Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 958 (since 2009-10-01 14:26:50)

Pamela Olson

Pamela Olson is the author of Fast Times in Palestine. She blogs here.

Website: http://pamolson.org

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  • Ben Gurion detention guard tells humanitarian worker she is being deported for 'trying to change Israel and make it free of racism'
    • The horrible treatment at the border and constant threat of deportation was what finally drove me to "voluntarily" deport myself and leave. I never had an experience as bad as hers, but they were bad enough. And of course they were nothing compared to the indignities (and worse) that Palestinians endure. It outrages every fiber of my being.

      Just one example of my experiences:

      link to pamolson.org

  • Visit to Hebron (or How can I explain this living hell to a nice liberal Jew in Brookline?)
  • Pardon our interruption
  • 'Violence of Jewish power' in Jerusalem has 'poisoned the Jewish community' -- 'Forward' reports
    • The Wall itself annexes approximately 10% on the western side (at least 8% in any case), and the Jordan Valley is de facto annexed to Israel (Palestinians have largely been driven out and the remaining Palestinians are constantly harassed), which is another 25% of the West Bank, and Area C in total is around 60% (where Palestinians have virtually no rights and are constantly harassed and driven out), and the Wall also steals water and, by the way, THE CAPITAL of Palestine.

      But if you wanna split hairs, go ahead.

    • By the way, even my poor sister got caught up in it, even though she's never been to Palestine. She went to a Passover Seder in LA with a college friend and her family while I was living in Ramallah. It was going smoothly until she mentioned she had a sister living in Palestine who'd had a few harrowing run-ins with Israeli soldiers. After she stopped talking, the silence was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Then she was curtly informed that:

      (a) There's no such thing as Palestine or Palestinians;

      (b) Palestine is very dangerous and her sister is very likely to get shot by Palestinians;

      (c) There's no way Israeli soldiers ever pointed any guns at her sister, or anyone else for that matter; and

      (d) Her sister deserved to have Israelis guns pointed at her because "if she’s with Palestinians, then she’s a threat."

      Ouch. It was her first encounter with that kind of ugly clamp-minded Pavlovian bigotry coming from otherwise kind, sane, and educated people she’d never had any problem with before. All I could say was, "Welcome to my world."

      When my sister mentioned the Wall to them, they snapped, “The Wall is only 10%.” Which I guess means they believe the Wall only steals 10% of the land in the West Bank.

      The figure is actually much higher, and the land they’re stealing destroys Palestinian society out of all proportion to the percentage itself, but that’s hardly the point. “Only” stealing 10% of the small remaining land of an already brutalized and disinherited nation by force is A-OK?

      They were wearing their "I LOVE ISRAEL. I WANT PEACE. I AM A ZIONIST." T-shirts, which were also popular on the Stanford campus at the time. I had to wonder what kind of peace they meant.

    • Lots of respect for young people standing up for the rights of all humans. Especially when they come from cultures that have tragically come to demonize universalist principles.

      "There is an acute sense of psychological instability that comes with doing work that most of your friends, family, and community don’t really understand. In fact, a huge proportion of my community doesn’t even believe that there is a real Israeli occupation, certainly not of East Jerusalem. That means constant cognitive dissonance between what I see on a daily basis and what I hear from so many of the people who have surrounded & nurtured me from birth. The gulf between the reality of suffering on the ground and the knowledge of much of the Jewish community is enormous and crushes me daily."

      Breaks my heart. I got just a taste of this when I came back from Palestine the first time. I watched friends, who were otherwise kind and thoughtful, suddenly turned into snarling racists when I brought up the "P-word." It was a terrible, disillusioning, disconnecting feeling, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

      But the only thing worse is selling yourself out and remaining silent when you know the truth.

      Hugs and solidarity.

  • Public debate on Zionism sets a crucial precedent
    • Traveling back in time to, say, 1985:

      "It’s not that white South Africans refuse to debate “Apartheid,” they just don’t see the point. Apartheid exists, it’s the nature of the state, and has been for ___ years. Only marginal extremists think that is going to change any time soon."

  • 'Washington Post' reports that funders have excommunicated Jews who don't believe in Zionism
    • I think a lead was buried somewhere:

      “On behalf of the Jewish people, are you now or have you ever been a signatory to a boycott of Israel?”

      "ON BEHALF OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE?"

      WTF is that supposed to mean? Who is he to speak for all Jewish people?

  • Responding to the (de)humanization of Palestinians (Updated)
    • And just on a note of personal interest:

      "I want to rid the earth of soil in which extremism can take root. I want to ensure that everyone has a voice, and that others listen. When people are impoverished, silenced, marginalized or ignored, extremism flourishes and terror erupts. Only by comprehending the causes of violence can we eradicate it, rather than merely treating the symptoms."

      That's great! So do I. How do you plan on doing this? What kinds of practical steps do you propose? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    • Pointing out a problematic word usage in a problematic context is hardly equivalent to a witch hunt, ya akhuy. This is the internet age. People should be used to getting called out onling by now. Especially when they, intentionally or otherwise, engage in hurtful or damaging rhetoric.

    • Eleanor,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment here, and to edit your essay. Unfortunately, there are still a couple of issues, in my opinion.

      First, you wrote:

      "I am unsure if this particular woman was justifying the attack in Kenya or helping me see another perspective, as I did not push her on her comment. I have chosen to believe the latter: that she was simply putting forward a perspective. In my view, thoughtful people will take the comment as food for thought, made starker by an understanding of the historical plight of Palestinians. I don’t think my essay invites, or implies, more than this."

      1. If you were unsure whether she was justifying the attack in Kenya, that was not at all apparent in your original post, which clearly jumps from her statement to "Could the murderers of my spectacular friend be freedom-fighters?" Whether intended or not, it sounds very much like you made the assumption that she was justifying the attack.

      2. Most Americans do not have much of a clear understanding of the the historical and current plight of Palestinians. Assuming that they do, and can leap from your assuming the woman justified the attack to empathizing with the Palestinian plight seems either uninformed or disingenuous. Whether intentional or not, your words contribute to an ongoing demonization of Palestinians without mentioning anything about their very real grievances and the horrific human rights abuses carried out against them.

      As for your edit:

      "I was stunned. Could the murderers of my spectacular friend be freedom-fighters? Though I disagree with her statement, which justifies even the most reprehensible action, I began to contemplate the drivers of terrorism."

      vs.

      "I was stunned. Could the murderers of my spectacular friend be freedom-fighters? Though I disagree with those who would use this maxim to excuse any act, her comment made me more seriously contemplate the drivers of terrorism."

      The second one STILL implies that the Palestinian woman justified the Kenya attack. In fact, it's implying she would "use this maxim to excuse any act." Your edit does nothing to change what's problematic about it. It kind of makes it worse. You don't know the woman or how she feels, and it's unfair to paint her with this brush, and by extension (in an already demonizing media climate) all Palestinians.

      Here's an edit that might not offend lots of people who already have a difficult enough time as it is in ways most white folks like us can barely imagine:

      "Recently, I shared this tragedy at a small gathering. A Palestinian woman offered the maxim: “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter.” I am unsure if this particular woman was justifying the attack in Kenya -- in fact, I have no idea what she meant, as I did not push her on her comment or its context, and I know nothing about her life or situation. Therefore I'm not sure why it's relevant here, other than the fact that it is a maxim that has been repeated many times all over the world in many contexts and is perhaps worth contemplating in some cases. But anyway, the conversation, along with the terrible crime in Kenya, did make me think more seriously about the drivers of terrorism."

    • It was a completely unnecessary slur on the Palestinian people, and I'm surprised anyone is trying to defend it. Perhaps it was simply thoughtless rather than intended as a slur. But the end result is the same: Palestinians unfairly demonized once again in a very public and prominent place.

      If I were Palestinian, I believe I would be deeply offended by it. Even if she does go on with some mild whataboutery regarding why Palestinians (apparently en masse) support terrorism (apparently regardless of who does it or why or where). She certainly doesn't go into the much greater terrorism and violations of human rights and international law committed against millions of Palestinians.

      Hell, even if she just cited one American out of context in a damaging way as if he/she more or less spoke for all of us, I wouldn't be too happy. And Americans aren't the ones unfairly dehumanized across the world, nor driven into refugee camps and bombed, etc.

    • Walid, her implication was clearly that this Palestinian woman condoned the mall massacre, and by extension pretty much any massacre. In today's climate, it could easily be interpreted to imply that most Palestinians believe similarly. Americans are already taught to believe this anyway, so it's not much of a stretch.

      A fairly clear case of a deeply damaging and hurtful ethnic slur. I think it deserved to be called out.

    • Bingo. I get so tired of dealing with bigots on this issue. Fine, have a disagreement with me about various things. But please, please quit engaging in the mirror image of anti-Semitism. Just because "polite society" (disgustingly) tolerates it these days, that doesn't mean it's OK. Listen to yourself, for God's sake. It's just embarrassing.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • Regarding Israel's Wall and whether or not it's effective in preventing terrorism (from my book Fast Times in Palestine):

      The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security and intelligence service, credited the sharp decline in violence in 2005 to the truce and Hamas’s desire to enter the political arena -- not to the Wall.

      The Shin Bet admitted that the Wall was “no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it. The fence does make it harder for them, but the flawed inspection procedures at its checkpoints, the gaps and uncompleted sections enable suicide bombers to enter Israel.” Hundreds of Palestinians cross the Wall every day to work in Israel without a permit. If someone is really motivated to get across, he absolutely can.

      The main reason for the drop in attacks was “the fact that Hamas, in general, stopped engaging in terror activities . . . Its focus on the political arena and the preparations for the Palestinian parliamentary elections [because the bombings were not supported by the Palestinian public] have limited its active involvement in terror to a large extent.”

      Source: Amos Harel, “Shin Bet: Palestinian Truce Main Cause for Reduced Terror,” Haaretz, January 2, 2006.

      The Israeli Army also admitted on several occasions that the route of the Wall was not for security considerations but due to settlement considerations, including future planned settlements. Not that they needed to admit the obvious. Still, they did.

      I wish people would quit bothering with bullsh** propaganda and deal with reality. The people who desperately need this propaganda are the ones who refuse to deal with reality. And it harms everyone.

  • America's rabbi hoovers celebrities
    • What a sleazy little star f***ing weirdo. If he wasn't a seemingly powerful warmonger who kisses all the right butts, it'd just be kind of adorable, in a queasy kind of way.

      Charlize Theron is pretty hot, though. Still, just for my own reputation as a sober adult, I'd probably gawk at someone else's pics of her rather than post a bajillion of my own...

  • Friedman prepares American Jews for a divorce from zealot Israel
    • "There are now about 350,000 Jews living in the West Bank."

      Bullsh**. It's more like 600,000. He was JUST talking about Gilo, then his numbers leave Gilo (and all other East Jerusalem settlements) out.

      Consistency is nice, Mr. F.

  • Palestinian writers bring Gaza's hardships to American audience
  • American Studies Association adds over 700 new members since Israel boycott call
    • Aw, poor widdle victim hophmi. He's gotten used to being in total control, and now his little house of cards is starting to wobble.

      Well, get used to it. This thing is only going in one direction. And it's not the one you want.

      I understand it stings to lose privilege that you've come to take for granted. But on the bright side, the Palestinians won't have to be at the blind, brutal mercy of the likes of you for much longer.

  • When Anja Niedringhaus went to Gaza
    • Mati, when it comes to my work in particular, my main goal is to let as many people read it as possible. The story belongs to the world more than it does to me. If I thought distributing it online for free would result in the widest distribution, I would. But something like that wouldn't make it into libraries, university classrooms, and bookstore travel sections, nor result in interviews, reviews, etc.

      I'm still not making much money at all, and I've given away literally thousands of copies for free, both paperback and digital. (Which has the added benefit of creating exposure, reviews, and word-of-mouth.) If I died, I would want people to distribute my work as widely as possible, however possible. It's a story that I think needs to be told. That's the main reason I wrote it.

      I get that other people need to protect their career and income so they can continue doing what they're doing. And lord knows I wish I was paid even minimum wage for the hours I put in. But this photo speaks to something larger than one woman's career, as distinguished and important as it was. And in this case in particular (posting it on Mondoweiss), I would guess the loss to her income and that of the AP is negligible. In fact, the exposure may be a net positive for both them and her. And it's a photo that deserves to be seen as widely as possible.

      Just an opinion, from someone who's admittedly not very career-minded.

    • I'd like to point out, in case anyone is unaware, that "martyr" in the Palestinian context means anyone killed by the occupation -- even a baby in her mother's arms. I'm afraid some people will see that word and assume they were engaged in hostilities somehow. It's an honorific meant to bestow some dignity on a (usually) completely senseless death.

      If the US were occupied and treated the way Palestinians are treated, slaughtered with no recourse, etc., I imagine we might also harken back to the days of Christian martyrs (known for their steadfastness and bravery in the face of oppression) and bestow the honorific on anyone killed in this manner.

    • Very sorry to hear about this very sad loss.

      On the subject of posting the photograph, there comes a point, in my opinion, when a certain kind of image belongs to the world, and to history, not to mention to the actual subjects of the image, more than to any corporation. I understand people need to get paid, but there are things more important than getting paid sometimes. I personally can't imagine wanting to hide an image like that behind a paywall. I would want it shouted from the rooftops.

      Different strokes, I guess.

  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • Plus their "friendly" videotapers can hand it over to be edited however they see fit. So they can analyze it and hide it if they accidentally say something racist or otherwise outrageous.

      Zionism can't be fully exposed to the unwashed masses. It must be sanitized for mass consumption.

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • In the Stanford political science department, even before 9/11, the "Clash of Civilizations" was treated as a serious idea. It sounded stupid to me even when I was barely out of Oklahoma and barely out of my teens.

      The whole political science department smelled to high heaven (with Democratic and Republican types just about equally bad, and people who advocated human rights and international law marginalized in almost every way -- they were seen as rather "cute" and "not really serious" -- not in so many words, but that was the vibe).

      After 9/11, I had a sick feelings about how things would go. Unfortunately, it was even worse. How f***ing stupid are we humans, honestly? All you have to do is study history and keep your wits about you, pay attention. Is that really so much to ask?

  • Saudis don't care about Palestinians, say American commentators
    • I met Tamara Cofman Wittes when I first moved to Washington in 2006 (she was at Brookings then, too), all bright-eyed and hopeful that I would find at least a few like-minded folks around town. I had no idea then who Saban was. My whole time in Washington was one disillusionment after another. I'm actually writing a book about it. It's one thing to hear how corrupt and morally and intellectually cowardly Washington is -- another to see it in action, among people you would otherwise consider friends and colleagues.

  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • "I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.

      Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

      ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • U of Michigan student gov't meets tonight, amid anticipation of divestment vote
    • JeffB, you are not even speaking coherently. Tough to have a discussion with incoherence.

    • JeffB: Again: Hundreds of Palestinians cross the Wall every day to work in Israel without a permit. If someone wants to attack Israel, he absolutely can. It will just be a bit more expensive.

      The SHIN BET said it wasn't an effective security measure. So take it up with them.

    • Regarding Israel's Wall and whether or not it's effective in preventing terrorism:

      The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security and intelligence service, credited the sharp decline in violence in 2005 to the truce and Hamas’s desire to enter the political arena -- not to the Wall.

      The Shin Bet admitted that the Wall was “no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it. The fence does make it harder for them, but the flawed inspection procedures at its checkpoints, the gaps and uncompleted sections enable suicide bombers to enter Israel.” Hundreds of Palestinians cross the Wall every day to work in Israel without a permit. If someone is really motivated to get across, he absolutely can.

      The main reason for the drop in attacks was “the fact that Hamas, in general, stopped engaging in terror activities . . . Its focus on the political arena and the preparations for the Palestinian parliamentary elections [because the bombings were not supported by the Palestinian public] have limited its active involvement in terror to a large extent.”

      Source: Amos Harel, “Shin Bet: Palestinian Truce Main Cause for Reduced Terror,” Haaretz, January 2, 2006.

  • A movement grows in a Georgia church basement
    • Tremendously hopeful and inspiring. Huge gratitude to both Josh and Adam. The work is not easy (or glamorous), but that's how you eat an elephant -- one bite at a time.

      Segregation, the Soviet Union, South African Apartheid -- these things all seemed rock-solid. Until their rotting foundations finally collapsed. Here's hoping Israeli apartheid will go out without too much of a bang...

  • Iymen Chehade fights Chicago school's cancellation of his class
    • Leave aside, for the moment, the fact that Chehade's main "bias" is toward historical fact, international law, and equal rights for all.

      If the shoe were on the other foot -- say, if a professor were an admitted Zionist, and taught primarily from a Zionist perspective -- would he be accused of "bias" and therefore unqualified to teach a university class?

    • I was lucky enough to meet Iymen when I was in Chicago. His class looks terrific, and he seems extremely knowledgeable. Which is precisely why he is targeted. Can't have him corrupting the youth with the truth.

  • Bloodbath in Jenin
    • That's what I'm saying -- there wasn't any real hope anyway. But they had to do this... "just in case"?

    • The other shoe drops. As always. Precise Israeli army/government timing to scuttle any slim hope of coming to any kind of even minimal accord or agreement.

      Not that there was much hope anyway. But this is just gratuitous. I don't even know what to say anymore.

  • 'What's being done to Palestinians is wrong,' evangelical Christian says on NPR religion show
    • Christians have an idea of what "Christlike" people should be like -- effortlessly loving, forgiving, welcoming, kind, and open to all comers. I have never met a group of people who fulfill that idea more than Palestinians. They of course aren't perfect, but as humans go, they are some of my favorite I've ever had the privilege of living and traveling among.

    • Makes sense. I distinctly remember Jesus saying, "Love your neighbor. Unless he's a Palestinian or something, yuck!"

      Er... nevermind JESUS HIMSELF WAS A PALESTINIAN. And the first Christian community was Palestinian. And the living church in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and Nazareth... is Palestinian.

      *deep, deep, deep sigh...*

  • 'This wall will fall' (the writing on the wall, at Ohio State)
  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • Hophmi: "Baseless accusation featuring false equivalency"

      Pamela: *Ignores troll*

    • “The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilize political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”

      I couldn't have put it better myself.

  • Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate
    • No Grindr dates in Hebron -- that's a new one to add to the list of grievances of oppressed Jewish Israelis in the Holy Land. God gave them the land AND the option to have a gay date WHENEVER AND WHEREVER THEY WANT. Seriously... what is up with that? Step it up, men of Hebron!

  • Battle over Maryland's anti-boycott Israel bill heats up
    • Speaking of suppression of free speech and thought -- exciting news from Florida.

      Prominent Rabbi Bruce Warshal wrote an article in a Florida newspaper about how he is "getting off the Hillel bandwagon" because of its egregious violations of free speech and thought in the interest of pleasing conservative donors -- who have turned it into "just another Zionist organization" with little to do with actual Judaism. Powerful words.

      link to touch.sun-sentinel.com

  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • Unfortunately I couldn't make it to Bethlehem for the conference, but I heard his talk was pretty disappointing, unfortunately. :(

      Still, I'm pretty shocked he even went at all.

    • Here's the most exciting thing I've heard in a while: The president or Oral Roberts University here in Tulsa will be speaking at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem this month!

      Why is that so exciting? Well, Oklahoma is the buckle of the Bible Belt, and Oral Roberts University is perhaps the little diamond in the center of the buckle. Full-on conservative Christian heartland stuff. I would never in a million years have expected their president to attend such a conference this early in the game:

      link to christatthecheckpoint.com

      Now that I live in Tulsa (we just moved here from New York), I expect to get in touch and hopefully give some talks on the ORU campus to help bring around some of the students and faculty as well.

      Moving right along!

      P.S. Anyone in the Kentucky/Ohio/Tennessee area, I'm coming through in the next couple of weeks on a book tour. Would love to see some Mondo readers along the way. Here's the schedule:

      link to fasttimesinpalestine.wordpress.com

      I'll also be at the Sabeel conference in Portland in early April. I'd love to see some of you there, too!

      link to mideastpeace.net

  • House delivers for AIPAC, 410-1, passing Israel as 'strategic partner' bill
    • “Israel has… never been as strong as it is now. Think of Israel’s economic dynamism, its entrepreneurial spirit, innovative culture, and you get a better sense of why there is so strong a bond between the United States and Israel... It’s this dynamic economy and society that are building blocks for Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge and its relationship with the U.S. The U.S. benefits when Israel is strong. This legislation stands by our values; stands by our interests; and stands by Israel.”

      What a bunch of flipping baloney. Since when are we such f**king cave men?

      What happened to the days when we worshipped anything but raw power and economic might? It seemed there in the 90's we might make a little turn toward that direction. Then came Dubya, and we lost all our brain cells.

      Disgustappointing. (Disgusting + disappointing.)

  • National summit to re-assess the special relationship -- Friday in D.C.
  • Penn Hillel pushes Birthright-like trip for non-Jewish students
    • Um, no -- I was not suggesting the Israeli embassy would have any interest in that whatsoever. Rather, people who support justice and peace in the region based on equality. We need to step up our game as much as we can.

    • I wonder if someone could raise a few hundred dollars to send these student leaders copies of Goliath, The General's Son, Fast Times in Palestine, and/or etc...? I can get mine out at wholesale prices. Wish I could afford to just distribute them free myself, a la Alan Dershowitz.

  • 'NYT' buries Amnesty International call to suspend arms to Israel in 5th paragraph, page A9
    • "Real shocking that your a big fan of a guy who was denied entry into the US because of his ties to terrorist organization."

      Oh man, that's some funny stuff right there. Thanks for the Saturday morning cartoon, Shuki. :)

  • Memo to Ramaz: UN high school students heard Khalidi speak, and survived
    • It's interesting the visceral reaction I had when I learned the students learned Israeli AND Palestinian folkdancing, and there was a real debate in front of them by real people with real differences of opinion.

      I thought, "Holy crap, they actually let Palestinians have a say and a voice, too!" It's so rare. Israeli speakers/programs so rarely allow any kind of contradiction to their Israel-only narrative. And then, of course, they bray to the heavens when a supporter of international law and justice in the region dares to speak somewhere without an Israeli narrative minder. Hey, it's the only time they can get a word in edgewise!

  • Sheldon Adelson to honor Sean Penn at neocon ball
    • Not particularly relevant, but I've always loathed Sean Penn as an actor. He never disappears into his characters. Whenever I see him in a movie, all I can think is, "Hey, look at Sean Penn acting." He chews up the scenery for little good effect, and he seems pompous for absolutely no reason at all. I have no idea why he's so venerated. To me he's just an emperor with no clothes.

  • Israel arrests Palestinian journalist for writing on Facebook: 'occupied Jerusalem'
    • The article never said it was Yasser Abed Rabbo. There's more than one person with the surname "Abed Rabbo" in Palestine. Do you actually have any idea who this particular Mr. Abed Rabbo is?

      I don't, but I'm not the one making categorial statements about him.

  • 'NY Times' and 'LA Times' run op-eds by an AIPAC board member without telling readers
    • When they actually do allow comments, because the reader-recommended comments are usually much more accurate than the articles themselves. They apparently don't enjoy being humiliated in that manner. Very cowardly.

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • It was just a general impression -- which could have been colored by the fact that I was still in the turbulent rage stage about what I had witnessed in Palestine and how I had been lied to about it all my life. He might have found me tiresome because I was still a rank newbie.

      In any case, he was kind to meet with me and address some of my questions -- and to allow me to audit his class even though I was no longer a student. I did learn a lot. But I was disappointed by how Palestinians were barely an afterthought.

    • When I got back from Palestine the first time, in early 2004, I spent six months just cramming my head with as much information as I could about the conflict and its history -- I had a lot of catching up to do, as I had known virtually nothing before I visited Palestine.

      I audited Prof. Zipperstein's class on the history of Zionism, and I was amazed that Palestinians were almost totally ignored in the class and the readings. As if they had never existed, had never been an issue. Once you leave the Palestinians out of the equation, Zionism sounds pretty nice in a lot of ways. It was easy to see how people could be seduced by a laughably incomplete narrative.

      I spoke with him in person, and his views were somewhat more nuanced than his class. But I remember him seeming to feel I was tiresome with my uncomfortable questions. I was still pretty ignorant about a lot of things, but one would hope a professor would welcome a young person coming in with burning questions. (In general, in fact, I did not find this to be the case at Stanford -- the big-deal profs were largely disappointing in that respect, with some shining exceptions.)

      Anyway, it's kind of a blast from the past to see his name popping up a few times lately. Glad he's willing to follow at least some difficult truths to see where they lead. Hopefully pretty soon he'll go all the way...

  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
    • Did you even read the article? This point was specifically addressed.

      Not to mention it's stupid to compare people who love Israel and want to help it with a little tough love to people who hate or are against something. Israel "vs." David Harris-Gershon is hardly comparable to Muslims vs. Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Evangelicals vs. Richard Dawkins. Or do you honestly not realize that?

  • Revealed: Right-wing group StandWithUs' strategy to combat Israel Apartheid Week

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