Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 210 (since 2010-04-12 03:05:01)

Resides somewhere in North America, history professor by trade, revolutionary by devotion — anti-capitalist and anti-Zionist

Showing comments 210 - 201

  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • W. Jones (replying to yours of 8/31, 7:44 pm), it sounds like you agree with me, if reluctantly. Surely you can understand that to criticize Weir does not mean to take the side of JVP and the CEIO, whom I call gatekeepers because they seek to restrict the movement to limits acceptable to them: two states, 1967 borders, narrow BDS, oppose the “occupation” etc., instead of working for a fully liberated Palestine one state, democratic and secular, from the River to the Sea, with the right of return for all exiles). At bottom the dispute turns over strategy: I believe Palestine can only be liberated by linking to struggles of the downtrodden throughout the world, including the struggle of black youth against the police. In my opinion neither the JVP/CEIO strategy of appealing to liberals (including soft Zionists) nor Alison Weir’s strategy of appealing to “patriots” committed to the “national interest” (including neonazis) will produce anything more than a Palestinian microstate under U.S./Israeli domination, leaving the refugees out. I know that few people here agree with me. I can live with that, and do not seek to ban anyone. But when I see someone doing something that weakens the possibility of building the links I think necessary, I regard it as my duty to speak out.

    • Once again, the objection is not to Alison Weir’s appearance on the neonazi Clay Douglas’s show, but to her failure to challenge his white supremacy while there. The equivalent would be to go on some rabid zionist’s show and join the host in denouncing holocaust denial without saying a word about Palestine. Why is it so hard for so many people, apparently including Alison Weir herself, to admit that in doing so she let down the people of Ferguson and elsewhere who are actual and potential allies of the Palestinians, and was therefore not merely ignoble but unwise? To admit a mistake would not mean confessing to being an antisemite, nor would it vindicate the gatekeepers of JVP and the ETO, although it might mean not being invited back on the show. Sometimes one must choose.

    • I agree with Mooser. It is a mistake to define antisemitism as “racism against Jews.” Apart from the problem with the term “racism”—what is a race?—if it were simply a matter of disliking Jews or attributing to them certain innate characteristics there would be no need for a special term, any more than there is a special term for dislike of Mexicans or Baptists or whatever. Antisemitism is a philosophy of history, as Mooser says, a political analysis.

    • False. I have repeatedly—see the archives—denounced the liberal Zionist gatekeepers who would restrict the movement to limits acceptable to them: two states, 1967 borders, narrow BDS, oppose the “occupation” etc. instead of working for a fully liberated Palestine, one state, democratic and secular, from the River to the Sea, with the right of return for all exiles. My drawing attention to the presence of white supremacists and antisemites in the movement comes from my concern that fascists—I do not mean conventional rightwingers—are fishing for recruits. I realize that few people here regard them as anything more than cranks with no potential; I disagree. For evidence that I am not mad, I point to the rise of those currents in Europe, partly in response to the general social decay and partly in response to the arrogance of the Zionists.

    • The abolitionists opposed slavery because it was evil, and were willing to break up the country over it. Others, including Lincoln, also thought slavery wrong, but opposed it mainly on the grounds that it restricted the rights of free Americans, and they limited their activities to what the Constitution allowed (until the War forced them to adopt more radical measures). Hard to say who made the greater contribution; Lincoln (with characteristic humility) admitted that without Garrison he could not have accomplished what he did. At their best the two approaches complement each other, but it is necessary to drive out some of the people in the “national interests” camp.

    • Annie and others,

      I regret that you found my tone offensive. I do not think of myself as more “anti-racist” than thou, and I am sorry if I came across that way. I have been surprised that the comments on this thread have been running about 10 to 1 against me; I think a few years ago most people would have sided with JVP and the CEO notwithstanding their soft Zionism. It is progress that many people here are no longer intimidated by the fear of being called antisemitic. Now, I fear, we face the opposite problem: many people do not take seriously the danger that antisemitism (real, not imagined) can pose, not to Jews, who are pretty well protected, but to the movement—and in particular the extent to which it opens the door to white supremacists, at a time when the struggle of black people appears to be on the increase and the establishment of links between Palestine and Ferguson is a real possibility (a development that could be of great importance).

      I think part of my difficulty lies in that Alison Weir (and apparently others here) accept the framework of “national interests,” and I do not. I oppose Zionism not because it is a betrayal of my interests as an American (whatever they are) but because it is wrong. I can live with that difference, knowing that I am in the minority, but it must be admitted that the appeal to “national interests” tends to be attractive to rightwingers and patriots (including antisemites and white supremacists), and that therefore it allows them to gain entry to and a hearing in a movement that they hope to use for their own purposes. Just as Alison had her reasons for appearing on Clay Douglas’s show, he had his reasons for inviting her. Frankly, I don’t believe he cares a rap for the Palestinians, and the same is true of James Dean (Veterans Today) and of Atlantaiconoclast. One cannot support the Palestinians while opposing the struggle of black Americans.

      I suspect that Alison (and many here) know that, but they seem to have forgotten it for the moment in the need to gain an audience and oppose the opportunist and self-righteous maneuvers of the liberal Zionists at JVP. I wish they wouldn’t forget it, and I don’t think I should be in trouble for pointing out a danger.

      The quote about the alien plot to kill 60 million white Christian Russians was on Douglas's site,, (attributed to Solzhenitsyn) right under the Confederate flag, followed by Douglas's comment that "they still hate us--especially whites." I just checked and it has been removed, but there is plenty more of the same.

    • Tree, How about this:

      CD: Do you feel that there’s a danger about what’s happening to the Palestinians right now happening to Americans? Is that a possibility? I mean, what happened in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution–Communism–they murdered 60 million white Christian Russians…

      AW: Yeah, I think the number of Russians that were killed and imprisoned has been very unknown to most of us. You know, I am one of those. I have just looked into this occasionally, peripherally, because you stumble across this when you start to look into the history of Israel and the history of Zionism, you stumble across these other episodes of significance that were similarly covered up. I think it’s significant that, I’m trying to think of, there’s a Russian writer.

      CD: Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

      AW: That’s right, Solzhenitsyn.

      CD: Gulag Archipelago. And he points out that the people that ran the concentration camps, the detention centers or whatever you want to call them, in Russia, most of them were Jewish, most of them. And he also says that the Russian people referred to Communism as “Judaism for the Masses.”

      AW: Well the thing about Solzhenitsyn that’s interesting is that he was a Nobel Prize winner, you know, very, very significant literary figure.

      Is the transcript forged? Would you call her comments opposition, even weak? As for the responses to Atlantaiconoclast, it is a big mistake to be so eager to oppose racial oppression on the Jordan that we ignore it on the Mississippi. I specifically asked if other people agreed with his defense of the Ferguson cops, and no one responded. Maybe, as you suggested, no one noticed.

    • In my last comment, instead of saying "so are all those who failed to correct him because he supports them about Weir," I should have said those who give him a pass because he supports them on Weir are making a mistake.

    • Contrary to what several people have said, Alison did not challenge Clay Douglas, even weakly, on anything that mattered to him. The transcript I read (link to showed her not merely remaining silent but actually joining him, at one point bringing up Solzhenitsyn, who characterized the Bolshevik Revolution as an "alien" plot to kill 60 million white Christian Russians, without any prompting from him. I have said repeatedly that I do not object to her appearing on his show; I object to her failure to challenge him. I ask again, what would we think of someone who went on a zionist show and joined the host in denouncing nazis and holocaust deniers and said nothing about Palestine? In answer to Eva and others, antisemitism is not about hating Jews; if that is all it were, there would be no need for a special term, any more than there is a special term for hating Mexicans or Chinese. It is a philosophy of history, that exaggerates the role of Jews in shaping the world. One of its hallmarks is a willingness to sidestep other examples of injustice, for instance white supremacy, that are not directly connected to Jews, or ignore them in search of allies in the fight against zionism. Atlantaiconoclast, who saw nothing racially objectionable in the cops' behavior in Ferguson, and who offered a qualified defense of David Duke, is an example, and so are all those who failed to correct him because he supports them about Weir. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, and the only path to victory is to side with the downtrodden everywhere.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if Alison Weir were to say, I went on Clay Douglas’s show because I wanted to reach his audience with my antizionist message, but I now see that in remaining silent in the face of his w-s and a-s views I was turning my back on black Americans and others deserving of support. Not likely. Wouldn’t it also be nice if JVP were to say, We have held back from opposing Zionism wholeheartedly and without reservation for fear of alienating liberals who, although they may differ with this or that Israeli policy, are not willing to break with the notion of the Jewish state. In an effort to deflect criticism, we have accused others of “racism,” in some cases taking advantage of their mistakes to do so, a tactic we admit is dishonorable. Also not likely.

    • Page: 2
    • Annie, of course I know that Alison is trying to reach everyone, not just rightwingers. The question is, to what extent is she willing to accommodate w-s and a-s? I have less problem with what she says about Palestine than I have with JVP. It is what she does not say that troubles me. I do not think everyone who signed her petition is a rightwinger. I know there are lots of people who are not themselves w-s or a-s but think it is OK to keep silent in the face of w-s and a-s in order to gain support. She may be one of them. I don’t agree. To side with the oppressed from Gaza to Ferguson is the only path to victory. No, I do not think w-s and their victims can merge, any more than slaveowners and slaves (although individuals can change their minds.) And neoliberalism and liberalism are very different.

    • How gracious of you, Annie. I was trying to say that there is an alternative to JVP’s catering to liberal Zionists and Alison’s catering to white supremacists and anti-semites—notice I did not accuse her of w.s and a-s, I merely said she accommodates them more than I deem proper. Sorry if I was unclear. In 1830 Daniel O’Connell entered the British Parliament, the first Irish Catholic there. A representative of the West Indian slaveowners approached him and offered the support of their twenty-seven members on Irish issues in return for his silence on slavery. He replied, “Gentlemen, God knows I speak for the saddest people the sun sees; but may my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if to save Ireland, even Ireland, I forget the Negro one single hour.” I regard his stance on that occasion as a model.

    • It just hit me, Annie, that the reason you performed such radical surgery on my words is that I came across as dividing the world into liberals (including liberal Zionists) and white-supremacists/antisemites. Not at all.

    • Annie, quite an editing job. My actual words (Aug. 14 2:05 am) were:

      "liberals (including liberal Zionists), who are JVP’s constituency, or to rightwing “patriots” (including white-supremacists and antisemites), the audience Alison Weir is aiming to reach."

      I agree, the world is not divided down the middle like that. There is a another camp, those who side with the oppressed and downtrodden everywhere, from Gaza to Ferguson.

    • I can see why Atlantaiconoclast has no problem with Alison Weir appearing on the radio show of an avowed white supremacist and antisemite—without challenging his views. I am curious: How many others who defend her agree with what he wrote here? I would just like to know who I am dealing with.

    • When the struggle broke out in Ferguson a year ago, Palestinians tweeted their support to the people fighting the police in the streets, along with suggestions on how to deal with tear gas, with which they had experience. However brief, that was a moment of world-historic significance, offering a greater hope of cracking open U.S. support for Zionism and aiding the liberation of Palestine than either appeals to liberals (including liberal Zionists), who are JVP’s constituency, or to rightwing “patriots” (including white-supremacists and antisemites), the audience Alison Weir is aiming to reach. One cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

    • I take her response not as a deflection but as support. She was not at lunch with a few racists, but on a radio show with an audience, and she could have said, for instance, "Whatever you think of the Bolshevik Revolution, describing it as a Jewish plot to kill white Christians is the kind of racial thinking that underlies zionism."

    • Danaa describes America as “an actual nation, with its own interests and issues.” My view may be outdated, but I think the workers have no country, and the notion of national interests covers up the reality of class rule. The struggle for human freedom demands solidarity with all the oppressed, not placing one cause above another on “tactical” grounds. The idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” which I think underlies the defenses of Weir’s decision to appear on Clay Douglass’s show, has generally led to disaster. I do not object to her appearing on his show—by all means, get the word out. I do object to her failure to challenge his white supremacism and anti-Semitism while there. What would we say of someone who appeared on a Zionist show and denounced nazis without saying a word about Palestine?

    • The following words, attributed to Solzhenitsyn, appear on Clay Douglas’s website (, right under the Confederate flag:

      “You must understand, the leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of the perpetrators.”

      I do not know whether Solzhenitsyn actually said those words, but Douglas cites them approvingly, and follows up with his own comment: “They call them Zionists or Neocons today. And they hate Americans of all colors today! Especially whites.” One need not defend the Bolsheviks to recognize what that statement represents. Note: "especially whites."

      The transcript of the interview (link to shows that she was perfectly at ease with Douglas’s reference to the victims of Bolshevism as “60 million white Christian Russians,” that she brought up Solzhentsyn on her own without any prompting, and that she “corrected” Douglas only on a few details of no consequence.

      I do not object to her appearing on his show (four times). I do object to her failure to challenge him for his antisemitism and white supremacism. What would we say of someone who appeared on a Zionist radio show and denounced nazis, antisemites and holocaust deniers without saying a word about Palestine?

      Finally, none of what I say should be taken as approval of JVP or the US Campaign (whose wish to defend their own soft Zionism may explain their attacks on Weir) but to shift the focus of the discussion from Weir’s misdeeds to them is a classic smear tactic.

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • Phil writes: "A group doesn’t see half its population wiped out in Europe in a genocide without deep scarring."

      The fatal flaw: So long as Jews throughout the world think they are part of the same "group" (other than the human race, to which all belong), their ability to oppose zionism will be limited. I prefer Rosa Luxemburg to Phil:

      “What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball… I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.”

  • Shlomo Sand resigns from being Jewish. Totally. Mostly. Almost
    • Since the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in the U.S., the fall of (legal) apartheid in S. Africa and the Easter Accords in Ireland, Israel is the last standing example of old-style racial oppression, where the status of first-class citizen is explicitly assigned by the government on the basis of descent (or ascribed descent).

    • "you might say that “Jewish” in Israel is officially like “white” has “traditionally” been in the US. Big difference."

      My point exactly. Thank you, Mooser .

    • The groups I cited above do not even share a common language. Many Arabs who have grown up in Israel speak the Israeli language (sometimes called "Hebrew") better than recent arrivals from the U.S. or Russia. Do they qualify for "first-class citizenship"?

    • What is the "ethnic dimension" to being a Jew in Israel? Given that "many Israeli Jews have no interest in religion," what "ethnicity" is shared by Mizrahi, Americans, Russians and Poles, all of whom are officially recognized as Jews? Except for the religious, to be a "Jew" in Israel is to belong to a state-defined group that carries with it privileges (and burdens) -- like "white" traditionally has been in the U.S.

    • Exactly what it meant historically to be white in the U.S.: someone who in return for privileges and advantages could be relied upon to suppress rebellions of slaves and the indigenous.

  • WATCH: Ultra-Zionists protest Muslim-Jewish wedding saying miscegenation is 'gravest threat to the Jewish people'
    • Sorry I missed the irony. But "white" is not an ethnicity. An ethnicity is based on common culture--language, religion, etc. "White" is a social position, assigned regardless of such elements--like "Jew" in Israel. The Zionists took people from fifty countries, speaking different languages, practicing different religions (or no religion at all), and assigned them the status of "Jew," a position with social, political and economic (but not cultural) meaning. That is what modern scholars refer to as a "race" (a purely social formation, since biologically "race" makes no sense).

    • Many people could have predicted what happened, and did so, including Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein and a long list of Jews and non-Jews including the American Council for Judaism. Jews as such are not an ethnicity, any more than Methodists, although in some places, e.g. Eastern Europe, their distinctive way of life gave them characteristics of an ethnicity. But that never applied to all Jews.

    • Many people could have predicted what happened, and did so, including Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein and a long list including Jews and non-Jews. Jews as such are not an ethnicity, any more than Methodists, although in some places, e.g. Eastern Europe, their distinctive way of life gave them characteristics of an ethnicity. But that never applied to all Jews.

    • And they wonder why the world thinks they are crazy. According to Talmudic law, a Jew who converts remains a Jew. Hence Czarist Russia was more tolerant than Israel. Conversion is an individual choice. But in Israel even if a Palestinian converted it would not be recognized by the state -- any more than pre-civil rights southern states or apartheid South Africa would have allowed black people to gain citizenship rights by declaring themselves "white." Nothing more clearly exposes the racial foundation of Zionism and the "Jewish" state. Imagine the possibilities: millions returning to their native lands and regaining possession of the properties taken from them, merely by going through a simple procedure, like acquiring U.S. citizenship, or at most the rites of preparing for the Bar-Mitzvah. It would mark the end of the "Jewish" state -- an outcome to be welcomed -- for when everyone is a Jew (a citizen of Israel/Palestine) no one is a "Jew" (member of a favored race).

    • Why does the headline refer to them as "ultra-zionists" rather than zionists? What is the difference?

  • What I said to the couple holding a banner with a swastika on it
    • I see nothing wrong with using the swastika to highlight the parallels between Nazism and actions of the Zionist state.

  • UK activists shut down Israeli arms factory
  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
    • Conflict, even to the point of violence, among Americans over this issue, and particularly among Americans who identify as Jews, would be welcome, because it would signal the breakdown of the consensus that supports the criminal zionist state. It could be potentially as important as the divisions among southern whites that played a major role in defeating the slaveholder regime.

    • I have generally held that once the Jewish state is replaced by a single democratic state from the river to the sea, and once the Palestinians have returned, with compensation, and once the Zionist criminals (and the Palestinians who collaborated with them) have been dealt with, then all those who live there and agree to abide by the laws should be allowed to remain, on the grounds that it would be wrong to expel people from their homes simply because of the group they were born into. Mooser argues (post of July 25, 2:07 am) that it would be up to the indigenous Palestinians which of the settlers be allowed to remain. Given the fact of a Palestinian majority combined with one person, one vote, isn’t the difference between what Mooser argues and what I have maintained of little weight? I realize the discussion is academic given the actual situation, but I would like to hear from Mooser (and others) on this point.

  • Boston transit authority pulls 'apartheid' ads-- for 'demeaning' Israel
    • Wouldn't it be good if people in Boston put the ads up again in defiance of the MBTA's unconstitutional act? Are there people willing to organize that action?

  • Chomsky and BDS
    • Rosross: "There is no Jewish race, no Jewish people – it is a religion. You convert and you are Jewish – you do not change race or nationality. You drop the religion and you are not Jewish – you do not change race or nationality."

      Could not agree more. People need to hear this, and pay attention. But there is more: in Israel, "Jew" is a legal status, buttressed by law (just as "white" was in the U.S. and South Africa). The zionists took people from fifty countries, speaking different languages and practicing different religions (or no religion at all) and declared them "Jews" based on the fiction (taken seriously only by zionists and nazis) that they share common descent from Abraham.

    • A binational state, with “regional autonomy (as either a Jewish or Arab area)” leaves open the possibility, indeed guarantees, that majority Jewish areas will discriminate against non-Jews (and conceivably the reverse). The only truly democratic solution is the single democratic state—one person, one vote—with religious, linguistic, etc. freedom for every group, but not sovereignty over territory. Chomsky’s support for what he calls the binational state is proof of his commitment to Zionism.

    • A binational state, with “regional autonomy (as either a Jewish or Arab area)” leaves open the possibility, indeed guarantees, that majority Jewish areas will discriminate against non-Jews (and conceivably the reverse). The only truly democratic solution is the single democratic state—one person, one vote—with religious, linguistic, etc. freedom for every group, but not divided sovereignty.

  • Visit to Hebron (or How can I explain this living hell to a nice liberal Jew in Brookline?)
  • 'J Street has to change or die': Divestment battle exposes tactical rift among liberal Zionists
    • Chomsky's view of BDS reminds me of a talk Finkelstein gave in Boston where he argued that it was a mistake to ask of someone more than he can give, and gave as an example his own willingness to give up his shirt to the homeless sleeping out-of-doors in the cold, but added that if anyone asked him to give up a spare room in his apartment he wasn’t ready, and so it would be a mistake to ask him. Evidently he identifies with those who have warm clothes and homes rather than those who lack them, just as Chomsky identifies with the zionists (in spite of his disagreements with them) rather than with their victims. It obviously never occurred to either of them that the movement is not about asking but about taking.

  • Walter Benjamin's theory of fascism
  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
  • A movement grows in a Georgia church basement
    • Would have liked to hear more about the audience: how many attended, who were they, what were their reactions? A Baptist church?

  • In occupied Jerusalem, an Arab-Jewish couple see their home demolished
    • I have never been in that situation and I can only imagine how the woman must have felt, but it is sad to see her invoking her Jewishness as a cloak that she hoped would protect her. I wonder how her husband and children felt when she did that.

  • Hey Mayor De Blasio-- it's 'New York, New York,' not 'Israel, Israel'
    • How refreshing to see the demonstrators speaking as New Yorkers instead of an religio-ethnic subset of New Yorkers.

  • Bearing witless
    • Phil asks, "What do you see when you see that wall?"

      In thinking about Reconstruction, a period whose meaning is still contested, how does one decide which version is right, "Birth of a Nation" or "Freedom Road?" It depends on which side one identifies with, the freedpeople or their former owners.

  • Bill targeting academic groups that boycott Israel halted in New York Assembly
    • Hostage wrote: "CitizenC, we get it. You have a hard-on for Jews or anything Jewish and would like to make it a social taboo."

      Citizen C made a reasonable objection not to "anything Jewish" but to the exclusiveness that often afflicts Jews when it comes to anything touching Israel (see above). Hostage's remark is an offensive caricature.

  • Provocateur
    • "His Lebanon adventure precipitated the civil war within the Jewish community over Israel that continues to divide Jews."

      Would it were so.

  • Interview with Dr. Haidar Eid: 'The Palestinian struggle is not about independence -- it is about liberation'
    • Eid is on the mark, from start to finish. Only one nation in Palestine, only one state. Anything else is zionism, hard or soft.

  • 'Price tag' attacks and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine
    • Regarding Ross's final sentence, racist and immoral certainly, but contrary to the values of Judaism – who says, and why?

  • Jim from Newport Township, Illinois asks the wrong question
    • About fifteen years ago someone who had written a book about the history of the Irish in America was a guest on the Chris Lydon show on PBS on St. Patrick’s Day. During the call-in period Lydon, who is of Irish descent, said there was nobody like the Irish to cry about how they are persecuted while they run everything. (This was Boston.) The guest said there was one other group, the Jews. Lydon, ordinarily not afraid of controversy, immediately backpedaled, saying that was different. The guest (ahem) was not invited back, but at least his mike was not cut off. A few years later the same person was interviewed about the UN Conference on Racism (the one Colin Powell walked out of), and made a few remarks about the parallels between Zionism and traditional American white supremacy. Afterwards he asked the journalist if she was planning to use what he said. Of course not, she replied. I agree with you, and so do just about all the journalists I know, but we can’t run anything critical of Israel without following it up by at least ten pieces from the other side.

  • Both Massad, and 'Open Zion', ignore the experience of Middle Eastern Jews
    • The Mizrahi are among the “poor whites” of Israel. They have a lot to gain by joining with the indigenous Palestinians to destroy the Zionist entity. But until they recognize that truth they will continue to act as oppressors because whatever little they have depends upon them maintaining their status as members, even if the least respected members, of the favored race. Their history so far is the history of “poor whites” everywhere.

    • "Jews" have been a continuous presence in "Israel" since ancient times; many became Christians and later, Muslims. Today they, along with others, are known as Palestinians.

  • Barbara Boxer's visa bill for Israel comes under concerted attack
    • As a transplanted northerner now living half the year in the S. Carolina low country, who does not wish to have his ass kicked, I have to say I like many things about the south. Two things I could do without: chicken-fried steak and boiled peanuts. And I would never laugh at the Civil War monuments: after all, they were the trophies awarded for second place in the War.

    • No it won't. The PA leaders are bluffing, as they have before. A single state would mark their demise, just as it would for the Zionists.

    • Since Israel has never defined its borders, Esker's comment is beside the point.

    • This measure reminds me of the insistence of pre-Civil War southern officials on controlling mail delivered to southern states lest abolitionist propaganda make its way into hands where it might have some effect. That was one of a train of abuses, including the “Gag Rule,” the Mexican War, the Fugitive Slave Act and others, that made it clear that the slave system enslaved not only those forced to labor in the fields without wages but compelled all “citizens” to sacrifice what they naively thought of as their “rights.” The Civil War broke out because the people of the northern states could not accept the domination of the southern system over the entire country. This latest measure may well awaken some to the realization of what support for Israel costs them, and to the realization that so long as Zionism prevails we are all Palestinians.

  • Rightwing Israeli group gets tax-deductible funds from US foundation
    • “The United States-Israel Strategic partnership Act (S. 462) not only designates Israel 'a major strategic partner,' section nine of this legislation proposes to include Israel in the Visa Waiver Program while exempting it from the requirement to extend reciprocal privileges to all citizens and nationals of the United States. The exemption would allow Israel to arbitrarily deny entrance to U.S. citizens under the rubric of national security, effectively importing Israel's apartheid laws into the U.S. immigration system.
      “Israel has a history of discriminating against Palestinian-, Arab-, and Muslim-American travelers and denying them entry. According to the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza : ‘U.S. citizens are advised that all persons entering or departing...are subject to security screening and may be denied entry or exit without explanation... Those with extensive travel to Muslim countries or U.S. citizens whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim origin may also face additional questioning by immigration and border authorities...’”

      The above was taken from a letter sent out by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation asking people to call on their Senators to speak out publicly and vote against this bill, which is apparently before Congress, and to send letters and op-ed pieces to their local newspapers.

      Now, I am not in the habit of writing letters to my Senators (mainly because I do not wish to give the impression I care what they do, or legitimize a system I want no part of), and I have always regarded writing letters to the editor to be the ultimate confession of impotence. Moreover, I am not interested in defending my “rights” as a U.S. citizen, because I reject “the U.S.” “citizen” and “rights” as motivating categories, preferring to take my stand on the basis of my membership in the human race and my obligation to do right by it. Having made all these qualifications, I am not averse to drawing a lesson from history: This measure reminds me of the insistence of pre-Civil War southern officials on controlling mail delivered to southern states lest abolitionist propaganda make its way into hands where it might have some effect. That was one of a train of abuses, including the “Gag Rule,” the Mexican War, the Fugitive Slave Act and others, that made it clear that the slave system enslaved not only those forced to labor in the fields without wages but compelled all “citizens” to sacrifice what they naively thought of as their “rights.” The Civil War broke out because the people of the northern states could not accept the domination of the southern system over the entire country. This latest measure may well awaken some to the realization of what support for Israel costs them, and to the realization that so long as Zionism prevails we are all Palestinians.

  • When 'J' means 'Jewish' not 'Justice'
    • Thank you, Heike. The notion of “secular Jew” makes no sense to me, but if some people think it describes them I suppose that is their business. If people want to debate what constitutes “Jewish values,” again, that is their business; I much prefer to talk about right and wrong. Lastly, democracy demands the abolition of the Jew as a political category, both in Palestine and within the Palestine Solidarity movement. How about Human Voice for Peace and People Against Zionism?

  • Newseum honors newsman who ran guns for ethnic cleansing of Palestine
    • Didn’t the term “ethnic cleansing” originate in the 1990s as a euphemism for population transfer, which was itself a euphemism for forcible deportation, which exists on a spectrum with genocide, and aren’t those who use the term without ironic quotation marks softening the crime and playing into the hands of the criminals?

  • Jerusalem Day response - 'the only statement we make on Jerusalem Day is our thanks for the freedom to live and pray in our holiest city'
    • I teach history. I tell my students that every "we" is the product of history, and that they should choose, consciously and carefully, which "we" they want to be part of.

  • Dershowitz calls Hawking an 'ignoramus,' a 'lemming,' and likely an anti-Semite
    • I remember when Dershowitz's restaurant in Harvard Square failed and I said to myself, God exists after all.

  • US Jews are so 'polarized' over Israel they can't talk about it to each other, 'Jewish Chronicle' reports
    • No one doubts the contribution made by whites in S. Africa and the U.S. The point is, they didn't need a "white" group to make it.

    • There is, in fact, an Israeli "diaspora," consisting of the estimated 750,000 to one million Israelis living abroad, a statistic that says a great deal about life in the Promised Land. They are, of course, in addition to the indigenous Palestinians who were forced out. link to

    • Contrary to what yt asserts, identifying oneself as a Jew within the antizionist movement subtly reinforces the idea that Jews have a special right to speak on this issue and thereby devalues the contribution of those not identified as Jews. There was no Whites Against Apartheid group in S. Africa, and the absence of such a group was no loss.

    • Bravo.

  • When will the discourse of the 'two state solution' finally change?
    • "Can you imagine those fine enthusiasts of a “Jewish State” with a “Jewish majority” giving up on that? What would make them do that?"

      Answer: superior force, including resistance by Palestinians within the "occupied territories" (including Israel, which is also occupied territory), a Pan-Arab army marching on Jerusalem, internal conflicts among the "Jewish" population, withdrawal or lessening of US government support and, lastly, BDS.

  • Hagel offers himself as secretary of Israel's defense
    • "It remains to be seen whether he would make a difference..."

      How will we know if Hagel makes a difference? That was the argument for electing Obama, and we know how that has turned out. The experiment cannot be repeated in a laboratory with someone else in place.

    • When the Hagel nomination first came up I said I didn't care at all who supervised the military affairs of the Empire, and people denounced me as an other-worldly old leftist and lectured me on how important this appointment was, that it represented a challenge to the Lobby, etc. (You could look it up, as Casey Stengel used to say.) What do they say now? Why do Phil and so many others on this list keep getting fooled, like Charlie Brown and the football?

  • With conventional wisdom solidifying behind Hagel, will Obama finally declare on 'Meet the Press?'
    • "Which nations around the world would you prefer to live in than the United States?

      Sean McBride's question is the hallmark of those without imagination.

    • Sean McBride’s vision of the brave new world, in which “elites of talent and genius, cutting across all traditional boundaries of all kinds — national, ethnic, religious, gender, etc. — will be defining, leading and controlling world civilization” while the rest of the human race (also cutting across traditional boundaries) toils on in factories, mines, oilfields, sexshops and jungles until an early death releases them from their misery, makes me glad I am what he calls a “hard leftist.”

    • It is obvious that Sean and Dan are using the term “white” differently. It makes little sense to call most of the people on Sean’s list “white,” since they lived in places or times when “white” did not exist as a social category. It is not fair skin that makes people white, but fair skin in a society that attaches social meaning to skin color, hair texture, etc. That period began in North America around 1650 with the rise of racially-marked slavery. In that sense, and that sense only, “white” people do have a special connection with imperial conquest and domination. While I applaud Dan’s willingness to focus on his “own” group, I disagree with his narrowing down the group to so-called WASPs. The very term WASP is offensive, for it conceal the complicity of all those defined as “white” in this country with the subjugation of others. It is true that the rulers of seventeenth-century North America were mainly of Protestant English descent (as were most of the indentured servants who later came to think of themselves as “white”), but subsequently Irish Catholics, Germans, Eastern European Jews, Italians and others who were neither Anglo-Saxon nor Protestant were drawn into the favored group, given citizenship and defined as “white” in the American context (which they were not in Europe) and used to suppress slaves, Indians and others. There are a tremendous number of poor pitchpine and swamp Yankees and southern mountain and lowland folk of Anglo-Saxon Protestant ancestry, while Eastern European Jews, once barely tolerated by the Eastern Establishment, are probably for their numbers the wealthiest and most powerful group in the country—and even there it is dangerous to generalize (as a visit to the Coney Island section of New York will show). Sean, I see you listed Melville among your favorites. He is one of mine, too. Have you read what he wrote about white people in the South Seas? I think it is in Typee. Was he a "racist" for noting facts?

    • Sean McBride wrote: “It is a matter a considerable consequence to oppose multi-trillion dollar wars that are being fought on behalf of Likud Zionism (Greater Israelism) and which are helping to bankrupt the United States. It is a matter of considerable consequence to oppose torture and warrantless wiretaps and to support due process, civil liberties and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

      My reply: Didn’t you learn anything from the election of Obama, who a lot of people hoped would put an end to wars, torture, etc.?

      Theo wrote: “If you don´t care who is running our country or a section of it, then democracy is just lost on you. Why vote or even follow the political events, if you don´t care about the future of this country and with it goes your future.”

      My reply: I don’t think that voting, or what you call “democracy,” has much effect on who runs the country. Why does it follow that I don’t care about its future?

    • I know I'm not alone here in not giving a hoot whom the president of the Empire appoints to manage its military affairs. Where are those who agree with me?

  • Joseph and Mary can't make it to Bethlehem, on Banksy's Christmas card
    • Cliff says:
      You do not have one state now. You have apartheid now.

      I beg to differ. There is only one state in Palestine, an apartheid state. The so-called Palestinian Authority has authority neither over land, nor water, nor air.

    • She's part of it unless she decisively separates herself from it. No one has the "right" to tell any oppressed people what methods they are allowed to use in fighting for their freedom.

    • Years ago Chicago columnist Mike Royko wrote a story imagining Joseph and Mary visiting Chicago looking for a place to have their baby. The column made fun of the bureaucracy and the welfare dept., etc., and had them winding up in a manger. It was a classic, and reran several times over the following years, around Christmas. Was that Christian theological anti-Semitism? Your comments on this topic are perfect examples of the eagerness of J-Street types and liberal Zionists in general to see anti-Semites under every bed, and proof of why you are worse than useless in spite of your claims to oppose the “occupation.”

  • 'Exodus' propaganda even converted Justin Raimondo (but now the dream is dead)
    • I must be the only person of my generation who has not seen Exodus. I also have not seen Gone With the Wind or Triumph of the Will, for the same reasons. I have, however, seen Birth of a Nation. I show it to the students in my Civil War class, as an example of what the truth is up against.

  • No room for racism in a movement working for equality and freedom
    • From Ali Abunimah:

      "So in one version of the story you were on a train to Toronto, and in another version, the next day, you were getting on a plane to Canada."

      Are we expected to take that seriously as a count in Greta's indictment?

    • Is the charge true? It’s been a while since I read Lenni Brenner, but doesn’t his documentation of pre-War Zionist-Nazi collaboration, plus what Hannah Arendt showed, suggest that the collaboration extended into the camps? Moreover, accusing someone of killing “millions of innocent Jews” hardly sounds like anti-Semitism to me.

    • I am gratified to see so many people disagreeing with Phil and Adam on this issue. I haven’t seen the video in question—I can’t, because no one will put it up—but if it is indeed an example of “racism,” then what is the fantastic invention known as the “Jewish people?"

  • Exile and the Prophetic: The 'Free Gaza' tweets and the challenge for those seeking justice for Israel/Palestine
    • Which so many find so hard to do. I am reminded of the Abolitionist Stephen Foster (husband of Abby Kelley), who used to go every Sunday morning to one of the Christian churches, wait for a break and then rise and denounce the minister and congregation as a brotherhood of thieves for associating with their co-religionists who upheld slavery. After they bounced him out, often roughly, he would pick himself up, dust himself off, and then repeat the performance at another church. His message was simple: Come out from among them.

  • The privileging of Jewish American voices on the issue is rooted in racism
    • Hostage write: "most of the Anglo-Saxon colonists from the British Isles were white supremacists who considered themselves to be members of a single ethnic group or race."

      My point exactly. The original Anglo-Saxon colonists were not white but Anglo-Saxon supremacists. They believed themselves to be part of a single group based on the English language, the Protestant religion, etc. They could hardly be considered white supremacists, or even seen as having any notion of "white" unity, while they were at constant war with France, Spain and the Netherlands and busy oppressing the Irish. It was a only hundred years after early English settlements in the New World that "whites" came to be seen as a distinct group with the concomitant legal ramifications you refer to.

      Likewise with Jews: there have been Polish Jews, and Iraqi Jews, and German Jews, etc., but the "Jewish people" is a modern invention, regardless of the three-thousand year old compilation of myths known as the Bible, which was about Hebrew tribes living in Palestine.

    • Exactly. Yet while only hardcore white supremacists claim that all those with fair skin in the world constitute a single people, many otherwise reasonable individuals accept the fiction that all those claiming Jewish ancestry living in different countries, speaking different languages, practicing different religions (or no religion at all) make up something called the "Jewish people," which, as Citizen C pointed out above, is the premise that underlies Zionism.

    • Agree. But a change in name, if it were to mean anything, would imply rejecting the notion that Palestine is a Jewish question and that Jews have a special (privileged) place in the discussion, a notion that devalues the contributions of non-Jews. While whites were welcome in the anti-apartheid movement, what could be more ridiculous than a group called Whites Against Apartheid?

  • Was Obama just doing the rope-a-dope last night?
    • "The weak President. . . "

      What do you mean, weak? He gave billions to bail out banks, pushed through a plan that will forestall public healthcare for at least a generation, expanded the war in Afghanistan, assassinated U.S. citizens (not to mention countless others) without judicial procedure, passed money to the Zionists while they expelled Palestinians from their homes, blocked PA diplomatic initiatives, etc. What more could he have done had he been strong?

    • Aw, who gives a flying f***?

  • In front of global audience, Netanyahu draws his red line (on his ridiculous bomb cartoon)
    • And who are those weapons aimed at? Hint: the Masada complex. Reminds me of Hitler's promise: "If we lose this war, we will slam the door behind us so that it will be heard for centuries." And he did.

    • People might want to remember H.L. Mencken's words, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

  • A young Israeli woman gets her picture taken with African 'animals'
    • I have no wish to defend slavery, but it not the same as racial supremacism. Slavery has existed in many societies without the ideology of race. Algerian "pirates" in the Barbary States (the North African counterparts of Raleigh and other English privateers) captured 466 English merchant vessels between 1609 and 1616. During a ten-day period in 1605, a thousand English seamen were carried off as slaves and twenty-seven vessels were seized. It had nothing to do with "race," it was just business. Zionism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the belief in Jewish racial supremacy.

    • Note the photo of Che Guevara on the t-shirt.

  • The true crisis of Zionism: silent majority of US Jews have never supported it
    • What I’ve seen in a number of cases is that the children of these “mixed” marriages are raised with a sense of themselves as “Jewish” (perhaps as well as something else), with the result that the number of people functioning politically as “Jews” (by which I mean feeling some special tie to Israel) actually increases (even if not according to Talmudic law). I’m afraid that Jewish identity (like the state) is not going to wither away of itself, at least not without a major upheaval.

    • “Most American Jews, quite to the contrary, believe that Judaism is a religion, not a nationality. They believe that they are American by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other Americans are Protestant, Catholic or Muslim.”

      I wish it were so, but if Brownfeld is right, then why do most Americans of Jewish descent, including those with no religious beliefs, on being asked “What are you,” answer “Jewish”?

    • “Most American Jews, quite to the contrary, believe that Judaism is a religion, not a nationality. They believe that they are American by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other Americans are Protestant, Catholic or Muslim.”

      I wish it were so, but if Brownfield is right, then why do most Americans of Jewish descent including those with no religious beliefs, on being asked “What are you,” answer “Jewish?”

  • Romney dirge for two-state solution causes widespread panic among those fearing for Israel
    • Right! And do not forget Pakistan. Wherever the British empire went, it left behind conflict and bitterness.

      And I also agree with what seafroid said above in response to Avnery.

    • Whatever Dershowitz is for, I'm against. I still recall celebrating when the restaurant he owned in Harvard Square went out of business.

  • The conversion of Joel Kovel (Part 2)
    • Have you forgotten Spartacus, almost a century before the date commonly given for Jesus's crucifixion? It has been suggested that Spartacus was influenced by the Essenes, a communist cult that may have contributed something to what we think we know about the teachings of the person commonly known as Jesus.

    • “Anti-semitism is hating Jews more than is necessary.”

      I first heard that quip many years ago, not attributed to Barenboim, but as a wry comment made privately among friends who were neither anti-Semites nor “self-hating Jews” and who were reflecting on the role of Jews as a group and on the more general question of responsibility for the crimes of governments. This is the first time I have seen it in print. It contains a germ of wisdom. To deny the link between American Jews and the Israel Lobby, which exercises an independent influence on U.S. Middle East policies, would be silly. To hold them especially accountable for the Vietnam War or Native American Genocide or the Irish Potato Famine would be anti-Semitism.

  • Jon Stewart: We've finally discovered evidence of Democratic voter fraud Republicans are always complaining about
  • The conversion of Joel Kovel (Part 1)
    • Not the same. Judaism is tribal because it is "the religion of the Jewish people." Both Christianism and Islam maintain that all those who accept them become children of one father. One need not be born into the tribe, and no one claims there is any such thing as the "Christian people." (I know that they often don't live up to that goal, but that is the theory.)

      But good grief, Episcopalianism?--God's frozen people.

  • Dems buckle, will add language to party platform referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital
  • A legacy of two martyrs
  • A modest lexicographic proposal
  • Israeli Settler: 'If I see her coming, no matter what age she is 3, 4, 7, I'll f*ck her over'. Israeli Soldier: 'No problem'
    • Annie, Sure you do. Don't be disingenuous.

    • tgia: I have said this before, but I cannot understand why you and so many other decent people on this list waste their time arguing with the likes of OlegR.

      Annie: How does the relation between the “rabid dog” settler and OlegR differ from the relation between a sadist recruited by the Nazi security agencies and the Brahms-and-Hayden-loving intellectuals who probably never tortured anyone but defended the behavior of those who did?

  • My grandfather sparked my interest in debate over Zionism
    • This is one of the most thoughtful and rewarding exchanges I have seen on MW. By "secular Hebrew nationality" do Citizen C (and Evron) mean to imply partitioning Palestine into Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking self-governing districts, or simply recognizing the right of minorities to religious, language and cultural autonomy?

  • Rudoren writes up settler/colonist leader as 'worldly, pragmatic' wine-lover
    • Colin Wright: "Absent Israel, their lives would go on."

      Yes, but think of those who would lose their winter homes on the Mediterranean coast, refuges from their real lives in London, Paris, Toronto and New York City.

    • Some people will never learn (like Charlie Brown and the football).

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