Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 25 (since 2014-04-18 18:09:47)

Raksha

I am basically a secular humanist Jew, raised Reform although my religious education was sadly incomplete. I presently identify more with the Jewish Renewal movement than with Reform Judaism. Although I don't consider myself an atheist, I prefer to be religious or spiritual on my own time and in my own way. I am a committed believer in the separation of religion and state, both in the U.S. and in Israel. With regard to Israel/Palestine: I have had to revise this part of my profile, because 17 days into Operation Protective Edge (July 25, 2014), I still described myself as "a VERY liberal Zionist," albeit with a great many qualifiers. I now realize there can be no such thing as a liberal Zionist, just as there can be no such thing as a "Jewish democratic" state. It's a contradiction in terms. I now describe myself as a "recovering Zionist," if I use the word Zionist about myself at all.

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  • Testing nonviolence in the South Hebron Hills: Day 8 of Sumud Freedom Camp
    • Mondoweiss is alternative media. I already shared this article on Facebook, and others will share it too. The word will get out.

  • In letter to John Kerry, 19 reps stand up for Palestinian children behind bars
    • When I first read about this letter yesterday, I was tempted to forward it to Bernie Sanders to ask him to be the first senator to sign on. I think that if he puts himself ahead of the curve and gets on the right side of history, he will win the Democratic nomination and therefore the presidency.

      Many on the so-called "far left" (I'm not sure what that term means any more) accuse Bernie of being either an AIPAC tool or a "sheepdog" for Hillary Clinton. They don't seem to have any hard evidence for either accusation, but then they have no evidence to the contrary either. It seems to me he says as little as possible about Israel, and I'm not sure what his position is.

      But there's no way he can support the imprisonment of children. If he goes on record and says so, it will go a long way towards disarming his critics on the left.

  • 'Six Jews sitting in the White House discussing the Palestinian state'
    • Re "...Rafael Cruz told a gathering of the Palm Beach County Tea Party that “unfortunately, in the northeast, the Jews are Democrats first and Jews second."

      Well no, not quite. most American Jews (and not only in the northeast) see themselves as human beings first and Jews second. But I have no doubt that both Rafael Cruz and his son would find that a totally foreign concept.

  • Palestinian women sew for change: Artisan heritage as cultural and economic empowerment tool
    • Thank you so much for this article, Shirabe. For me it could not be more relevant or more timely. I have a longtime interest in Palestinian embroidery, going back to the early 1970s when I discovered the book Palestinian Embroidery by Shelagh Weir in the Los Angeles County Art Museum gift shop. This book is copyright 1970 by the Trustees of the British Museum.

      Although it's a thin trade paperback and most of the photos are in black and white, I was captivated by the style immediately. I was fascinated by the way the comparatively small number of traditional motifs were combined and recombined and recolored to produce seemingly endless variations. Early on I picked one of the chest panels shown in the book to chart and embroider in cross stitch as a pillow, which I finished in the early 1990s. Eventually the pillow wore out, which it should not have done; that was due to an error of mine in constructing the back. Some time after that, I lost the chart in one of the many involuntary moves I was forced to make after my husband passed away.

      When I joined Pinterest a few months ago, one of the first boards I created was my Palestinian Embroidery board.

      http://www.pinterest.com/raksha212/palestinian-embroidery/

      This board has just been enriched by about 10 new pins from Elizabeth's board. But even before that, it had more pins than any of my other boards, more even than my cross stitch board. It goes without saying that many of the followers of that board are Palestinians--or they very often have Arabic names anyway. When I check out their boards in search of new designs, I'm always impressed by the strong nationalistic feeling that infuses their love of the work, whether they are designers, artisans or collectors.

  • 'Ethnic cleansing for a better world' -- Richard Cohen says Palestinians brought the Nakba on themselves
    • When I first saw the title of this article, "Ethnic Cleansing for a Better World," I th.ought the reviewer was mocking Richard Cohen--you know, being sarcastic. I didn't know until I read it that it was the title of one the actual chapters in his book.

      This definitely falls into the "you can't make this stuff up" category. The Israel apologists get better at parodying themselves by the day.

  • 'This is our land!': West Bank village Wadi Fukin fights largest Israeli land grab in decades
    • I didn't recognize your screen name, so when I first read your post I honestly thought you were an anti-Zionist being sarcastic. And then I read the replies, evidently from people who know you better than I do. All I can say is that you certainly picked an appropriate screen name. "Double Standard" is right!

      You ziobots get better at caricaturing yourselves by the day.

  • Photo-cartoon making Tutu into Hitler is published then taken down by South African Jewish paper
    • This Reich ideologue apparently has never set foot in the “disputed” territories, nor hasn’t a clue about the unrecognized villages within ’48 Israel where Palestinian bedouin communities reside (no electricity, no running water, corrugated iron shacks abound, etc)

      Exactly! Why even bother to lie about something so obvious, when the truth is easily documented? I think the hasbarats have truly lost it.

  • I quit my job at the Jewish Community Center over a pro-Israel rally and they called me an anti-semite
    • There we go again. ‘Jewish means this’ vs. ‘Jewish means that’. The whole discussion is never about what it means to be a mensh.

      Silly me. I always thought being Jewish meant you at least try to be a mensch. But then I was raised Reform, so what do I know?

      Is it Jewish, or is it not?!? The question is pathetic and beyond any universal morality.

      Right, because any morality that isn't universai is no morality at all. To have one set of standards for "our" group and another standard for "them" is hypocrisy by definition.

  • Israel's right wing Zionists, Palestine's militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter
    • Re "Non violent or non punitive protest against Israel will not work."

      I agree that non-violent protest against Israel does not work, but OTOH violent protest does not work either. Even if the "violent protest" is nothing more than teenagers throwing rocks at settlers or IDF soldiers, it only gives Israel an excuse to put it down with overwhelming force. We've seen that pattern over and over again--the smallest pinprick becomes an excuse for a massacre.

      So the only other option that leaves is punitive protest, which can only mean an increase in the scale and reach of the BDS movement, to the point where it really hurts Israel economically. The tourist business has already (inevitably) taken a big hit, and personally I hope it never recovers until there is an actual peace treaty. If challenged by some right-wing Zionist with the accusation: "Are you trying to punish Israel?" my response would be an unequivocal and resounding YES!

      Israel has proven over and over again it only understands the language of force--but that doesn't have to mean physical force.

  • 'Common Dreams' website traps Hasbara troll spewing anti-Semitism
    • Like I always say, you can't be too paranoid. But even I'm not paranoid enough, or not paranoid in the right way anyway. I post in the comments section of CommonDreams sometimes, and I've had a few run-ins with this loser in his "HamBaconEggs" persona. He's so prolific it's kind of hard to avoid him. Probably put a certain amount of time and thought into my replies too. Didn't have a clue...I thought he was a real anti-Semitic troll. And maybe he is at that, since he obviously hates progressive Jews.

  • Jewish Voice for Peace stomps AIPAC and J Street in latest online traffic figures
    • "The Second Coming" - I thought of that Yeats poem too, and even quoted from it in an email yesterday in which I was discussing the Sarah Posner article. This isn't the first time I've quoted it by a long way, but it is the first time in an Israel-Palestine context. Never thought that would happen!

  • Hamas equals ISIS in 'grisly creeds and grisly deeds,' Netanyahu tells a nodding Cuomo
    • There is much truth to what Netanyahu says. Both ISIS and Hamas glorify violence and revel in bloodshed.

      And Israel DOESN'T glorify violence and revel in bloodshed? I think you're a bit late with that lame assertion. We've all seen those videos of the residents of Sderot partying on hilltops while watching the destruction of Gaza. And those other videos of right-wing counter-demonstrators yelling "Death to the Arabs! Death to the leftists!"

      People who have been present at those demonstrations tell us over and over again that these rabid "patriots" aren't just venting--they really mean it! Many have attested to the poisonous atmosphere of hatred and violence and that seems to have possessed the Israeli population, or a significant portion of it anyway.

      You are just going to have to accept the fact that that old hasbara dog won't hunt any more, and neither will the other old hasbara dogs. They should all be put out of their misery.

      You need some new material, although God knows where you're going to find it. But that's your problem, not mine.

  • Rania Masri gives Barack Obama a lesson on the meaning of 'barbaric'
    • I had a weird thought when I read the article at your link about "God's Protection of Israel." Some of the stories (maybe most of them?) will undoubtedly turn out to be urban legends, but I have no doubt that some of them actually happened. I have heard and read many similar stories of divine intervention from other veterans of other wars.

      One of the most moving I ever heard was from a online friend who was a Korean war veteran. He lost one of his legs in combat, but was convinced that his life had been spared through the intervention of the archangel Michael. He felt this strongly at the time, and remained convinced of it right up to his dying day (he lived to be over 80). He swore at the time that if he lived to have children, that he would name his first son Michael in honor of the archangel. Which is exactly what he did.

      One time when I asked him how he knew it was Michael, he said he "just knew" that was the name he should give to the protective presence he felt on the battlefield. He couldn't get any more specific than that. Just like those IDF soldiers "just knew" that the unknown Arab woman or in one case, a Jewish woman, who intervened for them just in the nick of time, was the Shekhinah under her traditional name of Rachel.

      The point I'm trying to make here is that there are going to be just as many, and possibly more, stories of divine intervention emerging from the Palestinian side, from the survivors of Operation Protective Edge. No doubt there are survivors who may have lost 20 or more members of their extended families when their house was destroyed, but they alone survived through some fortunate accident of timing--being called away on an errand at just the right moment, etc. Many of them may have also heard a voice giving them a warning, or sensed a protective angelic presence like my friend did.

      No doubt many such anecdotes are already circulating in Arabic. The fact that this very biased author hasn't heard them--or chooses not to repeat them if he has--proves exactly nothing. It doesn't mean Israel has "God on our side" any more than Gaza does. Contrary to popular belief, the Shekhinah doesn't take sides or play favorites.

    • I had no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton anyway, even if she's the Democratic candidate. I'll vote third party if I have to, just like I did in 2012. I will not vote for neocons and their enablers. Nope, never again!

  • After Gaza
    • This is the one point I disagree with. Strongly. American Jewish Zionists provide massive funding for settlements, birthright tours, other forms of chauvinist indoctrination including newspaper ownership, and massive political funding, all of which promote a chauvinist, militarist Israel. Netanyahu received 96.8% of his campaign funding from foreign sources, over 50% from one American Jewish family.
      Good point. What I don't understand is why the BDS movement isn't publicizing and targeting these American corporations that fund radical right-wing extremists and illegal settlements in the West Bank. While I didn't know about the Falic family and its generous donations to Bibi's campaign fund, another major donor to the radical right is Marcus Brothers Textiles, which funds a number of extremist projects including Torat HaMelech through its Central Fund of Israel.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Fund_of_Israel

      I realize this is old news to Mondoweiss readers, but how many of Marcus Bros' wholesale and retail customers are aware of the connection? To all appearances it's a normal fabric company, known for its high-quality quilting fabrics. I have a number of them in my fabric stash. It seems to me that a company that depends on the goodwill of its American customers would be far more vulnerable to a boycott than an Israeli corporation if the connection were made public.

  • Gaza war gives rise to new Jewish group targeting Jewish institutions that support occupation
    • Okay, I'll bite. Could you (or someone) please explain what a "Jew-whisperer" is, and also what a "hazer" is? I'm new around here, and my Yiddish vocabulary seems to be more deficient than I thought.

      --Linda

  • israel is the golden calf
    • Thank you for saying so clearly what I've always believed, but haven't often articulated in a Jewish context because I'd inevitably get shouted down by the hasbarats. This part especially resonated with me.

      we are a Diaspora people
      meant to wander, to make
      all the world a home
      for us and for all
      to call everywhere
      Jerusalem
      not one plot of land
      it’s a metaphor!
      you literalists!
      you racists!
      you european / american genocidal mimics!
      you maniacs!

      our gift has been making every/where funky
      holy

      not one land but all land
      not one people but all people
      we were chosen to wander
      Zion is ahead, is a future
      we work toward, the messiah
      not a person, but a time

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • Israel is bent on confirming every racist stereotype about Jews. If you are a thinking Jew with a conscience, Israel is your worst enemy.

      I found the OP, the Yochanan Gordon article, on the Occupy Judaism page on Facebook and reposted it to my own page. In the short but intense debate on my page that followed, I said to a friend: "You think it WASN'T on StormFront five minutes after the Times of Israel posted it? Don't kid yourself."

      --Linda

    • I was born in Nassau County - Flushing, to be exact. Just to add insult to injury--the injury being that ANY Jew could have written and published this piece of drecht, however abjectly he apologizes for it later. Is Flushing one of the "five towns"? It was many decades ago that my family moved from Flushing to East Rockaway and then to California, and I haven't been back since.

  • Over a hundred people join Norman Finkelstein for civil disobedience outside the Israeli consulate in midtown Manhattan
    • RE: “Hey, Bibi, whaddaya say, / How many kids did you kill today?” ~ chanted by protesters

      BIBI NETANYAHU: “[A] man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do . . .” ~ Brian Williams interview, NBC Nightly News, 7/21/14

      He actually said that? Presumably with a straight face too. I admit I didn't read the citation carefully the first time, so I assumed it was from The Onion.

      This is basically just a shout-out, Larry. I'm Linda from you-know-where. I've been lurking here for a while, and recently retrieved my password so I could start posting. There aren't many places in cyberspace where a sane Jew (relatively sane anyway) can talk freely about the current happenings in Israel.

      I almost said there aren't many sane Jews in cyberspace, but there are actually quite a few of them. Most tend to keep quiet on the subject of Israel, but that could be changing.

      --Linda

  • Take the right position on Israel and you can raise 1/4 million, Senate candidate is advised
    • The problem is that nobody wants to go first. Everyone in Congress or running for Congress knows (or should know) that there is a highly motivated grassroots Jewish constituency not afflicted with PEP syndrome, who are in fact disgusted by the hypocrisy--and their number is growing by the hour.

      How many are we, and what percentage of the "Jewish money" that fills the campaign chests comes from the progressive base? I don't mean the pseudo-progressives, but the ones who still remember what "mensch" means and who have an acquired immunity to being called a self-hating Jew. About the only thing we know at this point is that the number is increasing, as the increased traffic here at Mondoweiss attests. Of course not everyone who lurks or posts here is Jewish, but I'm not sure how much that matters. The important thing is that they can be critical of Israel, critical of America's enablement of war crimes without being vulnerable to the charge of antisemitism.

      I can't believe the Democratic candidates don't realize there is an activist Jewish constituency seething with frustration at being shouted down by AIPAC--over and over again. Especially not when AIPAC's constituency is aging and shrinking while our side is growing. And yet NOBODY, not even Bernie Sanders, wants to be the first to step up to the plate, and I can't say I blame them. They wouldn't be alone long, but it's scary to be the first one.

  • Amira Hass and the end of Jewish ethical history
    • Looking at Israel today and finding hope is like looking at a permanently brain damaged invalid, expecting that, given enough time, he or she will wake up and resume normal life. Not only the leadership but all of Israeli society is criminally insane, and it’s never coming back. Most distressing—it seems to have dragged the vast majority of diaspora Jews along for the ride.

      Very well said. As painful as it is, I'm afraid I have to agree with you.

  • Israel advocates are in a battle with US media
    • Does David Frum have any idea how close (if not identical) his accusations are to Holocaust denial? I have no doubt that in years to come, the Israel apologists will have a full-scale "Gaza denial industry." Looks like we've really come full circle now.

      --Linda

  • To my Jewish friend (you know who you are)
    • Thanks for the welcome, Annie. The change isn't as great a shock to my system as it might be, since I never suffered from PEP syndrome. If there's anything I can't tolerate it's a double standard, and I've always been that way.

      So I've known this day was coming for a while now. For years I've told anyone who would listen, "It's only a matter of time before I won't be able to call myself any kind of a Zionist at all." The last straw came sometime during the last three weeks or the last month,. It would be hard to pinpoint when the exact moment was, what the precipitating incident was. I can think of several possibilities, but that's something I can figure out down the line.

      --Linda

    • Whether Israel has lost its soul or never had one to begin with is not a question I feel qualified to answer. As a newly recovering Zionist (former liberal Zionist) I have a lot of catch-up reading to do, if I can manage to tear myself away from the headlines long enough.

      During this latest crisis I have found myself spending more and more time on Mondoweiss, in preference to other liberal Jewish sites, although there are many excellent ones. The difference is that this is as close to a hasbara-free zone as I've seen. It's inevitable that there is some hasbara troll presence at any site where Israel-Palestine issues are discussed, but at Mondoweiss it seems to be at an absolute minimum.

      So this note is basically just an expression of gratitude to Phil Weiss, Mooser, seafoid and the other regulars here for providing this oasis of sanity, which is a great help in my recovery. I'm not quite sure how you do it, but I'm very glad you do!

      --Linda aka Raksha

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