Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4259 (since 2009-09-12 00:56:04)

pabelmont

Retired. Married for 24 years to Palestinian-American, Quaker. Myself of Jewish descent, non-religious. Classical musician (cello). Run my own website, 123pab.com, for which I do all the programming (PHP, MYSQL). Favor an international intervention, as a "deus ex machina", to rescue Palestinians, Israelis, and USA from the tail-wags-the-dog AIPAC-et-alius. This probably means doing an end-run around USA's UNSC veto and doing more-or-less coordinated BDS at nation-state level. Non-Action on Global Warming is a far bigger threat to all the world than the 63-year non-action on Israel/Palestine. On this topic, I am truly hopeless: "I cry a tear for the soon to be late humanity."

Website: http://123pab.com

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  • PLO source denies Abbas plans to propose large land swap deal during Trump visit
    • I think Abbas should tell USA/Israel that boundaries are all flexible in the sense that Palestine will gladly accept Israeli land within Israel-48; but not to give up one inch (including any and all settlements) of WB&G except for a trade of Israeli access to the Western Wall for a 4-lane highway between WB and G. After all, 22% of historic Palestine is not enough and Israel has demonstrated contempt for the sanctity of borders (the green line) by its settlement activity, so that it should be willing to give up a bit on the other side.

      This much is really in the nature of a speech to the world public, not a realistic proposal.

      He might also mention that the present apartheid-style one-state arrangement is not satisfactory and that he will demand full and unrestricted and undiscriminated-against citizenship in Israel for all Palestinians now living within historic Palestine on, say, May 15, 2018, if no other arrangement is earlier made. This too is mostly a suggestion for public diplomacy. But the world must see "results" from the last 50 years and a stand-up declaration of rights by Abbas would be a sort of "result".

      Possibly embarrass USA/Israel for making 50 years of unfair demands (and of course settlement).

  • A tale of two cities
    • Of course it is a lie. And what they understand -- anyone defending an immoral position understands -- that you will only be challenged sufficiently to uproot you and destroy your privilege if you let the opposition be heard. So speech suppression is key. Sometimes called censorship. Much practiced via capitalist pressures rather than state intervention in the USA today.

      Jewish (and Zionist) Supreme Court Justice Brandeis said, to paraphrase, that the right response to bad speech is not censorship but more speech (i.e., better speech). The Zionists prefer censorship. (So did America's KKK.) (So did USA's McCarthy.) I believe that state censorship was used in Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR and today's China. It is lousy for education but terrific for crowd-control.

  • Reflections of a daughter of the '48 Generation'
    • Notice, please, that -- at least in this essay -- the "argument" for Zionism which consists of "but the holocaust" is not made or mentioned.

      It's more as if the "argument" is "Zionism says we must have our own country, we need it, we are allowed to win it by strength of arms, and we owe it to our comrades-in-arms not to doubt that the ends justify the means."

    • "An American jew spoke to a zionist israeli jew with exactly the same content being spoken today. 70 years later? this conversation could have taken place today. Sickening."

      Marnie: Sickening, indeed. But not exactly. Altho some LZ's might express the views of the Americans in your quote and thereby be caught in the contradictions, many others seem EITHER [the aged] to have abandoned ethics (or whatever it is, universalism? human feeling?) OR [the young] to have abandoned Zionism.

      I have never had that "contradiction" problem having been brought to view the I/P history from a Palestinian perspective and therefore having no Zionist sympathy (irrespective of Holocaust sympathy). Therefore I cannot really understand the emotional and other aspects of the problems (if any) experienced by LZs.

  • Memo to Trump: US won't escape Mideast wars till Israel ends oppression of Palestinians
    • There is a lesson for USA policy (let's say with another president; Trump knows no policy) in the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes".

      Our emperors (presidents) have long walked around dressed in the flimsy policy of saying "No FURTHER Settlement Building" but those clothes are so flimsy as to be transparent or invisible.

      International law and treaties make ALL the settlement building illegal (and all the settlement of settlers as well) and the USA should wrap itself (clothe itself) in a substantial garment -- by saying so.

      All 800,000 settlers need to be called home: the USA needs that and should take sufficient steps to persuade Israel that Israel needs it. Maybe the settlements buildings need ("need" ha-ha!) to be dismantled as well (read UNSC 465.)

      I understand there is a concern that Israel might "do the crazy" in a Masada turn with its nukes. But if the pressure on Israel is slow and steady it might not do so. Saner minds would prevail.

  • Internet 'redresses' Miri Regev's 'capture of Jerusalem' themed gown at Cannes
  • On not going to one’s 60th reunion at Yale
    • At least the deliberate destruction of people (or of their professional lives) for not following party lines does not, in the USA, or not yet, result in firing squads and long imprisonment in the gulag. Something to be thankful for.

      And, to concur with Kovel's fears for progressivism in the USA, it appears that (and not only w.r.t. Israel) the so-called progressives are more interested in preserving the democratic party (pretty much as it was) than in attempting to firmly move it toward any sort of populism (e.g., Bernie Sanders). I receive a ton of email, daily, asking support for Democrats without any claim whatsoever that they are breaking away from the elite-neoliberal-corporatist (I say oligarchic) party of Obama/Clinton(s).

  • Collective post-traumatic stress disorder – Jews, apartheid and oppression
    • Fear is the raison d'etre, also, of Israel itself (or one might say of Zionism).

      Once upon a time (some) Jews said things like, "If not now when? If not me, who?" which were understood as statements (not questions) of responsibility (usually to repair the damaged).

      Today, at least in Israel, it appears that (most) Jews say,'If no fear now, then when? If I don't fear, who will?" which is understood not as questions but as a statement of responsibility to fear, to make sure that the bright flame of fear never burns out -- irrespective of changes in circumstances (and irrespective of one's own responsibility for building and tending and nurturing the conditions for fear).

  • Israel tutors its children in fear and loathing
    • It appears that "decent moral Jewish Israelis" are folded into this sort of "education" either from fear of (ovrhyped) terrorism, fear of government and zealots, or from a truly horrible us-against-them idea that Jews are special and deserve to prevail over everyone else (but in that case, who'll be the shabat goy?).

  • Dershowitz defames Gertrude Stein, Daniel Berrigan and Omar Barghouti
    • Senators Sanders and Warren signed the most recent AIPAC you-must-sign-this letter. Disgusting I guess. Maybe politicians just know that you must choose your battles and this is not one they find important just now. Why spend "political capital" opposing AIPAC when there is Trump to oppose on so very many fronts.

      Still, I wish they'd refrained. Shown some spine. Because I like them both. Worse than the AIPAC thing, it now appears that the DNC is caving in to the Clinton-Obama-Oligarchic-Corporatist-Neoliberal ideas and (elite) people who lost the election of 2016. I guess their theory is they can win congress in 2018 because Trump is so awful and they are (merely) better by comparison. (They do not understand how awful they are themselves and how awful they appear to voters. They don't think about the strong push for sanders and what it meant. They cannot think of themselves as evil.!)

  • Sleazy spat revives Paul Berman's role as 'liberal intellectual who whored for Bush’s war'
    • RoHa (speaking chiefly of Paul Berman, I suppose) says "Who?"

      I would say so too, exposing either my ignorance about a couple of (self- ?) important people or my lack of membership in some club I'd not want to belong to. Read Paul Berman? Heck, I don't even turn on NPR anymore, or not much. (Alterman sometimes has good things to say.)

      Actually, I'm retired. If I had to earn a living again, I might wish to pretend to be an important public intellectual, even adopting the preening pose of a self-important public intellectual. As matters stand I don't even have to pretend to be an intellectual at all. ¡ Gracias a dios!

      But I can complain about war-mongers and other fanatics of religions such as "making the world safe for democracy", "white man's burden", "bringing the heathens/barbarians/natives to the wonders of civilization". See my essay: http://123pab.com/blog/2017/05/all-piety-and-no-sense.php .

  • Ellen DeGeneres gets pushback for promoting Sabra Hummus
    • Keith -- your comment reminds me of what some (classical) musicians I used to know (1980s) called the "Israeli Mafia" by which they meant a system of enforcers whereby musicians who wanted to get gigs in the USA and elsewhere (as who did not?) had to agree (if requested) to do gigs in Israel. Presumably -- this was at least the implication -- the agents and impresarios kept black lists and talked to each other; and were under a collective Zionist thumb. I have no idea if this was ever (or is still) true.

  • Senator on Intelligence Committee says Jews in Diaspora are spies for Israel
  • 'Pizza Hut' and Israeli army radio join in grotesque attacks on Marwan Barghouti
    • And, withal, they demand recognition of Israel's "right to exist as a Jewish state." Well, maybe, if its "Jewish" people behaved like Jews (and not like medieval Jews but like, shall we say, Lib-Jews or nearly secular Jews, in short like decent human beings living among other human beings, but definitely not as Zionists, they might -- just might -- deserve such recognition.

      But after all this -- KKK, move over.

  • 'Bullies, bigots and thugs led by Netanyahu' shut down synagogue event-- in suburban Detroit
    • Extremist "fringe"? Well, whether or not a "fringe", it has been around for a very long time. read the famous Einstein letter to the New York Times:

      http://123pab.com/blog/2011/01/Einstein-1948-letter-warning-of-Israeli-fascism-still-relevant.php

      It begins this way:

      TO THE EDITORS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES:

      Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

      The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

      Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

      ETC ETC ETC.

  • Israel's proof that Marwan Barghouti is a terrorist – a cookie
    • Shooting fishermen in the water off Gaza is not OK even if the fishermen are not, technically speaking, women, children, or old-timers.

      Murder is murder, And impunity is impunity and a strong reinforcer of a tendency to murder. And constantly reinforced teaching of racism (or of racial fear) is a strong impetus to both murder and impunity.

      And as we are coming to understand in the USA, there is a widespread attitude among America's armed "security forces" (usually a/k/a "police") either that [1] it is always OK to kill black people or that [2] black people may be assumed or perceived to be dangerous (and therefore, based on that assumption or perception, can "properly" or "legally" be killed) when doing things that would not lead the very same "security forces" (a/k/a "police") to the assumption or the perception that white people doing the same things were dangerous.

      Seems to be a very great deal worse in Israel and the OPTs. We sometimes hear of black American police shooting black Americans (improperly) but I've never heard of Arab Israeli police (in Israel or OPTs) shooting Arabs (or Jews) improperly. Gee, I wonder why not? Maybe no Arab police there?

  • Jewish students at Williams blast Hillel for booting LGBTQ group after it co-sponsored event with JVP
    • My sense is that Hill International, once-upon-a-time organized as a "Jewish" organization, has elected to recast itself as a "Mandatorily Zionist" (not to say "totalitarian") organization (and thus, IMO, decidedly not "Jewish").

      Accordingly, it seems to me, all students seeking membership in a "Jewish" organization -- irrespective of their position on the political business of Zionism -- should immediately leave Hillel International, and do so noisily, and find another home. Perhaps they can find a home under another religious roof, say, use a campus Christian group's facilities on Saturday, or something of the kind. Maybe they can form a "Jewish Club" on campus (like JVP or SJP).

      But, mainly, quit, leave, abandon, abominate, despise HI. and let everyone know (and know why).

      Imagine if some campus Hillel lost 50% of its membership in a "noisy" withdrawal of the sort I've suggested. Imagine if this idea caught on and it happened in campus-after-campus-after-campus.

      Jewish students affirming Jewish identity and disaffirming Mandatory Zionist (totalitarian) identity.

      Be a good thing.

  • On 'NYT' stage, Roger Waters calls BDS 'valid and legitimate picket line'
    • The Zionists wanted, from 1930 or earlier, to get a country in which they could live and also rule -- call it a Jewish majority country -- call it a Jewish country -- and they could see no way to do accomplish this except by a large influx of Jews and a large outflow of non-Jews; thus the channeling of European and Russian Jews to Israel (the influx) and the Nakba (the outflow). and they felt (or told themselves so many times until they believed it that they were) entitled to this outcome to the point that they taught American Jewry that they were entitled to it and taught their own children that they were entitled to it (much as Americans taught our own children that we are entitled to the American West or indeed to all of America which Americans took vi-et-armis from the Indians). Because America's crime happened so long ago, on the whole, many Americans are able to feel a bit bad about it; because Israel's crime is on-going, Israelis are not, on the whole, able to feel bad about what they did and continue to do.

      But the mere fact that a bunch of adventurers, pirates, terrorists, decided once upon a time that they had a "right" to take over someone else's country and expel most of the inhabitants should not of itself persuade anyone else that what they did was right.

      Roger Waters seems unpersuaded. Good for him. A "BDS Picket Line", indeed!

  • True independence on Nakba Day: accountability and healing as an Israeli aggressor
    • It would indeed be a fine thing, as Mr. Litvin says, if Israelis (or many of them) could break free of the chains of hasbara and see the world and themselves (and the Palestinians) in a universal ethical light. The pathway to that wonderful day isd no more clear in this badly cluttered world than, for instance, the pathway toward a zero-emissions day (context: global warming).

  • Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel
    • "Jews (especially Ashkenazim) have never been smarter than the non-Jews among whom they lived. They simply had certain advantages that like greater literacy and numeracy became operative in the early phases of modernization and that resulted from the Jewish role in pre-Modern Europe. As those advantages vanish, the Jewish gentile gap rapidly closes."

      I think I'd agree and amplify:

      When I was a kid (1950s, San Francisco), an awful lot of up-and-coming musicians (pianists, violinists) seemed to be Jewish. And the smartest kids in my high-school (as measured by college entrance tests) were also Jewish. My mom always said it had more to do with emigrant work-ethic than brains as such.

      Now the kids in my San Francisco high-school seem overwhelmingly of East Asian backgrounds, and I'd bet the reason is at least in part what my mom said: where the work ethic is these days. (Perhaps also demographics of course in SF.) And the students in New York City's three great music conservatories (Juilliard, Manhattan, and Mannes) are overwhelmingly East Asian (and VERY VERY good pianists and violinists they are, too!).

    • We all know that Israel DID ethnically cleanse 750,000 Palestinians in 1948, Roughly speaking, give or take, that's the number of Jewish-Israelis now living in oPt (including the region called East Jerusalem, of course). So we know as a matter of long-established fact that Israel/Zionism are able and sometimes willing and even eager to expel large ethnic bloks.

      But they expelled non-Jews in the Nakba, And as many people say, GoI would be very, very, very unlikely to decide (willingly) to expel that many Jews as a blok. And the removal of settlers would indeed be seen (by Jewish Israels) as expelling them, not for a minute as conforming to international law (or to a treaty).

      An interesting question: would Israel ever remove all or a large number of the Jewish settlers unwillingly -- say as a result of pressure from sanctions? Or would it prefer some kind of "nuclear option"?

  • Students sue Fordham over justice for Palestine club rejection
    • If as I suppose Fordham is a private school, then it can probably do very much as it pleases, subject only to state and federal laws and to accreditation groups, but not to the Constitution which governs only public -- governmental institutions.

      The lawsuit may succeed -- we'll see. But what s/b/d is for a lot of people to BOYCOTT Fordham and all its schools, including its Law School. If Fordham wishes to insist that its students must shout Catholic (or Zionist) teachings at the top of their voices three times a day while standing on their heads, it might be within its rights so to insist, but no-one has to subject himself (pre-modern usage) to such a state of affairs.

  • The agony of J Street
    • Beautiful essay.

      Last night there was a presentation at VERSO BOOKS by Omar Barghouti and Nyle Fort regarding BDS. The meeting was Co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, Adalah-NY, Tarab NYC, Jews Say No!, PARCEO, and (I believe) a lot more organizations.

      It was terrific. A notable aspect was the reminder that [a] Black Lives Matter (central committee?) chose to join hands with Palestinians and with American Indians at Standing Rock and [b] took flack from many Black Christians who are (probably for several converging reasons) Zionists in outlook.

      BLM, therefore, is in the same position as dissenters from Zionism among Jews mentioned in Abba Solomon's essay. Or, maybe it is the Black Christian Zionists who are. Anyhow there is dissension there. (Nyle Fort, himself a Christian minister, told us that there is a long history among Black Christian Americans of regarding post-Civil War USA as the Zion to which slaves were to seek freedom from slavery in the "Egypt" of the American South ("Let my people go") , and regarding Israel and Zion as synonymous.

      He suggested that it might be more accurate to regard Israel as the new Egypt. But that'll be some heavy lifting and cultural shifting. And it does not take into account that Jews and the USA's power structure generally has aligned with Israel and the Black ministers experience CURRENT POLITICAL as well as ANCIENT RELIGIOUS pressures to align with Israel.

      At all events, the Black Ministers appear to abandon Christian principles by aligning with Zionism just as much as do the white Christian Zionists. And just as much a American Jews abandon Jewish principles by aligning with Zionism.

      it's J-Street all over again. It's AJC all over again.

      "Deja vu" keeps repeating itself. Political expediency always winning over religious (or human rights) principles.

      BTW -- more strongly than ever before -- I had a personal epiphany: I saw the 3-point goals of BDS as standing for (or capable of being restated universally as): [1] no more discrimination, legal or social, anywhere against anyone (including ending Israeli apartheid); [2] human rights for everyone (including the Palestinian right of return); and [3] enforcement of international law everywhere (including ending the so-called Israeli-occupation, which, after 50 years, is no longer an occupation but has morphed into a de facto land grab, contrary to international law).

      I want to see the principles of BDS as a model for the rescue of all humankind, lifted from Palestinian particularlity and universalized, so that, for instance, Black Lives Matter in the USA and various movements for Indigenous Rights in the broader Americas, and all "identity political movements" in the USA can see that they are not separate from each other, and not separate from the movement for Palestinian Rights, but part of a single global movement, cut of the identical cloth, one and not many. And since all human life is threatened by global warming climate change (GWCC) and particularly threatened by GWCC-deniers (most notably the Trumpery), this movement (as I imagine it) to rescue all humankind must also rescue us all from the GWCC-deniers.

      Why not?

  • Why I'm keeping my child home from school in Israel on Holocaust Day
    • Steven Salaita says (more or less) that you cannot safely mention Palestine in the USA and "I." says you cannot do so inside Israel. Wow. The walls are closing in. Are we all herded into railway cars? Will people who mention Palestine have to wear yellow stars (or something similar)? Or be imprisoned administratively and never heard from again?

  • Anti-settlements resolution could be 'last straw' for many Massachusetts Dems, warns party boss in AIPAC's pocket
    • That Barney Frank's 5000 got me thinking. At least one politician has told a persuasive constituent, "OK, you've persuaded me. Now pressure me!"

      Coakley and the others should immediately ask everyone in Massachusetts who cares either for M/E peace or for justice/human rights/international law to contact their representatives and ask them to join this effort. Might get MORE than 5000 people, even Jews, to take action. and -- a bit trickier -- might ask their Jewish constituents to speak out to the official Jewish leaders in favor of the effort and AGAINST continued use of MONEY to frustrate human rights.

  • 'Why do I not cry out for the right of return?' -- an exchange between Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta
    • "I know you have spent years calling for “peace”. But your peace meant that the killer should be forgiven, the thief should run away with the stolen goods and those expelled from their homes should be thrown a few pieces of silver to shut up.

      No remorse, nor repentance, no justice done, no remedy. Just empty words.

      How could those settlers live with this double life, liberty in Europe and crime in Palestine?

      The answer is schizophrenia. The European Jews, aka Israelis, live in a bubble of denial. A fake world. They shut the world of crime out of their minds and the minds of the adoring West. And preach peace, democracy, science and art, instead.

      No Nakba. Perish the thought. No word “Palestinian”. No flag. Oh yes. There are no refugees. Those were Arabs who drifted from Arabia Deserta to the land of milk and honey, created by the European settlers who came to this empty desert land and made it a paradise.

      They are cowards. I say this again."

      AMEN. And how to proceed? Against an Israel armed to the teeth with (a) arms and (b) schizophrenia? Answer: (a) let the outrageous Israeli behavior grow more and more outrageous, as it is doing without much help, apparently as a natural result of w/m/b/c the Zionist Character; (b) let 100 flowers of BDS bloom; (c) wait for the current anti-Muslim fervor in EU drop away (10 years? 25 years? After GWCC floods and parches everybody?); (d) and THEN (and ONLY THEN) the nations will bring on sanctions (not war) which will persuade a vastly unwilling Israel to do whatever the sanctioneers demand. But what will that be? BDS makes its own demands, but the sanctioneers, if any, will be a motley crew with a variety of goals, and a united demand will be hard to achieve and hard, now, to predict.

      But what else than this a-b-c-d is there? Maybe a rebellion by American Jews -- including those with loads of money -- what's that, 25 years out at best? Perhaps a concurrent (with sanctions) invitation by USA and UK and CANADA and AUSTRALIA and NZ (add FRANCE and GERMANY) to all Israeli Jews to emigrate to their countries? Empty Israel of Israeli-Jews? A sort of voluntary Nakba-of-Jews? During fierce sanctions (sticks) and with this invitation (carrots), how many would leave, how many remain (with a finger on THE BOMB)?

  • What the New York Times tells us about its Israel/Palestine contributors–and what it doesn’t
    • NYT has also not felt it necessary to mention the terrorist backgrounds of Israeli leaders when publishing their op-eds. A real double-standard here -- if any standard at all. Probably not a standard at all but, rather, blatant kow-tow-ing to BIG-ZION (aka AIPAC, Adelson, etc.)

  • Hasbara-steria: Netanyahu ministers charge NYT with 'journalistic terror attack,' hunger striker with 'suicide terror attack'
    • It was on-line at NYT and on paper at NYT-Int'l.
      The NYT never presented the terrorist credentials of Sharon and various other Iseraeli leaders -- yes they were leaders and yes they were terrorists -- so why does it have yo back dowen on Barghouti?

      Answer (surprise!): BIG-ZION/AIPAC.

  • The war for 'The New York Times'
    • Phil and (((James))): all I can say is: from your mouths to God's ear. We used to joke about I/P peace not happening in various lifetimes, the funniest being about God saying not in His lifetime. Well now we've got
      [1] 1.5oC, 2.0oC and other GWCC horrors on a fairly close horizon (in part because Trump is so outrageously corrupt and iggorant);
      [2] I/P peace (of course) on some very distant horizon (you know, after I/P are all under water or dry as a bone due to GWCC) (because the government and Jewish population of Israel are so morally corrupt); and
      [3] the NYT again (or is it for the first time?) acting like a responsible newspaper instead of like a fount of propaganda for one government or another (I cannot guess the horizon on this one, the NYT management having shown itself so corrupt)).

      But it's a happy idea, the reform of NYT in some imminent bye-and-bye. And maybe they'll support Bernie and forget about the oligarchy that brought us Clinton and Trump. And run a daily news-story or opinion piece on GWCC. Anything could happen if people get smart and ethical at the same time!

  • I am not a jew
    • Terrific poem.

      For myself, I think I've never been a Jew but I've sometimes thought there was something attractive in Jewish ethics (well, in SOME Jewish ethics) that made me want to be a Jew. Of course, the overwhelming landslide support for Israel among Americans claiming rather loudly (shrilly?) to be Jews is quite off-putting. I mean Einstein, Marx, and Freud were terrific and all, but did they persuasively argue in favor of Zionism?

      But some taxi-drivers love and respect Israel. How do they explain the Israeli oppression of Palestinians?

      "They made me do it" is a great excuse, could fit on a taxi bumper. "I'm strictly moral and deeply ethical, as everyone knows, but when push comes to shove, a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do", and "you have to break someone else's eggs to make an omelet for yourself", and other wonderful too-long-for-a-bumper-sticker slogans supportive of the idea of an ethical Zionism.

      But did the Palestinians really make the Zionists "do it"? Did the Palestinians create or motivate Hitler for the final solution? Did the Palestinians really make Balfour do what Balfour did (commemorated in this its 100th year)? Did the Palestinians really demand massive Jewish immigration into Palestine 1920-1948?

      The Palestinians were invisible in all this, not actors. And Elijah didn't come -- again -- this passover.

      And when the Zionists discerned (1930s) that there would be some objection to their hoped-for take-over of Palestine, did the Palestinians really force the Zionists to say, as they said -- in actions louder than words -- we want the whole country for our own, and get the Arabs outta here!

      Or did the Zionists just decide to take what they wanted to take, claiming that might makes right, still their slogan today?

      Trump's slogan too, I guess. I mean he won in the electoral college! He's mighty and so he's righty! Like Israel.

  • Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti's op-ed calling Israel 'moral and political failure' is buried in int'l edition of 'NYT'
  • Love of Israel + Defense of Trump = Meshuggeneh
    • echinococcus -- probably good points. Certainly the reason I will not call myself a "liberal" these days is that the so-called "liberals" of the Clinton/Obama eras either had no principles (except "go along with the oligarchs") or confused loyalty (to party I guess) for having decent pro-human principles. I, too, did not vote for Trillary Hillarump -- but also didn't/wouldn't vote for Schumer. Better Green than dead.

    • Mooser -- You poor, poor dear! So needy. So needing to be told that there is something (anything) wonderful about you (I guess in your "character" as a Jew). Well, as I read the above article, it ain't partic'ly basketball or dancing. Or being as smart as Asians. So, maybe, talking nonsense? Taking both sides of any question (no, that's not Jews, that's lawyers, sorry). Making a virtue of loving an apartheid state. (Yay! Found one!) (Not you, Mooser, I mean those nutcases quoted above.)

      Well, how about this? "Jews are the chosen people, and what they are chosen for, they are chosen to suffer." (As if, for instance, many Africans and most Arabs these days are not suffering.)

      I'm running out of options. How about finding something funny in tragedy? Mooser? What do you think?

  • Bret Stephens's greatest hits
    • Obscene -- and remarkably stupid: "Modern Japan is a testament to the benefits of total defeat, to stripping a culture prone to violence of its martial pretense".

      Does Stephens really think the USA would be better off (or the world better off) if the USA were totally defeated? Would everyone be better off if Israel were totally defeated?

      I might think so, but does Stephens? And if not, why is it better off just because Japan was totally defeated -- is it because Japan was, up to then, "prone to violence"? But aren't USA and Israel to violence"? Seemed so to me. I would call Israel's repeated "mowing the grass" violence. Anybody disagree?

      What a remarkable twit Stephens is! And the NYT hires him! Twits, all.

      And, of course, and more important, EVIL.

  • It's 7-0 against BDS on 'New York Times' opinion pages
    • First, Israel punished people for comparing (not equating -- just comparing) it to Nazi Germany. OK, I get it, it's thin-skin-time where the Nazis are concerned. But now, Israel punishes people for comparing it to apartheid-South-Africa. No reason for a thin-skin there, so I guess Israel is just like all other nations (not a light unto, but just like): doesn't like to be criticized.

      No surprise. And BDS doesn't even compare Israel to anything -- it merely describes and asks its friends and neighbors to help change what it doesn't like about Israel.

      And, would you believe it, Israel doesn't even like that!

      I guess Israel and its supporters at NYT and elsewhere think that Israel is just about perfect -- nothing about it to complain of, not really -- so cool it everybody and mind your own business.

      And that is the whole point: human-rights work is precisely and wholly the business of outsiders getting into other people's business, like Trump (a great exponent of human rights!) attacking Syria's Assad regime -- Trump an outsider minding other people's business.

      I guess it's OK to attack Syria -- folks widely recognized as being Arabs and having dark skins after all -- but not OK to attack Israel, not even with op-eds in NYT, because Israel is widely (if falsely) recognized as not being Arab, not even a little, and not having dark skins, not even a little.

      After all, human-rights work has got to be racist or else we'd all be targets of someone else's human-rights outrage, if not outright attacks.

      Hope that makes it clear why I stand behind the NYT on BDS, way behind, as far behind as I can get.

  • It happened! Cork conference overcomes academic censorship!
  • Israeli Jews maintain the occupation because it is in their interest -- Noam Sheizaf
    • So obvious, but good to have it said out loud from a personal and deeply knowledgeable perspective. Thanks for republishing Sheizaf's remarks.

  • Boycott is Kosher
    • Great article Iris: How did you hear of the 1902 boycott?

      Didn't Jews also support the civil rights movement in the USA in the 1960s which themselves involved boycotts (bus boycotts in Montgomery)? Of course, those were Black boycotts, but Jews supported them. Could that provide a shpritz of Kashrut for boycotts? (Of course most of that happened before 1967, when mainstream Jewish morality underwent a sea-change.)

  • Dershowitz gets drunk on water
    • Thanks eljay. What TheDersh (tm) is doing is (ahem) "wet-washing" Israel. He is saying that who does good cannot also do wrong. The Philanthropist (who saved the world's Jews by making a safe haven for them, as some still believe) CANNOT ALSO be a Murderer. One or the other but not both.

      In fact I'm happy that Israeli scientists are discovering useful stuff -- if it does not disappear behind the economic screen of patents and high purchase or licensing fees (which BIG-PHARMA has been illustrating in the USA so abundantly in recent years).

      But did they build their labs on stolen land? Did their government, with their general consent, happiness, connivance, etc., expel the Palestinians who used to live there and then continuously exclude them for 69 years?

      TheDersh (tm) wants it to be believed that scientific prowess proves, or IS, moral excellence.

      Ha!

  • 'I came to explore the wreck of Zionism': A report from the 2017 JVP meeting
    • The wreck of Zionism. Great phrase. But the "wreck" s going strong.

      "Israel is actually all Palestine": I think implicit in this is that both Zionists and anti-Zionists can say the same thing; but Zionists mean to add or imply, "and a good thing too", and anti-Zionists mean to add or to imply, "and that was so awful, never should have happened."

      I had some very Zionist friends in the 1980s who subscribed to the then-popular school of thought that creating Israel was necessary, so Palestinians had no real complaint: "A man was high up in a burning building. To save his own life he jumped out and landed on another man, breaking the latter's back. You're telling me he shouldn't have jumped?"

      And I answered then as now: But Israel (if necessary at all) was not necessarily so large. The necessity, if any, was for a small place, especially if it had to be purely "Jewish". The bigness part sprang from desire, not from necessity, and was produced not by necessity but by barbaric settler colonialism.

  • New book by Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli journalist, crushes liberal Zionism
    • As to what might happen in years to come, if Liberal Jews turn away from Israel strongly and numerously enough, and if BDS gets a big boost from all this, and stupid anti-BDS governmental policies fall away:

      The political question that remains is (IMO)

      Whether:
      [1] the nations will allow the present apartheid forever
      [2] the nations will gin up a minimal pressure (some sort of sanctions) sufficient to force Israel to end the occupation (and on what terms!?)
      [3] the nations (after a big fight with Israel, perhaps as to [2] above, will put maximal pressure on Israel (a la South Africa) to force Israel to become (ahem) a "formally" non-discriminatory democracy for all its people (nor Jews nor anyone privileged at law), end the occupation, and allow Palestinian refugees to return.

      If the people-power which moves the nations from [1] to [2] is strong enough to do just that, and then Israel puts up such a lengthy struggle as to allow people-power to grow and the nations to get royally ticked off, then we might get to [3].

    • Hey, (((JN))), terrific essay! And kudos to LD for the book. High time. Abbreviated, it simply says that the Emperor Is Naked. Very, very nice to see these evident (except to those afraid to look) conclusions in print.

      with the younger generation of Jews falling away from Zionism, this book now attacks the middle-agers. (IMO, the old, if not yet convinced, will be hopeless.)

    • Derfner does not reaffirm LZ by saying that BDS "can only" result in the end of the occupation. He says that the expansive goals of BDS, expressed by the "boycott and divestment" activities of human-rights people are unlikely to result in pressure by the nations (sanctions) aimed at anything more than ending the occupation. It is a prediction about real-politik.

      Other predictions are possible. If the past is prelude, the other great possibility is that the nations will NOT even go so far, and it will be apartheid-for-ever (as Netanyahu and his ilk would love to have it).

      OTOH, as I would wish (but cannot really expect), by the time the pressure of the human-rights people becomes strong enough to move the nations to do anything at all, the tide may have become so strong as to perform a "South Africa" on Israel, that is, to persuade the nations (the tide being in full flood by then) to keep the sanctions going until Israel allows PRoR or becomes truly non-discriminatory in its legislation.

  • The Jewish revolution
    • Should there be a "resistance movement" of (young) Jews? Or should resistant Jews just leave any and all synagogues (and other "community" outfits) which preach/support/propagandize Zionism (maybe exit with a splash) and leave the older generation to ask itself what will happen when they themselves are gone, the young being (largely one hopes) already gone, and the donors stop donating. If Jews just drift away, who will speak to USA's politicians FOR them? Do they need a megaphone? an organization?

      But if they stick up for America's downtrodden (by race: Native Americans, Black, and Brown ; by condition: poor, sick, old, homeless, mentally ill, developmentally different, LGBT) & also stick up for the people America downtreads outside its borders but within its military imperium (M/E, Palestine in part), -- then more power to them.

      Maybe they can make common-cause with other Americans; this calling is very idealistic and not in any way a Jews-only affair.

  • J Street attends rightwing anti-BDS summit-- and gets called 'anti-Semitic'
    • Those who protect (unearned but traditional or long-standing) privilege do not give up that privilege without a fight, and they persuade themselves that those who ask them to are enemies-to-the-death.

      Recall civil war, begun because North tried to limit the geographical spread of slavery, a system that enriched the super-rich in the south w/o helping the poor whites (or the black slaves, of course). The southern planters were not ready to be content just within the borders of the original slave states. And poor whites fought for slavery -- just like poor whites voting for Trump today.

      Poor J-Street, trying to square the circle, but backing contradictory positions as if to do so was (what? "good for the Jews?") sensible.

      J-Street, listen up: [1] Oppose Occupation; [2] Support BDS; [3] Oppose Apartheid within any territory that Israel has controlled since (or before) 1967

  • The rabbi's daughter isn't buying AIPAC's defense of Israel on apartheid charge
    • I was once on a committee charged with explaining the meaning of a document (in fact, a programming language reference manual). We were not to change the meaning, just explain it. Easy, right?

      Well at one point, a member of the committee said, "In other words, on page 88 line 15, where it says 'Yes' it means 'No' (just explaining the meaning, folks!) "

      So how are the Jewish community leaders (either self appointed or big-money-appointed in many cases) going to square (their version of) "Zionism" with things like the on-the-ground-actualities in Israeli-controlled territory. Tough? No way:

      "When on page 1, line 1, of the Zionism Reference Manual, it says "Israel is democratic and Jewish", it means "Jewish-dominated and apartheid rules to distinguish Jews and non-Jews."

      See? They don't even need to change the words on page 1, line 1. Just explain them.

  • AIPAC speakers say the enemy is BDS, while 'biggest Jewish-led protest' surges outside
    • "Bibitybipity: "We’ll defend ourselves against slander and boycotts.”

      Against slander?

      oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed.

      That's OK, because BDS tells "inconvenient truths", not "untruths". But against boycotts? Anybody would want to, of course, so of course Israel will defend itself.

      Somebody teach me the raised fist salute (or whatever) of BDS !

  • 'Destruction of Israel' is its abandonment by American Jews, in novelist's imagining
    • “Just let it go?” “Yes.”

      Amen. Let's all say that. And let Trump (our most excellent president) hear us say it. Wash our hands. Like some ancient Roman governor. Trump? Are you listening? No more kings of the world! Also, no more kings of the Jews.

  • Gerald Kaufman – From Labour Zionist to Israel's bitterest critic
    • For many, adherence to Zionism is a matter of ideology, and thus beyond either experience or logic or morality. For others, adherence to Zionism is a matter of philosophy and thus subject to the correctives both of experience (facts) and of logic applied to a moral examination of the situation in whole or in part. Kaufman was not an ideologue. As time passes, the ideologues stay "on board", but others fall away. The direction of motion w.r.t. Zionism is away, not toward.

  • UN agency labels Israel 'apartheid regime'-- and Israel likens organization to Nazis
    • Thanks Alison. And many. many thanks to the authors Tilley and Falk.

      I had been a bit queasy about asserting the "apartheid" allegation against Israel-inside-Israel48, but the report makes clear the discriminatory denial of equal rights to the exiles/refugees (who by the international standards of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

      Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

      have a right to return to Israel48 from which they were displaced or to which they were refused readmittance by Israel). And the wonderfully discriminatory anti-universalism of the law of return (Jews only) and of the nationality law by which some Israeli passports identify the holder as Arab and others identify the holders as Jewish -- serve as milestones, terminal milestones, on the road to apartheid along which Israel, jackboots stamping all the way, has marched deliberately and with headstrong arrogance.

  • Ambassador David Friedman: A diplomatic oxymoron
    • John O.: Well put. Not to mention that both Bannon and Trump surely see
      the presidency as far more imperial (in the old sense) than any other
      recent president.

      In olden times, each ambassador was the personal representative of the
      king (or emperor), NOT of the "country" whatever that might have meant
      and certainly not of the (non-sovereign) "people". In the USA, it is
      often supposed that the people are the "sovereign" (we have a
      "democracy" if we can keep it!) and it would appear to follow that
      ambassadors represent the "people" (as "sovereign") rather than the
      president (as "servant" of the "people").

      Well, theory is always being tested, and the Bannon-Trump-mobile rushes
      along headlong in full imperial glory.

  • Zionism and feminism are incompatible, leftwing voices say
    • Phil: "Lately I have pressed Seffi Kogen of the American Jewish Committee and Josh Marshall of TPM on the hypocrisy of decrying expressions of white nationalism in our country while supporting the ideology of Jewish nationalism in a country overseas. Both have ignored me."

      Well, well, and dear, dear. What else could you expect?

      The position of opposing white-nationalism (in the USA) or opposing non-discrimination (in Israel) are both ideologies, that is to say, are both positions one takes without regard to facts. (After all, if either were the result of logical conclusions from facts, one could merely assert the facts rather than the conclusions.)

      I oppose white-supremacism in the USA (and white separatism, which, in principle, is different) because white folks are (and for a while will remain) top-dogs in the USA, and privilege for top-dogs offends me. Jewish-supremacism in Israel has the same problem (for me) and, in addition, the problem that Israel discriminates against a LARGER people (numerically the Palestinians, if you include all the refugees/exiles of 1948 and later, are, I believe a good deal more numerous than Jewish Israelis).

      Seffi Kogen and Josh Marshall are only hypocrites because they are sufficiently principled to feel as a blemish their contradictory stands against white-supremacism and for Jewish-supremacism in Israel.

      If they were as thick-skinned (or in my view badly brought up) as many Israelis politicians are that they could without moral qualms say, "I believe that 'all men are created equal' is true in America and false in Israel" then they would not have ignored Phil.

  • The 'Times' runs propaganda about how moral America was till Trump got in charge
    • Not to speak well of NYT, but: When NYT says USA was regarded as not against Muslims under Bush, it's one man's apparent opinion not far from the dreaded passive voice. (As if to say. "USA was not before Trump regarded as anti-Muslim" w/o saying regarded BY WHOM.)

      What NYT is not saying is that they polled the Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria,. Yemen, Somalia, etc. to see what they thought. Nor did they poll all Europeans, to see what they thought. NYT quotes elites talking to and for elites. And manipulating -- or reinforcing -- the opinions of NTY readership.

      Guys in think-tanks, even Jordanians, have agendas, and today's agenda is anti-Trump, not anti destructiveness-toward Muslims. And it is easy (USA's law is rife with this concept, see current lawsuits against the Trump anti-refugee XOs) to distinguish what is explicit in a statement and what is implicit. As to Trump's immigration XOs, courts are paying more attention to the implicit anti-Muslim stance than to the actual wording.

      And Bush if not anti-Muslim was extraordinarily careless of Muslim lives (and other lives): these guys are anti-people when BIG-DEFENSE calls for a war.

      Under Bush, the utter carelessness of Muslim lives (or, more exactly, the lives of the people living in Afghanistan and Iraq

  • Clinton says two-state-solution would have entailed 'a lot of blood, gore, turmoil in Israel'
    • I tend to think that identity politics is good when it give a voice and some balance-of-power to the otherwise powerless. In the USA, black, brown, women, sexual-minorities, indigenes, and so forth. In those cases, it is constructive of democracy, equality, even-handedness, etc.

      But after a group has achieved dominance of power, then that group's "identity politics" is simply destructive of democracy, constructive of the cruelty shown by USA to Native Americans and by Israel to Palestinians.

      Identity politics should be a (pull yourself up by your own) boot-strap affair where you cut off the boot-strap after the boot comes level with the "other" and before the boot stomps on the "other". The minorities should be (though I guess they forget this sometimes) striving for a world where ALL are equal, without discrimination, without built-in privilege.

      So I support BLM and BDS, water-protectors most places and certainly near Dakota Access Pipeline, but not white-supremacy (though I am white -- I suppose) (were Jews always "white"?).

  • 'We may no longer be permitted—nor permit ourselves—to enter Israel,' 172 scholars write
  • No space for Zionism

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