Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 12 (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
    • In what can only be viewed as a direct appeal to Bronies, the old Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs used to have a website that highlighted Israeli claims to magical cows and purple carrots. A cached version of the website can be found here:

      link to

      The website was meant to "arm" Israeli citizens traveling abroad "with information ... to present a more realistic image of Israel to the world." It even laid claim to colored bell peppers as an "Israeli invention."

  • 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
    • In 1989, before the end of South African apartheid, Tutu made a trip to Palestine/Israel.

      Protesters wrote “Tutu is a Nazi” on the wall of the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs, where he had visited, while others wrote “Black Nazi pig” on the walls of St. George’s Cathedral in East Jerusalem, where he was staying.

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