Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 185 (since 2010-04-12 03:05:01)

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

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  • 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 mideast.foreignpolicy.com

    • 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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