, question the validity of his gets!! And the moving figger having been writ, he moves on.

      The consensus opinion of Jewish religious authorities (not that Jewish religious authorities matter to me as a secular Zionist Jew) is that when a Jew declares non-belief in Torah from Sinai , although this may defined as "apikorsuth" or "kefira" (both of which can be translated as heresy or non-belief/denial of faith) it is not "shmad " (which is translated as apostasy), and is the category in which Jews who adopt other religions are placed in.

      Nevertheless, non-belief or even apostasy and adoption of another religion does not invalidate a get and according to all halakhic opinion, a Jewish woman still needs a get from an apostate husband. For that matter, even if a married Jewish male gets a sex change operation, and is then baptized and becomes a Catholic nun, according to Jewish religious law, he/she would still be required to give his/her ex-wife a get to divorce, as Judaism disregards baptism as not affecting Jewish status (just as it doesn't regard a sex change operation as affecting male status).

    • eljay August 22, 2016, 8:01 am
      Untie the knot in your panties. What I have said explicitly and what I believe should apply to all countries is this:
      – All citizens must be treated equally.
      – All immigrants must be treated equally.
      – All expats must be treated equally.
      – All refugees must be treated equally.

      No country, not even an egalitarian and liberal society like Israel, treats non-citizens and its own citizens "equally". You constantly and incessantly name three categories of "immigrants, expats and refugees" and accuse Israel of not treating them equally without specifying whether people in those three categories are citizens of Israel. Of course "immigrants, expats and refugees" can become Israeli citizens, but until they do, they are not owed all of of the rights and benefits due Israeli citizens. That is right, just and fair.

      || … But it is right, just and fair for Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish People to extend preferential treatment to its co-nationals living in the Jewish Diaspora. … ||

      It is “right, just and fair” only in the Zio-supremacist sense because Israel exists as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      Except Israel does not exist as such, as Jewish religious law is not the main source of civil law.

      || … You’re still failing to demonstrate how this is an example of “religion-based” supremacism, since an atheist or agnostic person of Jewish nationality from Toronto has this right as well. … ||

      “Jewish” is a religion-based identity.

      Jewish is a national and ethnic cultural identity. There are many Jews who are agnostics and/or atheist people (like yours truly) who do not believe in a any sort of supernatural deity and lead secular lives free of organized religious observance who are no less Jewish than the most devout adherents of the religion you believe is called Judaism.

      There exists no country of “Jewish” whence Jewish people emerged

      But there certainly was in antiquity a country called the Kingdom of Judah ( Malkhut Yehuda), an area in the Land of Israel, ( Eres Yisra'el), from which the Jewish People (ha Am ha Yehudi) derives its ethnonym, and from where the Jewish People emerged. This name was preserved in the later Roman province of Judea (also known in Hebrew as "Yehuda" and only subsequently named "Syria Palestina") after the defeat of the Jews in thier homeland by the Romans, as well as the later Persian province of "Yehud Medinata". The religious practices that westerners have started to call "Judaism" is actually a religion named after a national group, whereas its mutant offspring religions are named after the founding figures or ideas in the religion. However, the fact is that the State of Israel defines its non-Jewish citizens (who of course enjoy all the same rights under the law as their Jewish fellow citizens) bureaucratically as Israeli citizens,designating them in Hebrew by the word "Yisra'elim" that has been understood to be synonymous with Jews ("Yehudim") for millennia. None of this is evidence of any sort of "religion supremacy," of course, as all these citizens of the Jewish State of Israel (a secular society), whether they are of Jewish or non-Jewish national and ethnic background, are free to observe any religion or no religion and not compelled to observe any sort of religious law by the State of Israel against their will.

      || … Not only is Israel the nation-state of the Jewish People … ||

      Right: It’s a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      Your assertion does not make it so and you are still failing to provide any evidence of religious law being used as the prime source of civil legislation in Israel, or coerced or compulsory observance of religion, which you would find in a "religion suprema cist" state.

      Only a Zio-supremacist would think that an Israeli state which – among other things – rejects its non-Jewish Israeli refugees and favours non-Israeli Jewish citizens of countries around the world is anything other than a supremacist construct.

      What is a "non-Jewish Israeli refugee" and how are said imaginary people "rejected" by Israel? There are in fact no such things as "Israeli refugees" who are denied citizenship status in Israel, whether they are of Jewish or non-Jewish nationality/ethnic background. (Although there are some Israeli citizens who have successfully (and cynically) obtained asylum status and legal residency outside Israel -- in Canada, of all places (nice scam) -- but there's no indication that if they were to return to Israel that they would be denied the same rights they always had. I asked you before if, when you mention "non-Jewish Israeli refugees" if you were referring to the Arabic-speaking non-Jews and their descendants who have adopted a Palestinian national identity. Even if one accepts that such people are in actuality "refugees" (a dubious contention since most have been resettled in other countries for many generations and in many cases have accepted foreign citizneship, which would ) it's quite clear that said non-Jewish persons are not "Israelis" and never were "Israelis". On what basis is the Canadian-born grandchild of a teenager who fled to Lebanon from Akko in 1948 war and subsequently immigrated to Montreal with his Lebanese-born wife in the 1960s an "Israeli" or a "refugee"?

      I didn’t bother to read the rest of your (typically) ridiculously long, blather-filled comment, so I have nothing more to add.

      You (typically) didn't bother to consider any other arguments and you (typically) have done nothing but repeat the same meaningless and ludicrous formulations like "religion supremacist Jewish state" and "expats, immigrants and refugees". You don't even know what your own words mean and you don't even know what you mean by them.

    • eljay August 8, 2016, 9:20 am

      || Mikhael: … No country grants all the same rights to non-citizens as it does to its citizens … ||

      I never said any country did. You might want to brush up on your reading / comprehension skills.

      Then why do you insistently repeat the ludicrous statement that Israel should treat "citzens, immigrants , expats and refugees" equally, as if immigrants, expats and refugees who are not citizens of Israel should be given all the same rights as people who are citizens of Israel .You are explicitly, not even impliedly, stating that Israel, alone of all countries, must grant non-citizens the same rights as its citizens have.

      || … Jewish immigrants to Israel usually gain Israeli citizenship faster than most non-Jewish immigrants, but there are several exceptions — for example a non-Jewish immigrant married to a Jewish immigrant spouse gets the Israeli citizenship at the same time as his or her Jewish spouse; another example is the Israeli Interior Ministry may have reasons for granting “non-Jewish immigrant X” immediate Israeli citizenship– as it did for an Indian Christian nanny of two Israeli children who saved the children’ds lives while their rabbinical emissary parents were being murdered in the Mumbai terror attacks . This is right, just and fair. … ||

      The last example is the only example of right, just and fair. The rest are examples of religion-based “Jewish State” supremacism.

      The last example is an example of humanitarian gesture of gratitude to a foreigner who helped Israeli citizens. I'm sure many Palestinian Arabs resent her gaining Israeli citizenship. But it is right, just and fair for Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish People to extend preferential treatment to its co-nationals living in the Jewish Diaspora. You're still failing to demonstrate how this is an example of "religion-based" supremacism, since an atheist or agnostic person of Jewish nationality from Toronto has this right as well.

      Germany for Germans. Armenia for Armenians. Greece for Greeks. Israel for…no, not for Israelis (non-Jewish and Jewish alike) but for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews. Thanks for demonstrating once again that Israel is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      I can't accept your gratitude, because I've failed to demonstrate this. Israel is the secular nation-state of the Jewish People, which extends preferential conditions for immigration purposes to people of Jewish national heritage living in the Diaspora, whether or not they believe in Jewish "religion" or "God" or "Torah" or the Spaghetti Monster or whatever. Not only is Israel the nation-state of the Jewish People, whether they live inside the State of Israel or in the Diaspora, it is also the state of all Israeli citizens, even those who belong to natinoal minority groups and/or practice non-Jewish religions. It is not mutually exclusive for Israel to be the state of the Jewish People and of all of its citizens and its definition of itself as jewish state doesn't negatively affect the civil rights equally enjoyed by all its citizens. Only a bigot would think so.

      …to point out that Jewish is not a bureaucratic nationality but a religion-based identity that can be acquired one of two ways:
      – a person undergoes a religious conversion to Judaism; or
      – a person is descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism

      A small, statistically insignificant minority of Israeli citizens have acquired Israeli citizenship through religious conversion to Judaism. The vast majority of Jewish citizens of Israel are descended from Jews who lived in the country during antiquity, albeit mixed with some descent from converts their ancestors mingled with in the Diaspora. Nevertheless, a "religion-supremacist" Jewish state would, by definition, replace secular civil law with Jewish reigious law. There are several modern examples of "religion-supremacist" states in our lovely region of the Middle East that use religious law as the main source of civil law. Israel is not one of these states.

      And Israel was established and exists not as a state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally,

      Israel is a state of and for all Israeli citizens, equally. It is also the nation-state of the Jewish People state that members of the Jewish diaspora abroad can identify with as their ancestral and cultural homeland and will always offer them an opportunity to become citizens of Israel, whereupon they will have all the same rights as other Israeli citizens, equally. Foreign-born Jews from abroad, even those from places like Canada, who take advantage of their legal and moral right as Jews to acquire Israeli citizenship will even be equal to the non-Jewish citizens of Israel.

      Israel is NOT a state of non-Jewish "immigrants, expats and refugees" who are NOT citizens of the State of Israel. If these non-Jewish "immigrants, expats or refugees" somehow manage to acquire Israeli citizenship by any of various means (e.g., (A) marriage to an Israeli citizen, whether said Israeli citizen is of Jewish or non-Jewish nationality, (B) through a process of long-term legal residence and naturalization proceedings, or (C) by decree of the Interior Minister for any of a number of reasons, e.g., (1) a humanitarian gesture or (2) for possessing a skill or making a contribution deemed valuable to Israeli society) then these non-Jewish citizens of Israel, even if they are "immigrants, expats or refugees" have every right to consider Israel as their state and Israel is a state "of and for" such "immigrants, expats and refugees" who hold Israeli citizenship.

      || … There are no Jewish refugees in Israel and there are no Jewish refugees from Israel. Non-Jewish refugees in Israel who manage to obtain Israeli citizenship are entitled to all the citizenship rights that Jewish citizens of Israel have. ||

      And the non-Jewish refugees from Israel can go f*ck themselves. Got it.

      What's a "refugee from Israel"? If you mean the Arabic-speaking non-Jews who are the descendants of the Arabs who fled the country in 1948-1949, many at the behest of Arab governments that tried to ethnically cleanse the Jews from the country, since most of them identify as Palestinian Arabs they are entitled to national self-determination in a Palestinian Arab nation-state. They must take up the issue of repatriation to that state when and if it comes into existence, or integrate into their current countries of residence if they prefer. They can apply for redress for properties and assets lost in the conflict but they do not have an automatic right to seek citizenship in Israel. Likewise, Israeli Jews who are descended from families that were expelled from places like Iraq and Egypt aren't owed citizenship or residency in those countries, but they can and should be encouraged to seek compensation for forcefully abandoned properties that were confiscated or nationalized by the governments of such states.

    • August 8, 2016, 2:02 am


      Second, Greek or Armenian is still not a religion

      Right. "Greek" and "Armenian" refer to one's ethnic and national identities. Like "Jew" refers to a national and ethnic identity.

      a Romaniote or Sefardí Greek, either Jewish or non-religious (or converted) with roots in Greece is as much a Greek citizen as any other.

      The few remaining Romaniote Jews or Sefaradi Jews (it is properly transliterated as "Sefaradi" by the way, not "Sefardí") living in Yanina or Saloniki can be a Greek citizens, sure. They're still of Jewish nationality by ancestry and most of them will assert this when asked, whether or not they are observant Jews. They are Greek citizen who belong to ethnic national minorities, just as there are Greek citizens who are ethnic Albanians, Greek citizens who are ethnic Turks, and Greek citizens who are ethnic Megleno-Romanians. These are minority communities in Greece that retain ethnic kinship ties and a natiponal bond with co-ethnics in other nation-states. Likewise, the tiny community of Greek citizens who belong to the Jewish national minority have ties to their fellow Jews across the Mediterranean in Israel and to the world Jewish community that are just as strong, and many would assert that those ties are stronger, than their ties to their fellow Greek citizens who do not belong to the Jewish community in Greece.

      Finally, “Jewish without religion” is the height of absurdity. There is no such ethnicity, culture, nationality or peoplehood.

      You can pretend that your story is true, but it doesn't make it so. I didn't stop being a Jew when I ceased to believe in God or keep Shabbat and kashruth.

    • eljay August 7, 2016, 7:07 pm

      Thanks for the unnecessary repetition.

      The repetition was necessary as you have constantly repeated (probably hundreds of times) the outlandish notion that non-citizens who you deem to be "immigrants, refugees and expats" should be entitled to all of the same rights as citizens, whether those citizens could be categorized as "immigrants, refugees and expats" or whether those citizens came upon their citizenship by other means. It is absolutely true that Israel does not grant non-citizens who may be "immigrants, refugees and expats" the same rights as citizens who may be "immigrants, refugees and expats." No country grants all the same rights to non-citizens as it does to its citizens -- not even Israel!

      So, since Jewish immigrants can gain citizenship faster than non-Jewish immigrants, it becomes relevnat before those immigrants become citizens.

      Yup. This is right, just and fair. And while as a free human being you are entitled to whine about it as much as you want, your opinion carries no moral sway and even more importantly, will have no practical effect. Israel will always continue to favor Jewish immigrants over non-Jewish immigrants long after you and I are both dead. But for the record, as a general rule, Jewish immigrants to Israel usually gain Israeli citizenship faster than most non-Jewish immigrants, but there are several exceptions -- for example a non-Jewish immigrant married to a Jewish immigrant spouse gets the Israeli citizenship at the same time as his or her Jewish spouse; another example is the Israeli Interior Ministry may have reasons for granting "non-Jewish immigrant X" immediate Israeli citizenship-- as it did for an Indian Christian nanny of two Israeli children who saved the children'ds lives while their rabbinical emissary parents were being murdered in the Mumbai terror attacks . This is right, just and fair. There are many other countries that have very similar practices that favor immigrants of the majority ethnic group and fast-track them on the path to citizenship, among them the Federal Republic of Germany, which smoothes the process for ethnic Germans from the Eastern Bloc nations to acquire German citizenship, many of them multiple generations removed from Germany and who didn't speak German, such as the Volga German descendants in Russia (although it has made this process more difficult in recent years); Armenia grants easy access to Armenian citizenship to ethnic Armenians from anywhere in the world, who have never set foot in Armenia and who may be descended from people who have never set foot within the borders of present-day Armenia; Greece also enables people of Greek ethnicity to easily immigrate to Greece. It is right, just and fair for Germany, Armenia and Greece to determine which category of would-be immigrants should have an easier ability to gain citizenship on the basis of ethnicity and it is right, just and fair for Isreael to do the same.

      || … This is not only legal under Israeli law and intenrationallaw, but it is right, just and fair. … ||

      No, it’s neither right, just nor fair for Jewish immigrants to receive preferential treatment.

      OK, you have yet again made your ridiculous opinion known on the record . And I will state again for the record that Israel will continue to give preferential treatment to Jewish immigrants long after you and I are both dead and that it is right, just and fair for it to do so. But non-Jewish citizens of Israel still have all the same civil rights as Jewish citizens of Israel. Although it's easier for Jewish immigrants to obtain Israeli citizenship than it is for non-Jewish immigrants, that fact remains unaltered.

      || … Absolutely not, and there is no morally justifiable reason why foreign-born non-Jews who claim that their ancestors lived within the borders of Israel n generations ago should be entitled to automatically gain citizenship n a Jewish nation-state in the same manner as foreign-born Jews can. … ||

      Thanks for stating clearly that Israel is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      The only way that that your allegation of Israel being a "religion-supremacist Jewish state" would be if you could provide evidence that Jewish religious law reigns supreme as the primary source of civil law over non-religious civil law and that the practice of non-Jewish religions (or no religions) are hindered with the encouragement of the state. There are elements that wish the latter to be true, but so far there is absolute freedom of (and from) religion; thus your description is without merit.

      Greece and Armenia represent Greeks and Armenians. Israel should represent Israelis, not Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

      Greece and Armenia represent people of ethnic Greek and ethnic Armenian descent who may or not be citizens of Greece or Armenia and who may or may not live with the borders of the Hellenic Republic of Greece or the Republic of Armenia. Israel represents Israeli citizens (whether Jewish or non-Jewish) and individuals who belong to Jewish communities in the Diaspora and and who may not yet have obtained Israeli citizenship but who identify with Israel. Whether you like it or not, Israeli Independence Day resonates more strongly for many Jews in Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal than Canada Day, even if those Jews are not (yet) Israeli citizens (but who may one day be). And Israel is fully within its legal and moral right to send emissaries to the Jews of Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal to encourage them to obtain Israeli citizenship and move to Israel. Other than whine, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

      Greek and Armenian are bureaucratic nationalities that belong to all citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees from their respective countries (and if they’re not, they should be)

      "Greek" and "Armenian" are ethnic descriptors that can refer to people who were never citizens of, nor are even descended from, people who were citizens of the Hellenic Republic of Greece nor the Republic of Armenia. There are Greek people who were born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia whose grandparents were boirn in present-day Izmir, Turkey (formerly known as Smyrna) and were expelled from that city in the 1920s. They regard themselves as Greeks and the Greek government regards them as ethnic Greeks and as such, if they choose to immigrate to Greece they will receive preferential treatment and obtain Greek citizenship much more quickly than, say, a Nigerian who wants to immigrate to Greece. Ethnic Armenians from Aleppo, Syria fleeing the carnage of the civil war are automatically granted citizenship in the Republic of Armenia, even if their parents and grandparents never set foot in that country but rather lived in then-Constantinople before being deported to the Syrian desert by the Ottoman government. But while the Republic of Armenia is entitled to grant easy citizenship and refuge to its co-ethnics fleeing Syria, it owes nothing to the Syrian Arabs or Kurds who lived in the building right next door to those same ethnic Armenians form Syria and whose lives are threatened by the same conflict. It is is right, just and fair for Armenia to be choosy about what kind of people it wants to offer citizenship to and so far they have been rolling out the red carpet to people they consider fellow Armenians but haven't been to helpful to non-ethnic Armenians fleeing Syria.

      || … And “Israeli” is basically just a synonym for “Jewish” anyway. ||

      Thanks for once again stating clearly that Israel is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      Well, since "Jewish" doesn't necessarily refer to a person who follows a certain religion, but does in fact refer to someone who is of a specific national and ethnic origin, in what way does stating the fact that "Israeli" is a traditional synonym for "Jew" show Israel to be a "religion-supremacist Jewish state" if non-Jewish citizens are legally considered Israeli citizens? Your allegation was that a status of "Israeli nationality" would answer the identity question of non-Jewish Israelis, but in reality t would be imposing a national identity on them that they don't want or identify with. But "Israeli citizen" does not need to raise those identity questions as one can be a citizen of Israel without having an ethnically Israeli (which basically means Jewish) nationality -- just as an ethnic Albanian can be a citizen of Greece without sharing an ethnic Greek national identity.

      BTW, I notice that you didn’t bother to address the question of Israel’s non-Jewish and Jewish refugees. No surprise there.

      There are no Jewish refugees in Israel and there are no Jewish refugees from Israel. Non-Jewish refugees in Israel who manage to obtain Israeli citizenship are entitled to all the citizenship rights that Jewish citizens of Israel have.

    • echinococcus August 7, 2016, 3:22 pm


      No need to force one whole, boring book on us: Greek and Armenian are not religions, period.

      Jewish national identity isn't solely contingent on adherence to any religion. My agnostic skepticism in an unproven deituy, disbelief in "Torah mi' Sinai" and routine violation of the Jewish Sabbath makes me a Jew who does not observe any religion. That said, the Greeks and the Armenians both have officially recognized state religions (read the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), Article 3 explicity states Eπικρατούσα θρησκεία στην Eλλάδα είναι η θρησκεία της Aνατολικής Oρθόδοξης Eκκλησίας του Xριστού. ("The prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ)

      Pontic Greeks from the former USSR have been able to take advantage of their ethnic Greek heritage to obtain Greek (and thus EU) citizenship -- a determinant for establishing their Greek heritage is a family history of belonging to a recognized Greek Orthodox church.

      Similar determining criteria exist to grant descendants of Armenians living in that country's Diaspora the right to obtain Armenian citizenship. It is right, just and fair for both countries to grant citizenship to their co=-ethnic kin in the Diaspora; just as it is for Israel.

    • Mr.T August 5, 2016, 10:42 am

      “There is not one right under Israeli law that Jewish citizens of Israel have that non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have.”

      That’s an absolute lie.

      If your allegation that I am telling a lie is to be taken seriously then you must provide an example of a right that Jewish citizens have in Israel that non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have and cannot have under Israeli law soleley because they are non-Jews.

      But even so, the fact that your Apartheid democratic and secular Jewish nation-state that affords full equal civil rights to citizens who are part of the non-Jewish minority state makes this distinction concerning citizenship, while affording citizenship on a bigoted basis is, itself, enough to condemn...

      Many democratic nation-states make it easier for foreign-born people with ancestry in the dominant ethnic group to gain citizenship (e.g., Hungary, Germany, Greece, Armenia, Albania) than foreign-born people without ancestry in the dominant ethnic group. That's right, just and fair.

      That’s not to mention the fact that it is, at the same time, talking out of the both sides of its mouth by claiming all of this land as “Israel” while also not extending to the non-Jews — whose land it actually is — the alleged rights that this evil state supposedly affords, solely because these people are non-Jews.

      Israel has been committed to a negotiated solution and territorial compromise since 1993.

      Either get . . . behind the green line, give everyone from river to sea absolute equality

      A two-state solution is necessary, but the contours of the first ever Palestinian-Arab state won't be defined by the former "green line" which was nothing but a temporary armistice line between the Transjordan and Israel following the cessation of hostilities between those two states in 1949. That ship sailed a while ago.

    • Annie Robbins August 5, 2016, 11:28 am

      because if it was an israeli state all israeli citizens would be considered israeli nationals and afforded the rights of israeli nationals (see nationality law which affords only jews certain rights denied to non jewish citizens of israel)

      You mentioned Israel's nationality law but you can't name one right that it grants which privileges Jewish citizens of Israel to the detriment of non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Neither the Nationality Law nor any other legislation in Israel grants Jewish citizens rights that non-Jewish citizens are denied.

    • eljay August 5, 2016, 11:20 am

      Do non-Jewish immigrants to Israel have exactly the same rights as Jewish immigrants to Israel?

      I'll repeat. (Read the words highlighted in bold and try to process.) Jewish citizens and non-Jewish citizens of Israel have exactly the same rights in the State of Israel. Whether Jewish "immigrants" as opposed to non-Jewish "immigrants" have the same rights does not become relevant until those immigrants become citizens. Jewish immigrants to Israel (or non-Jews who can demonstrate at least one Jewish grandparent, or non-Jews married to a Jew or to another non-Jew with one demosntarble Jewish grandparent) can gain Israeli citizenship faster than a non-Jew with no Jewish ancestors or who is not married to a Jew or an Israeli. This is not only legal under Israeli law and intenrationallaw, but it is right, just and fair.

      Do non-Jewish expats and refugees from Israel have exactly the same rights as Jewish expats and refugees from Israel?

      Does this non-Jewish expat rom Israel that you are imagining have Israeli citizenship? If this person has Israeli citizenship, then yes, he or she has the same rights as Jewish expats from Israel who are Israeli citizens (and more rights than Jewish non-citizens of Israel). If such a person is not an Israeli citizen , then such a person is not entitled to the rights of Israeli citizenshipI'm not sure what Israeli citizenship rights he or she can claim if he or she lives abroad, other than to resume residence in Israel and claim lowered import duty as a returning Israeli citizen. Once such a person resumes residence in Israel, then this former expat has all the rights of any other Israeli citizen, Jewish or non-Jewish

      Do non-Jewish people up to n generations removed from Israel have exactly the same rights as Jewish people up to n generations removed from Israel?

      Absolutely not, and there is no morally justifiable reason why foreign-born non-Jews who claim that their ancestors lived within the borders of Israel n generations ago should be entitled to automatically gain citizenship n a Jewish nation-state in the same manner as foreign-born Jews can. Likewise, non-ethnic Armenians whose ancestors may have lived within the borders of the present-day Republic of Armenia (for example ethnic Azeri Turks) several generations ago are not entitled to Armenian citizenship, whereas ethnic Armenians from present-day Syria (what remains of it) whose ancestors lived in present-day Turkey n generations ago are entitled to Armenian citizenship rights in the present-day Republic of Armenia. This is right, just and fair.

      If all non-Jewish and Jewish citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees (“CIERs”) from Israel are equal in every way,

      Again, only the "C" -- citizens -- in your CIERs defined term has any relevance. If the "immigrants, expats and refugees" are not citizens then by definition they are not equal in every way.

      what’s the point of calling Israel a “Jewish State” rather than an Israeli state?

      Since states like Greece and Armenia and many others have citizens who do not belong to the dominant ethnic group but who enjoy equal rights under the law (in theory if not always in practice) then what's the point in these states referrring to themselves as a Greek state or an Armenian state? And "Israeli" is basically just a synonym for "Jewish" anyway.

    • silamcuz August 4, 2016, 8:41 am
      ” The Palestinian people already encompasses a diverse set of discrete groups that lived on the land since it was first settled, and this includes Jews, among many others.

      Jews have never regareded themselves as part of any "Palestinian People" . Some Jews, including some still alive today, formerly held between 1925-1948 Palestinian citizenship in the British Mandate of Palestine, a defunct colonial entity,, and thus were technically "Palestinian Jews." Such people include some of my aunts and uncles (as well as my late father) who were born in the Mandate and thus acquired Palestinian citizenship at birth. Prior to 1925, however, there were no Palestinian Jews. My father's parents, born like my father, aunts and uncles in Jerusalem, only became Palestinians in 1925. Prior to that my grandparents were Ottoman citizens, although their family had lived in the territory that officially became "Palestine" for generations, we never had any "Palestinians" in the family until 1925. After May 1948, all of my father's family became Israeli and pernanently gave up "Palestinian" status.

      Israeli Jews refers to a disparate set of peoples, originating from various locations within and outside of the Levant with almost no shared national history, for example Ethiopian Jews and Russian Jews

      All Jews have a shared national history. "Russian" Jews, in fact, were never officially designated as "Russians" under Czarist and Soviet governments, but had a designated nationality of "Yevrei" -- Jews.

      the later group has no right for any form of separate national aspiration in Palestine, at least not in the same legitimacy as the former. What they can aspire to instead, is to add themselves into the pre-existing fabric of Palestinian society, and peacefully assimilate into the culture and national identity that is already there

      Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews have their own national culture and will continue to organize themselves as a political unit in their own Jewish nation-state, which guarantees rights to non-Jewish national minorities. The Arabic-speaking non-Jews who have recently adopted and now assert a Palestinian national identity are entitled to national self-determination in their own state entity next to but not in place of Israel. The contours of the borders between that yet-to-be established entity and the Jewish state of Israel are yet to be determined.

    • talknic August 4, 2016, 1:09 pm
      Typical Zionist propagandist ignores what has been said and digs his cathole deeper

      @ Jon66 August 4, 2016, 11:50 am

      Do you view having a religious symbol on the national flag as a form of discrimination in those countries which have multiple religions?”

      If they’re discriminated against. Non-Jews in Israel are!

      There is not one right under Israeli law that Jewish citizens of Israel have that non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have. And non-Jewish citizens of Israel have more legal rights in Israel than Jewish non-citizens. Non-citizens of Israel, especially those who live abroad, Jewish or non-Jewish, do not have the same rights. Now, you will predictably link to the Israeli Declaration of Independence and claim that it grants every non-Jew who fled the former British Mandate of Palestine Israeli citizenship. This is false.

  • Democratic Party consultant asked about Palestinian rights: 'Not my problem'
    • Misterioso July 30, 2016, 10:49 am

      The first known written reference to Palestinians (Peleset) was c.1150 BCE at the temple of Medinet Habut. They were among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III’s reign

      There's no historical, linguistic or anthoppological revidence linking the Arabic-speaking population who currently embrace a "Palestinian" national identity to the Aegean sea peoples of "Peleshet" that you cite. It's interesting to note that the words "Peleshet" and "Pelishtim" have the Hebrew roots "P/L/Sh" which connotes an invader, which is how these people were viwewed by the Israelites/Jews of antiquity. Indeed, the Septuagint version of the Biblical text in the Book of Samuel renders Goliath's statement "אנוכי הפלישתי" into ""γώ εἰμι ἀλλόφυλος " which means "I am the foreigner"

      The classical references that you mention were simply using a broad geographical term that the Greco-Romans used to refer to an area that included much of present-day Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. It wasn't a term used in reference to any specific etnhic group, nationality or political entity.

    • yonah fredman July 30, 2016, 9:22 am

      We don’t know what color Jesus was, but I’m betting his skin color was closer to that of Sirhan Sirhan and/or Yigal Amir than it was to that of Lee Harvey Oswald or Richard Speck.

      There's no way of knowing which of the murderers you mentioned had the closest skin color to Jesus (assuming he existed) or any of the Jews who lived in Judea at the time.

      It's likely that an "olive" complexion was the default , but just as today's Israeli Jews and the Levantine-speaking Arabic populations who are their neighbors have a range of skin colors, range from very fair "white" to dark "black" skin, it's reasonable to assume that in the 1st century CE there was a similar variety.

    • RoHa July 30, 2016, 9:53 am

      Jesus may well be a fictional character, but the traditional accounts tell us that he was born in Palestine. That makes him a Palestinian, even if he did not call himself that.

      If by "traditional account," you are referring to what the Jesuscultists consider to be the "New Testament" there are no references in any of that source material to "Palestine" or "Palestinians".

      But "Judea" and "Israel" appear often in said texts. Describing "Jesus" as "Palestinian" is anachronistic.

    • The so-called "Jesus" (assuming that this was not a fictional character) may or may not have been brown-skinned. As there are no contemporary physical descriptions of him and certainly no photographic or other depictions from the time period in which he is alleged to have lived, one wonders how the good reverend knows what complexion he had. According to all accounts, he was supposedly Jewish. But one thing is certain (assuming he existed), he couldn't have been"Palestinian" as nobody conceived of such a group during the period in which this quasi-mythic figure wupposedly was living.

  • Jerusalem municipality 'taking advantage' of US elections to expand settlements
    • Mooser August 1, 2016, 1:22 pm

      Naturally, “Jon s” you could easily change my mind about this. All you have to do is shoot me, hit me with a chair and kick me to death.

      Nobody has to do that. You'll be dead in a few decades' time anyway with no Jewish progeny, in which time millions of Jews will be born in in Israel with NHebrew as their native tongue. Many non-Jews speak it and will continue to learn it also.

      Oh yeah, everybody will want to brush up their Hebrew.


    • echinococcus August 3, 2016, 4:15 pm
      Mickhael, perfectly described what is called a dead language.

      No. If I described a language like Anglo-Saxon, which not only has not had any native speakers for many centuries but has no continuing literary corpus, without generations of children who learn to read it at age 5 and grow into adults capable of creating new works in it, then I would have perfectly described a dead language.

      A dead language is one that has no native speakers –like Hebrew.

      Hebrew may have been dormant as a vernacular, but it never died completely. That''s why it is such an unqualified success today, with nearly 7 million native speakers.

      And the Hebrew spoken as a mother tongue by its first native speakers, the Perlman children (dad self-reinvented as “Son of Judah”,

      Ashkenazim in Europe had been using patrynomics for centuries before Central and Easetrn European governments imposed surnames on them in the 18th and 19th centuries. The "Perlman" name, like most Germanic and Slavic surnames that Ashkenazim were compelled to adopt, was in use by Eliezer Ben Yehuda's (whose father was named יהודה-לייב) family for far less time than the traditional Jewish patrynomic naming conventions. You don't get to foist a surname on a family that rejected it over a century ago after it was imposed by a defunct foreign government a century or so before that.

      son humorously and unpatriotically self-reinvented “Son of my dad”)

      Itamar Ben-Avi's chosen surname was an acronym of "Eliezer Ben-Yehuda" (אבי) which can also mean "my father" (not "my dad"). Unlike his father, he was never known as "Perlman," the name that Czarist authorities compelled one of his ancestors to adopt a century prior to his birth. He was unpatriotic enough to advocate that Hebrew be written in a Latin-based alphabet, however.

      was a constructed language

      Modern Hebrew does not come close to the definition of a constructed language. It is a vibrant language that is not only a lineal descendant of the Hebrew of the Miqra and the Mishna, but of medieval and early modern rabbinic and literary Hebrew.

      Other national and ethnic groups have been inspired by the success of the modern Hebrew spoken revival and are attempting to do the same thing, with mixed results. One language thought to be be dead over the past century is the Algonquian dialect of Mohegan, whose last native speaker died in the early 1900s. As the Mohegan people (unlike the Jewish people) never had a tradition of teaching their sacred and secular literature in their own language, the prospects of a spoken revival seems daunting, as the language has to be reconstructed from scattered recordings and lexicons compiled by long-dead ethnographers. So their language was far more moribund than Hebrew ever was. Nevertheless, soon there may be a new generation of Mohegans who can speak it with native fluency. They will not be speaking a conlang either, but their own heritage language, just as Hebrew is the heritage language of the Jewish People. One can only wish that the efforts of the Mohegans and other groups with endangered languages will emulate the Hebrew cultural revival and meet with success.

      remodeled to fit the Slavic and German substratum

      Of course, modern Hebrew was enthusiastically adopted by all segments of the Yishuv, Mizrahim, Sefaradim and Ashkenazim and shows language contact influence from the different cultures that these groups lived among in the Diaspora as well as in Eres Yisra'el. One of the main proponents and disseminators of spoken modern Hebrew was Yosef Meyouhas, a Sefaradi from the Old Yishuv of Jerusalem who was from a family that could trace continuous residence there since the 1600s (and a 2nd cousin of my late grandmother). Modern Hebrew was never solely a product of the Ashkenazi milieu that Ben Yehuda was born into.

      and of the Zionist social-experimenter criminals heroes

      The forecast for this "social expirement" is that the nearly 7 million native Hebrew-speakers will double within the next few decades. If you're still alive, I look forward to seeing you stamp your little feet and pound your little fists in dismay as you denounce a language that you'll never have the pleasure of reading, speaking or understanding.

      One cannot avoid noticing that the homeland(TM) of the inventor was Vitebsk, an Oblast of Bielorussia. . Not Palestine.

      Ben-Yehuda's birthplace may have been there, but as a Jew, his national and ancestral homeland was in Eres Yisra'el. Of course, when he first moved there, it was not part of "Palestine" but was the Mustarrifate of Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire. "Palestine" had only just been created by the British at the time Ben-Yehuda's death in 1922.

    • echinococcus August 1, 2016, 12:21 am
      He just confirms what I wrote, ie that classical Hebrew was no one’s mother tongue (= dead language)

      echinococcus (f/k/a "puppies") doesn't know the difference between a language and a vernacular. Hebrew mayhave been moribund as a vernacular, but it was never completely "dead."

      Besides the fact that literate Jews (ajnd most Jews were literate in Hebrew) from different parts of the Diaspora were able to use it as a lingua franca for spoken communication over the centuries, new Hebrew literature continued to be created for over 2,000 years. The modern spoken revival led by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda of Jerusalem, which was connected with the modern political Zionist movement (one must distinguish between modern political Zionism, the successful national movement that resulted in the renewed independence of Jews in their homeland from the simple Zionism that is inextricably emdedded within religious Judaism) was predated by the Haskalah, which saw a flowering of Hebrew literature and journalism in Europe.

  • Media accusations of blood libels -- against Abbas and Sanders -- amplify a Jewish tribal fantasy
    • Annie Robbins June 29, 2016, 8:22 pm
      we already get you think jewish deaths are more valuable and the other 30-40 million civilian allied deaths are not “equally tragic”.

      A cousin of my mother's (Jewish, of course) perished along with nearly 38,000 other civilians, Jewish and non-Jewish, during the Soviet siege of Budapest as they bombarded and starved that city to evict the Nazis. Had the Soviets not liberated Budapest my relative would have likely been deported to Auschwitz or Majdanek or some other death camp and ultimately executed along with all the remaining Jews interned in the Jewish ghetto of Pest, but she avoided that fate long enough, only to die as a result of an errant Soviet shell destroying the building in which she sought shelter (so we were told by her sister). Logic says that her death was certainly tragic, but since she was killed as a result of the necessary artillery bombardment of that city to evict the Nazi beasts and their Hungarian allies, we still do not count her among the other Jewish victims of the Shoah (or Gypsy victims, for that matter) who were shipped to death camps and killed by the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators due to their perceived race. Indeed, the Soviet liberation of Budapest, with all the destruction and loss that accompanied it, was ultimately the lesser of two evils, although decades of Communist dictatorship ensued. Pointing out that there is a moral difference between collateral damage (and yes, Jews were sometimes collateral damage in WW2 as well, like my relative) and people being deliberately targeted for annihilation does not make any value judgment on the relative worth of civilian lives by ethnic background.

    • Annie Robbins June 29, 2016, 8:22 pm

      we already get you think jewish deaths are more valuable and the other 30-40 million civilian allied deaths are not “equally tragic”.

      No reasonable person would make such an inference from what I wrote, which was in direct response to Mooser's assertion that ALL of the approximately 60 million deaths in WW2 (which would include military and civilian) were "equally tragic." I clearly stated that the civilian deaths were all tragedies (although, in the case of the Allied strategic bombings of German and Japanese cities, probably necessary to bring an end to the war). I also stated that the Allied soldiers who gave their lives to defeat the Nazi evil (many of such soldiers were Jews who died fighting in the ranks of Allied armies) should not be compared to the deaths of civilians, whether they were intentionally targeted solely because of their perceived "race" (as all Jews living in Nazi-occupied areas were, and as many, but not all, Roma Gypsies were so targeted in the genocidal Porajmos campaign against the Roma) or were incidental casualties of Allied or Axis bombings, or who died from disease or starvation. And the deaths of Axis soldiers fighting should be celebrated, and not remembered as "equally tragic" to the deaths of the victims of the regime they served.

    • Marnie June 29, 2016, 6:29 am
      Mikhail –

      “But they were not deliberately selected as populations to be entirely eradicated. ”

      What about Russia, London – Blitzkrieg anyone, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Does the holocaust always get top billing in man’s inhumanity to man?

      As I clearly mentioned, these are examples of tragic loss of life, mostly among civilians, that occur during wartime. Nevertheless, the innocent civilians who perished in the firebombings of Tokyo, Dresden or the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the British residents and citizens (including many Jewish residents of Whitechapel, which took a heavy toll during the Blitz) who died in the Blitz of London (I think you're confusing the "Blitz" in London with the "Blitzkrieg" in Poland and other places the Germans invaded earlier) were not killed because their killers wanted to extinguish their entire ethnicity(or as the Nazis characterized it, "race"). Only the Jews and the Roma/Sinti Gypsies (to a lesser extent, and I write "lesser" extent not to minimize the sufferings of the Roma but because the Nazi genocidal policy towards the Roma in the Porajmos was not as comprehensive or planned to the extent that it was in the case of the Jews) were selected for mass and total annihilation solely on account of their ethnicity . The innocent victims who dies in the Blitz (including the Jews who lived in east London) were not singled out for their ethnicity. The innocent Japanese who died in Tokyo firebombings or in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, or the handful of American civilians who died in Honolulu at Pearl Harbor (including Japanese-American civilians) were not killed as part of a policy of extinction towards their perceived "race."

      Also, FYI. The name is Mikhael (מיכאל in Hebrew) or if you prefer "Michael" as it is spelled on my American documents. Please don't spell it with a Russian transliteration.

    • RoHa June 29, 2016, 5:45 am
      Seems a bit odd to call Hebrew the national language of the Jews when many Jews do not speak it, but do speak the national languages of the nations they live in and of which they are citizens.

      No, it's not at all odd. Many people in the Armenian Diaspora, people who take pride in their Armenian heritage and identify with the Armenian People and live in places like Sweden , Russia, France, California, Argentina, Syria and Poland can speak little or no Armenian but are fluent in the national languages of the countries in which they are citizens -- yet Armenian is still the national language of the Armenian People.

      Greek and Swedish seems to be the national language of Swedish Jews. French Jews seem to regularly speak French. (A disgusting habit they have probably picked up from the nonJewish Frenchmen they live among.)

      Most Jews have learned the national languages of the countries they live in, just as descendants of Greeks and Armenians in various countries have learned foreign languages. Since you specifically mentioned Jews in Greece, until fairly recently most did not speak standard demotic Greek but until fairly recently and the destruction of most of the Greek-Jewish population in the Shoah, most of the Greek Jews spoke Ladino (Judeao-Spanish mixed with Hebrew) with a smaller number of Romaniotes who spoke Yevanic (Greco-Jewish dialect, mixed with Hebrew). While the ancestors of these Jews spoke distinct Jewish dialects that were separate from the vernacular spoken by the majority non-Jewish host populations, and today (at least in the democratic countries of the West, where they share citizenship and civic rights with their non-Jewish neighbors), only Hebrew is the national language of the Jews.

    • Annie Robbins June 29, 2016, 3:14 am

      hmm, not sure you can quantify “tragic death” by the intent of the killer. try telling a mother whose child was murdered, killed, died in bttle — that her child’s murder is less tragic because he was not killed for his ethnicity or because her child’s killer was motivated by nationalism or colonialism or something.

      That's why i wrote that when it came to the innocent victims of WW2. "we shouldn’t qualify tragedy and suffering" (rather than "quantify") . But when it comes to the many millions of Allied soldiers who gave their lives fighting Nazism (including many Jews in their ranks) we don't count them as the victims who were singled out for annihilation, and decent people certainly shouldn't include the Nazi soldiers who died as part of the count of "equally tragic" deaths, which is what Mooser implied by asserting that all of the ~60 million or so deaths in WW2 were "equally tragic."

    • Mooser June 28, 2016, 5:03 pm

      Who can put themselves in those shoes? Only about 60 to as many as 100 million people died equally tragic deaths during that time.

      I may not be understanding you correctly, are you saying that the deaths of 3.7million Nazi soldiers were "equally tragic" to those of the victims of Hitlerism? The number you cite (the high number is inflated, 60 million is the more accurate count) includes soldiers and civilians from all involved countries in WW2. Of that number, only the Jews (and to a lesser extent the Roma in the Porajmos) were singled out by the Nazis for a complete Vernichtung . And the 60 million total WW2 deaths of course include many Allied soldiers (also including many Jews who fought in the ranks of the US, Canadian, British and Soviet forces, as well as many erstwhile "Palestinian" Jews (like my father's cousin, who died fighting in Italy in the mostly Jewish Palestine Regiment of the British Army)). While the sacrifices these Allied combatants made in defeating Nazism must be lauded and remembered, their deaths shouldn't be considered "equally tragic" to being gassed to death solely because of their ethnicity or perceived race. The 60- million count certainly includes many innocent civilians, many of whom died in Allied and Axis air raids, some of whom died of starvation and disease. These deaths are indeed tragic, but they are more representative of civilian fatalities that occur in all wars, although on a far greater scale than the world had ever seen before. But they were not deliberately selected as populations to be entirely eradicated. Of course, the Nazis also committed atrocities against non-Jewish civilians who opposed them, e.g., the massacre at Lidice, indiscriminate and random killings of people in occupied nations and sending opponents to slave labor camps. But these populations weren't being targeted for total physical annihilation like the Jews were, although the Nazis may have had designs to do so later. All of these deaths of innocent civilians were indeed tragic, even the necessary deaths of innocent German civilians who were killed in Allied air raids -- although we shouldn't qualify tragedy and suffering, it should be clear that the intent that led to it was different than the Nazi Endlösung directed against the Jews. And finally, the 60 million WW2 fatalities you cite include approximately 6.6 million Axis military deaths, 3.7 million of whom were Austrian and German soldiers. Decent people don't consider Nazi military fatalities in WW2 to be "equally as tragic" to the deaths of any innocent victims of the Hitler regime, whether they were targeted for extermination like the Jews were solely for their ethnic and national origins, or perceived "race" , or whether those innocent victims were courageous opponents of Nazism or innocent civilians killed in the Blitz or the Siege of Leningrad or even the British firebombing of Dresden.

    • RoHa June 28, 2016, 10:56 pm
      Our tongue? Who are the “we” who speak this tongue, whatever it is?

      Hebrew is the national language of the Jewish People and has been for millennia, and "Yehudim" is the word that means "Jews" In Hebrew, the national language of the Jews. So it's clear that "our tongue" can only refer to Hebrew in this context. Nevertheless, this is an English-language forum so it it's inappropriate to use the word when speaking and writing in English.

    • yonah fredman June 28, 2016, 7:31 pm

      Mussar- quite often I prefer the term yehudim to jews. It is a more prideful term to refer to jews as we refer to ourselves in our tongue

      I think that if we're speaking and writing in English, we should use the word "Jews." If we're speaking and writing in Yiddish, we should write "Yidden". If we're speaking and writing in Hebrew, we should write "Yehudim."

      (and the language of those survivors was not ivrit, but yiddish), so yidden rather than yehudim seemed more appropriate in this context.

      Lots of Jewish survivors in 1945 (well, maybe not lots, because many didn't get the chance to become survivors) were Ladino-speaking Jews from Saloniki. Or Hungarian-speakers or Italian speakers.

      BTW pfeffercorn and Jackie mason’s demon seed, captures you to a tee

      Who would be Mondoweiss's Reuchlin?

  • Palestinians forced to delay the start of Ramadan as Israel celebrates 49 years of ruling Jerusalem
    • Boris June 7, 2016, 8:39 am

      One small clarification – Palestinians in East Jerusalem were offered Israeli citizenship, but they were told by PLO to refuse it. So, they don’t have it.

      Actually, they still have the option to apply for it and in recent years more East Jerusalem Arabs who were formerly Jordanian citizens have been taking the step to apply for and acquire Israeli citizenship, for a variety of motives. Regardless of whether they take Israeli citizneship or not, the Arab residents of East Jerusalem whose families came under Israel rule in 1967 are permanent residents of Israel and thus are entitled to live and work anywhere within Israel. As long as they are non-citizens, they cannot vote in Knesset elections but they can vote and run for office in municipal elections. If they take Israeli citizenship, as many have, they are eligible to vote in Knesset elections too, like any other Israeli citizen

  • Reebok backtracks on Israel Independence Day-inspired sneaker (Updated)
    • Mooser June 30, 2016, 4:22 pm
      “Your obsession with my (admittedly) unsuccessful attempts at married life”

      Terrible. I must be some kind of a sick person.

      What other reasons do you have to comment so frequently on this topic?

      This entire conversation has been a completely unwarranted intrusion, an invasion of your marital privacy.

      It's no problem. There's no "intrusion" as I volunteered that I've been divorced and as a yet again happily unmarried man I have no expectation to "marital privacy." But you still haven't explained as to why you think that the biographical tidbit I offered about myself wherein I mentioned that entered into and ended more than one marriage by mutual consent is any reflection on my character, or why you see fit to bring up this issue so often. You've alluded to many incidents in your own personal history and your spouse, I've never found these anecdotes worthy of comment. Thank you for your interest in my very modest marital history.

      - See more at:

    • Mooser August 25, 2016, 4:45 pm
      “No, this secular humanist liberal Zionist”

      Except concerning women, and marriage of course.
      On those subjects “Michael” is strictly “frum, frum, frum

      I was raised in a strictly observant household and have a very solid yeshiva education. Although I went through the motions as a child and young adult, I was never pious ("frum"). Going through the motions of a religious divorce and granting a get does not make one "frum", so I'm still puzzled by why you find the fact of my having mentioned being divorced so fascinating. I'm sure I'm not the only Mondoweiss commenter who has been married and divorced more than once, especially as statistics show the divorce rate in the USA and Europe (where most MW commenters seem to be based) is at about 50%. In Israel only about 30% of marriages end in divorce.

    • eljay August 22, 2016, 9:02 am
      || Mikhael: … A state that doesn’t use religious law as the main basis for civil law cannot be accurately defined as a “religion-supremacist” state. … ||

      A state that was envisioned as and established as and which for decades has been maintained as a state primarily of and for people all over the world who choose to possess a religion-based identity can be definitely be described as a religion-supremacist state.

      Except Jewishness for many and maybe even most Jews, in Israel and the Diaspora, is not primarily a "religion-based" identity but is just as much and often more of an ethnic and cultural national identity.

      You hurt feelings and make sad. :-(


      || … “Moral” ,in this context, means what is good and just. … ||

      In the Zio-supremacist world, moral is “moral”.

      There is no such thing as "Zio-supremacist" but all over the world it should be considered good and just for the descendants of people who were dispossessed from their ancestral homeland and whose ancestors suffered and were denied civic rights for centuries in the lands of the Diaspora to be able to return to their ancestral homeland where they are subject to their own laws and exercised national self-determination.

      || … It is absolutely moral, good and just for there to be one place in the world where Jews will always be entitled to citizenship and a refuge … ||

      It is absolutely moral, good and just that every country treat every one of its citizens equally and respectfully.

      Yup, absolutely. Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish People, treats all of its citizens, whether they are Jewish or non-Jewish, equally and respectfully. A non-Jewish citizen of the State of Israel has the same rights as a Jewish citizen of the State of Israel. You have failed to establish that Israel's self-definition as a "Jewish state" infringes on any of the civil rights of the non-Jewish citizens of the State of Israel (many of whom wield significant political and economic power in Israel) or on the duties owed to all citizens of Israel by the government of the State of Israel. If a non-Jewish, Muslim Arab citizen of Israel gets arrested in Thailand on a drug-related offense, Israeli consular officials are duty-bound to render any assistance possible to him and will do so. If a Jewish citizen of Canada who has no Israeli citizenship status is arrested in Thailand along with the non-Jewish citizen of Israel for the same alleged offenses, the Jewish citizen of Canada must appeal to the Canadian Consulate, and not the Israeli consular official. In the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake in Italy (this is on my mind because of the current earthquake in the same region), Hussein Hamada, an Israeli citizen (I hope you're smart enough to realize from his name that he wasn't Jewish) a medical student in that city, was unfortunately killed. Israeli Foreign Ministry and consular officials in Italy did their duty for an Israeli citizen and worked to locate his body and brought him back home to Israel to be buried. His family certainly didn't notify the Palestinian Authority and ask them for assistance. It is therefore clear that Israel's self-definition as a Jewish state and the nation-state of the Jewish People doesn't prejudice the rights its non-Jewish citizens have in any respect.

      There is nothing moral, good or just about a state carved out of Palestine that exists as a religion-supremacist construct for people who choose to be Jewish.

      It's not a religion-supremacist state and you're still failing to substantiate this allegation. And it has as much right to define itself as a nation-state for Jewish people who "choose to be" Jewish, just as Grece is a nation-state for Greek people who "choose to be" Greek, just as Armenia is a nation-state for Armenian people who "choose to be" Armenian and just as Croatia is a nation state for Croats who "choose to be" Croats.

      Palestine is not the “ancestral homeland” of every person in the world who chooses to be Jewish.

      But the vast majority of Jews worldwide trace their ancestry to historical Jewish Diaspora communities which can trace their foundational origins to people who once lived in Eres Yisra'el (long before the country was renamed "Palestine"). Eres Yisra'el is indeed the ancestral homeland of the vast majority of the world's Jewish population and very soon the vast majority of the world's Jewish population will be living in Eres Yisra'el, especially as once-large Jewish centers in North America and Europe will soon precipitously decline.

      It is amoral to suggest that the religion-based identity of Jewish comprises an entitlement to Palestine (at the expense of its indigenous population)

      Many Zionists who had a Jewish national and cultural identity in Eres Yisra'el could trace many generations in the country and were thus certainly indigenous and those Zionist immigrants to Eres Yisra'el who were born outside the country can legitimately claim indigenous descent. Many of the non-Jewish Arabic speakers who have in recent decades adopted and asserted a "Palestinian" national identity in fact are and were not descended from people "indigenous" to the territory that the British and French diplomats carved out and cobbled together from former Ottoman-ruled territories and renamed "Palestine" and many of them (although certainly not all) descend from relatively recent migrants who moved to what would later be called the British Mandate of Palestine during the late Ottoman period or even the British Mandate period. I'm not sure why an Israeli Jew like myself who comes from a family that can trace 17 generations in the country must concede "indigenous" status to all the non-Jews who now refer to themselves as "Palestinians" even if many of them can only trace their family roots in the country back seven or eight generations. (For example, the descendants of Bosnian Muslims who moved to the coastal plain near Ceasarea in 1878 to flee Bosnia after it came under Hapsburg control mostly now consider themselves "Palestinians" and no doubt you would classify them as "indigenous" to the country.)

      || … But it's amusing to watch you stamp your feet and whine. ||

      Says the Zio-supremacist who stamps his feet and whines that Jews are entitled to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine. You’re funny. :-)

      No, this secular humanist liberal Zionist celebrates the reality of the State of Israel, a Jewish democratic nation-state and secular liberal society that exists in Eres Yisra'el (which was called "Palestine" during the very brief British rule of the country and which fans of British imperialism are apparently nostalgic for) and wholeheartedly supports the legitimate right to national self-determination for the Arabic-speaking non-Jewish population of Eres Yisra'el who have recently adopted a Palestinian national identity and fervently hopes that they succeed in establishing a self-governing sovereign nation-state of their own in as much of the land that they live on as possible. I just find it terribly amusing to watch your frustration and dismay that Jews no longer are victims and exercise agency in their own nation-state in their own ancestral homeland. While it is amusing to watch you stamp your feet and whine, it is also kinda sad that you devote so much of your time and energy to uselessly try to work to bring an end to the Jewish nation-state.

    • RoHa August 23, 2016, 6:06 pm
      Well, that is a start. A homeland is the land in which members of a nation came to be a nation. Savoy is the homeland of the Savoyards, and Australia is the homeland of the Australians. and (Of course, since Savoy no longer exists, there are no Savoyards.

      The region of Savoy still exists and is still populated by many people who maintain a Savoyard cultural identity, although it is now part of the French Republic, but if the Savoyard people who live there wish to assert their independence from the French Republic and people of Savoyard ancestry wish from abroad wish to live there, in theory, they should all have that right.

      Australia was the homeland of Sir I I, but the idea that, because he was a Jew, he also had a homeland in Palestine, is silly.

      During most of Isaac Isaac's lifetime there was no such geopolitical entity known as "Palestine", rather there were a collection of Ottoman Turkish-ruled administrative districts which would later be cobbled together and be called "Palestine" by the British towards the end of his life. But although, unlike Monash, he opposed a Jewish state in the national homeland of the Jews, he would still have been entitled to move there and obtain Israeli citizenship had he lived a few months longer. The only thing that stopped Eres Yisra'el from being his homeland was his denial of it. Fortunately, few Australian Jews think as he did. We know that the vast majority of the Jewish citizens of Australia, while they are for the most part loyal citizens of Australia and grateful for the rights they have there, still regard Israel as their national homeland and we can expect that aliyah to Israel from Australia will continue and grow in the future.

      The ancient Jewish nation in Palestine Eres Yisra'el had long ceased to exist, so he could not be a member of that nation. He died before the new Jewish nation came into existence.

      No, the ancient Jewish states (there were several in antiquity) in Eres Yisra'el (there were no ancient Jewish states in "Palestine" because the country was only first renamed that after the termination of the Jews' independence in their homeland) had long ceased to exist before Isaac Isaac's birth, but the Jewish nation existed for thousands of years before Isaac Isaac's birth, in Eres Yisra'el and outside of it, even though that nation did not have political independence in a sovereign state in its own ancestral homeland during most of that period. A nation's existence isn't contingent on that nation exercising sovereignty over a piece of territory and having political independence through the mechanism of a state. The Poles did not cease to be a nation after the partitions of their homeland and the end of the Polish state in the 18th century, neither did the Jews (although we had to wait longer for renewed independence in our homeland).

      But at least one of my questions is answered. A homeland is not simply the country of one’s ancestors. In fact, ancestry seems irrelevant. The ancestors of Australians come from many different parts of the world.

      A homeland is the country of one's ancestors and/or another country that one lives in and feels at home in. These are not mutually exclusive categories.

      I’m still waiting for a chain of moral reasoning that justifies the claim that twentieth century Polish Jews had a right to live in Palestine Eres Yisra'el simply because they were Jews.

      They had a right to return to the land of their ancestors, they had a common national bond with their fellow Jews who had never left the land of their ancestors and with other Jews who had returned to the land of their ancestors from other parts of the Jewish Diaspora, and they had a need because they were certainly not living in their own homeland, among their own kin, when they lived in Poland. And whether you like it or not, it is a fait accompli that the descendants of these 20th century "Polish" Jews (some of whom had Polish citizenship after Poland regained independence but who otherwise were not Poles) who now live in Israel are Israelis, most of them have mixed, married and mated with other Israeli Jews who trace roots to other parts of the Jewish Diaspora such as Yemen, Hungary, Morocco, Germany, and Syria and they know no other home but Israel, and the vast majority of 21st century Israeli Jews who are descended from "Polish" Jews feel ties of national kinship and loyalty not to the Polish goy living in Warsaw but to other Jews, whether those Jews live in Adelaide or Isfahan.

      “The “expense” that the “other people” paid is entirely due to the “other people’s” starting a war that they lost with the declared aim of totally expunging the Jewish population of the former British Mandate of Palestine.”

      Now that is just a denial of reality.

      The reality that you ignore, of course, is that the political and military leadership of the "other people" openly declared their intent to totally expunge the Jewish population of Eres Yisra'el (the territory you refer to as "Palestine"). There is ample documentary evidence for this declared aim, including the verified quote I reproduced above from Azzam Pasha, the head of the Arab League, and this declared intent to eradicate the Jewish population from the former British Mandate of Palestine was in fact carried out in every part of the Arab-conquered areas of the former British Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River that had had a Jewish population prior to the outbreak of war between Israel and Arab states in 1948. All the areas which came under Arab control between 1948-1967 had their Jewish populations completely ethnically cleansed by Arabs. That is the reality, that is the incontestable historical record, and it seems that it is you who are denying that reality.

    • Raphael
      August 7, 2016, 1:08 pm
      Interesting, that you were able to go so back in history for your family. I was able to go back to around the 1850s for the Jewish side of my family

      On my mother's (Ashkenazic from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) side I can also only trace my ancestry to the mid-19th century. My father's mother came from a pretty well-known Sefaradi rabbinical and mercantile family though, and most of the old Sephardic families that had been part of the "Old Yishuv" in the Land of Israel have good genealogical records.

    • eljay August 8, 2016, 9:34 am

      || Mikhael: … Israel is the actual national homeland of Jews everywhere … ||

      Because it exists as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      A state that doesn't use religious law as the main basis for civil law cannot be accutrately defined as a "religion-supremacist" state.

      [Snip a whole bunch of blather.]

      Yes, snip out the parts you're not bright enough to understand and can't respond to adequately.

      || … A non-Jewish citizen of Canada who lives outside of Israel actually has no moral say in this matter … ||

      You Zio-supremacists either don’t know what the word moral means, or you just enjoy misusing it. Religion-based supremacism – any form of supremacism – is immoral. It is not immoral to have an opinion against immorality and in favour of the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

      "Moral" ,in this context, means what is good and just. It is absolutely moral, good and just for there to be one place in the world where Jews will always be entitled to citizenship and a refuge, especially as this place is not some arbitrary locale like Patagonia, Uganda or Birobidzhan that were proposed as "Jewish homelands" but rather the actual ancestral homeland of most Jews alive today. Your opinion that Jews should be denied this basic right in their own ancestral national homeland is absolutely amoral. Fortunately, your opinion has no force and effect. But is amusing to watch you stamp your feet and whine.

    • RoHaAugust 8, 2016, 3:21 am

      It would help this discussion if you could tell us what “homeland” means, what conditions have to be fulfilled for Land X to be the homeland of Person Y, and what chain of moral reasoning gives Person Y a right to reside in his homeland.

      A "homeland" is the ancestral place of origin of a national group. Eres Yisrael is the national homeland of the Jewish People. Jews who are born in the Diaspora are entitled to view the Land of Israel as their ancestral homeland and ot move there.

      Then, perhaps I would be able to understand why Australia is not the homeland of Sir Isaac Isaacs.

      Isaac Isaacs is dead. he no longer has a homeland. He was a native-born Australian patriot and entitled to view Australia as his homeland. Although he rejected political Zionism, he was also entitled to view Eres Yisra'el as his national and ancestral homeland as well, and if had so chosen, he would have had a moral right to move there, as many other Jews born in Australia have.

      At the moment, it looks as though ancestry is the key element. But if the “out of Africa” theory is correct, that would mean that Kenya or some other part of Africa would be everyone’s homeland

      Really, you were a philosophy prof and you use that cheap reductio ad absurdum argument?
      Yes, all human beings alive may be able to trace their prehistoric lineages to an area that is roughly located within the borders of the present-day state of Kenya. Not all human beings are descended from people that formed their national self-identity within the borders present-day Kenya and maintained a physical presence there for millenia of recorded history as well as a cultural connection with the country through millenia of Diaspora.

      “It’s the most moral and just thing in the world for there always to be one country that Jews will not be expelled from or lose their rights in simply for being Jews.”

      Not if that country comes at the expense of other people.

      The "expense" that the "other people" paid is entirely due to the "other people's" starting a war that they lost with the declared aim of totally expunging the Jewish population of the former British Mandate of Palestine.

    • Mooser August 7, 2016, 1:37 pm

      “Mikhael” that was all wonderful. We don’t get a signed and detailed confession like that very often.

      Are you referring to me confessing my affinity for 1980s Aussie pop? Maybe I should be ashamed -- but it's less embarrassing than admitting to a predilection for show tunes.

    • Annie Robbins August 7, 2016, 4:43 am

      that’s you american jews – frequently disillusioned –even if you’ve never been to israel!

      I'm first and foremost Israeli, I'm only "American" because of a quirk in the interpetation of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment -- my Israeli citizen parents were students in Boston when I was born (my father was a post-doc fellow, my mom a grad student). My parents eventually became permanent residents but my father never became a US citizen and eventually returned to Israel after getting divorced. He forfeited his green card and later had to apply for a visa every time he visited the US to see his American-born grandchildren. So although I happen to have a US passport and was raised mostly in the US and reside here now (for the moment at least), being "American" is less important to me than my shoe size. As an American only by birth circumstance, I am a proud non-voter.

      btw “Jewish history” doesn’t teach you that, people do. people who seek to brainwash you.

      The history of the Jews in the Diaspora is replete with evidence of Jews being forced to leave countries in which they once thought they were at home.

      the vast majority of jews throughout history never stepped one foot in palestine.

      Well, "Palestine" is the name of a defunct British colonial entity that existed in the last century. Variants of the name , like the Roman province Syria Palestina or Byzantine provinces like Palestina Prima, Palestina Secundis or Palestina Tertia, or the Umayayyad military district of "Jund Filastin" referred to administrative sub-jurisdictions of foreign empires that also comprised much of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. By the time the Romans and their Buzaynite successors renamed the country "Palestine", the Jewish Diaspora from Judea and Israel was well underway.

      the messaging here is that american jews who don’t choose (want) to move to israel are disillusioned

      uh huh

      It seems unlikely that American Jews, who thrive in a pluralistic and democratic society, will ever be dispossessed, expelled or massacred, although many American Jews are descended from Jews who once lived in places like Spain, Germany, Egypt, Poland, Iraq and Russia; countries where Jewish communities suffered such fates. However, those who don't stay in tight-knit Orthodox Jewish enclaves are fated to disappear through intermarriage and assimilation (this is a natural phenomenon) -- so the American Jewish community is about to shrink drastically. This will leave the Orthodox Jews in America, who marry among themselves and who will always maintain a strong identification with Israel. They will continue to send thier children to Israel to study and will be a source of immigration to Israel. Some non-Orthodox Jews in the US will become Orthodox and/or move to Israel; the others will vanish.

    • ejay August 7, 2016, 8:23 am

      || Mikhael: … So the 100,000 or so Jews who have Australian citizenship … ||

      Australians who have chosen to be Jewish

      "Australians who have chosen to be Jewish" refers to the handful of converts to Judaism in Australia with no known ethnic Jewish ancestry. I'm sure there are a few, maybe even numbering a few scores or even the low hundreds (probably most have chosen to be Jewish after pairing with a Jewish significant other), but the vast majority of Australia's 100,000 or so Jews are not "Australians who have chosen to be Jewish" but Jews (or the descendants of Jews) who have chosen to be Australian. They are all entitled legally and morally to citizenship in Israel, their national homeland, and a large proportion of the approximately 100,000 Jews in Australia, who are descended from Jews who at one point chose to be Australian, have taken advantage of that right.

      || … are all “real Australians” although as Jews, Israel is their actual national homeland … ||

      Except that it’s not. Israel is the actual national homeland of non-Jewish and Jewish Israelis – the citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees from Partition-borders Israel.

      Israel is the actual national homeland of Jews everywhere, in Sydney, in Toronto, in Gondar (Ethiopia) , in Casablanca and in Teheran and it will continue to grant Jews everywhere the right to gain Israeli citizenship and move to their national homeland. It is also the homeland of its non-Jewish citizens and its self-definition as a Jewish homeland and its granting of easy access to Israeli citizenship to members of Jewish Diaspora communities does not infringe upon the rights of non-Jewish citizens of Israel in any way, shape or form. If "immigrants to" Israel become citizens of Israel, whether said immigrants to Israel are foreign-born Jews who legally and morally obtain Israeli citizenship through Israel's Law of Return or are foreign-born non-Jews who gain Israeli citizenship by other legal means, e.g., marriage to an Israeli citizen, whether said Israeli citizen is Jewish or non-Jewish, or through becoming naturalized as an Israeli citizen after legal residency and a naturalization process or because said non-Jewish immigrant is legally awarded Israeli citizenship by order of the Israeli Internal Affairs Ministry -- perhaps because this individual possesses some desired skill or is deemed to have made a valuable contribution to Israeli society -- then said non-Jewish immigrant who is an Israeli citizen can legitimately call Israel his or her homeland just as Jewish citizens of Israel can call Israel their homeland and just as many non-Israeli-citizen members of the Jewish Diaspora consider Israel to be their homeland and have the legal and moral right to take advantage of Israeli law in order to obtain Israeli citizenship. If by "immigrants to Israel" you are referring to the many illegal, non-Jewish immigrants to Israel, whether they have illegally infiltrated by crossing a border without authorization or overstayed a temporary workers' or visitors' visa, then certainly these "immigrants to" Israel are not citizens of Israel, are not entitled to become citizens of Israel, and cannot call Israel their homeland. In a magnaminous gesture, however, the government of Israel has regularized the status of some of their Israeli-born and raised children and granted them legal residency and the right to apply for Israeli citizenship. So some of the Israeli-born and raised children of illegal non-Jewish immigrants to Israel can become citizens and legitimately call Israel their homeland, just as Jews throughout the Diaspora are legally and morally entitled to do.

      As for "expats and refugees from" Israel, again the only operative and relevant question is whether these non-Jewish "expats from" Israel are Israeli citizens. If they are not citizens, then they have no rights of Israeli citizenship. Moreover, by definition, non-citizens cannot properly be considered expats. But certainly non-Jewish expats from Israel, presuming they hold Israeli citizneship, have the samed rights as Jewish expats from Israel who hold Israeli citizneship. a non-Jewish expat citizen of Israel living in Toronto has exactly the same rights as a Jewish expat citizen of Israel to go to the Israeli Consulate, pay the fee and have his or her picture taken for a renewed Israeli passport, and then to board a flight back to Israel and resume residence there,vote and pay income tax. If you are talking about a "refugee from " Israel then presumably you are referring to those non-citizen Arabs or their descendants who rejected the possibility of accepting Israeli citizenship in 1948 and fled the country (unlike the 150,000 or so who stayed and who became Israeli citizens whose descendants now number approximately 2 million). These foreign non-residents of Israel and their descendants who you refer to as refugees are not and never were citizens of Israel and thus are not due all of the same rights that Israel confers to its citizens. Your offhand mention of "Partition Borders" has no relevance to the discussion as those borders became null and void after they were rejected by the leadership of the Arab population of the former British Mandate of Palestine and after Arabs states invaded Israel.

      They should not be legally entitled to Israeli citizenship simply because they are Jewish.

      But foreign-born members of Jewiosh Diaspora communities are legally entitled to Israeli citizenship simply because they are Jewish, they should be entitled to Israeli citizenship simply because they are Jewish, and they will be entitled to Israeli citizenship. A non-Jewish citizen of Canada who lives outside of Israel actually has no moral say in this matter, just as a non-ethnic Armenian citizen of Canada who lives outside of Armenia has no moral say in Armenia granting easy access to Armenian citizenship to members of Amenian Diaspora communities simply because they are of Armenian ethnic descent. Of course the particular non-Jewish citizen of Canada I am having this disucssion with is a moral hypocrite because he only seems to have a problem with Israel granting easy access to Israeli citizenship to members of the Jewish Diaspora and evidences no problem with countries like Armenia granting easy access to Armenian citizenship to members of its far-flung Diaspora communities -- a policy which is as moral and just as Israel's Law of Return. I'm not sure if Armenia will always grant Armenian citizenship ethynic Armenians living in the Armenian Diaspora, but I am certain that Israel will continue to grant Israeli citizneship to Jews in the Diaspora long after eljay and I are both dead. The good news, of course, is that the Jewish Diaspora will be considerably smaller as the vast majority of the world's Jews will be living in Israel in the forthcoming decades.

      The only reason they are legally entitled to Israeli citizenship is because Israel – currently operating as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” – grants it to them. There’s nothing moral about religion-based supremacism

      Jewishness is a national identity that is separate from religion. Israel is a state of the Jewish People, whether or not they believe in Judaism or any religion; therefore it is not a "religion-supremacist state". A "religion-supremacist state" is your unclever neologism for a theocracy; Israel does not meet any of the definitional criteria for being a theocracy, as religious law is not the prime source of civil law and as freedom of religion (or non-religion) is guaranteed in theory and in practice. It is moral for Israel to grant easy access to Israeli citizenship to members of Jewish Diaspora communities abroad -- Jews were denied sovereignty over their homeland for millenia and the history of the Jewish People in the Diaspora teaches us that Jews could be easily stripped of whatever protections and rights residence and citizenship they temporarily had in foreign non-Jewish countries. It's the most moral and just thing in the world for there always to be one country that Jews will not be expelled from or lose their rights in simply for being Jews.

    • RoHa July 5, 2016, 9:46 pm
      “The Welsh have their own country; we Jews have our country. And it’s not in Wales or New South Wales.”
      So you really are saying that Jews are not real Australians? There used to be a pejorative word applied to that idea.

      Despite an adolescent 1980s obsession with Australian pop culture (Men at Work, "The Road Warrior" movies, INXS, Midnight Oil), which I've long since put behind me, I really don't care about Australia and it doesn't matter to me what a "real Australian" is. Who gives a fuck, it's not relevant, I'm never going to go there and you can keep your nasty Vegemite. But although originally the real Australians are the Aboriginals who were nearly completely genocided in an actual Nakba, I suppose a "real Australian," legally speaking, is anyone with Australian citizenship, whether such a person is am Aboriginal Australian, a Welsh-Australian, an English- Australian, a Greek-Australian, an Irish-Australian, a Maltese-Australian, a Palestinian-Australian or an Australian Jew. So the 100,000 or so Jews who have Australian citizenship are all "real Australians" although as Jews, Israel is their actual national homeland and they are all entitled legally and morally to Israeli citizenship (and the good news is that many of these "real Australians" who are Jews also actually also hold Israeli citizenship as well, just as many other "real Australians" also hold British citizenship, Irish citizenship, Greek citizenship or Maltese citizenship).

      But I find this concept peculiar in other ways. It suggests that people (or at least Jews and the Welsh) are restricted by their ancestry, and that their “own country” is the country of their ancestors.

      National identity doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. Jews and Welsh, like many other peoples, have their own national and ethnic homelands -- it doesn't mean they can never feel at home outside of it and can't contribute to other societies. However, Jewish history teaches us that the Jews who felt most at home outside of the Eres Yisra'el were frequently disillusioned.

      Here I must declare an interest. I, RoHa, do have some Welsh ancestors*. On that principle, then, Australia, the country in which I was brought up, in which I have my home, my family, my cat, and my citizenship, is not my country. I really belong in Ystradgynlais or Rhosllanerchrugog. Unless I decide on the country of my English ancestors.....This idea of the country of one’s ancestors being one’s own country is just ridiculous.

      That's a decision to be made by you, the devolved Welsh Government and the British government.

      Fortunately for the Welsh, those who voluntarily emigrated from Cymru for far shores were not ghettoized, persecuted, massacred and expelled from realm to realm; which adverse situations helped maintaine Jewish national coheseiveness in exile from the homeland. But some Welsh did maintain a distinct Welsh culture in the Diaspora (notably in Patagonia, where there are Welsh-speaking communities that have existed for more than a century), and if they want to return to their ancestral Welsh homeland, it might be easier for them to go back -- if that's what they want.

      In the case of the Jews and Israel, it's already a fait accompli. Very soon the majority of the world's Jews will live in Israel and the Israeli government will continue to facilitate immigration of Jews from elsewhere, including Australia, to Israel. And there's absolutely nothing you can do to change this.

    • RoHa July 5, 2016, 9:45 pm

      It seems your Sephardic ancestors shared some of the nastier ideas of modern Zionists

      No. As I said, modern Zionists wanted to create a secular and modern Jewish nation-state, which they did, in the form of a liberal parliamentary democracy. with guaranteed equal civil rights for all citizens, whether of Jewish or non-Jewish nationality. That's what they wanted and that's what they created.

      Some religious fundamentalist extremist Jews in Israel today (a fringe of a fraction of a minority, but nevertheless growing) want to reestablish the kingdom of Judah and build the Third Temple ASAP, instead of merely praying for it (which is what all Orthodox Jews pray for and are supposed to believe in). People who hope to replace the modern secular democratic Jewish nation-state that is the reality of contemporary Israel oppose modern political Zionism and ofen explictly say so.

      but, since they wanted Jewish supremacy by Messiah rather than by force, they are not quite as reprehensible

      My Sefaradi-Jewish ancestors were pre-modern people with pre-modern religious ideas and had been expelled from what had seemed to be a once-welcoming sanctuary in the Iberian Peninsula in 1492. Having been disabused of the notion of multi-culti "convivencia in an alien land, they returned to their original ancestral homeland in Eres Yisra'elnd and believed in repairing a shattered world through prayer, study and Qabbalistic incantations and meditations and thought national redemption for the Jews and world redemption would come with the Jews's restoration to their rightful place, with sacrifices on the Temple and the heavens would thus align and all the stars in the firmanent would be in their place too.

      If no distinction is made between Jews and non-Jews, in what sense would it be a state for the Jewish People? Perhaps only in the sense that it envisaged non-Jews as minorities. And how was that to be arranged?

      It was arranged by the Arab population of the defunct former British Mandate of Palestine rejecting the Partition Plan, which allocated to the Jewish state only areas in which Jews constituted a majority of the population. Had they accepted the Partition borders (as the Jews did) they they could have had a state containing an Arab majority and the Jews would have had a state containing a Jewish majority, with nobody being forced to leave their homes as a result of a disastrous war that resulted in many Arabs fleeing their homes in what became Israel and all of the Jewish population being expelled from what became the Jordanian-occupied "West bank" between 1948-1967.

      (Of course, we know that Israel is not such a state.)

      Unless you can cite one legal right that Jewish citizens of Israel have that non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have, then we know that Israel is such a state.

      “The Celtic-speaking people of Cymru … do not have a personal relationship with our country in the same way that Jews who trace their ancestry there do.”

      Since the relationship between European Jews and Palestine is simply one of sentiment, there isn’t all that much difference between Christians and Jews in that regard.

      "Palestine" ended in 1948. But the Jews whose ancestors lived in Europe (who are dwindling in number) as well as the Jews from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia almost all have a direct national and ancestral connection to Eres Yisra'el (and to each other).

      But let us assume that the ancestors of European Jews were, in fact, the ancient Palestinian Jews.

      What's an "ancient Palestinian Jew"? "Palestinian Jews" only existed between 1925 and 1948, because that's the only time that an entity called "Palestine" existed that ever granted its Jewish residents any form of citizenship. (My late father, who held "Palestinian" citizenship at birth, died at the age of 80, but that's not so ancient, is it? And he hadn't been "Palestinian" for more than six decades at the time of his death, so even if he was ancient he hadn't been Palestinian for a while.)
      But of course, notwithstanding the absurdity of discussing "ancient Palestinian Jews," all members of historical Diaspora Jewish communities can trace their ancestry to ancient Judeans in Eres Yisra'el, whether we are discussing the Diaspora communities in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa or Central Asia -- to name the major regions of the Jewish Diaspora that today's Israeli Jews' forefathers moved back to Israel from.

      So what? It seems that the ancestors of the Welsh lived in central Europe, and the ancestors of all human beings live somewhere in Africa. (Kenya, perhaps.) That does not in any way give Welshmen the moral right to move in to the Czech Republic, or the rest of us the moral right to take over Kenya.

      Archaelogical and anthropological evidence teaches us that ancient, prehistoric Celts lived in Central Europe, in the area where the Czech Republic is now, so therefore we may surmise that modern Celts (e.g., the Welsh, who have their own homeland in Wales) may be descended from related Celtic groups who lived in the present-day Czech Republic and migrated to Great Britain. This is not analogous to the Jewish People, a national group originating in Eres Yisra'el, which, in addition to maintaining and nurturing a cohesive national identity (revolving around a central tenet of regaining sovereignty over a lost homeland) for 2,000 years of Diaspora throughout the Levant, other parts of the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe, also maintained a continuous physical presence in Eres Yisra'el throughout the 2000-year-period of loss of national sovereignty in its homeland accompanied by constant migrations and resettlement by Jews in the country well predating the modern political Zionist movement (e.g., my ancestors who were expelled form Spain who made their home in Galilee and later Jerusalem in the 1500s). Unlike the Jews, the ancient Celtic predecessorss of modern-day Welsh did not maintain a continuous cultural presence in the Central European heartland after the area was settled by Slavic-dialect and Germanic-diakect-speakers, and their Welsh descendants developed a new language and a new culture, founded new kingdoms in Britain and eventually accepted English suzerainty. They founded a new nation, Cymru and didn't live in Diaspora. There is of ocurse a Welsh Diaspora of today -- in Argentina, Australia, the USA that looks to Cymru as their national homeland -- not the Czech Republic. Their Central European cradle (or was the Celtic Urheimat in modern-day Turkey? -- I'm not sure) has nothing to do with Welsh national identity. Eres Yisra'el is of course central to Jewsish national identity.

      ““Palestine” never, ever existed as an independent and sovereign nation-state in the past.”
      I keep seeing this from Zionists, but they never explain why it is important. The same goes for the discussions of Palestinian national identity.

      The truth is important. And I folloewd up immediately by stating ". . . this doesn’t mean that Arabs who have recently adopted a “Palestinian” national identity are not entitled to seek national self-determination in a state framework,“ and it was in response to your casting doubt that Jews can't prove any ancestral connection to Eres Yisrae'el and even if they did "lots of Americans have family trees that prove they are literally descended from Englishmen, and yet this gives them no rights to England at all" I accurately responded that this is an issue between Her Majesty's Government and those Americans, just as this is an issue between the Israeli government and those members of the Jewish Diaspora who wish to take Israeli citizenship. It is Israeli policy now (and will remain so in the future) to grant citizenship to people from Diaspora communities who can demonstrate Jewish descent and Israel is within its full legal and especially moralrights to decide who it may grant citizenship to -- just as HMG may or may not decide who it may grant British citizenship to, on the basis of ancestry or otherwise. Israel uses Jewish ancestry as a major deciding criterion for granting of citizenship, just as other states like Greece or Armenia consider ethnic Greek or Armenian ancestry to be relevant. When and if the first ever Palestinian Arab state comes into existence, then they will be within their full moral and legal rights to consider Palestinian Arab ancestry as a determinant for the awarding of Palestinian citizenship and will have the right to exclude people who they deem not to be "Palestinians" as citizens. It's not my business and not yours.

      The right to an undivided Palestine.

      The former Mandate of Palestine had already been divided in 1921, when the British split off nearly three quarters of "Palestine" to create Transjordan.

      Establishing a state in a territory seriously affects the lives of all the people living in that territory. There is no right for a portion of the population to ignore the clear wishes of the majority of the people they live among and establish a state for their own benefit

      The principles of democracy and self-determination say otherwise. Many modern nation-states were established by minorities against the clear wishes of the majority of the population living in that territory.

      It is even worse when they establish that state by force

      There was an option for peaceful partition, rejected by the Arabs. Force was used by Arabs in an attempt to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state and was met with force by Jews.

      and follow it up with ethnic cleansing

      There was a clearly stated goal by Palestinian and non-Palestinian Arabs of ethnically cleansing the former British mandate of the erstwhile Palestinian Jews (who were officially Palestinian from 1925 to 1948, but who permanently gave up their Palestinian status in 1948). As Azzam Pasha, the Secretary General of the Arab League explicitly declared "I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacre or the Crusader wars . . . the number of volunteers from outside Palestine will be larger than Palestine's Arab population, for I know that volunteers will be arriving to us from [as far as] India, Afghanistan, and China to win the honor of martyrdom for the sake of Palestine ... You might be surprised to learn that hundreds of Englishmen expressed their wish to volunteer in the Arab armies to fight the Jews.
      There was every indication that this was a sincere threat and in fact unlike the part of the former British mandate of Palestine that became Israel and which retained a large population of Arabs who became Israeli citizens with all the rights accruing to Israeli citizenship as Israeli Jews have, all of the territories of the former British Mandate of Palestine that fell to Arab forces after the Declaration of Israeli Independence were completely ethnically cleansed of Jews. My father's uncle, aunts and cousins were expelled from the ancient Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem by Transjordan's Arab Legion with the clothes on their back -- their property was looted by their former "fellow Palestinians" of Arab nationality.

    • Mooser June 29, 2016, 3:09 pm
      “Mikhael” I wanted to thank you for reliving me of a burden. I can’t believe all the weight I was carrying, and all the false Ideas I had about Jewish marriage, monogamy, what I owe my family, what I owe myself.
      It’s probably because I was brought up Reform I got these crazy ideas.

      I don't know why you would have the notion that divorce is considered illicit in Judaism, it might be pure ignorance, it might be because you were brought up Reform (often, but not always, ignorance of Judaism goes hand in hand with a Reform Jewish upbringing). I think it's likely pure ignorance though, because divorce is common among Reform Jews although they often don't bother with a "Get" and a Beit Din. The traditional Jewish approach towards divorce is that dissolving a marriage should not be entered into lightly and parental and support responsibilities, agreed to in arbitration, must be met in the event of a dissolution of a marriage, but couples should be allowed to divorce if they can't live in harmony as a family unit. Unlike the Roman Catholics, Jews definitely don't condemn divorce as illicit or immoral. Your obsession with my (admittedly) unsuccessful attempts at married life (hey, I gave it a shot -- marriage ain't for everybody -- which I candidly admit to) is tiresome as well as bizarre; there is no shamein having been married more than once from either a religious Jewish perspective (and I am not a religious Jew) or a modern, secular perspective.

      So yes, your ideas about the Jewish attitude towards divorce are not correct.

    • RoHa June 29, 2016, 6:41 am
      “When my Sephardic ancestors arrived in Galilee in the 16th century they were Zionists, although the term hadn’t yet been coined. ”

      Did they intend to create a Jewish State for the benefit of Jews only? If not, they don’t count as Zionists in the modern sense

      You've got it backwards. Zionism in the modern sense was the national movement to create a liberal, democratic and secular nation-state for the Jewish People with guaranteed and equal civil rights for all citizens, with no distinction made between Jewish citizens and those who belong to to non-Jewish minority nationalities, as explicitly set forth in the Israeli Declaration of Independence and implied in the Basic Law of Israel, Human Dignity and Liberty. Non-Jewish citizens of Israel have the same rights to the franchise, assembly, speech, and to religion (or no religion) as Jewish citizens of Israel. My paternal ancestors were Zionists living in Safed 400 years ago in the old-fashioned sense, not the newfangled sense; they believed they were fulfilling a religious duty when they migrated to their ancestral homeland and settled in Ottoman Galilee, a backwater province of the Ottoman Empire, and later Jerusalem (after the Safed earthquake in the 19th century). After fleeing the ravages of the Alhambra Decree and the Inquisition in Spain and wandering across the Meditteranean basin, they settled in the Jewish city of mystics, Safed, in Upper Galilee. They expected and hoped for an imminent arrival of a Messiah hastened through Kabbalistic practices and believed that this Messiah would restore Divine Temple worship and institute a renewed Jewish kingdom where non-Jews would at best, be relegated to the status of "ger toshab" who would have to observe the 7 Noahide Laws if they were to stay. They did not imagine the Jewish state that is a vibrant, multi-party secular parliamentary democracy that is the reality of Israel today, and which you characterize as "for the benefit of Jews only". I'll grant that there is a backwards and growing fundamentalist element in Israeli society that wants to rebuild the 3rd Temple and abolish democratic rights, but that's a rebellion against and deviation from Zionism in the modern sense.

      “Every Jew has a personal relationship with Eres Yisra’el.”

      Every Welsh Methodist has a personal relationship with the Holy Land. It is the place where the founder of their religion lived, taught, died, was resurrected, and from where he ascended to heaven.

      The Celtic-speaking people of Cymru whose ancestors adopted the Jesuscult because its alleged founder supposedly was a renegade Jew who lived in Eres Yisra'el, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation, do not have a personal relationship with our country in the same way that Jews who trace their ancestry there do. The Welsh have their own country; we Jews have our country. And it's not in Wales or New South Wales.

      And they’ve got family trees to prove it. But then, lots of Americans have family trees that prove they are literally descended from Englishmen, and yet this gives them no rights to England at all.

      England was a sovereign nation that has existed for centuries, on its own and as part of the UK and (for the moment) as part of Europe and as an independent and sovereign nation had the right to decide who was entitled to to move there (as a matter of fact, the UK does issue ancestry visas to people of British descent, although it doesn't grant full citizenship to everyone meeting such criteria). Other countries, like Germany, Greece and Armenia do in fact grant citizenship to people of German, Greek and Armenian descent, whether or not they can prove that their ancestors were ever citizens of the modern-day states of Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the Ellīnikī́ Dīmokratía, or the Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun. Israel is fully within its legal and especially moral rights to grant citizenship to any Jew and will do so in the future. "Palestine" never, ever existed as an independent and sovereign nation-state in the past. (Of course this doesn't mean that Arabs who have recently adopted a "Palestinian" national identity are not entitled to seek national self-determination in a state framework, but that right did not then nor does it now include the right to deny the right of political self-determination to the Jews of Eres Yisra'el.) When and if the Arabs who have begun to claim a Palestinian national identity ever establish a functioning and independent sovereign state in part of the disputed territories that they claim, then that state may award Palestinian citizenship and residency to whomsoever it pleases, including people who claim to be descended from the Palestinian Diaspora.

      The ancestors of the Arabs who now assert that they are a Palestinian nation at the time were not even claiming the “Palestine”on behalf of any Palestinian nation at the time. Rather, they demanded that it be made part of a larger, Arab unitary state and those with national aspirations shared that goal with Arabs from inside and outside of what was then Mandatory Palestine

      So what? They were the natives. If anyone had the right decide for Palestine, they did.

      Many of these Arabs were natives, many others were not. Some of them were immigrants (or children or grandchildren of immigrants) from other parts of the former Ottoman Empire (or even farther afield), who had migrated into what became the British Mandate of Palestine in preceding centuries. Some came as recently as the 1920s and 1930s from French Mandate Syria and Lebanon and even present-day Nigeria and Chad. Many Jews (like my paternal ancestors) were also natives of "Palestine" (well, my Jerusalem-born father was a native of Palestine, his parents, like him, were also born in Jerusalem, yet they were not natives of Palestine, as the concept of Palestine was yet to be created as it is now understood, rather they were natives of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem which was a separate administrative district in the Ottoman Empire). Whether the native Jews could trace constant residence in what became the British Mandate of Palestine in 1920 going back many generations and several centuries, like my paternal grandmother's family, or whether they were more recent arrivals, they had a say in determining the character of the country in 1947-1948. The erstwhile Palestinian Jews (who would soon gratefully relinquish the Palestinian status imposed on them by the British) circa 1947-48 who lived in the soon-to-be defunct Mandatory Palestine, whether they were native-born, or whether they were immigrants or the children or grandchildren of immigrants, had a say just as much as the Palestinian Arabs had a say. This right to decide the future of the country in 1947-48 was not an exclusively Arab right then nor is it now.

      Obviously, by the time of the Israeli independence, a large proportion of the population of what was then Mandatory Palestine had a right to seek self-determination in their own state

      No they didn’t. If the archives of past comments were still open you would see that. Suffice it here to say that a segment of a population in an area does not have such a right when that involves denying the rights of the rest of the population of the area

      What right did the Palestinian Jews (who were soon to become Israeli Jews) of November 1947 , who lived in the incipient Jewish state seek to deny to the Palestinian Arabs when they accepted the UN partition plan, with its provisions of free movement of peoples, trade, economic union seek to deny to the Palestinian Arabs? The right to a Jew-free "Palestine"?

    • Mooser June 24, 2016, 4:26 pm

      Yup, he did a tremendous amount for Zionism,

      My most important contribution to Zionism is fathering two Israeli daughters (who I support from afar, along with their American-born and raised half-sister) who in almost all likelihood will stay and live in their native country.

      and I must add, certain varieties of Jewish upbringing and experience, as related to marriage and family life

      My marriages and my family life have all been unremarkable, although I have mentioned them in passing. Marriage and being part of a couple isn't for everyone, some of us try it a few times before we learn that lesson. What is remarkable is that you think that having been married and divorced more than once and honorably fulfilling parental responsibilities is something worthy of censure.

      And yeah, as the thread unfolds, it does seem a lot like watching a train wreck. Until it reaches the penultimate point and he overplays his hand by dissing musicals. Busted! So busted.

      Musicals suck. Some of the songs in them might be cute or memorable, but the whole concept of watching a drama and then having somneone sing in the middle is just dumb. This applies to Hebrew-language musicals as well, of which there are a few. ("Kazablan," "Salah," and "I Like Mike" -- although I like the title of the latter.)

    • Mooser June 24, 2016, 4:32 pm

      Maybe if there were knives flashing in the dance, and pictures of babies, it’d be more exciting. I mean, the music and dance should move the plot along, as they do in my new musical, “Vitriol and Skunkwater”

      Hamas has produced a lot of videos like that already, some of them in bad Hebrew.

    • Mooser June 24, 2016, 11:20 pm

      And I always listened to the Cantor!

      I got about 10 seconds into the link. Not my thing. Al ta'am ve al re'akh...

      (I'll admit it's better than the frum music that passes for Jewish music in the haredi sector. (E.g., Mordechai BenDavid or Avraham Fried) -- the haredi equivalent of gospel music -- that assaulted my eardrums in Boro Park and at countless frun Jewish weddings when I was growing up. I prefer the punk rap or the classic rock. If I'm listening to Jewish music, Israeli rock and pop in Hebrew is where it's at -- whether 1960s/1970s classics from Arik Einstein, Shalom Hanokh or Shlomo Artzi, or the yrically and lingusitically inventive poetry of Meir Ariel, the crazy electronic grooves of Berry Sakharov or more recent bands that draw on Mizrahi sounds like Teapacks or Ha Dag Nahash. I think Jews will be listening to the music I mentioned for much longer than Eddie Cantor.

    • Mooser June 24, 2016, 11:20 pm

      “You are entitled to your opinion and to idolize your parents’ marriage”

      Look Casa Nebbish, I didn’t say “idolize”, I said “idealized”! i-d-e-a-l-i-z-e-d. Completely different thing.

      Never claimed to be a Casa Nova. Being married three times hardly would qualify me as one. As for a "Nebish," isn't a "nebbish" someone down on his luck and timid? I don't know why you would assume such a thing aboout someone you don't know.

      It's also bad form to make a big deal about minor typos. Typing fast can lead one to misspell. I actually noticed my error but it was too late to edit it. If I wanted to nitpick, I could make an issue about your puttting a comma before the open parenthesis.

    • echinoccus June 24, 2016, 10:57 am

      At any rate, “unbroken millennial roots” my axe. He himself may be a Jewish Palestinian,

      How could I be a "Jewish Palestinian" (sic). " Jewish Palestinians only existed between 1925 and 1948, from the time the British started issuing Palestinian citizenship papers to residents of their defunct Mandate (whether or not they were born there) until the termination of the Mandate. My paternal grandparents, who were born in Jerusalem at the turn of the 20th century were Ottoman citizens and became Palestinian citizens in 1925, my late father, who was born in 1932 ) was born as a Palestinian citizen (along with some of his siblings, my aunts and uncles) because he were born under the Mandate; all of his family became Israeli citizens in 1948 and permannently relinquished this "Palestinian" status. I was born in the USA in 1970 to Israeli citizen parents, thus acquring dual citizenship at birth. I could never be a Palestinian. That's just ludicrous.

      we know there were some 5% or so such Palestinians at the time of the Zionist invasion with hostile intent

      There has been constant Jewish migration and return into Eres Yisrae'el for millenia, all of which by definition and default was Zionist. When my Sephardic ancestors arrived in Galillee in the 16th century they were Zionists, although the term hadn't yet been coined. Their descendants were never "Palestinians" though until the British briefly imposed that status on them, along with hjeir non-Jewish neighbors.
      At any rate, in the 1880s, at the start of the secular political Zionist movement (as opposed to the regular Zionist impulse which is embedded in and inseparable from Judaism in its religious form) in the assortment of Turkish provinces later to be renamed "Palestine" by the British, Jews constitued about 8% (not 5% ) of the population. None of them were "Palestinians," because the concept of being "Palestinian" whether one was Jewish nor Arab, had not yet been invented. Some (like my paternal ancestors) were Ottoman citizens and had been living in the Ottoman Empire for many centuries -- others were citizens of various European countries and had also been living in Jerusalm and the other three "holy" cities to Judaism for centuries.

      So what? What has that got with people from Minsk, Brooklyn or Mars with no personal relationship to the place

      Every Jew has a personal relationship with Eres Yisra'el. Even people like Mooser and Phillip Weiss. Look how obssessed they are with it.

      And, unless we are discussing very recent convets, every Jew is literallydescended from Jews who lived in the country. It's not at all similar to the French colons in Algeria who were implanted by a foreign state as a vanguard to keep the territory for and on behalf of that state.

      and whose illegal immigration with hostile intent was roundly rejected by the owners of the sovereignty (among whom that Michael guy may also be, or not)?

      The ancestors of the Arabs who now assert that they are a Palestinian nation at the time were not even claiming the "Palestine"on behalf of any Palestinian nation at the time. Rather, they demanded that it be made part of a larger, Arab unitary state and those with nationalaspirations shared that goal with Arabs from inside and outside of what was then Mandatory Palestine. Obviously, by the time of the Israeli independence, a large proportion of the population of what was then Mandatory Palestine had a right to seek self-determination in their own state; and they achieved that goal.

      Anyway, the sending back of illegals (who by the way have passports and home countries, in addition to a US guarantee), is not called “ethnic cleansing”.

      7 million Israeli citizens, 6 million plus of whom are Jewish and most of whom only hold Israeli citizenship, will not relinquish their homes just because a bigot like you deems them illegal.

      in fact it’s being contemplated by a possible future president of the US against defenseless immigrants who never even dreamed of subverting the sovereignty of the US.

      If Michael has Palestinian status as he says, he is not involved in any way. It’s hard to understand why he would try to help the genocidal invaders of his own country by inventing some collective ownership of the sovereignty for undesirable aliens.

      Again, I was born in 1970, 22 years after the dissolution of the colonial entity formerly known as "Palestine" and after my indigenous-born and bred Jewish family joyously exchanged their British "Palestinian" documents for Israeli status. Native-born Jews in Ottoman Galilee (Safad) whose families had lived in the region for centuries were instrumental in founding the Jewish village of Rosh Pina in the 1880s, joining more recent Jewish arrivals from Romania. Among the founding families of Tel Aviv were Jews who had lived in neighboring Jaffa for generations, or were Mizrahim who had relocated from other places in the region like Beirut. They hardly saw themselves as "Palestinians" or "Arabs" but they did recognize the newer Ashkenazi arrivals as their kin and countrymen.

      Worst thing, he is unaware enough to pretend that a language invented for the invasion and a barbarian invader culture are legitimate and protected

      I'm very aware that Jews preserved and nurtured their national language for centuries in the Land of Israel and outside of it and that Jews continued to write works of poetry and prose, philosophical and scientific works, fiction and non-fiction, in Hebrew way before the spoken Hebrew revival in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. I'm also aware that Hebrew functioned as a market lingua franca amoing the Jews of Jerusalem for decades before Elizezer Ben Yehuda spearheaxded the vernacular renaissance. I'm aware that Hebrew is the native or near-native language of about 6 million Israeli Jews who were born in Israel or raised in Israeli households outsoide Israel, as well as a milliion or more Jews around the world who are more or less fluent in Hebrew as beneficiaries of excellent, Israel-oriented Jewish day schools in the Diaspora that teach them Hebrew from an early age in the USA, France, Mexico, Argentina and Australia. I'm also aware of more than a million Arab citizens (to be clear, when one refers to "Arabs" one always means non-Jews) in Israel who speak fluent Hebrew; some of them read, write and speak Hebrew better than Arabic.I'm also aware that about 6,000 original Hebrew books are published per year, this per capita output is one of the highest in the world (although not as impressive as Icelandic which has a much smaller base of native speakers and also publishes an astonishing number of books in its own language for such a small country). Anyone who thinks the Israeli-Jewish population and the Hebrew language will be eradicated is a genocidal fantacist. Your rhetoric is reminiscent of WW2-era propaganda promoting the idea that after the war the only place Japanese will be spoken will be in hell.

    • Shmuel June 24, 2016, 6:07 am
      As we Jews say in our language, “al ta’am ve al re’ah ein al ma le’hitvake’ah

      Good thing Shlonsky decided to translate that expression for us (from Russian? Latin?). See A. Even-Shoshan, Ha-milon he-hadash; and Y. Kna’ani, Milon hidushei Shlonsky

      "à chacun son goût"

      As some of us say in one of our languages, אין חדש תחת השמש (there is nothing new under the sun).

      Vernaculars like Yiddish, Ladino, Italkit, Yevanic or Juhoro-Tat can each be properly described as "one of our languages" but only Hebrew belongs to all the Jews.

    • echinococcus June 23, 2016,

      As late as 1958, the nationalist French papers carried titles like this one:
      Many Algerian Arabs openly fantasize about and wish for the day that French Colonials will pack up and leave their country en masse; that sentiment is echoed by many of the commenters on this site, but it won’t happen.

      Unlike Israel's Jews, the French pied noir colons could not claim unbroken millennial roots in Algeria and were sent there by and for a foreign state. On my father's maternal side, my Jewish ancestors were living in Eres Yisrae'l (in Northern Galilee) by the mid 1500s, so my father traced longer unbroken roots in the country than many Arabs who only arrived in later centuries and now claim to be "indigenous" Palestinians (I was the first in my paternal grandmother's family to be born outside the Land of Israel in approximately 500 years). Israel is a nation of 6 million+ Hebrew-speaking Jews, most native-born. Not long ago, I saw someone in an exchange with you realistically (albeit ruefully, he said it like it was a bad thing) point out the fact that a population that large will not be dislodged from its country, and you scolded him for being too pessimistic. So you're actually on record here as openly relishing the fantasy of ethnic cleansing and uprooting an entire people, language and culture from its native soil, instead of what's actually possible for the Palestinian Arabs whose cause you claim to support, which is a 2-state solution for the two national groups living in part of the former British Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River.

    • Mooser June 22, 2016, 6:04 pm
      “That’s fair enough and you’re entitled to your opinions…”

      Those aren’t my opinions, dude. They are our traditions!
      You ask me, ‘how did this tradition get started?’ and I tell you ‘I don’t know’ But it’s a tradition!

      You are entitled to your opinion and to idolize your parents' marriage, but it is merely your opinion, not a fact, that divorce is completely anathema to and censured among traditional Jews. Otherwise there would not be a whole masekhet of the Gemara (Gittin) dealing with this subject.

    • Mooser June 23, 2016, 11:32 pm

      Well, I feel a lot better now about all this. Obviously, you aren’t Jewish. You can forget that ruse. Goodbye.

      As we Jews say in our language, "al ta'am ve al re'ah ein al ma le'hitvake'ah. I gather that secular Ashkenazi American Jews of a certain age were raised on musical theater, but (1) I'm a couple of generations younger than you and (2) although I was raised mostly in NY, I spent most of my formative years in an ultra-Orthodox enclave.

      I am sure if you go to Boro Park (where I spent a good chunk of my formative years) the vast majority of haredi Jews don't know about musicals and would likely never go to one as it's considered immodest as they feature "kol isha". My late father was Sefaradi and had become very Orthodox not long after I was born (you know,a a hozer bi'teshuva) and despite his doctoral degrees in physics he eventually became a black-hatted haredi Jew and we settled first among the Syrian Jews in Gravesend and later among the Ashkenazi hassidim and mitnagedim of Boro Park in the 1970s/1980s, so I didn't grow up in the kind of milieu that adored musicals. He was not so Orthodox as to avoid listening to recorded female singing, ("kol isha") and I remember he would sometimes play records in the privacy of the house, of the great Israeli female vocalists Shoshana Damari and Margalit Tsanani ("Kalaniot" -- great song), but Broadway was simply out of the question in our family, besides the taint of secular immodesty that violated the "frum" community's norms it was waaaay too expensive for a family of 8. Like I said, I may have started to watch some old 1950s musical on TV once, but it made absolutely no sense that the characters kept on breaking out in song and dance in the middle of everything. People pay to see this?

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2016, 11:42 pm
      He was comparing it to his own situation.
      I think “Mikhael” would say it was more like a guy who marries one woman, has children, and then goes out and gets another woman pregnant, and is then in a complicated situation, divorces the first, marries the second, and then, does it again. More complications. It’s complicated.

      I don't know why you would assume my situation was anything like what you describe, or why you would imagine such a complicated scenario. Some guys hastily marry in their early 20s and then divorce after 2 years and have one child, then they remarry in their early 30s in Israel and have twin daughters, and then get divorced after 6 years, and then remarry a third time in their early 40s, to another divorced person with children from her first marriage and then realize that the third marriage was another mismatch and get divorced after 5 months . It can be pretty straightforward and not at all complicated.

      But my point still stands that two people shouldn't be forced to stay in a marriage together. Of course, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are destined to be neighbors, but we don't have to live in the same state. Many Palestinian Arabs openly fantasize about and wish for the day that Jews will pack up and leave their country en masse; that sentiment is echoed by many of the commenters on this site, but it won't happen. Admittedly, a few extremists on the Israeli Jewish side hope that Palestinian Arabs will also leave, that also won't happen, both people are fated to live in the region, just as some couples that should never have tried to live together sometimes have to live in the same town but we don't need to live under one government in the same state.

    • Mooser June 22, 2016, 7:02 pm

      Ah, I see, “the Israeli Jewish /Palestinian Arab dispute” is like a marriage which isn’t working out.

      Insofar as a marriage that many marriages that don't work out are that way because they have two very different people sharing a small space; yes.

      Well, I guess that tells us all we need to know about your views on marriage (wow!) and the “Israeli Jewish /Palestinian Arab dispute”!!

      Marriage works for some people but isn't for everybody.

      Oh BTW, just for grins, was it a long courtship? When did we propose? How was the ceremony? The wedding breakfast? How was the honeymoon? (nudge-nudge, wink-wink)

      None of these things are interesting.

      Is the”Israeli Jewish /Palestinian Arab” marriage foundering for the same reasons yours did?

      See my first answer.

      rise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset, Swiftly flow the days

      I had to Google those lyrics and I had no idea it was from "Fiddler on the Roof" until just now, maybe I vaguely heard someone say it once and I didn't get the reference. I just watched a YouTube clip of it for like 30 seconds and couldn't take anymore. I grew up in New York and I'm living here again now, but I had no exposure to Broadway musicals and I was never interested in seeing the play or the movie. The whole concept of musicals is dumb anyway, people breaking out into song in the middle of everything. I've never understood why people like them.

    • Mooser June 22, 2016, 5:40 pm
      So, they weren’t going for polygamy, or bigamy? Had to make it serial monogamy?
      Mikheal, let’s bring this conversation back to where it started. I can’t deny you did your best, according to your lights, to raise the Jewish birth-rate. Good work. Happy now?

      Of course I am happy to be a father.

      And BTW, isn’t this just a bit one-sided? Wouldn’t it be a tad more convincing for your ex-wives and/or children to write in and praise your qualities as lover, husband and father?

      I don't know why anyone would find that interesting.

      Should I be flattered that you find my very ordinary personal life so extraordinary?

    • Mooser June 21, 2016, 3:59 am

      I have an old-fashioned Jewish morality about marriage, and monogamy . I idealize it, too. I’ll admit to that any day. Idolized my Dad as a husband,( from a kid’s viewpoint) and wanted to live up to that. And I think of it as a Jewish characteristic. (Not exclusive to Jews of course!)
      That’s me, and I like it that way.

      That's fair enough and you're entitled to your opinions, but old-fashioned Jewish religious law (halakha) and customs allows for the scenario that when couples can't make a marriage work they should divorce. That's often a much healthier option than forcing two people who can't get along to live togethe when it's not meant to be. It's a a great analogy for the Israeli Jewish /Palestinian Arab dispute.

    • Mooser June 21, 2016, 6:52 am

      “At 45, and having been married three times (I wound up marrying every woman I was intimate with),There’s also nothing extraordinary about a middle-aged dad who’s been married three times and has kids with two exes, “

      Yes, it’s a very good explication of two Yiddish words. You show how a schlemiel can be his own schlimazel.
      You knock the trees over, and they fall on you.

      Are you really trying to insinuate through your clumsy faux Yiddidsh that you pretend to have command over, gained, no doubt, from swallowing Leo Rosten's coffee table books, that I, as a father of three daughters who I support through working hard, am the author of some kind of misfortune that I caused to myself? Seriously?

    • Mooser June 6, 2016, 11:02 am

      Yup, you keep telling us and yourself that. And you keep claiming you make your court-ordered payments. Whatever.

      Well, “Mikheel”, I’m sure you divide your resources and earnings and time very fairly between your various, uh, companions and offspring

      At 45, and having been married three times (I wound up marrying every woman I was intimate with), and taking care of an octogenarian mother and paying money to my teen twins in Israel and my American college-age daughter, doesn't leave me time for any "companions". There's also nothing extraordinary about a middle-aged dad who's been married three times and has kids with two exes, and your prurient harping on it as if it's evidence of a moral failing of my part is puzzling. I know you're old, but the Victorian era was over a century ago, dude.I'm a pretty tame guy in any case.

    • Mooser June 6, 2016, 3:40 pm
      “being generally polite to people , etc.”

      “Polite”? Don’t sell yourself short “Mikhael”. You must be a real charmer.

      It's my nature to be polite, even to people who don't deserve it.

    • echinococcus June 6, 2016, 1:08 am

      “The equivalent expression in Hebrew”
      You mean Constructed language “Modern Hebrew”, an 1890s nationalist-aggressive invention? The nonsense language to kill the mother tongues in the interest of invader pirates?

      Modern Hebrew is not a constructed language. The modern Israeli-Hebrew is supple and rich in its spoken and literary form, expressed in poetry, humor and popular songs. Only an ignoramus would speak of it so derisively.

      ” the national language of the Jews”
      How so? Jews had a lot of national languages, in each country, or even some specifically Jewish ones in particular cultures. A richness that was anathema to the Zionists, a political criminal conspiracy with no necessary religious bonds.

      Hebrew is the common ancestral language of all the historical Jewish groups of the Diaspora and all Jews can claim it is their heritage.

      “My family doesn’t speak Yiddish, not even my Ashkenazi mother”
      Not even ashamed of it?

      Why should I be ashamed of not speaking a hybrid jargon of medieval German, Hebrew, and Aramaic. My assimilationist Hungarian-Jewish ancestors adopted standard German and later Hungarian in the 19th century, by my mother's generation our family in Israel had reverted to our ancestral Hebrew. On the Syrian/Sephardic side we all speak Hebrew as well.

      There you see what mistakes ignorance of Yiddish may lead to: a mensch in Yiddish, as different from the Standard German, is not just a human but a person who hurts with every victim of the crimes committed by his relatives.
      No mensch approves invasion, racial supremacy, colonialism and genocide; no mensch among the Zionists. They may be anatomically human and that’s all.

      You're not a morally fit person and thus you are incapable of lecturing what "menshlikhkeit" entails as you dehumanize an entire national society and deny our common national identity. Your allegations of "racial supremacy", "colonialism" and "genocide"are just senseless bleatings without any basis.

    • You’re such a mensch, “Mikheel”.

      The equivalent expression in Hebrew, the national language of the Jews and my mother tongue, is "ben-adam". (My family doesn't speak Yiddish, not even my Ashkenazi mother, though of course I've picked up some as a former yeshiva student in Boro Park, and by hanging around American Jews.) The fact that I am a responsible parent is not what makes me a mensch, although I do my best to to be one, by working hard, paying taxes, being generally polite to people , etc.

    • Annie Robbins June 5, 2016, 3:35 pm

      there are many mizrahi jews who self identify as arab jews although zionist efforts to extract jews from arab identity has stepped up considerably in the last decade.

      The delusions that European Jews briefly had (and were tragically disabused of) that they shared the national identity of their nonJewish neighbors was never widespread among Jews in Arab countries. Mizrahi Jews have always been more sober and realistic.

      but as long as there are arab jews who identify as such no one can claim they don’t exist or aren’t arab.

      Approximately half a dozen misfits ("misfits" is putting it mildly as to how they'd be regarded in their own Mizrahi-Jewish communities if they were even widely known about, "freaks" might bea more apt term) does not a real constituency make.

      i am reminder of this video of that guy that goes around israel making hasbara videos asking all these questions of everyone about topics of controversy. one was about falafels or humus (i can’t recall) so they go to all these restaurants and ask the chefs/cooks is falafels (or humus) is an israeli food vs an arab food and a few of the cooks (israeli jews) said — i’m an arab jew! one said his family was from egypt.

      The video is here:

      Corey Gil Shuster (fun channel, I recommend it) indeed did go out to ask Israelis about "Why did you steal hummus from the Arabs?" Not one of them answered by saying "I'm an Arab Jew!" as you incorrectly recall. Yes, one of them answered "Hem ganvu mimeni...ani Misri" (they stole it from me, I'm Egyptian"). Israeli Jews will mention the country of origin or their parents' countries of origin, and often these will be Arab countries, but that's not the same in an Israeli context of self-identifcation as "Arab". One of them laughed and when asked "Eizo eida ata?" (What community are you?) answered "Ani Aravi!" (I'm an Arab!). He never said " I'm an Arab Jew" I had this discussion with talknic on his blog before he banned me, and he put the link to the video up there and also insisted that the fact that the man who answred he was Arab had to have meant he was a so-called "Arab Jew" but both you and he, as non-Israelis who don't speak any Hebrew, are completely tone-deaf to what saying "I'm Arab" means in an Israeli context. It means you're not a Jew.
      On the other hand, Mizrahi Jews may say that they are Teimani, Moroka'i, Mitzri, Iraqi, etc.. (Yemenite, Moroccan, Egyptian, Iraqi) etc. and mention the Arab countries that they or their families used to live in, but it's not the same as identifying as "Arabs" or even with the non-Jewish yementies, Iraqis, Moroccans, Egyptians, Libyans, etc. They'll refer to their non-Jewish former neighbors in those countries as Arabs, and they may say things like "Relations between Arabs and Jews back in Yemen were sometimes good and sometimes bad," or "I had very dear Arab friends in Iraq, but I never trusted most of the Arabs after the Farhoud pogroms of the Jews in Baghdad in 1941," and it's clear that the term "Arab" in relation to themselves is extrinsic to their own self-identity. My father's family were Jerusalemites and my father's parents spoke Arabic with native fluency (his mother, my paternal grandmother, from a family of Sephardic Jews that had settled in Galilee and later Jerusalem, grew up speaking Arabic and Ladino --Judeao-Spanish--., Ladino in the home, Arabic in the streets and markets, and his father's (my paternal grandfather) first language was Arabic, as his parents migrated to Jerusalem from Aleppo and Damascus in the 1870s and 1890s) but it never occurred to them to identify as Arabs. I also recall asking them as a kid how things were between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem in the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. They never once said "We're also Arabs, Arab Jews". They talked about how my
      great-grandmother gave my grandmother to an Arab woman to be nursed, and how her sister did the same thing for an Arab woman, they talked about the Arab rioters in Jerusalem in 1929 who slashed my great uncle's face, and it was alwyas clear from context that whatever the relations were, sometimes good, sometimes bad, between Mizrahim and Arabs, the "they" were Arab and the "we" were Jews.

      so for sure there are arab jews all over the place who identify as arab jews, even in israel.

      Maybe two in Israel (Yehuda Shenhav is one of them, I forget who the other is, perhaps the author Sami Mikhael) , and three in the USA (Ella Shohat, who can't even speak any Arabic, Sami Cheetrit, and David Shasha) Naeem Giladi was the other one, and he's dead. All but Shahsha and Cheetrit are of Iraqi background.

      (you can’t just demand people identify the way you want

      Absolutely, so you shouldn't insist on imposing an unrequited Arab identity on the vast majority of Jews whose families escaped Arab persecution and found their home in Israel .

      remember when the israel gov decided to stop identifying palestinian christians as arab? the response was fast and furious

      Some Arabic-speaking Christians who practise Maronite Christianity and who claim Aramean ancestry in the Israeli town of Jish petitioned the Israeli government to recognize them as Arameans, and not as "Arab Christians". This was entirely of their own initiative and for many years, the Israeli government ignored their request and finally acceded it to in 2014*, †. The response by people who hate Israel was fast and furious.

      and the proud . israel and israel’s supporters should get out of the business of trying to define (and confine) what an arab is

      Right, this is why you should respect the wishes of the overwhelming majpority of Jews whose families left Arab-dominated societies not to be referred to as Arab, as well as the small number of Maronite Christians who wish to claim an Aramean identity in Israel.

      *The change in the national registry will be by request for those Christians born into Christian families or clans and who can speak Aramaic. A large group of Christians had already applied for such recognition four years ago, and will now be granted the desired ethnic status. (@

    • lysias June 5, 2016, 3:16 pm

      Whether Israel admits it or not, there are Jewish Arabs. Iraqi Jew Naeim Giladi insisted in his book Ben Gurion’s Scandals that he was a Jewish Arab.

      It's not just because Israel denies the existence of Israel, but the Jews who you have decided are Arabs reject this terminology and historically never identified with it, well before the establishment of Israel, and always saw themselves as not only a separate religious community but a separate national and ethnic community, and in fact were so seen by their Arab former neighbors. The meme of "Arab Jew" has only started to be disseminated in recent years, in fact. You can poll Jews living outside Israel whose families emigrated from Arab countries and moved to the USA, the UK, France and Australia and they willaugh in astonishment at the suggestion that they are Arabs. Basically, there are about six useful useless idiots/tools who describe themselves as "Arab Jews", 5 living, one dead, i.e., Giladi. Go to the Iraqi-Jewish neighborhood in Ramat Gan Israel and ask Israeli Jews of Iraqi-Jewish descent what they think of Naeem Giladi, and they will ask "Who?".Then tell them he was an Iraqi Jew who said he was an Arab and they will collapse in peals of laughter. If you think they are saying this only because Israel somehow brainwashed them and threatened them into abandoning their Arab identity, you'll get the same reaction if you go to Jamaica Estates, Queens, New York, where there is a synagogue of Jews whose families escaped Iraq. and ask them the same question Congregation Bnei Naharayim (Children of the Two Rivers, i.e., Tigris and Euphrates) has a website with a list of prominent Iraqi Jews who moved to the USA, where's Naeem Giladi on that list? They do celebrate Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day, though. When 99.9% of the Mizrahi Jews who were born in Arab states (or whose parents and grandparents were born in Arab states) eschew the label "Arab" as a self-identifier, and only a few self-styled "radical" nutjobs like Ella Shohat or David Shahsa (who I shaer Syrian-Jewish roots with)) get Stockholm Syndrome and think they'e Arabs, it's irrational, insulting and highly condescending to foist an identity on people who want no part of it. You'll find more real Arabs (and of course, by "real Arabs," I mean non-Jews, whether Muslims, Christians, or Druze) in Israel who identify with the aims of Zionism and
      have adopted an Israeli-Arab identity then you will find "Arab Jews" in Israel or outside of Israel.

    • talknic May 23, 2016, 4:00 am

      A) Israel isn’t going to allow dual citizenship to non-Jewish Arabs, so in effect by taking up citizenship elsewhere, they’d abandon Israeli citizenship

      "Non-Jewish Arab" is a tautology.
      That said, Arab citizens of Israel (who by definition are non-Jews) who leave Israel and acquire a second citizneship do not relinquish their Israeli citizenship unless they voluntarily renounce it. They can also pass on their Israeli citizenship to their foreign-born children, although only for one generation (like all Israeli citizens). Case in point: the anti-Israel ISM activist Huweida Arraf, born in Detroit Michigan, USA, whose father was an Arab citizen (which means non-Jewish citizen) who emigrated to the USA and who nbever renounced his Israeli citizneship, automatically acquired Israeli citizenship through her father at birth even though she was born in the USA. As someone born in the USA, she also had US citizenship at birth. Like any other Israeli citizen, she has full right of travel ingto and out of Israel and takes full advantage of this right to engage in hostile activities against Israel. Arraf is a Palestinian lawyer with American and Israeli citizenship.

      Here is another example of an Israeli Arab who has dual citizenship in Israel and Brazil and took advantage of his rigjht to Israeli citizenship and moved back to his father's country of birth in order to serve in the IDF.

      Of course, foreign Arabs who never held Israeli citizenship, or whose parents and grandparents never held Israeli citizenship, are not automatically entitled to claim Israeli citizenship merely on the basis of the fact that they or their families lived in what became Israel prior to 1948.

    • Mooser May 22, 2016, 10:37 pm

      “What, why wouldn’t our moderators here on Mondoweiss t to let me show a pic of my fancy new Israel-inspired (and probably China-manufactured) Reeboks?”

      Oh, I’m sure they would, provided you agreed not to hold them responsible for any paternity suits which arise from the pictures.

      I bought some Teva shoes instead, which is a better way to support Israel and are of high quality. I still need a new pair of sneakers, though,

      I still don't understand why you think you are insulting me by your reference to the fact that I am a proud father of Jewish children and that I take my parental obligations seriously and make timely child support parents to my ex-wives. It's hard to believe that my American daughter will be a college junior next year, and my twin Israeli daughters will be starting secondary school in Jerusalem at the end of the summer and then before you know it, they'll be inducted into the IDF, and me a young 46.

    • talknic May 23, 2016, 3:47 am

      Mikhael steps in it …

      They weren’t “foreign Arabs”, they were from the area that was proclaimed as Israel by the Provisional Israeli Government — link to — and subsequently recognized by the International Comity of Nations prior to UN Membership

      As Arabs who reside outside of Israel and who are not Israeli citizens, they are by definition foreign Arabs.

      ” The non-Jews who were entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship are those who resided in the country during the Mandate Period and who were present within Israel at the end of the war and who were counted in the Israeli Census in 1952″

      Strange, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was written in 1948 and it cites UNGA res 181

      Israel's Declaration of Independence is not a legal instrument that establishes the mechanism for the acquistion of Israeli citizenship. Your mentioning that it cites UNGA Resolution 181 also has no relevance to that discussion.

      = Jews from Arab countries seeking refuge = Arab Jewish refugees

      Israeli Jews whose ancestors were fortunate enough to move to Israel from Arab countries were not and are not "Arabs" but Jews, who are a separate group with an ethnic and national identity distinct from Arabs. Having ancestors who used to live in an Arab country does not render Mizrahi Jews in Israel Arabs any more than Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Berbers or Turkomen (separate ethnic groups that live in Arab societies) are Arabs. We do not share the national aspirations of Arabs, neither did our ancestors.

      ” … who left those countries and had to abandon their properties and assets under duress”

      It’s normal for countries at war to either expel or intern possible allies of their enemies. Australia, the US, the UK interned or expelled their own citizens of Japanese and German heritage and froze their assets during WW2

      The Arabs in question who claim "refugee" status are non-Israeli citizens whose ancestors sided with invading enemy armies in 1948-1949.

      It’s also normal to allow their return or freedom and release their assets after hostilities are over unless they took up permanent citizenship of a country other than that of return, whereby they were no longer refugees.

      They have in most cases taken up permanent residence in other countries (although Jordan was the only Arab country that granted them citizenship en mass, a step which they have bene revoking in recent years). The failure of Arab states to grant citizneship to the "Palestinian refugees" who have lived in their countries for several decades is not Israel's problem,

      They didn’t become Israeli Jews until they acquired Israeli citizenship, prior to which they were not Israeli. they were refugees, cared for by UNRWA BTW until 1952 when the Israeli government finally took care of them

      UNRWA briefly assisted former Palestinian Jews who had been expelled by the Jordanians from the part of the former Palestine Mandate that they conquered in 1948 and didn't aid Jewish immigrants and refugees who had moved from Arab states to Israel.

      “They are nevertheless entitled to compensation for their assets, which which were unjustly taken from them by Arab governments”

      Odd isn’t it that the Israeli Government has never made any claims on the Arab States on their behalf. Could it be that they are deprived of their assets because such a claim by the Israeli Government would be an admission that the same should also apply to dispossessed non-Jewish refugees. Compensation due would send Israel bankrupt

      In the context of a general peace settlement, compensation for foreign Arabs who lost family property in what became Israel should definitely be on the table and Israel would be able to handle it without much problem. But foreign Arabs, who are not and never were Israeli citizens, don't have a "right of return" to our country, neither morally nor under any reading of Israeli law. As part of normalization between Israel and the various Arab states that have been party to the conflict, Jewish citizens of Israel whose families had to abandon family assets which were confiscated or nationalized by those states Arab states are also entitled to redress.

      Anyway, Happy Jerusalem Day!

    • talknic
      @ Jackdaw
      Whereas refugees who were non-Jewish Israeli citizens appear to care more for, would rather return to and have a right return to their homelands, even if it is now called Israel

      None of these "refugees" who you refer to were ever Israeli citizens. The passage you highlight in your link to the Israeli Declaration of Indpendence, where the government appealed to Arab inhabitants to participate in the building of Israeli society " on the basis of full and equal citizenship" does not grant Israeli citizenship to foreign Arabs whose ancestors rejected that appeal and that opportunity and moved to enemy countries. The non-Jews who were entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship are those who resided in the country during the Mandate Period and who were present within Israel at the end of the war and who were counted in the Israeli Census in 1952.

      There are no longer any Arab Jewish refugees

      There never were any "Arab Jewish refugee" but there were Jews from Arab countries who left those countries and had to abandon their properties and assets under duress. These Israeli Jews, it is true, can't exactly be considered refugees because they were repatriated to their actual national homeland, Israel. They are nevertheless entitled to compensation for their assets, which which were unjustly taken from them by Arab governments.

    • Mooser May 22, 2016, 12:53 pm

      Sure, sure, cause you have raw Zionist power over the Mondo Mods!
      Why, if you want to make a fool of yourself, those pipsqueak Mods can’t stop you! They must publish your pictures, or else! You’ll show us.

      What, why wouldn't our moderators here on Mondoweiss t to let me show a pic of my fancy new Israel-inspired (and probably China-manufactured) Reeboks? Are you suggesting they would want to censor somebody?

      Oh yeah, Zionism is in good hands.

    • echinococcus May 22, 2016, 12:03 pm

      While it is sooo rational, isn’t it, according to typical Zionist “thinking”, not to compare it to what happened to any non-“Jewish” Iranians, like secular or averse to dictatorship or any number of preferences or just because they could, who moved their feet, too.

      Yes, many secular, non-Jewish Iranians who were averse to dictatorship (or who had close ties to the previous dictatorship) also left. That fact is not relevant to what was being discussed, which is that the majority of Iranian Jews, many of them who are Zionist , secular and avrese to dictatorship, found the post-Revolution situation there intolerable there and most have chosen to leave.

      Oh no, it’s just us and everybody is out to get only us –and that’s why Zionists are justified in stealing and murdering!

      Nobody is justified in stealing and murdering., but Jews were justified in seeking national self-determination in their own ancestral homeland. This goal has been achieved and won't be overturned, no matter how much you guys stomp and kick your feet. Even before the "Islamic Revolution" some 30,000 Iranian Jews left for Israel in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when Jews in Iran fared quite well under the Shah. In fact, there was an influx of Persian Jews who were migrating to Jeruaslem during the end of the Qajar dynasty and the twilight of the Ottoman Empire. The connection of Jews from Iran to Eres Yisrael is nothing new and the fact that even if one accepts Kay24's exaggerated figure of 20,000 Jews living in Iran, it still means 80% have left in the past 35 years.

    • a blah chick May 10, 2016, 10:26 am

      You should paint little figures running along the bottom with Palmach guys

      Palmach?! Do I seem like a communist?

      Anyway, the rumors were untrue. I would have bought them and posted the pics anway on Mondowess

    • Kay24 May 10, 2016, 12:13 pm

      The United States State Department estimated the number of Jews in Iran at 20,000–25,000 as of 2009.[59]

      Apparently the State Department figure echoes the Irainain Jewish community's own estaimate., but according to the Iranian government''s 20122 census, it's only 8,756. The larger number may include people in mixed marriages, e.g., Jewish women married to Muslim husbands, and theyr children, who are jewish by Jewish law. The government, however, would count these people as Muslims, and would want to undercount the number of Jews in terms of proportional representation in the Majlis, whe simutaneously braying and boasting to the outside world that they have such a large and prosperous and happyJewish community.

      I am sure Israel would LOVE to get all those Iranian Jews to move into illegal abodes and fill ’em up

      I don;t know about illegal abodes, but it is always good news and good for the Jewish people evert time a Jew moves to Israel from anyplace.

      It must have been disappointing that thousands of Jews still remains in Iran, after all how can Netanyahu keep saying it is such a nasty country, when some of their own refuses to leave

      These are on the whole, elderly people, and it is difficult for most people to pick up and move start over again. The Iranian Jews who stayed made their bargain with the regime that as long as they express loyalty to it, they can keep their businesses open and observe their religion. When the vast majority of Iranian Jews, however, have voted with their feet (literally, I know Jewse who escaped from Iran on foot, smuggled out bthrough Turkey and then resettled in Israel in the 1980s) because the situation in Iran was inolerable for them it is not rational to speak of how wonderful it is for Jews in Iran.

    • Citizen May 10, 2016, 1:34 pm

      @ Mikhael,, ever check out Shahs of Sunset reality tv series? All about Iranians & their food & bling, & very pro-Israel

      I've heard of it, but I I don't have cable TV (I suppose it's streamable too and there must be clips of it on YouTube) and I don't understand what the point is of any of these "reality" shows anyway.

      Fromwhat I understand, it's about Iranian-Americans on the West Coast, Jewish and Muslim. Bling or not (and yeah, they tend ot be into bling) Iranian Jews are pro-Israel and super Zionist. This is a fact that you guys need to wrap your head around. If the Jews in Iran could really speak freely without fear of repercussion, you'd see that most of them would express similar opinions.

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