Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2877 (since 2009-12-08 10:00:12)


One summer in Germany, a while back, I met many returning US kibbutzim. The exuberance and energy was affecting. Influenced by that, a few months later in college I started to physically protest/jeer from the Israeli perspective. On one occasion we all headed to the Cleveland City Club to hear and jeer Chomsky. Between our interruptions (which he handled gracefully with a "noted" and went on), I heard him speak about water theft. For some reason, being as swept up in the Uris-like glow about Israel as I was, I had never heard (listened?) or asked about anything remotely disturbing about Israel. Afterward I started asking basic questions like, "If this is true, how can one people do this to another people, and we cheer it on?" and got few even marginally responsive answers. All the contradictions between Israel-reality and Israel-myth that appear here, were present even then. The veil was pierced and my perspective flipped almost immediately. It was the '70s, Kent State, and we were supposed to be FOR civil rights. FOR everybody. I felt grossly stupid and more than a little betrayed. My former physical tactics and experience mirror what goes on here an in the larger net world. I understand the desperate need (by Israel) to clamp the lid down hard (and keep it clamped) on the deeply troubling reality of everyday Palestinian life. It also suggests that just one little glimmer of reality that gets through can make a difference, one person at a time. One never knows which glimmer that might be...

Showing comments 2877 - 2801

  • Poster questioning Zionism makes her feel 'unsafe', Wellesley student says
    • Dear Ms. Hannink,

      Supplication is not dialogue.

      Best regards.

      The Rest of the World


      Along those lines, maybe someone should put up a sign asking, "What does dialogue mean to you?"

      Surely Hannink would be one of the first to express. And the other responses might give her a semester's worth of Peace Studies credit hours in real world lernin'. IFF she chose to internalize anything.

      But then that whole "loyalty" thing would suggest a severely limited capacity for self-awareness and/or the contemplation of complex concepts. So much so that I'd say someone put her up to this.

  • Palestinian youth hospitalized after being attacked by Israeli settlers in Jerusalem
    • B-NET's "telegenic dead."

      I always thought that concept was so bizarre, even for Israel, that he had to have pulled it out of his ass. But with multiple instances of hyped Jewish dead and casually and aggressively dismissed Palestinian dead, it's obviously a preplanned strategy/policy.

  • 'What is your religion?' question surprises two American visitors to the occupation
    • Agree Walid. I did not take it into account. The abandonment of the Palestinians has been near total. All to curry and/or exploit favor with the US govt.

      But that abandonment/vacuum creates a pretty strongly spring-loaded populist morality about the issue which your pushback here helps trigger, and the increasingly recognized connection between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and events in Ferguson evidences. I think that is what Palestinians do have in their corner.

      That's why John Feary's article was so significant to me. He showed an everyman's view of: a) how easily the spring-loaded morality is triggered; and, b) what happens when it is. It's sort of all wrapped up somewhere between a "How could I not know about this?!!!" moment and a "My son was killed fighting for what??!" moment, depending upon circumstances and the amount of background absorbed.

    • @Horizontal (November 24, 2014, 7:50 pm)-

      I agree with you about it being a waste as far as the specific commenters are concerned. Most of the anti-Palestinians here are almost exclusively here to fling poo and see what sticks. Rationalizations and whatabouteries galore. Anything goes. Most are willfully and aggressively ignorant, (and want the rest of us to be as well).

      But FWIW, to me responding is about informing the people new to this issue and who may cruise the comments just how willfully and aggressively ignorant, self-obsessed, hypocritical, non self-aware their arguments actually are. This contrasts to, as you know and express so well, what noobs (i.e. normal people with affect-able morality) get from all directions, environmentally and specifically, from major media.

      So many of you all refute these arguments so well - factually, rationally, morally. I think that is so important, as Annie has pointed out in the past, in the effort to reach the 90% of people that don't have an opinion on this or are just forming one. If we can catch them early in that process with these clear refutations and illustrations of how grossly silly the standard mythology and indoctrination techniques are, the daily, environmental anti-Palestinianism they are subjected to has less (or hopefully zero) effect going forward.

      Personally, I think the grip of the Israel mythology/haloed archetype is waning, maybe even waning quickly. Your and everyone's stark responses here are key in propelling that erosion.

      Sorry to drone on, but you raise an important point methinks. I believe you framed at least the "why" element of the turning point - that the hasbara is ridiculous and unsupportable (or is that ridiculously unsupportable?).


  • One week in Jerusalem and -- it's not complicated
  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • Thanks, Kay.

    • Aw hell, jon s. This has been explained to you over and over and over. The Jews (before it was Israel) were operating OUTSIDE the partition borders in 1947. That was BEFORE the "Arabs" declined to sign the/any paper. Who accepted what again? And when?

      Would any normal person see an invasion of someone else's territory and even begin to form the thought that the invaded people were to blame for war because they didn't accept this condition? Not only no, but hell no! That is what you're up against as more and more actual facts osmotically seep out into the ether of mass opinion formation.

      But you guys just say the same context-free quarter-truth like it's the whole truth, over and over and over and over and over and over. Leon Uris/"Exodus" was so 1960s, but I hear an Andy Williams tune can stick in your head for decades.

      The bad news is that this myth[ology] has gone on for generations. The good news is that this mythology is decaying into dirt because it has gone on for generations. Every time you repeat it you add a little more heat and moisture. Keep talking please.

  • In landslide, UCLA student govt votes to divest from Israeli occupation
    • Mega OUCH!

      Even after years and years of examples, that level of a lack of self-awareness is truly astonishing.

  • More than 30,000 people are still living in UNRWA schools in Gaza. What does that look like?
    • @Pat Tibbs- Do you work in the Israeli construction or building materials industry? You do know that Israel is now preventing materials from entering Gaza unless they are bought in Israel. What does Hamas have to do with that?

      As far as "stepping up" goes, Hamas has offered, repeatedly offered and unilaterally kept, truces and ceasefires. That is what at least I would call "stepping up." The Israeli response has always been assassinations and slaughter of children based upon glaringly apparent first-violence and lame pretexts used to obscure the proven non-involvement of Hamas. The world acquiesces to this, the US advocates it, and US media cheerfully adopts Israeli terminology like "mowing the lawn" as they wink at each other as they collectively forget what happened the day before and approvingly/dutifully report each slaughter-fest.

      There is ZERO Hamas or any Palestinian faction (witness Abbas) can do to "step up."

      My personal view is that Hamas would moderate over time or be replaced if Israel actually acted in good faith to solve the mutual problem. That's just the way the world works. But Israel never acts in good faith. It just kills Palestinians en masse, because there is no downside for them.

      So perhaps it is you who should "step up" and figure out a way to pressure Israel to, at the very least, stop slaughtering childrenn on a regular basis to score political points at home and abroad. Perhaps that involves not buying Israeli products, as in BDS. Just a thought.


    • Does anyone really believe at this point, that if Hamas was not in charge this intentional deprivation would NOT be happening.

      I think the Israelis, ever so cheerily, just want the Palestinians to suffer (and die), whoever is in charge.

    • And those are just the 30K living in UN schools. God knows how many don't have that relative luxury.


      30,000 people of a population of 2M puts the equivalent societal pressure of 4,500,000 homeless in the US. But then it's not really equivalent with all the unconstrained reconstruction materials in the world available to a 4.5M homeless population in the US.

  • Caltech prof says Israeli scientist passed NASA rocket secrets to his government
    • I understand that. Walid. And glad you raised that point.

      Why is a Lebanese-American violating the ITAR law on the behalf of israel? What hold does Israel have on him?

      If this was a straight forward decision, it would be a no brainer. He would have brought JPL/Caltech into the sunlight.... immediately, if not sooner. His whole institution has been put at risk by this clear subterfuge.


    • Totally agree, John Fearey. The implications of this are HUGE and real. It could be any foreign country, not just Israel.

      Whether they will be acted upon is a completely separate question.

    • I would also think that DIS would be VERY interested in these practices at JPL/Caltech as a whole. It's just black letter wrong.

      Unless the whole system is corrupt, which may be the case.

    • Thanks straightline.

      In my experience knowing/willful violation of the ITAR regs is a prima facie cause for denial of a security clearance.

      As a person in the rocket biz, with secrets, I find the "negotiability" of this case simply astounding.


      On the prospective front, am I now to preclude any Jewish candidate with an Israeli bent, or simply any Israeli from consideration as a collegue? I think the answer is yes, but how do I ask that question? Or do I simply ask it (question being: Will you transfer what you are working on to a foreign country.)

      There's a middle ground, again in my experience, of taking the experiential tools and thought processes developed from a project , away from that project, but this case seems to be direct transfer/espionage.

  • Why I confronted Gregor Gysi
    • Bingo, Sycamores.

      if anything David Sheen and Max Blumenthal are preventing the rise of anti-Semitism among those who are not as aware of Israel behavior by telling their stories to non-Jews and Jews alike that the Jewish people are not monolithic like any other group of people.

      Absolutely true. As has been said here so often, it is Israel that claims it acts as an agent of all Jews. So it is Israel that repeatedly asserts that blowing the heads off of Palestinian children in support of land and resource assimilation is a big part of what it means to be and act Jewish.

      Max and David are countering that dangerous assertion. As are so many here and the site itself. God's work if you ask me.

  • New Israel Fund partners with Israel Football Association on racism project as IFA segregates Israeli youth league
    • Yep, JLD.

      I had a Twitter exchange once where some nice woman in Florida started calling a couple Palestinian writers (one of whom was Rania Khalek) anti-semitic (needless to say without cause). I jumped in and called her a racist, if only to make the point of how hurtful that is.

      Her reply was an indignant, "How dare you call me a racist? I am NOT a racist!!!" Rania had pointed this woman in the direction of one of her agonizingly heartfelt articles during the last Gaza slaughter, and she declined to bother to read it. On and on she went with "J'accuse!"

      They hate being generalized and pigeon-holed just as much as they LOVE generalizing and pigeon-holing others. Itoffends them. Go figure.

      Kinda reminds me of the entitlement on the bus video Annie posted. Same mindset.

    • Yet another instant Israeli classic. There's the PR and then there's the provable (i.e. glaring), diametric reality.

      As just said, "Israel is nuts."

  • In travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh found guilty despite history of Israeli torture
    • A) Sad, so very sad, that a jury did this. I actually had hopes. I hope there are legal avenues left.

      B) How in the f*k do long-time, open, and unrepentant terrorists like Rahm Emanuel's father get allowed in and granted citizenship, and Odeh gets a show-trial and the boot?

      C) In the muddle that is Palestinian statehood, there may be at least one small, unambiguous bright spot: that Palestinian courts could start convicting Israelis of crimes such that they would have to declare that conviction just as Odeh did. If the Palestinians actually use evidence and disavow torture, the more the better.

      It would be interesting to see if US law is vaguely enough written to mean any conviction rather than convictions in states with which the US has bilateral relations. Heck, Abbas could make recognition of Palestinian court decisions a condition for starting the next round of "negotiations."

  • Homes of Palestinians accused of ramming pedestrians to be demolished
    • @amigo- I shouldn't see this stuff as funny - it's clearly and literally deadly serious - but I couldn't help but chuckle at this from your article:

      At the same time, a former cabinet minister privately admitted that Labour's fundraising efforts were in disarray. The former minister said the party would struggle to raise anywhere near the £19m a party is entitled to spend under electoral law in the run-up to next May's poll. "We will have to pass the begging bowl round to the unions," they said. "That would send a bad signal. In return, they [the unions] would demand to call the shots on policy."

      Sounds like "calling the shots" is just fine as long as the rabble (i.e. the party's namesake, labour) doesn't do it. Amazing.

      On the brighter side, that independent article is amazingly frank about big Jewish money following/advancing Israel's interests. I wish we would see some like it here in the US.


  • In and out of love with Israel: Tzvia Thier's story
    • @Walid- In the movie "Defamation" Foxman is shown lecturing Ukrainians about using the Ukrainian word "Holodomor" when describing their own genocide under Stalin (within the context of a discussion on how to get Jewish political support in the US Congress).

      Apparently the objection is not only about using the whole word but also parts of it.

  • 'Let the police mow the lawn': Israeli right-wing demands stronger crackdown as Netanyahu increases attacks on East Jerusalem
    • In yet another item from the lack-of-self-awareness department, if Israeli police shot dead ALL rock throwers (i.e. including Jewish ones), this madness within the pretense of democracy would end in a heartbeat, for one reason (madness>>epiphany) or another (pretense of democracy>>Jewish civil war).

      The only thing worse than a country led by a psychopathic murderer is a country led by a psychopathic murderer that has been elected by the majority of the people (and yes I include George Bush in that latter category).

  • Update: Why did Netanyahu respond to chickenshit with 'grassy knoll' remark?
  • Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare
  • 'Chickenshit' attack enrages Netanyahu and lobby, but will it stir voters against Obama?
    • You have to wonder if having "former" racketeer Lieberman as Israeli FM is a feature instead of a bug.

    • Yep, Dan. "Inconceivable!"

    • Thanks American.

      If Slater's worst case pans out it would be a good thing, imho. We would get a party that likes to stick it to the little guy AND which uncritically supports Israel financially, to the detriment of the vast majority of US voters.

      I would be refreshing to see both anti-voter positions all bundled so neatly together in the GOP. They are political cousins after all. Throw in war-as-first-principle-using-OPKs and we might just have the beginnings of a campaign-able/votable distinction between the parties in US politics.

      Dems could then get on with it and start making their/a beneficial case directly to long-ignored voters without having to so blatantly/exclusively kowtow to money interests. That would be neat.

    • Given what happened at the 2012 Dem convention, this flap may actually energize the Democratic base rather than suppress turnout.

  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • Just when I thought I had heard it many times over. Presto! A new low of lows.

      Who paid McKinsey for this trash?

      Thanks adele.

  • An exciting night at the opera: 'Klinghoffer' opening dominated by protest and heavy police presence
    • Just happened to catch the PBS "report" on the manufacture of a controversy. Pure, biased, ADL trash.

      Not once did the "report" stop to ask whether these Palestinians had their whole families killed by Israel in '48 or '67, thereby missing the entire point of the opera, imho. You know, complex chains of events and human reactions to them.

      They completely (and intentionally, imho, as nobody in that position is THAT stupid or ignorant) missed an opportunity to shed light on the subject.

      link to


      And the yellow stars with "Never Again" on them were outrageous, in the the only Jews matter sense. But then it's hardly surprising as that was the sole theme of Foxman's outrage and the PBS report.

  • In the last days of 'Operation Protective Edge' Israel focused on its final goal -- the destruction of Gaza's professional class
    • @Abierno- Maybe my perception is wrong, but in Syria, Syrian nationals can flee but the Palestinian refugees there are trapped (and used as human shields by the rebels that we/US supply with weapons).

      The common thread is that Palestinians are unique in this "fence them in and kill them [because nobody cares]" method that Mr. Cohen describes so horrifically in the article.

  • Read the genocidal sermon a notable Atlanta rabbi gave this Rosh Hashanah
  • The face of Gaza
    • Thanks Tamara.

      There's a Palestinian kid that works in my doctor's office. When I found out he was Palestinian and from Gaza I asked, after some chit-chat establishing that I was not trying to corner and accuse, whether he came to this country to remember or to forget.

      He said "forget" and I didn't argue. Thanks for supplying the word for why I didn't argue.

      This summer his father, a former administrator at one of the Gaza universities, lost his best friend in the Rafah slaughter. As he said this you could see the steely conflict of his soul in his eyes. I still didn't press the question, but what anguish it must involve to be Palestinian, even if you do come here for the “mirtaah.”

      Just a minor anecdote, replayed a million times over for generations.

      I hope your efforts, all our efforts, large and small, make some difference. I can't bear the trapped look in this kid's eyes.

  • Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis
  • Can the US Congress bring justice for the Palestinians?: A response to Robert Naiman
    • Wow. Great article by Weir, Nevada Ned.

      Christian Zionism is all so contrived AND eroding. The "Moral Arc of the Universe..." and all that.

      You have to believe that only maybe 10% of [potential?] CUFI-types are hard core, Israeli-style, "lawn-mowing" racists. The rest probably do have the smidge of morality that enables them to evaluate the situation based on actual facts and make a moral judgement that Palestinians are oppressed -- and act accordingly and of their own minds.

      House of cards. Has support for Israel peaked? The examples of changing (from just one visit to Israel) evangelistic perspectives coming out of Wheaton College, ORU, and Bethel are profoundly hopeful.

      Thanks. Tweeted.

  • No Surprise Dep't: David Brooks's son is in Israeli army
    • Exactly. How running away to join a foreign military while your own country is at war and your fellow citizens are fighting and dieing in your place is considered anything other than a repulsive character void is beyond me. But to Brooks it seems to be a virtue.

      I just watched the new episode of The Good Wife the other night. One of the main characters' kid did exactly the same thing (ran off to join the IDF while her own country was at war). It was presented as virtuous there as well. Really disgusting stuff.

  • Goldberg tries to police view that Israel's actions fuel anti-Semitism
    • Hi Shmuel,

      I see you and tree already touched on the flag-draped merging of Israel and Jews so...

      This is why I brought up the need for the "clarity" of a division in the "Jewish community" a few weeks ago. It's not because I, personally, am confused (I have my discerning questions ready.). It's because the kind of exchange in the article is becoming generally perceived as noise/mush to those of us on the outside. It doesn't even appear that there is a generally accepted acknowledgement of a terminology problem among these guys (e.g. "Jews will cringe" [some will no doubt but not all], "Jews should not be blamed..." [some should], "Jews do not cause anti-Semitism" [images of 500 slaughtered children will not have zero effect, so some do]). They ALL seem to generalize. It's a big problem.

      Outsiders are simply going to stop trying to figure it out and the loudest, most propagated line, "Israel equals the Jews" is going to be the accepted condition. Whatever Israel does will then be observed to be what "Jews" do, unless proven otherwise (and maybe not even then if Gaza has a deadly cholera epidemic or something).

      Barring some loud cracking fissure on Israel within the "community," adopting, whether actively or through acquiescence, the Israeli version of this representation debate would seem to me to be a very dangerous way to go forward. That raises a sense of urgency in me, but there just doesn't seem to be any urgency on Israel within the "Jewish community," (as represented by these three; see I almost did it too.) It all seems so philosophical in a cloistered, "the rest of you can be present as long as you don't talk" sort of way.

      I don't know. I think I'm getting all "que sera sera" on whether Israel represents (or is perceived to represent) all Jews or not.

      This is not a poke or an argument, just a sad observation.

    • Agree Sean. And notice that not only do they NOT speak out about lumping all Jews together, all three of them actually do it in the provided quotes. I don't get it.

  • Homegrown jihadis and the limits of the Israel lobby
    • @marc b.- Agree. And to take it a little further (or maybe just differently) the fact that the Israel Lobby can exert enough political pressure in the US to make our political/FP/biz machine override its own basic affinity for dictator/despot-based ME stability-for-business-purposes shows that the Israel Lobby trumps any other power base in DC in general, but especially on MENA and/or war and peace issues.

      It's self-evident.

      All this chaos over there is diametrical to almost all US business interests, and even the one to benefit, MIC, is small (tens of $Bs? annually) compared to the total missed opportunity (hundreds of $Bs?). As just one example, Boeing alone could sell tens of $Bs of new civilian aircraft to Iran tomorrow vs. maybe a couple of $Bs of AWACS or tankers to Israel or KSA. In any event MIC sales would be a net zero because our "allies" would buy/be gifted those anyway, so the huge opportunity cost is the large net civilian business benefit from stability in the region. And even then if Iran moves into our "orbit" the MIC sales would go up there as well.

      I shorthanded this so I hope it makes sense. The power of the Israel Lobby imbalances this opportunity-seeking business dynamic and generates a huge yearly missed-opportunity cost, compounded by the decades this imbalance has been going on. The degree of the cost is directly proportional to the power wielded to create it, imho.

  • Malta sinking killed hundreds fleeing Gaza
    • Well that may be, except for the woman part, but my definition of sick is killing their families so they are forced to flee AND doing everything in your power to prevent them from doing so AND even when they find a way they face murder by trafficker.

      The result is just more "lawn" to be "mowed" in a few years (which means more kids to be killed as the world watches Israelis cheer it on).

      It's sadistic in the EXTREME.

      Even the Jewish kids in the '30s were given a relatively safe out given enough bribes.

      My take of this most vile episode in this conflict is more than suppress Palestinian identity, more than criminalize it globally, the Israelis simply want to contain any dispersion of it and kill Palestinians until they no longer call themselves Palestinian. I mean if they want to leave, why not encourage that? There are simply ZERO answers to that question.

      So I guess I'm sick because I'm sick of it.

  • Moe Diab debates SWU operative Philippe Assouline (Updated)
    • So right, Eva. The conflict between keeping the lid on the Palestinian side and increased ratings is going to be very very interesting. Will news producers be more interested in making money or controlling info flow.

      The fact that what you point out has become a real and consequential (i.e. it's going to cost news orgs money to opt to control info flow in this issue) choice is itself a sign of progress.


  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
    • Great comment, Annie.

      As you point out the legal definition of genocide was meant to head off a big-G Genocide. To prevent millions of people being killed by addressing the early warning signs.

      That people deeply affected by the aftermath of WWII big-G Genocide chose this definition and called it genocide is not a distraction. It's the point. It was/is the legal implementation of "Never Again."

      It is inarguable that what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians is small-g genocidal. It fits the definition. Has Israel gotten to big-G Genocide yet? No, but they're on the path toward it that was specifically laid out by people who experienced the biggest of big-G Genocides.


      Thanks for the Schabas link, Shmuel.

  • Ohio University filibuster: harangue or free speech?
  • University of Illinois trustees vote to reject Salaita reinstatement
    • Yep, seafoid. It's amazing how self-reinforcing this whole power cycle is.

      Fight another $T war (pick your starting point), de-fund education, make universities more reliant on outside donors, outside donors who also support another $T war...

  • Ohio student leader who dropped bucket of blood for Gaza receives vicious death threats
    • Halborn's response WAS made out a sense of entitlement. Same as Galloway's attacker, same as those JDL thugs in Paris and Rome, same as the GoI. Israel's behavior is expanding outward.

      All of them should be locked up.

      "I believe DD was expressing only what he perceivedas the world she lives in. and i believe he was observing, without explicit judgement, based on those perceptions."

      Absolutely agree. The perception is valid, imho, the fear is not, therefore the actions are not (in any event the actions are not valid, fear or no fear, real or imagined).

      "i’m just wondering why there is an assumption she acted “out of this sense of threat”? "

      She was motivated by something. How does one explain psychosis? Schizophrenics are motivated by the voices in their heads. Maybe one of her voices persuaded her she was threatened. (Not being glib.)

      "i’m just wondering why there is an assumption she was later “shocked to realize she’s even capable of such violence”?"

      That part doesn't appear to be an assumption. She bipolared that one out of the park with her profuse apology.

      "why isn’t she part of this other ilk? "

      I think DD was pointing out that she IS part of that ilk. I think that was the somatic part. The whole Israel mindset of mob racism and anything goes is being exported and embraced.

      "maybe she was “engaged in demagogic fanning of these flames of fear, and self-righteous mutual goading to ever further acts of hatred and violence.” did you consider that?"

      She certainly was, but I don't think she is an originator of the concept, just an early adopter. More to come as this debate shifts away from Israel. You're right, it's a known ploy. At her level, she incites then waits for someone to say "Jew" or "Jewish" and the ADL is right on it as an "incident." This is why your drill-down here is so important. It shows people that how it works.

      I agree completely with your last paragraph (except for the part about me cutting her some slacks). She should be locked up. The leaders of Israel as well.

      I think you and DD are pointing out the same sense of wrongness. He, obliquely, and you, much more directly. Just my opinion.


    • Annie, I believe DD was observing only that that's the world she lives in. Observing without explicit judgement but with some strong subtext of "pretty f'd up." That was just my read given the text of her threats.

      I agree that that/her bubble-world rationalizations shouldn't/can't be allowed to drive the discussion when the result of allowing them to do so is so deadly for people Halborn-types don't give a shit about.

      I think "fear" was (is on my part) an assumption to make a point. Again my read was that DD was being dismissive of his own imputed motive for Halborn's attack (and her bubble-world). That there doesn't need to be evidence of anything - any old claim will do. That's the skin of her "somatic" (of the body; I had to look it up) state.

      All these tea leaves aside, I can only imagine the nutso crap you have to wade through on a daily basis. I understand (though never fully because I haven't lived it) why you're drilling down on this. You're right. It's important and long overdue.

    • "The more over-the-top the reaction, the sillier it starts to sound."

      Another reason to do it.

    • To me, Annie, DD was just making an observation, not a criticism.

      I think the "somatic states" idea is an interesting recasting of this situation and issue. When he was asking " I and my community...," he was describing one of those states, the one that controls Halborn and people like her, and projecting it as her state of mind. Her "somatic state."

      I don't think he was trying to minimize what she did. I think he was trying to explain it.


  • The rise of 'If Not Now' and the collapse of the pro-Israel consensus
    • I suspect humor is one of your lesser talents, Mooser. ;)

      Great point!

    • Edit (please):

      SHB: C) It’s a sad truth that the “organized Jewish community” is extremely coercive in contriving “overwhelming” Jewish support for Israel. If that support is NOT contrived it means the Jewish community is overwhelmingly pro-slaughter either by acquiescence or outright preference. ...

      Still not sure I got it right. Close enough.

    • @EliStern- Not nonsense.

      A) 5-6% IS exclusion.

      B) That's only the 5-6% that dare to speak out plainly. What about the additional 20-30% who dare not speak out plainly for fear of what happened to the 5-6%?

      C) It's a sad truth that the "organized Jewish community" is extremely coercive in contriving "overwhelming" Jewish support for Israel. If they're not, they're pro-slaughter either by acquiescence or outright preference. It's not fair to make such a sweeping statement about a group, but your 95% "overwhelming solidarity" claim opens that door. So my question back to you is why pretend that US Jews (most of whom are normal moral people like most other groups) aren't growing increasingly restless/offended by the pro-slaughter policies of Israel? I believe they are, but something's keeping them in the fold, enabling your claim making that claim self-fulfilling.

    • Thanks Another Steve. You're right on the narrow legal issue/decision. I shouldn't try to shorthand this type of complex stuff. Someday I'll learn that lesson...

      But the background issue, as I understand it, is whether a federal law can override religious preference in a privately-owned entity with public stakeholders affected by that federal law. The Court may not have specifically ruled on the larger First Amendment issue, but the larger rights issue prompted the successful suit.

      So maybe stated another way, and as I understand you to say, the Hobby Lobby decision affirmed that federal law cannot be written such that it overrides corporate sensibilities/rights. I think that makes the Hobby Lobby decision antagonistic to, if not outright preclude, what Israel-via-AIPAC is trying to do on the anti-BDS legislative front.

    • @EliStern- Israel is destroying Jewish "solidarity" (whatever solidarity means), not the other way around.

      This transformation is nothing more than a reaction to the process of Israel/Zionism's forced exclusion of non-supportive Jews.

    • It's pretty hard to imagine, in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, how any corporation's "First Amendment rights" can be curtailed by any legislation.

      Perhaps this is an oversimplification, but the Constitutional principle upheld by SCOTUS with Hobby Lobby is that corps have rights too - privately held ones anyway.

      These would-be deniers-of-rights just can't have it both ways. Looks like they're going to try anyway.

  • Salaita speaks out and warns of a 'Palestinian exception' to the first amendment and academic freedom
    • On the "civility == death" graphic, when you catch your kids are playing in a busy street, do you say "Please don't play in the street." and wait for a reaction, or are you going to perhaps use another tone to get their attention?

      Does "Get your little asses out of the street, NOW!" mean you hate them? Don't think so.

  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • Thanks, Taxi. Nailed it.

      This the penultimate theater of the absurd. We are wringing our hands, bombing, and then wringing our hands again about the people we are simultaneously giving arms to.

      What to do? What to do? Oh dear, what to do? Sheesh. What baloney.

      With the answers being so obvious, you have to wonder if the ferocity of the fretting isn't directly proportional to the desire to destabilize the region (within "serious" Beltway policy-making circles).

      Or something. The meltdown is getting really hard to watch anymore.

      Books will be written on this. Libraries maybe even. This strenuous pursuit of glaringly obvious yet increasingly destructive nonsense will surely make for a gripping future-history read. (e.g. Why did they do that? Why did they do THAT? WHY did they do that? I can't believe they DID that. etc.)

  • Ohio student leader's dramatic act for Gaza
    • Actually, no gamal. I just wasn't seeing what eljay was seeing.

      My view is that shocking is OK and warranted when people are getting slaughtered by the thousands, and have been for decades. It may turn some people off, and too much all at once definitely does (it makes the situation look hopeless), but I believe given this extreme and ongoing context, the extreme counterpoint has to be made by someone.

      Having said that, as everybody here maybe knows, I am not the person to do that. But even there, what Marzec did and more "civil" discussions are the yin-yang of the advocacy whole. Neither is effective (i.e. both are ignored) without the other. They have to be taken/used together.

    • Thanks, eljay. Appreciate you.

    • Why do you disagree with Marzec's action, eljay? What are you seeing? Sincere...

    • Wow. What courage on Marzec's part.

      Tom Hayes NAILS it in the context and the specifics. OU was the most "lefty" school in the Ohio state system when I was in school. It has (had?) a LONG tradition of protest and big-issue activism.

  • Israel's tunnels aim to Judaize Jerusalem and are approved by Supreme Court
  • Three-sentence letter to the 'NYT' results in Yale chaplain's resignation
    • Good one, michelle. That last line is a toughie.

    • It's good to know that the Episcopal version of "God's mission" at Yale includes condoning (through silence) the slaughter of children in Gaza compounded by the adamant denial of any effort to help them in the aftermath.

  • The west is safer for Jews than Israel (duh)
    • And what percentage of Jewish-Israelis hold two or more passports anyway? I bet it's close to 50%. If it is, that's unique. It's the definition of non-committal. Kind of a vacation mentality actually.

      • 750,000 current or pending US passport holders (2011)
      • 100,000 German passport holders
      • 15%, two countries

      link to

      link to

    • @American- I think you said a week or so ago that having a state changes/changed everything. I agree. "Safer" was the whole point of Israel. To ignore that fact because one has "options" is to deny the reason for Israel's existence.

      This isn't a "rootless cosmopolitan*" issue anymore. It's a citizen-of-Israel issue with all the obligations and commitments that entails.

      * link to

    • " ...hopefully, among Israel’s liberal supporters abroad as well."

      I hope so too, Shmuel.

      I don't know if you agree with Mooser or not on the desirability of a split/branching within the Jewish community on Israel. I believe I do, if only from an outsider's need for clarity. I hope the forces compelling "left-biased" Israelis to leave are/become equally compelling, as you say, among Israel's liberal supporters abroad, in pursuit of that clarity. IOW, hasten the split.

      I'm not feeling quite well at the moment, so I hope that makes sense. I just wanted to respond before too much time passed.


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