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Total number of comments: 66 (since 2011-09-28 13:44:16)

Phan Nguyen

Phan Nguyen lives in New York and has a Twitter account: @Phan_N

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  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
  • How Salaita’s critics have distorted the Salaita report
    • Thanks for the comments, Peter. The August 2 date is intentional, though August 1 could apply as well. The letter signed by Wise and Pierre indicating that Salaita's appointment would not be submitted to the board was dated August 1.

      However, FOIA documents reveal that Wise did not email the letter to Salaita until August 2.

    • Hophmi: “And as usual with Phan’s writing, he takes an inadvertent mistake like a misquote and ascribes a bad faith reason to it.”

      This is a misquote:

      The failure to call for restoration of position was based, in part, on the Committee finding “legitimate concerns.”

      This is a misquote + bad faith:

      The failure to call for restoration of position was based, in part, on the Committee finding “legitimate concerns” about whether Salaita’s anti-Israel (and some say anti-Semitic) tweets reflected on Salaita’s professional fitness, competence and care since his scholarship is “almost indistinguishable from a political purpose.” That political purpose, of course, is the destruction of Israel.

  • Caroline Glick melts down with European diplomats
  • Reading Salaita in Illinois—by Way of Cary Nelson (part 1)
    • Nurit: When I wrote that “this third ‘bad tweet’ is so silly that I considered excluding it—except that I would then be accused of ignoring an inconvenient tweet,” I had you in mind.

      You write:

      “Go missing” isn’t a euphemism. It means disappearing under suspicious circumstances: it can mean kidnapped AND/OR killed.

      If it’s not a euphemism, then “go missing” means go missing. Anything else is reading more than what’s there.

      Beyond that, you’re treating a wish as if it were reality, and thus you argue, “Well, in real life, you can’t just ‘go missing.’ You have to go somewhere. Therefore they’ve been kidnapped!”

      The only problem is this: In a wish, you can just “go missing.” You don’t have to go anywhere because IT’S. NOT. REAL.

      If I wish for a million dollars, I am not suggesting that I steal from someone, print more money, or exploit people and resources. It’s merely a wish. Some stuffy party pooper can then argue, “But if you have a million dollars, it has to come from somewhere!” That’s what makes them a stuffy party pooper.

      Just to confirm, Cary Nelson previously stated, “Although I was not involved in the process and did not communicate my views to the administration, I want to say why I believe the decision not to offer him a job was the right one.”

      I never said otherwise.

      Also, the fact that Salaita condemned some acts of anti-Semitism does not absolve him of the charge of anti-Semitism.

      The fact that you can’t see that this is a circular argument means there is nothing more to say.

  • How many people have died from Gaza rockets into Israel?
    • “Mongoweiss,” if you ever get around to reading the article, pay close attention to the following details:

      1. The table at the very top, listing five of the names that you claim are missing.

      2. The title of the article: “How many people have died from Gaza rockets into Israel?”

      3. The table heading: “Fatalities from rocket and mortar attacks in Israel from the Gaza Strip”

      4. The content of note #1, stating that the list does not include “Palestinians killed by rocket or mortar misfire in the Gaza Strip.

      5. The content of note #2, stating that the list does not include “People killed by Gaza rockets and mortars targeted inside the Gaza Strip...”

      6. The explanation in note #2: “They were not aimed inside Israel. They also do not form part of the rhetoric that rockets and mortars from Gaza constitute an ‘existential threat’ to Israel.”

      Any and all of the above disqualifies your criticism. Nevertheless, though I was not obligated to, I did reference the six remaining individuals you cite, and more—just not by name:

      In Gaza settlements and the Erez Industrial Zone, rocket and mortar attacks inflicted eight civilian fatalities: three Israeli Jews, three foreign laborers from Thailand and China, and two Palestinian laborers from Khan Younis.

      Additionally there were two IDF fatalities in Gaza settlements, including a soldier killed while on his way to guard duty in Kfar Darom and a soldier killed at an IDF outpost in the Morag settlement.

      In other words, every single fatality you name has been accounted for.

      I did all of this nearly two years ago when I published the first rocket fatality list, and it is reflected here as well.

      As you are wrong on every count, are you prepared to acknowledge your sloppy errors and apologize?

    • Hi, Jon. In this particular post I have kept analysis to a minimum, so you are free to interpret the data however you want.

      As for your question about why Daniel Viflic is not included in the table, I explain the reasoning clearly in note 3. His death does not fall into the rhetoric of Gaza rockets and mortars. The weapon is different, its use is rare, and Iron Dome is not designed to intercept it. The range is more limited, it does not trigger an air-raid siren, and it is generally not evoked as part of the rocket/mortar threat.

      Classifications are only relevant to the extent that one attempts to make a point or identify a pattern for analysis. However, if it gives you peace of mind to interpret Viflic as a rocket/mortar fatality, that is certainly your perogative, and you are welcome to add one to the total count.

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • Chomsky does not outright oppose BDS as a tactic. Note the carefully (but nevertheless ambiguously) worded conclusion:

      [T]hose who are sincerely dedicated to the Palestinian cause should avoid illusion and myth, and think carefully about the tactics they choose and the course they follow [my emphases].

      Chomsky has long occupied a vague space in relation to the BDS movement, with one foot in the door. He has continued to offer support for divestment from US-based companies that prop up the occupation, and though he does offer a roughly different set of goals to work for, he doesn’t offer tactical alternatives.

      Chomsky should be faulted for attacking the specifics of BDS—primarily for their specificity—and then subtituting them with uncertain conclusions and the vaguest of prescriptions (“Think carefully”).

      In many ways it is typical of an academic who is distanced from activism—a charge he himself has often confessed to.

      His analysis of South Africa is also simplistic and misleading, though that’s tangential here.

  • Bait-and-switch anti-Semitism: NYU SJP accused of targeting Jews, or not
    • Tree, you're correct that I didn't directly address Adkins's arguments in support of house demolitions. I felt that would have made the article much longer, and since so much material on house demolitions is readily available, I decided to focus on matters specific to this case.

      I had actually removed some material criticizing Adkin for citing the NBER study, which she obviously hadn't read, while ignoring the IDF's own determination that punitive house demolitions are ineffective (to say nothing about how it's immoral). The NBER study was written by three Israeli economists, wasn't peer reviewed, and employed unique methodology that I felt left open too many variables while providing such narrow conclusions. I pretty much share the same concerns about the study that you cite.

      And of course Israeli house demolitions performed today are not even alleged to serve a deterrent purpose. It hasn't been the case for years, so her argument is moot.

  • Southern Poverty Law Center takes Blumenthal's side against smear campaign
    • One thing that should be clarified—because I’ve seen the error repeated in a few places outside of the smear-Blumenthal campaign—is that there was not a “handful” of posts by the Kansas shooter approvingly citing Blumenthal.

      Out of 12,693 posts to the VNN forum attributed to the shooter, the detractors found a single post mentioning Blumenthal—a success rate of 0.0079 percent.

      Not only does that fail to suggest, both quantitatively and qualitatively, a connection between Blumenthal and the shooter—much less the shooter’s actions—it also suggests that the original accuser, Ron Radosh or whoever, had set out looking for something, anything, to tie Blumenthal to the shooter, rather than discovering a reference to Blumenthal while in the process of seeking out the shooter’s real motives and inspiration.

      The fact that so many detractors sought to connect Blumenthal to the shooter but could find nothing further—reverting to even more imprecise linkages just to boost the quantity—demonstrates how tenuous and contrived the connection is.

      It also demonstrates how more concerned the detractors are about Max Blumenthal than they are about anti-Semitic violence being committed against Jews in the United States.

  • Removal of Barnard Palestine solidarity banner was discriminatory act of censorship
    • This evokes the case of Abramowitz v. Boston University from the mid-1980s. Yosef Abramowitz was an anti-apartheid activist and BU student who hung a “Divest” banner from his dorm window, for which he was evicted from his dorm. He took BU to court and won, establishing a precedent for free speech on US college campuses.

      The BU president at the time was the notorious John Silber, who was staunchly opposed to BDS against South Africa. In the same period, he authorized the arrests of student activists who had set up a mock shantytown on the campus square. BU’s assistant dean was Ron Goldman, an expatriate white South African who led a campaign for BU to award an honorary degree to Gatsha Buthelezi, leader of the KwaZulu bantustan, opponent of South African BDS, rival to the ANC, and collaborator to the apartheid government.

      Anyway, in addition to fighting apartheid, Abramowitz was also a strong supporter of Israel. In response to anti-apartheid activists drawing connections between South Africa and Palestine/Israel, he wrote a factually challenged pamphlet for B’Nai Brith/Hillel called “Jews, Zionism & South Africa,” which attempted to downplay Israel’s ties to South Africa and claim that Arab states had stronger ties to South Africa than Israel had.

      Abramowitz eventually settled in Israel, became a wealthy entrepreneur, and currently opposes college divestment campaigns against Israel.

  • Ohio State Hillel member calls Desmond Tutu a 'neo Nazi' for criticizing Israel
  • It sure pays to support Israel!
    • Unfortunately the Forward figures are inconsistent and misleading. In many cases, the column labeled “2012 Salary” displays salaries for 2011 or even 2010. Clicking on individual names in the Forward table will lead to separate pages that note this discrepancy.

      However, outdated figures are provided even in cases where more recent figures are publicly available.

      The salary for Abe Foxman has been adjusted by the Forward without any indication. Foxman is paid for a 20-hour work week, so the Forward has doubled this (originally $344,140, but reported by the Forward as $688,280) in order to compare his salary to those who work 40 hours. At the same time, this reported pay is based on the 2011 figure, not 2012.

      According to the most recent ADL tax filings, Foxman received a total reportable compensation of $1,866,965 for 2012, while maintaining an average 20-hour work week. This amount includes the 2012 “actuarial value” of a supplemental executive retirement plan.

  • Neocon attack group uses health care debacle to say Obama can't be trusted on Iran
    • Mort Klein of the ZOA recently made a similar comparison:

      President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated for more than five years—since before he was elected President—that he will “never, never” allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. He has also repeatedly stated that, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.”

      The ZOA is deeply concerned that his Iranian pledge is as untrue as his health care pledge.

  • Max Blumenthal responds to latest critique of his book, in the 'Forward'
    • Thanks for the correction!

      I was trying to copy and paste from the Hebrew text without my computer flipping the order to left-to-right. In the process of reassembling the words, I got tripped up by the hyphen that appeared in the original and lost ha-idi—. I should have caught that.

    • Max Blumenthal’s article above links to a tweet of mine that points out some flaws in Alterman’s fourth attack piece. That single tweet references some earlier statements that I had tweeted. I didn’t intend to go into detail because pointing out everything wrong about Eric Alterman is very time consuming, but I’ll elaborate on the three points of my tweet here:

      Some (but not all) of the flaws in Eric Alterman’s fourth piece against Max Blumenthal’s Goliath

      Point one:

      As for the Manekin/Blumenthal claim that “almost no Jews outside of Israel knew who [Yeshayahu] Leibowitz was when he was alive,” this is just nonsense. Leibowitz served as editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Hebraica, read by countless Jews all over the world.

      Charles Manekin—a.k.a. Jerry Haber, the “Magnes Zionist”—wrote an entire response to Alterman’s misinterpretation of Yeshayahu Leibowitz. As Haber pointed out, Alterman confuses the Encyclopedia Hebraica with the Encyclopedia Judaica. The former, being a Hebrew-language encyclopedia, was certainly not “read by countless Jews all over the world.”

      This negates Alterman’s argument in two ways:

      1. Since Leibowitz was not editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Judaica, one cannot employ this argument to claim that he was “read by countless Jews all over the world.”

      2. The fact that Alterman doesn’t really know who was (or were) behind the Encyclopedia Judaica also means that being the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Judaica does not automatically make you well-known to “Jews all over the world.”

      Point two:

      Blumenthal adds that he does not understand why I would concede that his book is “mostly technically accurate” but remain so critical. He is, apparently, unfamiliar with the concept of “context.” It might be technically accurate, for instance, to say that an individual who fatally shoots a crazed killer while said killer is mowing down schoolchildren with an assault-weapon is a “murderer.” But it would also be profoundly misleading, given the context.

      In this case, a technical application would refer to where technicality is most likely to be applied: in the court of law. “Murderer” is not the “technically accurate” term for the perpetrator of Alterman’s hypothetical scenario, since the technical application of the term “murder” presupposes malice aforethought. Yet Alterman’s example indicates lack of malice and presumably also lack of premeditation.

      The technically accurate term for the act committed may depend on jurisdiction, but if the subject of Alterman’s example were to be tried in court for “murder,” they could be acquitted on the grounds of “justifiable homicide,” or “self-defense” or “defense of others.” At the least, the mere lack of malice aforethought would limit charges to “involuntary manslaughter.” But given Alterman’s all-important context, a fair prosecutor should not even charge this individual to begin with.

      A “murderer” in the technical sense is one who has committed “murder.” The subject of Alterman’s scenario would not be found guilty of “murder.”

      In other words, Alterman’s example undermines his contention that “technical accuracy” does not account for context. In fact, his example proves that technical accuracy is wholly dependent on context.

      Yes, Alterman could retort that he was not referring to “murder” in the legal sense. But if that were the case, then Alterman’s application of the term “murderer” would be a casual or colloquial label—clearly making it less than “technically accurate”—and again undermining his argument.

      I do not necessarily disagree with Alterman that technical accuracy cannot account for all context. But here, Alterman clearly produced an example that countered his own argument.

      Point three:

      Blumenthal then goes on to object to the fact that I find his description of Berl Katznelson as “Labor Zionism’s chief ideologue” to be “a title that exists exclusively in the author’s imagination.” He writes that ... Katznelson has been described in “almost identical fashion by everyone from Israeli President Shimon Peres to Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld to Israeli writer Amos Oz.” Alas, “almost” is a big word here, (almost as big as “everyone”). If in fact the quotes are accurate, Blumenthal, who does not himself speak Hebrew (!) and whose source notes are almost entirely in English, is citing three Hebrew speakers.

      There is no doubt here that Alterman is deliberately attempting to mislead his readers.

      Alterman strongly implies that Blumenthal is referrring to sources in Hebrew. And according to Alterman, since Blumenthal does not speak Hebrew, he is therefore not qualified to cite from Hebrew.

      Alterman’s suggestion that the sources are in Hebrew is solely based on the fact that Peres, Van Creveld, and Oz all speak Hebrew. Alterman does not even allow for the fact that these three also speak English. If Alterman had bothered to check Blumenthal’s sources (and Blumenthal was citing an article of mine), he would find that all the sources were in English, not Hebrew.

      I had provided six sources, all of which were in English. (I could have provided more, but I thought six was enough. Apparently not for Alterman.) I cited Martin van Creveld’s The Land of Blood and Honey, which was written in English. I cited Shlomo Ben-Ami’s Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, a book published in English based on lectures that were given in English. I cited Shimon Peres in his Ben Gurion: A Political Life, which was published in English. I cited Oxford University professor Derek Penslar, who was writing in English. The Amos Oz book I cited was from Hebrew articles that were compiled and translated into English. I cited an article by Ansel Pfeffer in Haaretz English, but the original Hebrew version said the same thing:

      אולוג הראשי של המפלגה

      Yet Alterman dismisses all of these sources based on the false suggestion that they were in Hebrew—which would not have proven his case anyway.

      Alterman continues:

      None of them used the phrase Blumenthal did, which is a good thing, because, in English at least, which is the language in which Blumenthal seeks to communicate, it makes no sense. Any pronouncement that unironically employs the term “chief ideologue” with regard to a non-hierarchical political philosophical movement is by definition foolishly reductive and literally false.

      Alterman is absolutely wrong. Derek Penslar used the exact same phrase—“chief ideologue.” So did Anshel Pfeffer in the English version of his article. Martin van Creveld wrote “ideologue in chief,” which is basically the same thing. The others cited expressed the same sentiment as Blumenthal: “principle ideologue,” “main ideologue,” etc.

      The facts were laid out for Alterman, in plain English, one-to-two hyperlink clicks away. Yet Alterman deliberately pretended not to notice them, instead stating, “If in fact the quotes are accurate,” as if he was unable to see them—and therefore absolving him of the responsibility to acknowledge or contest them.

      In other words, Alterman’s response to Blumenthal’s argument and mine was to stick his fingers in his ears, and say, “No it isn’t! Nyah, nyah, I’m not listening!”

    • When Goldberg’s piece first appeared in The Forward, I attempted several times to add a comment, since he had misrepresented my article along with Max Blumenthal’s book. For whatever reason, I was not allowed to comment on the article, though I have been able to comment in The Forward previously. Below is what I wanted to say.


      J.J. Goldberg cites an article I wrote as follows:

      One blogger, writing at the anti-Zionist group blog, where Blumenthal is a regular contributor, questioned Alterman’s right to call himself a critic of Israel, since he sometimes defends it.

      This is ridiculous and puerile. At no point did I deny that Alterman has been a critic of Israel. Nor did I ever create an imaginary rule that a critic of Israel cannot “sometimes defend it.”

      Instead, it is Alterman himself who admits to imposing limits on his criticisms of Israel by prioritizing “Israeli security over Palestinian rights”—and as I pointed out, that false inverse relationship between “Israeli security” and “Palestinian rights” undermines his ability to be a conscientious critic of Israel.

      In other words, Alterman himself points out the limitations of his criticisms of Israel.

      Yet Goldberg missed the point of what I wrote because he was relying on Alterman’s equally misleading and self-serving interpretation of what I wrote.

      Goldberg even attacks the “left-wing blogosphere” for calling Alterman a “liberal Zionist”—perhaps unaware that Alterman calls himself a liberal Zionist.

      Moreover, Goldberg focuses on Alterman’s spelling error—as Alterman also does—in order to bypass the more egregious errors, such as Alterman’s fabricating of quotes and incidents from Blumenthal’s book.

      It is no wonder, then, that Goldberg also mangles a quote by Blumenthal.

      Details, which both Goldberg and Alterman have conveniently ignored, can be found in the two articles I recently wrote on Mondoweiss.

  • 'The Nation' tries to balance pro- and anti-Israel voices inside the lib-left
    • Alterman has indeed spent time in Palestine and Israel. He reported from there during the first intifada—or at least he wrote a so-so “balanced” story for the magazine of the American Jewish Committee. A couple of ridiculous excerpts:

      While Zionism is unquestionably one of the greatest success stories in modern history, it suffered from one fatal flaw: It did not account for the fact that there were ... over 650,000 people, mostly Arabs, already living in Palestine ...

      If we take that “one fatal flaw” into account, how can Zionism be “unquestionably one of the greatest success stories in modern history”—unless it’s from the viewpoint of the only ones who are allowed to question Zionism—i.e., Zionists.

      Ever since large numbers of Jews had begun arriving in Palestine in the late 1880s, the Arab inhabitants of Palestine had resisted the growth of their power, and many thousands of people on both sides have since died because of the inability of the two sides to reach a compromise...

      Because the indigenous population must always “reach a compromise” with the foreign settlers who seek to supplant them—and their failure to compromise makes them responsible for their own deaths.

      Alterman’s problem is not lack of exposure to the issue but rather due to something he clearly stated himself. In 2002, he wrote an article for MSNBC in which he classified dozens of US commentators into three categories that supposedly indicated whether they favored the Israeli side or the Palestinian side. The categories themselves were B.S. The only thing valuable about the article was how Alterman viewed himself. He placed himself in the closest thing to a neutral category, which he labeled as those

      likely to criticize both Israel and the Palestinians, but view themselves to be critically supporters of Israel, and ultimately, would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights. [emphasis mine]

    • Alterman:

      I don’t want people to have the impression that the reflexive anti-Zionism of some of [the Nation’s] contributors is its only voice on the issue...

      At least concerning Alterman’s voice, I thought that was already settled when he wrote an atrocious defense of Israel for MSNBC on July 23, 2002. Here’s the setting:

      On July 22, 2002, the Israeli military dropped a one-ton bomb on a Gaza City home in order to extrajudically assassinate one person, Salah Shehade. As one would reasonably expect, the bomb ended up killing much more than Shehade. Shehade’s wife and daughter were killed, along with a dozen other people in the neighborhood. Additionally, dozens of people were wounded and several houses were destroyed from the bombing.

      The following day, on the MSNBC website, Alterman wrote about the bombing:

      …I don’t have a moral problem with it.

      Hamas is clearly at war with Israel. Hamas feels empowered to strike Israeli civilians inside Israel proper and not just on the war zone of West Bank. Sheik Salah Shehada could have protected his family by keeping away from them. He didn’t and owing to his clear legitimacy as a military target, they are dead too.

      So tough luck, fella.

      War is hell.

      In other words, Alterman justified the bombing with the following three points:

      1. Since Hamas targeted Israeli civilians, the Israeli military had the right to kill Palestinian civilians.

      2. It was Shehada’s fault for living with his family that resulted in his family being killed by Israel.

      3. “War is hell.”

      The following day, Alterman backtracked, but not really:

      I think I better apologize for the words “tough luck” at the end of yesterday’s entry. They are inappropriate in a situation where so many innocents, including children, were killed. When I wrote them, I was as yet unaware of the extent of the civilian damage caused by the Israeli missile attack.

      I still think my principle holds as to the ultimate responsibility for the death of Sheik Salah Shehada’s family. As for the others hurt and injured, well, I can argue it either way. It’s a tough call.

      Alterman was sorry for saying “tough luck” when he realized that it wasn’t just Shehada’s wife and daughter who were killed along with Shehada. Beyond that, “it’s a tough call.”

      Note also that while Alterman starts out admitting that “so many innocents, including children, were killed,” he later downplays it when he seeks to claim that those killings are “a tough call” that can be “argue[d]…either way.” At that point, in order to make the deaths more palatable, he refers to those deaths merely as “others hurt and injured”—which is not only a misleading understatement but also redundant.

      The “others hurt and injured” included Ayman Raed Matar (2 years old), Dina Raed Matar (less than a year old), Dunia Raed Matar (5 years old), Muhammad Raed Matar (4 years old), Muhammad Mahmoud al-Huti (3 years old), Subhi Mahmoud al-Huti (5 years old), and Alaa Muhammad Matar (11 years old)—all of whom were not just “hurt and injured,” but killed.

  • Questions about the Alice Walker case
    • This also evokes the time Desmond Tutu was disinvited from speaking at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota out of respect for “the Jewish community.” After much public pressure, Tutu was re-invited, but only “to participate in a forum to foster constructive dialogue on the issues that have been raised.” Tutu turned it down and spoke elsewhere.

      Two years later, the ADL called on Michigan State University to also disinvite Tutu. Although MSU didn’t disinvite Tutu, its president essentially apologized and promised to "work with our Jewish Studies Program, MSU Hillel, and the broader Michigan Jewish community" to "hear alternate points of view.”

      Yet in neither instance was Tutu even scheduled to speak about Palestine/Israel.

  • (Updated) For calling Israeli speaker a war criminal, Boca Raton school forces 3 students to take 'reeducation' program from Zionist org
  • Some thoughts on the 10-year anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie
    • Good to hear from you, Kevin! I saw some footage of your exploits on the Mavi Marmara. When I last vistited ‘Azza—a long time ago—the Abu S. family were asking about you.


    • Thanks, Phil. Sorry for the confusion. I'll get the caption corrected.

  • NYC coalition calls on elected officials to stop fueling Islamophobia and suppressing criticism of Israel
    • Hophmi, I don’t know who you are. All I know is that you feel obliged to respond to almost every single Mondoweiss posting by writing, “No, you’re wrong.”

      Sometimes I wonder if you just look forward to the latest Mondoweiss installment so that you have another opportunity to post a “No you’re wrong” comment. I think every Mondoweiss piece should automatically be appended with a Hophmi comment that says, “No you’re wrong.”

      As always, you make several assertions and provide no proof:

      “The JCRC is fairly moderate on Israel. Hindy Poupko is on record strongly supporting the two-state solution; she’s their direction of Israel and International Affairs.”

      1. You imply that the JCRC’s Director of Israel & International Affairs is in charge of deciding the JCRC’s positions on Israel—in contravention to the JCRC’s mission statement, which is declared in its mandatory filings as a registered 501(c)(3). Now prove it.

      2. Explain why it is “moderate” to take US politicians on trips to illegal settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

      3. If your view of “moderate” is supporting a two-state solution, then you can call me moderate as well, because I would support a two-state solution under the right circumstances.

      “It’s like saying Phan’s BDS campaign was not grassroots (which, of course, it wasn’t) because it was organized by the national BDS movement.”

      1. Explain which BDS campaign and provide proof.

      2. Quite amusingly, by inserting the parenthetical note, you managed to contradict your own analogy.

      “[H]is claim that they “organized against free speech at Brooklyn College” is repeated here. It is a lie, pure and simple.”

      What I am quoted in the press release as having said is a paraphrase of what I actually said at the press conference. My views on the role of the JCRC are explained in the article that you have failed to refute with actual proof.

      “Phan is bitter because he lost the Coop vote...Let him complain. He’s not actually getting anything substantive done...Phan seems to be sore...Phan is bitter. He is a bitter loser...”

      There is no better response to this than to just quote it. And so I have.

  • Now it's 'Palestinians Only' buses (60 years after Montgomery)
    • Here are the stated rationales for the additional buses, as quoted in the Ynet article:

      The bus lines in question are meant, according to the ministry, to transport Palestinian workers from the West Bank to central Israel. The ministry alleges that the move is meant to ease the congestion felt on bus lines used by Jews in the same areas...

      [Bus company] Afikim issued a statement saying that, “This plan aims to ease travel for Palestinian passengers and offer a solution that counters pirate bus companies that charge exorbitant prices. As for any question about removing Palestinian passengers from buses – that has to be addressed by the enforcement and security bodies.”

      The Transportation Ministry issued the following statement: “The new lines are not separate lines for Palestinians but rather two designated lines meant to improve the services offered to Palestinian workers who enter Israel through Eyal Crossing...The new lines will reduce congestion and will benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

      That’s what they say now, but last August, this was reported:

      [Afikim CEO Ben-Hur] Akhvat also mentions that the company regularly receives complaints from Jewish passengers who don’t wish to see Palestinians on the bus. “We are in ongoing negotiations with authorities regarding a possible alternative solution to the problem,” he says.

      And last November:

      All the same, Ron Nachman, the mayor of the West Bank settlement of Ariel, has announced on his Facebook page that he has spoken with the army, police and Transportation Ministry about “stopping Palestinians from boarding the buses that go to Ariel.”

      “All of them are working on this problem, and we hope that they will soon find a solution to the reality that is bothering our people,” he wrote.

      So it’s interesting that when planning becomes reality, the rationale suddenly changes.

  • The controversy over the Oscars joke that Jews run Hollywood
  • Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks
    • "Whether it’s one a year or ten, it represents the same threat."

      I wasn't going to respond anymore, but this is classic Hophmi:

      1. The IDF creates an infographic stressing particular numbers to support an argument.

      2. I demonstrate that the numbers are absolutely wrong.

      3. You defend the IDF and its infographic by claiming that my own numbers are incorrect, and you provide alternate numbers based on a totally different category of your own choosing, which matches neither my own numbers nor the IDF's.

      4. I ask you to prove what the IDF numbers mean.

      5. Now you say that the numbers don't matter.

      It proves a point I was wanting to make: It's a numbers game until the numbers don't work in Israel's favor; then numbers are irrelevant.

    • “I assume you seem to think...”

      No I don’t. That’s why you’re not worth anwering.

    • “Nowhere on the infographic does it say that all deaths were directly caused by a fired rocket.”

      Then please explain to me what the numbers refer to. Since you’ve been checking the fatality numbers as well, please explain how the infographic comes up with those exact numbers.

      Unless you can do so, there’s no point of continuing this discussion, because so far your argument has been based on your qualifier, “For me...,” which in this case is the equivalent of “Because I say so.”

    • I pointed it out in part to refute Michael Oren's rhetoric that the rockets are a genocidal threat to the Jewish people. It is also useful to emphasize the completely nondiscriminatory nature of the rocket attacks, which undermines the claims that the rockets target Jewish children or kindergartens or whatever the latest baseless rhetoric is.

      Anyway, you should direct your concerns to Ma'ariv, which took the picture of an East Asian and presumably non-Jewish mother seeking shelter from rockets, and photoshopped her to make her appear Jewish.

      In Ma'ariv's world, non-Jewish victims of rocket attacks are insignificant. I wanted to restore some of the significance.

      I neither claimed nor implied that it mitigates a war crime.

    • Hophmi, you're changing the subject. You're talking about "Gaza-related deaths," whatever that means, which is not what the IDF infographic was depicting. My table refers to deaths resulting from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel. If you refer to the notes at the bottom of my article, I give clear details about what was included and what was excluded.

      If we go by the deaths you cite, then it becomes a circular argument similar to the circular arguments I point out at the end of the article. Do you really want to argue that the reason Israel initiated Operation Pillar of Cloud in 2012 was because a soldier was killed by a sniper in northern Gaza in Operation Cast Lead 2009?

      You're just embarrassing yourself.

    • Denis wrote:

      “I searched the IMFA site on ‘missiles’ and ‘rockets’ for the years 2006 to 2012 and came up with your numbers pretty closely. The two years I could not get exact agreement, 2006 and 2008, your figures were high (4 vs 2 in 2006 and 8 vs 4 in 2008), so the IMFA figures, if they are more accurate and if I didn’t miss something, would just emphasize your point even more.”

      The reason I came up with four rather than two fatalities in 2006 is because I included an incident where a Bedouin father and son were killed while handling an unexploded Qassam. Because the deaths were not the result of a rocket strike, they are not always included in figures. I included them because I consider deaths from unexploded ordnances as a continuation of the original deployment of the ordnances.

      As for 2008, four of the eight deaths occurred at the end of the year during Cast Lead. Those are sometimes counted separately either as part of Cast Lead fatalities or sometimes carried over to the year 2009.

      Hope that clears up the discrepencies.

  • Verdict in Corrie trial another test of Israeli impunity
    • In 2003, soon after Rachel was killed, Col. Pinky Zoaretz was asked about civilian deaths in Gaza. Zoaretz explained that “sometimes people get in the way of the bullets.”

      (I’m going by memory here, but it’s a near-exact quote. You can view the full response in the UK Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, “The Killing Zone.”)

  • Another morphing Muni ad and a hat tip to Ayn Rand
    • There’s also this Ayn Rand quote:

      The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it’s the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.

  • Honest broker? Israeli consulate sponsors Obama's former Middle East peace adviser at Stanford talk!
    • Phil wrote: “Oh and notice J Street standing with the David Project and Stand With Us. J Street fights its own delegitimization!”

      From a BDS debate on May 11, 2010:

      Rebecca Vilkomerson: “J Street took a position against that divestment resolution at Berkeley along with a long list of other organizations, including the David Project and the Anti-Defamation League and Stand With Us, which have been quite extreme in their tactics and rhetoric.”

      Jeremy Ben-Ami: “For the record, J Street will not be signing on to letters with organizations like that in group settings again. I won’t comment on going backward, but I will just say going forward you won’t find us signing on to letters like that.”

  • After LGBT forum, Oren will headline for notorious homophobic pastor John Hagee
  • Major Bay Area arts org worked closely with Israeli consul general to counter protests
    • Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor has his paws in everything in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest. Just in the last couple of years, he has done the following (that we know of):

      1. Claimed on Seattle conservative talk radio that he wanted to protect Olympia, Washington, from foreign influence.

      2. Then met in Olympia, Washington, with StandWithUs and future plaintiffs in the Olympia Food Co-op lawsuit, plus their lawyer, to discuss suing the co-op and filing a civil rights complaint against The Evergreen State College—and lying about it later that evening.

      3. Fought against divestment at UC Berkeley, both behind the scenes and in public. (Tor’s office had also been involved behind the scenes against The Evergreen State College divestment call and the Olympia Food Co-op boycott at the start of both initiatives.)

      4. Dispatched his second-in-command, Gideon Lustig, to Port Townsend in order to quash the food co-op BDS proposal there.

      5. Tried to act as a government minder to Ilan Pappe, seeking to speak alongside Pappe in Seattle.

      And now this story comes to light.

  • Jewish press concoct threat against 200 Jewish students in Florida university
    • Hophmi: “Some people just do not take your bullshit at face value.”


      “...and you know, we all applaud you for your investigation.”

      Now you’re toying with my emotions.

    • > “I don’t have to prove anything, since I’m not the one who commited fraud & misrepresntation.”

      Don’t worry. You haven’t proven anything.

      > “However, being that there is currently an investigation taking place by FAU & possibly the police since a death threat has taken place, I wouldn’t want to compromise the nvestigation.”

      The FAU investigation has been completed. And contrary to your claim that insider FAU sources assured you that 200 Jewish students were indeed targeted, this is what it concluded:

      We can confirm that, although the postings failed to comply with University policy and should not have been distributed as they were, we have found no evidence that the postings were intended to target or intimidate individuals of any particular religion, national origin or faith. All available evidence indicates that the postings were distributed randomly, without regard to the identity of any person who may have received or viewed them. [Emphasis in the original]

      It should be noted that in this statement, the administration still does not state which policy was not complied with. Nor does it state who is responsible for the noncompliance.

      > “I am an American. I was born in this country & no one has ever paid me a penny for making any statement writen or verbal.”

      Good for you. Why waste a penny?

      > “By the way, I did attempt to find any retractions to the artical from Ynet News for example & the only notation I located was 200 students as opposed to 200 Jewish students.”

      I suggest that in your next “attempt,” try the internet. Follow the link above where it says “see Google cached version.” Then read the text in the screenshot that Ynet provided from the Jewish Journal. Then read the Jewish Journal’s correction. Then read everything else that I have written.

      > “I said nothing about the Hillel Director being an expert. I said to contact him directly which is a lot different from mistating my comment.”

      Then what is the point of contacting the Hillel director? He is not an FAU student. No flier was posted on his door. And I have already quoted him as saying, “It was not 200 Jewish students targeted,” which is the exact opposite of what you wrote. With all that in mind, what question would you want me to ask of him?

      Robinseyes—if that really is your name—in light of everything above, are you willing to concede that you were wrong when you insisted that “Two-hundred students were specifically targeted for being Jewish”? If so, then why did you lie when you claimed you had special insider information? And if not, then why should I bother humoring you any more? Why should anyone believe anything you say?

    • I have only myself to blame for feeding the trolls. Since I already started with robinseyes, I have ventured too far down the path of inconsequence to turn back. So here goes...

      >> “First, I said nothing about a “Jewish media conspiracy.” That implies that all these media sources worked together to concoct the story. I never suggested that.”

      > This is your headline: “Jewish press concoct threat against 200 Jewish students in Florida university.”

      Read what I wrote again: I never said “conspiracy” because that would imply that all these media sources worked together. Point out where I suggested that all these media sources worked together to concoct the story. I compared it more to a game of “telephone,” with no subsequent Jewish media outlets going back to the primary source.

      The story was concocted, but it was not a conspiracy. There’s a difference.

      > There’s no evidence anyone concocted anything here. The only evidence is that one source made a mistake, and other outlets picked up the story with the same mistake in it.

      Alleging that SJP targeted more than 200 Jewish students via a headline, a lede, and a photo caption, along with quoting people who say it’s a “hate crime,” and interviewing the ADL and Hillel for responses creates an entire impression that is hard to misconstrue. And then having other Jewish-focused media pick up the story, adding no new reporting but somehow adding extra errors into the story—after the original story has already been corrected—is inexcusable, particularly for a story that merited skepticism from the start.

      Yet you are somehow willing to excuse it all to a “typo,” as you later claim.

      > Perhaps Rayna misspoke. Who knows? My guess is that the paper didn’t make up the claim perniciously.

      Okay, so you’re challenging my report based on the following arguments:

      “Who knows?”
      “My guess...”

      I never claimed perniciousness, but it doesn’t change the facts. If the reporter heard anyone make that accusation, then the reporter can follow up on it, but they cannot automatically accept it as fact.

      >> “I do not claim that the story was concocted out of thin air. Rather, I attribute it to willful negligence—not an honest mistake. ”

      > Based on what?

      Um, based on everything I wrote above.

      >> “How could SJP have known where “more than 200 Jewish students” lived? The Jewish Journal didn’t bother to ask.”

      > Who knows? Again, my guess is that it started either as a misprint or as a reporter mishearing a source or as a source misspeaking.

      “Who knows?”
      “My guess”

      Nothing you wrote above is a good excuse for any reporter: “Oops, we misheard someone saying he was going to commit a massacre, so we wrote an entire story around it. Turns out what he really said was that he was going to get his car washed. We regret the error.”

      A good reporter would explain exactly how they got the information that “more than 200 Jewish students” were targeted. Every subsequent news outlet would have to consider that before rehashing the story.

      > This is local media. It should not be a major surprise if someone is sloppy.

      “Hey, sure, I misreported. But this is local media. You surely can’t expect us to be professional, right? I only get paid enough to start rumors. Maybe when I’m in the big leagues (like Ynet), I’ll start reporting.”

      >> “Ynet conducted absolutely no investigation. ”

      > Yes, it’s par for the course in the online world where sources copy one another, which happens all the time.

      “Hey, we were only reprinting the story (and adding some extra false details of our own). Don’t blame us if our original source, The Onion, got it wrong. What? You want us to issue a correction now? Dude, we’re online!”

      >> “I have sent multiple emails to the Forward and to Ynet calling on them to correct their pieces. I have received no response.”

      > If you read the Forward regularly, you know their reporting in general is not sloppy. So my guess is that they will get around to it.

      Again with the “my guess.” JTA got around to it immediately. Other smaller news outlets that reprinted the JTA report have also issued corrections. The Forward hasn’t. A couple of weeks ago, I had a back-and-forth email conversation with a Forward editor who refused to correct a different piece that made a very serious claim of anti-Semitism that was absolutely false. The editor refused to issue a correction.

      >> “The fact that these news sources conducted no investigation before they rehashed a completely ridiculous story that was already retracted is not an honest mistake. It is willful negligence.”

      > Oh please. Do you ever read English-language Arab media sources? They reprint Holocaust denier op-eds all the time. Arab News is a prime culprit. I’m sure you don’t care as much about them.

      You’re changing the subject. Unless you are blaming this fake story on “English-language Arab media sources,” there is no point of bringing this up, regardless of whether your assertion is even true.

      > This is the nature of online news.

      “So we made up a story that lead to death threats. Give us a break. We’re online news! What, do you think we would report the truth? Pshaw! If you want the truth, read our print edition!”

      >> “Why did only the Jewish-focused news media report on this fake story and not the general mainstream media?”

      > Um, because the mainstream media is not a Jewish newspaper. Do Arab newspapers not report on Islamophobia?

      You’re getting really desperate now. You’re both changing the subject and justifying a fake report. Is it the obligation of a Jewish newspaper to reprint all fake stories about anti-Semitism?

      >> “It’s because the former have a vested interest in the story being true.”

      > What vested interest is that, and how is it different from any other ethnic reporting? Are you asserting that if there is a bigoted statement about Irish people, the Irish News doesn’t have a “vested interest” in reporting it?

      You’re losing it Hophmi. You’ve now abandoned the essential fact that the “bigoted statement” never happened. Misreporting is not an obligation of ethnic reporting.

      >> “Why did they not investigate further?”

      > Because they weren’t reporting on the story. They were copying another website’s story, which online sources do with AP copy all the time. I’m sure they would have gotten around to doing their own reporting at some point.

      In the meantime, just rewrite a fake story that had already been corrected, add a few more fake details, and publish it without care. If it turns out to be wrong, we can just blame it on another news outlet. Very professional.

      >> “When I first saw this story reported by JTA, my immediate reaction was skepticism, despite the fact that I had no reason to believe that JTA was lying. Why didn’t these news sources express their own skepticism, the way good professional reporters should?”

      > Because it was not their reportage. Isn’t it crystal clear? Yahoo News has their own reporters, as does the NY Times. Do you think they investigate every story they pull off the AP and Reuters wires?

      You’re full of contradictions now. They didn’t just “pull” the story “off the AP and Reuters wires.” They rewrote a story from another Jewish paper and included information that the originating paper had already retracted.

      Look at what you’ve written, Hophmi: You excuse local media for being naturally “sloppy.” Then you say it’s okay for bigger media to “pull” stories from these sloppy sources, when they actually rewrote the stories. Then you excuse everything for being “online news.” But then you brag that The Forward is professional. Then you justify it by saying it’s “ethnic reporting,” and so they’re obligated to print unsubstantiated (or in this case, retracted) rumors. Then you finally scream, “Look! Arabs!”

      > No, I read your entire piece. It’s pure bullshit. You’re simply making a tempest out of the teacup because YOU have a vested interest in arguing that “Jewish media” make up or enjoy reporting stories on antisemitism. YOU have a vested interest in pretending that Jewish students face no trouble at all on campus. YOU have enough of a vested interest that you spent hours and hours investigating this story to prove what may amount to little more than a typo (albeit an unfortunate one) that proliferated because the story was picked up by a few outlets who copied the story rather than doing their own reporting on it.

      You started out shooting yourself in the foot. You close by shooting yourself in the other foot.

    • You're late, Hophmi. I already noted this in the April 11 update at the top. Don't worry. I know you don't read my articles. You just like to criticize them. They issued a second retraction as well, and they have promised to note the correction in their next print edition. All of this is no thanks to enablers like you.

      Do me a favor and email Ynet to demand that they correct their story.

    • I don’t like to feed the trolls, but while I’m at it...

      First, I said nothing about a “Jewish media conspiracy.” That implies that all these media sources worked together to concoct the story. I never suggested that.

      Second, the Jewish Journal did not “misunderstand its source.” Where did they get the number 200? Did they count all the fliers? No. They got the number 200 from the SJP students or from the Sun Sentinel report. Moreover, SJP had explicitly stated that they “randomly“ placed these fliers on dorm room doors and in elevators. Where did they get the idea that 200 Jewish students were targeted? Definitely not from the SJP students. Did they get that from Rayna Exelbierd, whom they referred to as “one of more than 200 Jewish students in three dorms”? How would she know?

      I do not claim that the story was concocted out of thin air. Rather, I attribute it to willful negligence—not an honest mistake. You have to be deliberately sloppy or completely incompetent to conceive such a story. You have to suspend disbelief and want to believe it’s true in order to take such a story at face value without conducting further investigation.

      How could SJP have known where “more than 200 Jewish students” lived? The Jewish Journal didn’t bother to ask.

      > “Ynet, who clearly mistook the Jewish Journal for the Sun Sentinel because the Journal is published by the Sentinel. These things happen.”

      Ynet has known for four days now that their story is false. They still have not corrected it. Ynet Hebrew expressed a hint of skepticism at the very start but did not pursue this further and otherwise reported on the story as fact. Ynet conducted absolutely no investigation. By the time the Ynet article was published, the Jewish Journal had already removed references to “200 Jewish students.” Ynet also got the date wrong. This is unprofessional through and through.

      JTA conducted no investigation and reported on the story as is. To its credit, JTA issued an immediate correction.

      The Forward reprinted the JTA article and so far has not corrected it, even though JTA has already issued a correction.

      I have sent multiple emails to the Forward and to Ynet calling on them to correct their pieces. I have received no response.

      The Times of Israel partially corrected their story, removing one false reference but still keeping their misleading headline (“Pro-Palestinian group ‘evicts’ Jewish students”) and still falsely claiming that the fliers were posted at the start of Passover. They also did not note that they had partially corrected their story.

      Two days later, after they had already removed one reference to the false story, they repeated the lie again in yet another story.

      The fact that these news sources conducted no investigation before they rehashed a completely ridiculous story that was already retracted is not an honest mistake. It is willful negligence.

      Why did only the Jewish-focused news media report on this fake story and not the general mainstream media? It’s because the former have a vested interest in the story being true. Why did they not investigate further? Because then they might discover that it wasn’t true. I’m not saying it’s a completely conscious decision. That’s why I attribute it to willful negligence. That does not make it any better.

      When I first saw this story reported by JTA, my immediate reaction was skepticism, despite the fact that I had no reason to believe that JTA was lying. Why didn’t these news sources express their own skepticism, the way good professional reporters should?

      But then again, Hophmi, I don’t expect you to digest any of what I’ve just written. You won’t acknowledge any of it. Your nature is to just change the subject and make up something else about the article to complain about.

    • > robinseyes: “Why would I be trolling? It is a serious issue when students on any campus violate school policy.”

      If it is a serious issue, then you need to take all the information seriously. You demonstrated that you did not read my article carefully. You refer to “credible news agencies” that couldn’t (and still can’t) get the date of the event right. You tell me I should be talking to Hillel, when Hillel has already contradicted your assertions.

      Like most trolls, you have hardly acknowledged anything I have written in response to you. I have provided you with evidence. You have been unable to challenge or contradict me. At the same time, you refuse to accept that you have been mistaken in any way. You have not provided a single shred of evidence for your assertions—only hearsay from unidentified sources.

      You have not given me a reason why I should take you seriously.

      > “As to where I got my information? I called the school and spoke to different key people. You could do the same thing.”

      So you’re saying that the school adminstration knows that 200 Jewish students were targeted, even though:

      1. The students who posted the fliers deny it.

      2. The Jewish students themselves deny it.

      3. Non-Jewish students received the fliers.

      4. Housing staff accompanied the SJP students and have not made the allegations.

      5. The Hillel director, whom you previously considered an authority, has explicitly denied it.

      6. And the ONLY reported source that 200 Jewish students were targeted was the Jewish Journal, which has revised the article--twice now--to remove those references, and has stated that it will issue a correction in print. All subsequent allegations about “200 Jewish students” reference the report by the Jewish Journal and featured no original investigation.

      So despite all of that, we are now supposed to believe that you (whoever you are) have insider information that suggests otherwise, yet you refuse to identify your sources, simply referring to them as “different key people.”

      Don’t waste your time with skeptical me. I suggest you go straight to the Jewish Journal or the Sun Sentinel and give them the scoop. Or give it to Ynet. They’ll print anything.

      > “According to the FAU they have violated the polices. There are consequences to violating policies for all. It is clear you don’t think the students did anything wrong & that you don’t believe in consequences to ones actions.”

      The onus is not on me to prove the students did nothing wrong. Moreover, it is impossible for the students to defend themselves against charges that have not been announced. The onus is on the administration to state which policy or policies the students have violated. It is clear that you do not have this information, despite your access to “different key people.” Otherwise, you would have stated it by now.

      > “The copy of the notice that I recived from my child made a claim in extremely small lettering at the bottom of the page.”

      Echoing Annie’s question, are you saying that the notice depicted above is not the one that your child received? That image came straight from the ADL website.

      > “The majority of the people who I spoke with didn’t notice it initially & that includes 2 attorneys who are professional trained to read documents.”

      In this case, “initially” is a vague term. How many seconds before they did notice it? I’m sorry that your attorney friends were fooled into believing that a dorm room could be “SCHEDULED FOR DEMOLITION SHORTLY” by “NOT A REAL EVICTION NOTICE.”

      > “There is a right way & a wrong way. Simple as that. Its called clarity.”

      Yes, I highly recommend it.

    • Rusty Pipes, you have a point there. Hillel, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, employs “Israel Fellows,” young Israelis who are trained and then dispatched to various US campuses to promote Israel by schmoozing with college students, setting up Israel-themed events on or around college campuses, and fighting campus-based activism.

      These “Israel Fellows” don’t actually attend the colleges or universities that they are assigned to. They’re simply there to win over college students. In fact, there’s an Israel Fellow assigned to FAU.

      Sample link 1
      Sample link 2
      Sample link 3
      Sample link 4

    • robinseyes, where to begin? I am inclined to believe you are simply trolling.

      > “It’s not a make believe story. This was a deliberate act. Two-hundred students were specifically targeted for being Jewish, Fortunately or unfortuantely for the club SJP they determined which students to target by their last names. Thta is not random selection. Information provided by FAU representative.”

      You seem to know more about this than the SJP students or the Hillel students do. Please provide me with the name and title of this FAU representative.

      > “Well creating a false document that implies that FAU endorses the notice & creating phony seals based on legitimate sources is not acceptable.”

      Look at the mock eviction notice at the top of this page. Nowhere does it state that FAU endorsed the notice. The housing stamp on the bottom right corner merely indicates that housing accepts the flier as having met requirements for posting, and that was placed there by the housing department.

      > “Commiting fraud in this country at any level in all indsutries is a crime & no one seems to be speaking to that point with the exception of Palm Beach County. It was communicated to me by a FAU representative that a cease & desist order has been issued by the county against the club regarding the seal that was created & that the school was going to be meeting with the SJP club & its members yesterday.”

      If you bother to look at the mock eviction notice, you will see that next to the Palm Beach County seal is written, in bold and all caps, NOT A REAL EVICTION NOTICE. NOT AFFILIATED WITH COUNTY. This was obvious enough to the reporters at WPBF when they reported on the cease-and-desist order.

      > “The policies of FAU can easily be found in the student handbook. If the reporter was truely an investigative reporter he would have been able to find that out.”

      It is the responsibility of the FAU administration to identify which policies have been violated, which they have not yet stated. It is not my duty to find a policy on their behalf which they can then claim to have been violated. If I were to do so, then I would be putting words in the administration’s mouth. I don’t see how that would make me more professional.

      > “Furthermore, why didn’t this reporter who some of you have praised, why didn’t he contact the director of Hillel at FAU?”

      First, it was not necessary to call the Hillel office, as Hillel itself has not claimed that Jewish students were specifically targeted for the fliers.

      Regardless, I did put a call in to the Hillel office, although the office was closed at the time. Fortunately I was able to find the contact info for a Hillel intern, and she confirmed to me that the fliers were not targeting Jewish students. I write about it in the article above.

      Moreover, Scott Brockman, the executive of director of Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach, had already stated the following at 4:17 pm on April 9:

      It was not 200 Jewish students targeted. The flier was placed on 200 dorm rooms

      So will you now call the executive director of Hillel a liar?

      > “Oh, by the way the ADL had a press release yesterday on this very topic. So the information printed regarding April 5, is not 100% accurate.”

      I don’t understand what this means. Are you saying that the April 5 ADL statement is not entirely accurate, but the April 10 ADL statement (which was published after I had completed the article) is? I have read both statements. Neither one claims that Jewish students were targeted with the fliers. The April 10 statement is a rehash of portions of the April 5 statement, along with additional information chastising student Palestine activism in general. It provides absolutely no new information about the mock eviction action.

      > “If indeed Fawzy recived a death threat, why didn’t the reporter encourage her to file a police report so there is a record of it. That would be the 1st thing I would do if I was a responsinle reporter concerned about a students safety.”

      Well, as a “responsinle reporter,” my suggestion to you is that you try reading the article that you are criticizing. You will discover that I wrote that Noor Fawzy did report the death threats to the police.

      > “I further find it interesting that the reporter had no problem attemping to condem other more credible news agencies.”

      Some of these “credible news agencies” have since issued corrections and no longer claim that Jewish students were targeted. Will you believe them now, or will you now “condem” them yourself?

      > “Out of the 200 notices how many that were reported to the university were Jewish & non-Jewish.”

      I don’t know why you even bother to pose this question since you begin your comments with the assumption that “Two-hundred students were specifically targeted for being Jewish” and refuse to accept otherwise.

      > “Not all the students that recived a notice reported it.”

      Were they supposed to? A better question to ask is why much of the press did not bother to quote from non-Jewish students who received the notice, and why they even went out of their way to quote from Jewish students and Jewish non-students who did not receive the notice.

      > “If it was up to me I would expell all of them & if the student was here on a visa I would see to it that they were deported.”

      Then I’m glad it’s not up to you.

      By the way, why is it that comments against activists always devolve to a suggestion that activists are likely non-citizens who need to be deported?

    • Thanks for the comments, everyone.

      justicewillprevail, thanks for pointing out that the hysteria surrounding this story (imaginary Jewish students targeted for mock eviction notices—can it get any more virtual?) underscores the severity of the actual home demolitions that Palestinians are subjected to.

      The JTA has now published a correction. I encourage folks to contact Ynet to demand a correction to their own article: [email protected] and [email protected]

      And also demand that the Florida Jewish Journal explicitly note that their article has been updated and corrected: [email protected]

  • Barghouti and Waskow debate BDS on Democracy Now
    • Hophmi: “You could have been the littlest bit honest and noted that Waskow was responding to Barghouti’s appropriating the mantle of King for the BDS movement.”

      Me: [Quoting what Mustafa Barghouthi actually said]

      Hophmi: “Whatever.”

      Me: Exactly.

    • Hophmi: “You could have been the littlest bit honest and noted that Waskow was responding to Barghouti’s appropriating the mantle of King for the BDS movement.”

      Wrong. Barghouthi was not “appropriating that mantle of King.” He simply said that he was utilizing the similar tactics as utilized by King and Gandhi:

      Well, BDS is a part of a larger movement of nonviolent resistance in Palestine, civil resistance, very similar to the civil actions and civil activities that were led by Martin Luther King here in the United States against segregation, and very similar to what Gandhi led in India as a nonviolent resistance against foreign dependence of India.

      Nothing in there is incorrect. It was Waskow who stated a falsehood about King, not Barghouthi.

      Hophmi: “That’s a suggestion on Barghouti’s part that King would have endorsed BDS as a tactic here. There’s little evidence he would have.”

      Wrong. There’s a difference between saying, “I am using tactics similar to those used by Martin Luther King,” and saying “Martin Luther King would endorse what I’m doing right now.” The former seeks inspiration from King. The latter seeks to put words in King’s mouth.

      Hophmi: “Moreover, Waskow’s main point was that King opposed Vietnam without calling for a boycott of American products.”

      Regardless of whether that was really Waskow’s main point, it doesn’t change the fact that Waskow said what I quoted him as saying, and which I then proved to be false. But let’s entertain your notion for a bit…

      MLK spoke out against Vietnam exactly one year before he was assassinated. He actually didn’t have a chance to take much action against Vietnam beyond making some public statements and endorsing the “Vietnam Summer” campaign. Therefore, using the extent of King’s actions against the Vietnam War as a gauge of what is acceptable protest is both preposterous for activists in general and out of context to what Barghouthi was saying.

      Hophmi: “He opposed the policy, not the society.”

      King opposed the policies of the apartheid South African government. And his proposed solution was exactly what I quoted: “An effective international quarantine” of South Africa.

      You don’t deny that, Hophmi, but you instead try to find novel ways of putting words in Barghouthi’s mouth, putting words in MLK’s mouth, and putting words in my mouth.

      Furthermore, it is fruitless to argue logic with people for whom defense of Israel is not based on logic.

    • True, hophmi, but you are countering an argument that has not been made. Neither Mustafa Barghouthi in the Democracy Now debate nor I have claimed that King would have supported a boycott of Israel. I think that would be a presumptuous claim to make, seeing how King is not alive to confirm or deny.

      It was Waskow who stated as fact the supposedly limited scope with which King endorsed boycotts during his lifetime. I have demonstrated that this is false.

      Therefore, your point is?

    • This is the second time Waskow has argued against BDS in a debate on Democracy Now. He did so two years earlier against Omar Barghouti.

      His arguments are specious, but here I just want to point out his false suggestion that Martin Luther King would never support a boycott against an entire country:

      Even when Dr. King clearly, publicly, vigorously opposed the Vietnam War, he did not call for a boycott of all American products and producers. He didn’t do that in Europe or in the United States. He targeted where he was aiming. And I think BDS, as presently framed, doesn’t target.

      In reality, MLK supported full boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa as early as 1962:

      From a joint statement by MLK and Chief Albert J. Lutuli, dated 9 October 1962 and again on 10 December 1962, addressed to the international community:

      Urge your Government to support economic sanctions;
      Don't buy South Africa's products;
      Don't trade or invest in South Africa;
      Translate public opinion into public action by explaining facts to all peoples, to groups to which you belong, and to countries of which you are citizens until AN EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL QUARANTINE OF APARTHEID IS ESTABLISHED.

      From a speech in London, December 1964, en route to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize:

      Our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity. We can join in the one form of non-violent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa—the action which African leaders have appealed for—in a massive movement for economic sanctions.

      In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our Government, and your Government in Britain, refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea, or a Vietnam—will they recognise the crisis?

      If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil; if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.

      From a speech in New York for Human Rights Day, 10 December 1965:

      Today, in our opulent society, our reliance on trade with South Africa is infinitesimal significance. No real national interest impels us to be cautious, gentle, or a good customer of a nation that offends the world's conscience...

      The time has come to utilize non-violence fully through a massive international boycott which would involve the USSR, Great Britain, France, the United States, Germany and Japan. Millions of people can personally give expression to their abhorrence of the world's worst racism through such a far-flung boycott. No nation professing a concern for man's dignity could avoid assuming its obligations if people of all States and races were to adopt a firm stand. Nor need we confine an international boycott to South Africa. The time has come for an international alliance of peoples of all nations against racism.

  • StandWithUs manufactures boycott of Jewish deli in Olympia
    • Ah ha! You have chosen option B:

      “Change the subject and dispute something else without acknowledging that you have erred.”

      Congratulations, Fred! Your prize in the mail!

    • hophmi: “It’s clear from your piece that your entire argument is centered around disproving StandWithUs’s thesis that what happened at Kitzel’s is organized intimidation.”

      Wrong. Hava, who was the only source for the StandWithUs announcement, repeatedly stressed to me that there has been no organized intimidation. Regardless of that, my argument is centered around what the StandWithUs announcement said altogether, not what you say.

      hophmi: “You seem to have completely evaded my point.”

      Wrong. You didn’t make a point. You posed a rhetorical question, which you answered yourself with much self-assurance. You told me what I would say (“Zionist boycott”/“Zionist intimidation”). I answered that I wouldn’t say that. The onus is on you to prove that I would say what I said I wouldn’t say.

      I will also note that you began with the term “Zionist intimidation” in your first comment. In your latest comment, after I told you that I would never use the term “Zionist” in that way, you have changed it to “organized intimidation,” and then you finally challenge me to deny the word “intimidation,” without any qualifiers at all. I want to register that you have shifted your argument without acknowledging it.

      But look, I will humor and answer your ever-evolving question because I have a little excess energy right now.

      The answer to your latest question is this:


      But more importantly, what’s your point, seeing how you are no longer relating to the article itself?

    • hophmi: “are you going to refrain from calling it a Zionist boycott or Zionist intimidation? You know you wouldn’t, so drop the double standard.”

      First, I don’t use the term “Zionist” in that way, so that immediately disqualifies your assumption.

      Second, I haven’t even set a single standard, much less a double one. I refrained from passing too much judgment on Kitzel’s, both while interviewing Hava and while laying out this piece. Why?

      1. I wanted to give Hava the benefit of the doubt.
      2. I sympathize with Kitzel’s for being a local struggling business.
      3. People can make their own judgment.
      4. I’m more concerned about what StandWithUs does than what Kitzel’s does.

      In Olympia, people refrain from patronizing businesses for a number of reasons: “Oh, don’t go in there; the management mistreats their employees.” “That grocery store is owned by right-wing Christian homophobes.” “The baristas there are stuck-up.” “There’s a bone in my burrito” (that last one’s for Grinhoyz and I.R., by the way).

      Same as anywhere else.

      I don’t walk into a business asking about the management’s political stances. But if they take political positions that I find odious, and they make it so evident that I can’t avoid it, then yes, I will be discouraged from patronizing that business.

      In Olympia, everybody knows one another. Word travels fast. The cordial meeting between Hava and the three other people occurred after someone explained to someone else why they didn’t patronize Kitzel’s—just an everyday conversation—but the story made its way to Hava, which then got Hava to communicate back that they should talk to her if they have concerns.

      Rumors also fly. And there’s a lot of passive aggressive communication, because it’s so inconvenient to be on someone’s shit list in such a tiny town. I was hoping to contribute to the ongoing discussion in Olympia with this piece in ways that wouldn’t happen on their own.

      There is a lot of resentment against StandWithUs in Olympia. The organization has inserted itself in too many intrusive ways: suing the Olympia Food Co-op, distributing misinformation through ugly fliers, working behind the scenes while pretending to not be directly involved, funneling literally thousands of dollars to Evergreen students and into student groups in an attempt to alter the discourse on Israel. They have gotten conservative talk radio, other right-wing news outlets, politicians, and even the ADL on the case against Olympia.

      After the Olympia Food Co-op honored the boycott call in 2010, we could immediately smell StandWithUs lurking in the alleyways. We warned Olympia residents that even if they opposed the boycott, they did not want to be involved with StandWithUs. StandWithUs is bad news. Some people listened to us, some didn’t.

      Some of those who didn’t listen to us ended up suing the Co-op and getting slapped with hefty penalties. I truly hope that StandWithUs will pay the fines on behalf of the plaintiffs.

      I believe that StandWithUs cares about Kitzel’s as much as it cares about queers in the Middle East.

      It’s people’s perrogative whether they patronize a business. Some people in Olympia have made it clear that they will not shop at the Olympia Food Co-op until the Co-op rescinds the boycott. That’s their prerogative.

      However, I still find it hard to believe that the dramatic loss in sales can be blamed on the StandWithUs event. I’m not saying it’s untrue, just that it seems so difficult to pull off. The StandWithUs event happened on Feb. 23. It was announced around the 21st. The first report about the loss of sales and layoffs appeared on March 14.

      That’s about three weeks for all of this to happen—without an organized boycott, without people picketing outside, without fliers being distributed. If there is a direct correlation between the StandWithUs event and the loss of sales (which, at 50%, would imply that a lot of people who previously patronized Kitzel’s decided to stop), then that means StandWithUs is even more unpopular than I thought. But again, it’s people’s prerogative not to patronize.

      I wouldn’t call that intimidation. I know someone who deliberately ate at Kitzel’s upon hearing that the pinkwashing event was canceled. I’m not sure what to call that.

      If a business owner makes a decision that is unpopular with a significant number of customers, then yes, they run the risk of hurting their business.

      In 2009, if I recall correctly, the Olympia Food Co-op board approved a request to put up signs in support of Referendum 71, affirming domestic partnerships of same-sex couples. I didn’t hear anyone complain about it, but there is always that risk. Sometimes, however, it is more important to take a principled stance despite the risks.

      With Kitzel’s, I get mixed messages from Hava and her co-proprietor about their willingness to take political positions. That is, the positions seem at times noncommital, implied, or incidental, while also being too consistent too dismiss.

      Kitzel’s is also a new establishment, which makes it especially difficult to take unpopular stances. Factor in the argument of anti-BDS folks in Olympia that the majority of the community is on their side. If such is the case, and if Kitzel’s is hurting because of its anti-BDS stance, how are we to reconcile the two notions?

      The possibility that Kitzel’s is attempting to reach out to a Washington state legislator takes this story to greater dimensions, and we’ll have to wait and see if something comes out of that.

      Oops. I think I went off on a tangent. Oh well, I guess you can hate me, hophmi. That’s your prerogative.

    • “The way that Phan Nguyen says it implies that they were denying that she was _killed_ by a bulldozer...If you read the linked article, they aren’t denying that she was killed by the bulldozer, just that it ran her over...”

      Um, Fred, that’s exactly what I meant. Read what I wrote. I never wrote that “they were denying that she was killed by a bulldozer.” I wrote that they claimed she “was not run over by an Israeli bulldozer.” Get it?

      Now you may claim that this argument is a “technicality” and “splitting hairs.” I would agree, except that this has been a significant point of contention for people seeking to excuse the Israeli military in Rachel’s death. In fact, the argument that Rachel was not run over by the bulldozer was first made by the Israeli military a month after her death.

      Human Rights Watch demonstrated why this argument was ridiculous.

      The cause of death has been a significant focus in the trial of the wrongful-death suit filed by Rachel’s parents.

      As well, the argument that Rachel wasn’t run over by the bulldozer suggests that every single known witness to her killing has lied by claiming that they saw the bulldozer drive over her body.

      Finally, Israeli authorities no longer assert the claim that she was not run over by the bulldozer. So for anyone to still make that argument based on reports that even the Israeli government no longer relies on, is wrong.

      Now: Is that a good enough answer for you, or will you:

      a) Pretend that I have not addressed your actual criticism, or...
      b) Change the subject and dispute something else without acknowledging that you have erred?

  • Excerpts from the Olympia Food Co-op lawsuit dismissal
    • Hi, Ritzl. To answer your questions:

      Sixteen defendants total. As Judge McPhee has stated, precedence calls for each defendant to be awarded the mandatory $10,000 by the plaintiffs, although he has not yet signed an order for penalties. Judges in Thurston County are elected.

      McPhee expects that the plaintiffs will appeal the decision, and the plaintiffs’ attorney has already indicated that that is the intention. I don’t think he’s suggesting that penalties will be reduced if the plaintiffs go for a vote. At the very least, the $10,000 penalty is set by law. However, he correctly indicates that the dispute will not be resolved in the court system. By saying that, I believe he indicates an awareness that the lawsuit was never about process but really about Israel.

      The attorney representing the defendants actually drafted the 2010 revision to the anti-SLAPP law for Washington State. It’s based on the California anti-SLAPP law.

      Trivial disclosure: I have stood before Judge McPhee in a different court case. In that case, which had gone to superior court for appeal, he reversed the decision of a district court judge, to my disadvantage. Fortunately, my co-defendants and I won the case anyway.

  • Pro-Israel handbook explains how to attack professors and ‘co-opt’ students of color
  • Norman Finkelstein slams the BDS movement calling it 'a cult'
    • This is nothing new for Finkelstein. He been making such comments for at least two years:

      First of all, people are getting a little too cult-like about BDS. You always know a movement is growing insular when it starts using these in-group abbreviations (‘BDS’). In my day it was ‘DOP’—‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’. You have these little abbreviations to show that you’re part of the ‘in-group’ and you’re cool and you know what’s going on.

      Finkelstein has demonstrated his credentials as a scholar and academic. He has never been able to do the same as a grassroots organizer or strategist. BDS aside, I have long been wary of Finkelstein’s proclamations for the “proper” way for activists to approach the conflict, as I have been wary of any academic who proposes a strategy but who doesn’t demonstrate it by organizing on the ground level.

  • When Desmond Tutu got the ‘Penn BDS’ treatment
    • Kathleen: Yes, Tutu was re-invited by St Thomas after pressure such as yours. As I explain above, though, the university president framed it as an invitation to also join in a “dialogue” primarily with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. This, despite the fact that Tutu’s visit had nothing to do with Palestine/Israel or, for that matter, with Jews. His visit was meant to inspire youth to work for positive change.

      By then, and for the better, Tutu’s visit was moved to another venue.

  • MLK and the peace process
    • Witty: “Just for reference 5 of 7 is not ‘all’. Would that be an example of exageration, an example of the untruth that they told?”

      My God, you’re right! It’s a good thing I wrote the following instead:

      “Actually, Witty, I know all the people FROM OLYMPIA who star in that video (five of the seven people who appear in the video).”

      This means that two of the seven people who appear in the video are NOT from Olympia, and I don't know them.

      As for the rest of your non-arguments, you’ll have to be patient, and the whole story of the Olympia Food Co-op boycott will unfold, substantiated with evidence, not conjecture. When that happens, you can then dispute everything I write again, as if you actually read what I write.

      Until then, I have a lot on my plate.

    • Actually, Witty, I know all the people from Olympia who star in that video (five of the seven people who appear in the video). I have a long list of lies they've told, slanders they've made, racist comments they've uttered, events they've disrupted, and more.

      They are not the helpless creatures they purport to be, and their depiction of how things went down in Olympia conveniently omits the active roles they played in spreading lies and trying to take down the Olympia Food Co-op.

      One of the concerned Co-op members in the video wasn't even a Co-op member when the boycott was approved.

      I will expose the nature of the video and of the people who star in the video at some point in the future.

  • Muslims ban Christmas and rape white women, in latest Latma satire
    • HRK, I don’t totally dismiss anecdotal evidence, but anecdotal evidence can only say so much. As I mentioned, your contention about which societies or cultures would be willing to return wallets was based on less-than-anecdotal evidence. It was based on hearsay, and it was countered by anecdotal evidence provided by me and others.

      Someone visiting New York can determine that New York deserves its reputation as a nasty place because their wallet got stolen. Another person visiiting New York can determine that New York is not as bad as they heard because their lost wallet was returned to them. Both are anecdotes. How can we determine which is more accurate? We can’t.

      I don’t believe that requiring more evidence is “book-ish” or “academic.” I’m simply saying that “I heard from so-and-so who heard from so-and-so” is not a strong enough argument. I’m not asking for a thesis or a peer-reviewed report or even a Powerpoint presentation—just something more concrete.

      “in a way, your view seems extremely elitist: the idea that people who move here will immediately drop their ideas about right and wrong and transform themselves into people just like ourselves.”

      Again, you’re misreading me. I never wrote that, I never meant to imply that, and I don’t believe that.

      “I suppose, to my sense that in America in general there’s just so much talk about white supremacism it seems a little crazy to me–as if whites are exclusively the problem.”

      I did not use the term “white supremacism” figuratively. When I said “classic white supremacism,” I meant it. If you check out white supremacist websites such as Stormfront or David Duke’s website, you will see the same stories about Muslim rape waves in Norway, with the same factual and analytical errors.

    • Elisabeth, Latma’s “Tribal Update” program is primarily performed in Hebrew, although English is used when they’re impersonating an English speaker or doing a parody of an English-language song. I believe that Noam Jacobson, who does most of the impersonations, is a native English speaker. Caroline Glick is originally from Chicago, and Shlomo Blass’s first language was English. Their primary audience is Hebrew speakers, but they always provide subtitled translations in English and sometimes in German—maybe other languages, too.

      Glick wrote on her website that she wanted “Christmas in Eurabia” to go viral in the US and Europe.

    • Yes, I acknowledge that the story of the near-ethnic cleansing of Nazareth in 1948 is more complicated than the sentence I wrote. However, the article could not go into detail without straying further from its focus.

      The reason I mentioned the Israeli’s officer’s refusal to depopulate Nazareth was to demonstrate just how close Nazareth was from being totally cleansed. All it took was for the officer, Ben Dunkelman, to implement the orders given to him. Because Nazareth remained, Israel utilized other means to overcome the Palestinian-majority population there, which is detailed in the link that I provided in the text.

      I only touched on Nazareth and the origins of Nazareth Illit. None of this discounts the larger Zionist plans to expel the populations, before and after.

    • HRK: “My issue with this entire article is that it presumes that people groups are exactly identical in all important characteristics.”

      I neither wrote that nor implied that, and I challenge you to identify where in my article this is expressed. Otherwise, you are disputing a dichotomy of your own creation.

      “Take the Japanese culture. I spoke to two people from Japan a few years back and asked them about a report I heard concerning people losing wallets in sprawling Tokyo. I had heard that if you lose your wallet there, you have a good chance of getting it back. The women confirmed to me that this was the case. Not so in many other large, urban areas. Not so in New York. Definitely not so in some other big cities.”

      This example is based on hearsay and conjecture (“I have head that...” and “[Two random Japanese] women confirmed to me...”). It’s even less than an anecdote.

      Others have provided anecdotes that contradict this assertion. I will provide an anecdote of my own, both because you mentioned New York and because it’s fresh on my mind:

      “I live in New York. Last week I found a wallet belonging to a stranger and I returned the wallet to its owner. True story. The End.”

      This contradicts your assertion that such an act would not happen in New York. However, it’s also important to note this:

      1. My act of returning the wallet to its owner says absolutely nothing about the general population of New York. And...

      2. If I had kept the wallet, that act would also say absolutely nothing about the general population of New York.

      “Also, it’s known that Japanese have ultra-low crime rates. So wouldn’t it follow that if people from a culture with high crime rates immigrated by the millions into Japan that the Japanese might experience a crime wave?”

      I assume that crime would increase if any culture (regardless of that culture’s “crime rate”) immigrated into Japan by the millions. But you still can’t read much from that. In fact, I would assume that if the Japanese cloned themselves by the millions, crime would increase as well.

      My problem is that your argument is based on conjectures and vague terminology. What kind of culture are you referring to in a “high crime-rate culture”? Are you referring to ethnicity? Nationality? Some other geographically-defined population? A religion?

      And how do you compare general crime rates among different legal and policing systems?

      If I as a New Yorker were to visit Japan (assuming New York has a higher crime rate per capita), am I more likely to commit a crime there than any Japanese I meet? Am I more likely to mug someone in Japan than I am to be mugged by someone from Japan?

      It’s such a loose argument. I can’t go for it.

      “For the record, I haven’t studied Muslim crime rates, so I’m not speaking about that issue here.”

      What is a “Muslim crime rate”? Muslims exist in several different countries with distinct cultures. A suspected rapist in Norway was from Sri Lanka. Another was from Somalia. I don’t know if either was Muslim, practicing or by heritage, but a random Muslim in Sri Lanka and a random Muslim in Somalia would have only so much in similiar. Either way, it does not change the fact that the majority of identified rapists in Norway are native Norwegians, according to the Oslo police study. But since you’re not talking about “Muslim crime rates,” then you’re not really addressing what I wrote but instead projecting some unrelated beef you have onto my article—hence the unfounded accusation in your first sentence.

      “My point is that why are Westerners always putting their own culture on the very bottom of the pile–as if every other culture must be better than our own in all important aspects (or else we’re racists).”

      Are you just expressing this opinion out of the blue, or is it in response to something I wrote in the article?

      “Also, I’m curious why Mr. Nguyen doesn’t write about his own heritage group. You talk about classic white supremacist thinking–why don’t you tell us a little about classic Vietnamese supremacist thinking?”

      You got me there. I shouldn’t have said that the “Eurabia” ideology employs traits of classic white supremacism. Instead I should have said:

      “The Eurabia ideology employs traits of classic Vietnamese supremacism.”

      Satisfied? :-/

      “So why wouldn’t Christians have issues with mass Islamic immigration? –It’s not implausible to think that if Muslims became a majority the same kind of blasphemy laws could be set up in previously Christian-majority countries.”

      There’s a difference between “not implausible” and “likely.” Saying something is “not implausible” does not make for a strong argument. Saying something is “likely” would make the argument stronger but would require greater qualification.

      I can say that it’s not implausible that a majority Latino population in California will result in most non-Latino Californians speaking Spanish. But that doesn’t mean I believe it’s gonna happen.

      As for “blasphemy laws”—first, all governments have blasphemy laws in the sense of social mores that are legally enshrined. Whether a change in religious demographics will alter a country’s laws depend’s on how the government’s laws are structured. So what “Christian-majority countries” that you speak of are soon to be majority Muslim?

      RoHa: “Amateur dishonesty and crime aren’t really allowed in Japan. Too untidy. Dishonesty is only for politicians, TEPCO executives, and the like. Crime is for the yakuza only.”

      Love that.

  • 'Ha’aretz': Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists storm 'Jewish supermarket'!
    • RW: “The point is that there is much and many in the BDS movement for whom his characterization of motivation is entirely accurate.”

      I asked you for an argument. You have given me an assertion.

      Witty, I know your game, and I’m not playing it, and no one else seems to be doing so either. It’s too predictable and it goes like this:

      1. You say you’re not satisfied with someone’s arguments.
      2. They provide you with more arguments.
      3. You say that’s not good enough.
      4. They provide you with more arguments.
      5. And so on.

      You expect other people to run around in circles and prove themselves to you while you make no effort to prove any assertion you make. That way, you hold the higher ground as the arbiter of the debate.

      At least Ravid made up a funny story to prove his point. Can you come up with a funnier one? I betcha you can’t. I betcha! And can you do a handstand at the same time?

    • Witty, I just demonstrated it. Anything further would require me to address allegations that were not formulated in Ravid’s article. Allegations can’t be refuted until they’re made.

      As for your question: “[Are you saying the BDS campaign] is consistently oriented specifically to products made in the territories?”

      My answer is this: No, I'm not saying that. And why do I have to say it?

      Notice, Witty, that you are expecting me to counter arguments that you have not yet fully developed. I’m not going to make your arguments for you and then refute them, and it’s condescending to expect me to.

      If you want to make an argument, then make an argument. Don’t just imply one.

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