Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 8213 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 8213 - 8201

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • To bolster the "Jews are always victims" claims.

      But, I ask again, were there any such notices anywhere? I've never heard of them, but there are lots of things I've never heard of.

    • I seem to recall that terrorist attacks on buses started in the 1930s or 40s with Zionists throwing bombs into buses full of Arabs.

    • I have heard of "No dogs or Chinese" signs in pre-WW2 Shanghai. I've never heard of "No Dogs or Jews" anywhere. Is this just made up for effect?

  • Open Hillel's big month: Swarthmore 'Kehilah' is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions
    • "“Hillel International is the sole and exclusive licensee with the right to use the famous Hillel name "

      They've got a letter granting them that right. It was written by Rabbi Hillel himself.

  • Scripted Hate: What to expect when Campus Watch writes about you
    • And, adding injury to insult, the message from George Barbery includes two examples of commas after subject clauses. Where do people learn this? Every American writing course I have seen agrees this is wrong.

  • White House will go after AIPAC next -- Newsweek
    • "So now we know why it took over 300 years to end slavery in this country "

      Which country are you referring to? Israel or Palestine?

  • CUFI Leader John Hagee confirms Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic
    • Not so, Walid. Most Buddhists don't really care about God at all, and some varieties of Hinduism teach that all religions are just different paths to the same destination.

  • 'New anti-Semitism' on college campuses is largely blowback against orchestrated Israel advocacy
    • You don't have to actually rebut it. You declare it an "anti-Semitic trope" and scream abuse at anyone who suggests it.

  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • Not arcane at all. Basic Shinto.

      Never heard of those people.

    • That's just crazy. The Emperor is supposed to have sex with Ameterasu. It's one of his duties, and it has never caused a nuclear accident before. Failure to do his duty would be more likely to cause a major catastrophe.

  • The liberal Zionist lament: Joe Klein and Jodi Rudoren try to explain away Israeli racism
    • “I don’t think it sort of speaks to Palestinian national aspirations "

      Not if you assume that Palestinians have the same sort of "national aspirations" that Zionists have. But why make that assumption? Indeed, why make the assumption that Palestinians have any "national aspirations" at all?

  • American Jews are taking back their power from Israel
    • "• Benzion Netanyahu: “The Bible finds no worse image than this of the man from the desert."

      Let's ignore the fact that the vast majority of Arabs are farmers and city folk.

      " There is a Jewish people and an Arab population… there is no Palestinian people, so you don’t create a state for an imaginary nation"

      And here we see that strange obsession with "nations" and "peoples" that we find in JeffB's posts.

    • "since Israel makes every effort to make it clear that Jews and Judaism is what Israel represents. "

      Add to that the fact that in many parts of the world lots of "official" Jewish organizations (Boards of Deputies and the like) are very vocal in support of Israel. They create the impression that the great majority of Jews are Zionists.

    • Page: 82
    • What a peculiar article! It's called the "Royal Air Force", not the "British Air Force".

  • I want my country back
  • Bill Maher justifies Netanyahu's racism by saying U.S. has done much worse
    • Of course, the buildings weren't blown up. Two fell down because they were hit by planes, and the third fell down by itself, either in sympathy or in shock at hearing the BBC announce that it had already fallen down.

      No explosives, No siree.

  • 'Do US Jews need a Jewish state for our safety?' debate begins in wake of Netanyahu victory
    • How would creating a state compensate the victims or their heirs?

    • There are several things wrong with this "Israel as a safe haven" thesis".

      First, most importantly, is the outrageous sense of entitlement. The safety of Jews from possible injustice is more important than the actual injustice being afflicted on the Palestinians. The Palestinians have to be sacrificed as an insurance policy for foreign Jews. This grotesquely immoral claim should be exposed and protested every time it emerges.

      Far less important is the silliness of establishing a safe have in such a way as to guarantee the continual hostility of the neighbours. (Not that the founding Zionists were thinking in terms of a safe haven.)

      Finally, the key issues for all refugees (not just Jews) are those of being able to escape, and having somewhere to escape to. There is no reason why Jews should get special treatment here.

      It might be possible to make an agreement with the Palestinians that, in a unified Socialist People's Republic of the Holy Land, foreign Jews who are fleeing persecution can freely enter.

      Jews who are simply fleeing war or disaster will have to take their chances with the other refugees.

    • Annie, how would turning a chunk of Germany into a Jewish state compensate for anything, let alone for being dead?

    • The British started settling freed slaves in Sierra Leone slightly earlier. That was not entirely successful, either.

  • Meet the Knesset members from the Joint List
    • According to the Swedish Academy, one meaning is :

      "The fungus-like coating on the hooves of a calf. Frequently removed for draft oxen, so as to give the hoof a more concave form and thus better purchase on ice."

      If you didn't read MW, you would probably never learn this sort of thing.

    • Skål.

      "A" with a pom-pom. "Ä" is a Swedish letter. "Æ" is the Norwegian equivalent.

      In another post you said you were Norwegian. After five generations, do you really think that is a meaningful claim? Especially when you have an Australian lecturing you on the differences between Swedish and Norwegian?

      ("Skäl" is mostly used to mean "reason" or "motive". It also has a bunch of incredibly obscure meanings connected with fish and calves. Most Swedes don't know those meanings, and don't care. They live happy and productive lives without them.)

    • ritzl, "sköl" is a rare word in Swedish. I had to look it up. It has a variety of meanings, including "straight clipped bangs" and "tectonic fissure". None of them seem to make sense in the context.

      link to

      The letter ö is not used in Norwegian. Ø is used instead.

      Perhaps you are thinking of "skål". It's the same in both languages.

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
  • Landmark New York Synagogue attempts to shut down Nakba discussion
    • “UK Jews, as the great Keith Kahn Harris said – keep your agenda to yourselves. Think how your self-serving writing impacts on Israelis before writing."

      So British Jews should be a secretive cabal serving a foreign county. Brilliant idea.

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • "Former President Jimmy Carter definitely inferred that the 2ss was over years ago "

      I recall that he implied it by what he said. I suppose he must have inferred it from the facts.

    • Black water tanks are contrary to the principles of Jewish plumbing?

    • "it is about being French - "

      So being French involves speaking French, eating snails and frogs, wearing berets, drinking red wine and discussing existentialism in cafés, and so forth.

      (But, as you say, French Jews and assimilated Muslims do these things as well. That makes them French. So why do you say that French history is "not theirs"?)

      And what makes people "culturally French"? Being brought up in, and living in, France.

      And how many of those attributes does one need to have in order to qualify as French? One? Two? Twenty?

      In the same way, we could lay out series of attributes for someone to qualify as culturally Israeli, and argue that one becomes Israeli by being brought up in Israel. But just as one can be culturally French regardless of whether or not one is a Jew, so surely it is possible to be culturally Israeli regardless of whether or not one is a Jew.

      So we can still say "Israel is Israeli in the way France is French".

      But where does the "Jewish" come in? Well, if you want to say that Israel culture, plumbing, etc, is influenced by Judaism and Jewish practices, no-one will dispute that. Nor would anyone dispute that French culture (and perhaps the plumbing) is influenced by Catholicism and Catholic practices.

      So if you want to say that Israel is Jewish in the way that France is Catholic, go ahead.

      But France does not call itself a "Catholic State". On the contrary, it is a state of and for all its citizens, and that includes those who have never heard of Sartre, who only drink beer, and the children of my Japanese sister-in-law.

    • From his name, I would think he a descendant from Irish Mizrahis, just as George M. Cohan was.

    • " Israel will be Jewish in the way that France is French"

      In what way is France French? It isn't a citizen of France. It is full of French people, but they get their Frenchness from being citizens of France. Do you mean that France is French because it is full of French citizens?

      If we apply the same principle to Israel, we could say that Israel is Israeli because it is full of Israeli citizens. But being Jewish is not a matter of citizenship.

    • He is. It's totally wrong to write "different than" instead of "different from".

  • Netanyahu won. Now what?
    • What fascinating ideas! Where did they get them from. I can't recall anything in the Quran that would support the idea of the Grreat Luminous Age, and the idea precedes L. Ron Hubbard. It sounds to me like a derivative of the pre-Christian Gnostic ideas.

    • Actually, in Australia we are becoming more and more aware of the crime that was committed against the Aborigines. An official apology was made in Parliament. Some TV stations include in the credits to programmes that the program was made on land originally owned by a particular group. School begin formal functions with a similar acknowledgment. We also have a TV channel devoted to programmes about Aborigines and indigenous peoples in similar situations. There is a movement which aims to have recognition of the original owners included in the Federal Constitution, and I expect it will succeed. The condition of the Aborigines is a social and political issue in Australia.

      Quite the opposite of the issue fading away.

  • Oberlin students highlight plight of Palestinian political prisoners with week-long installation
    • 550 pages of academic prose! That'll show 'em.

      Useless. Not even other academics will read that.

      Though I suppose such a thick book could be used for argumentum ad baculum .

  • Why I hope Netanyahu will be crushed tonight
    • Phil is an American. As far as I know, he was born and brought up in America. Americans grow most of the food he eats and purify and pump the water he drinks. The community that cleans his streets, teaches his children, provides electricity and dozens of other services is the American community. The American community is the community that sustains him, and the community of which he is a member. When he shows concern for American interests, for all Americans (American Jews included), he is showing concern for his own community.

      When he shows concern for justice and human rights, he has expanded his view to include the interests of all humanity, the entire human community.

      Why do you want him to reject his own community, and ignore the bulk of the human race, by showing special concern for Jews?

    • I wouldn't bet on it.

    • ". You’re concerned with what’s good for America, and what’s good for the Palestinians, yet the question of what’s in the best interests of the Jews (in Israel, in the US, in Europe…) doesn’t register, doesn’t even come in third. This apparent alienation from Jewish concerns may mean that you’ll never win the debate inside the community with Jeremy Ben-Ami and Peter Beinart".

      Let me get this clear. Are you suggesting that Jews are more concerned about what is "good for the Jews" than about what is good for their country or about humanitarian concerns?

      I thought that was supposed to be an anti-Semitic "trope".

      But if it is true that Phil's loyalty to his country and his common human decency would lead to his views being rejected by the Jewish "community", that only shows how corrupt and degraded tha "community" has become.

  • Fans of Barcelona basketball team show support for Palestine despite attacks on free speech
    • "This kind of reasoning , if applied consistently , would destroy international sports."

      You say that as if it were a bad thing.

      But, as others have pointed out, the ban on cricket with South Africa was a powerful message of disapproval from the Commonwealth and most of the rest of the world.

  • 'We aim to shape the democratic and moral alternative in this country' -- an interview with Ayman Odeh
    • Reform from inside would, indeed, be the best solution. But it would require a change of heart, a change of attitude. If that could be achieved, if the israeli Jews could collectively say "Oops! Sorry! Our mistake", then real reconciliation could begin.

  • The farewell party of the mezuzah-kissers
    • The Welsh? Those blasted interlopers took over the country from the Beaker Folk.. Send all the Celts back to Central Europe. That's their homeland.

      (I recall that few years ago a genetic study found that a lot of English people were direct descendants of pre-Celtic Inhabitants. They just mixed with everyone else who arrived.)

    • Why, thank you, just.

      But take care with your commas.

  • Sheldon Adelson is not the problem
    • Yes, using the circumstantial version of argumentum ad hominem to smear sceptical scientists.

      (The really big money is on the other side, but that is no reason for rejecting the man-made global warming hypothesis either.)

  • Separating anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism
    • "no one owns words"

      Though I should.

      "and our only obligation is to make ourselves clear."

      And you have done in that excellent discussion of the dangers of amphiboly through restrictive definition.

  • UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as 'triggering, terrifying'
    • Philemon, aside from the misquotation, I'm a bit puzzled about the concept of "the glory that was Judea". I know about the Greeks and the Romans. I know about the art and architecture, the literature and theatre and music, the mathematics, science, medicine, engineering, and plumbing. I know about the ancient philosophers, their metaphysics, their epistemology, and their ethics. All of these are the foundations of our own Western arts, sciences, and ethics.

      But I can't recall much from Judea. As far as I can tell, all Judea produced was a bit of religious literature and a religious impulse which stultified the minds and corrupted the souls of Europe.

      So what was that glory?

    • Trolls are Jewish? I lived in Sweden and Denmark for several years and never realised that. It gives a new slant to the stories.

      (The ferocious, red faced, long nosed, blue eyed tengu goblins of Japan are obviously Vikings or Scotsmen who somehow wandered over there.)

    • I'm travelling, so I haven't got the resources to check the details of the Iran/US relationship, but I'm sure others will correct any errors of memory.

      "When this Iranian government first formed after the revolution one of their first acts was to attack a USA embassy"

      Wasn't that because the U.S. was trying to subvert the revolution?

      "They’ve threatened shipping of oil. our single biggest strategic objective repeatedly. "

      Perhaps because the U.S. has threatened them with military attack and actively sanctioned them. The U.S. supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. The U.S. supports Israel, which continuously threatens Iran. The U.S. shot down an Iranian airliner, and rewarded the commander responsible. A U.S. presidential candidate publicly sang "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" without being condemned or repudiated by the U.S. establishment. The U.S. is trying to prevent the Iranians from developing their nuclear power system on the basis of accusations that even the U.S. intelligence services do not believe.

      "They have made our job in Afghanistan much more difficult."

      Early on in the war they were providing assistance.

      "Their proxies in places like Lebanon have also attacked American troops."

      And your proof that these organizations were acting as Iran's proxies is ...?

      "Obama came into office in 2009 with a strong pro-Iranian tilt. They didn’t reciprocate."

      What practical steps did he take? I recall that he said something about offering an open hand rather than a clenched fist, but I also recall the U.S. did not unclench its fist, so it is hardly surprising that the Iranians did not respond.

      As I said before, it looks to me as though the U.S. has chosen enmity to Iran. The preferable course would be to keep trying to make friends.

    • "You’re the equivalent of a climate change denier. "

      Ah! The joy of fashionable buzz-words!

      The term "climate change denier" was coined to smear sceptics of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis with the odium that attaches to "Holocaust denier". Seems to have worked for hophmi.

      Ironic term, since the people so smeared are the ones who affirm that the Earth's climate has changed many times in the past, and will almost certainly carry on changing, and that this process is perfectly natural and normal and nothing to be ashamed of all all.

    • "I'm in favour of harming Iran because Iran is an enemy of the United States "

      You care about the US?

      It seems to me that the US has needlessly made itself an enemy of Iran. But be that as it may, harming Iran will not make things any better. The minimal course to follow is to not harm the enemy if the enemy is not harming you. (And Iran isn't harming the U.S., unless it is doing so by helping to defeat ISIS.)
      The preferable course is to try to make your enemy into a friend.

  • Israel's Foreign Minister calls for beheading Arab citizens and it's not anywhere in the New York Times
    • Dennis the Menace? Do you mean the pathetic American Dennis, or the real one?

      "there are many antiJewish comments here on mw"

      Plenty of anti-American and anti-British comments, too. Plus anti-Arab and anti-Iranian comments. And other groups have come in for stick as well. That's what you get from free, open debate.

  • Racism disguised as liberal anguish
    • " in every country there is systematic discrimination"


      "but everyone decides to act as if the Jews went into the Palestinian Mandate and started murdering people innocently farming their lands. "

      Jews went into Palestine with the intention of taking over the country, and expelling or subjugating the Christians and Muslims who were already living there and innocently farming their lands and running their businesses. They started driving farmers off the land fairly early, and Jewish terrorists started murdering people.

      (Now I know you are going to squawk about Arab violence, but that was a reaction to the Jewish invasion. Palestinian Arabs did not go to Poland, Germany, etc., and start trying to take over. It was Poles, Germans, etc., who left their countries and went to cause trouble in Palestine.)

      "– it is a complicated conflict with multiple conflicting narratives."

      Since they conflict, they can't all be true. And the moral issues depend on the truth.

      " If violating human rights is the only way to make your citizens safe – then it must be done. "

      If it is the only way, then

      (a) you have probably created the situation by some previous violations of human rights,


      (b) you have a choice between safety of citizens and violation of rights.

      Is that safety so morally important that it outweighs the rights of non-citizens? There is no "must" about it.

      But you do not need to make that choice, because that is not the only way. If Israel were to follow the path of justice and decency, the citizens would be safer than they are now.

      If Israel were to say

      "Whoops! Zionism was wrong and the founding of Israel was wrong. Our mistake. Sorry about that. From now on, all Palestine will be a single democratic state, and all Jews and Arabs (including the refugees) will be equal citizens. We will do our best to compensate Palestinians for past wrongs. Now let us all work together to try to create a decent, reasonably just, state here",

      then the conflict would be over. There might be few hardliners on both sides who would try to make trouble, but they would be just a minor danger.

      Can Israelis accept justice and decency?

  • Bearing witness in Gaza, Kristof can't see the bigger picture
    • Auto spell mangled "pov" to "pop"?

      It is a strange feeling to find myself in agreement with a Zionist, but I too find that the software does not reduce the need for editing. Instead of looking for my own typos, I now have to look for the "corrections".

  • Netanyahu's accomplishment: Consolidating support for negotiations with Iran
    • "After all, Congresspeople travel the globe all the time and talk to leaders wherever they go. "

      Usually doing immense harm to US relations with the country, as they reveal the true breadth of American ignorance and the depth of American craziness.

  • Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not 'nation state of the Jewish people')
    • It is shockingly incoherent, Just.

      I have noticed an increase in accusations of hate and hate speech over the last few years. (Not just on MW, either.) It may just be a passing fad but it is really depressing nonetheless. It suggests that large numbers of people (and not just Zionists) believe that a major feature of human society is hatred for other groups.

      And I simply do not believe this nasty picture is true. (An unusually Pollyanna-ish view for an old cynic like me.) Nor can I believe that it bodes well for us if this idea of mutual hatred is widespread.

      I hope it is just a passing fad, that people toss out these accusations because it is the fashionable thing to do, without actually holding any underlying beliefs, and that it will soon fade away.

      For I also suspect that when people are obsessed with hatred and accusations of hatred, it either promotes hatred in the accusers, or reveals a pre-existing hatred in them.

      And neither of these is an encouraging prospect.

    • If the Jews in Russia repudiated Russianness, and held themselves not to be Russian, then I would suggest that the Tsars had a case.

      If not, if the Jews intended to be Russian but were repudiated by the Russian establishment, then the Tsars were wrong. I don't see how the fact that they can't hear me now could make them right.

      I can understand that being repudiated could easily lead to Russian Jews believing that they were not Russians, but that belief does not make them a nation.

    • "Does Jewish nationalism make sense in 1881 in Russia, Roha? "

      No. Russian Jews were not a nation in 1881, either.

    • I have never seen the point of Jewish secularism. If you don't believe the religion, why bother with the rest of it.

      (And when are we going to be able to move directly from a comment in the "100 latest" to the comment in the thread, the way we used to be able to do? )

    • "Jewish nationalism circa 2015 is essentially different than Jewish nationalism circa 1881"

      No. Jewish nationalism circa 2015 is essentially different from Jewish nationalism circa 1881.

      Modern Israeli nationalism makes sense. Jewish nationalism, saying that Australian Jews are not real Australians, French Jews are not really French (Marsellaise notwithstanding), and American Jews are not real Americans, is crazy now and was crazy in 1881.

  • Paris university reverses decision, allows Israeli apartheid event with Blumenthal
  • 'NYT' reports 'surge of hostile sentiment against Jews' nationwide -- on what basis?
    • The link is to a specific essay about anti-Semitism. The essay is one of the essays on a site which does make sweeping accusations against Jews, but that is not a reason for rejecting the conclusions of the essay. The truth of the claims in the essay may well be independent of the truth of the other claims on that site. To reject it solely on the basis of the overall claims of the site is simply a variation of argumentum ad hominem.

      That said, given the current obsessions with "hate speech" , and the attendant lack of logic and rationality even amongst the allegedly educated part of the populace, I will agree with you that linking to such sites is likely (via guilt-by-association fallacy) to do more harm than good.

  • Cornel West joins boycott of Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign over Salaita firing
    • "even in a world in which ugly anti-Jewish hatred escalates.”

      Isn't it depressing that he feels he has to toss this line in. Even more depressing if he actually believes it.

  • Netanyahu speech was 'very dark day for American democracy' -- Matthews
  • Over one quarter of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress consisted of applause and standing ovations
    • I have read analyses that suggest the opposite. Had Britain and France supported Czechoslovakia in refusing to give up the Sudetenland, and prepared a force on the French border, Germany did not (at that time) have the capacity to both breach the Czech defences and defend the border with France.

  • Media are stunned by Congress's 'loyalty' to Netanyahu (but refuse to explain it)
    • Jews who care more about the interests of foreign Jews than about the interests of their fellow citizens are disloyal.

      If they live up to an antisemitic archetype, they are the ones responsible for strengthening that archetype.

      Of course, the picture nowhere mentions Jews. The message is directed at US Congress members , and not all of them are Jews.

  • Israeli soldiers set attack dogs on teen -- 'Bite him' -- and rightwing politician cheers
    • I seem to recall that Cain offered a healthy fruit salad, and it was rejected. Abel offered a sheep (for Yahuwahu to eat, I presume) and it was accepted. I think Cain got a bit miffed about that.

  • Factchecking Netanyahu: An annotated guide to the Israeli P.M.'s speech to Congress
  • Pelosi blasts Netanyahu speech as 'insult to intelligence of U.S.', Amanpour calls it 'dark, Strangelovian'
    • I like Obama's response.

      "Didn't see it. I was too busy talking to the leaders of important countries, countries which are real allies, and which really do share our best values."

      (RoHa's interpretation. Not Obama's actual words.)

    • Surely he said "wrest".

    • "There is no evidence that the Book of Esther is anything other than mythical. And its glorying in the killing of many Persians is morally grotesque. "

      Even more morally grotesque is making a joyous festival to commemorate the event.

    • "Can all these congressmen/women and senators be that afraid of the Israel lobby? ? They all can’t be."

      Surely you mean "they can't all be". I'm pretty sure some of them are.

    • "Toes the line", not "tows the line".

      Is this another case of software thinking it knows better?

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • You are right, DB. What's more, the Israelis stayed out of Korea and Vietnam without even being asked to!

      So it looks as though Americans can depend on Israel for one thing.

      When it comes to the crunch, they can be sure the Israelis won't be there.

    • "What I have taken issue with is the matter in which Phil criticizes American Jewry, particularly his overall critique of the American Jewish community as a privileged elite that does not have America’s best interest at heart. Regrettably, Phil’s ranting often mimics classic antisemitic tropes. "

      In short, Phil says that American Jews are not loyal members of the American nation. Hophmi condemns this claim as "antisemitic", and even hint that it may be false.

      "He pillorizes his people for being “chosen,” and then insists on holding them to a much higher standard than everyone else when it comes to the exercise of power and national sovereignty."

      By "his people", does hophmi mean American Jews or Jews in general?

      If the former, they have no national sovereignty per se, but only share in the sovereignty of all Americans. And calling on them to be loyal Americans is hardly holding them to a higher standard.

      If the latter, then homphmi is suggesting that Jews (including American Jews) are not part of the nations they live in, but a separate nation. This is the sort of "antisemitic trope" he condemned earlier.

    • "It is the only place America can count on,"

      What can America count on Israel for?

      Certainly not for military support. As we have frequently noted, Israel has never sent Israeli forces to support US forces. The U.S. does not have the sort of useful bases in Israel that it has in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

      (Though we know that Israel attacked a U.S. warship, and harassed U.S. Forces in Lebanon.)

      Intelligence? By the very nature of the business, difficult to say. We cannot be sure that that intelligence is any better than the intelligence the U.S. gets from Jordan, Turkey, or Saudi Arabia.

      (Though we know that Israeli intelligence did not save the U.S. forces in Beirut from the bombing, or the U.S. from the 9/11 attacks. We know that the Israelis spy on the U.S., steal U.S. technology, and sell U.S. technology to China.)

      Economic support? Hah!

      Diplomatic influence? America supports the country that is (officially) hated by everyone else in the region. Is that going to increase It is the only place America can count on, diplomatic influence in the ME?

      So it seems that America can count on Israel for nothing except to be a parasite and a millstone around its neck.

  • Hillel's segregated lunch counter
    • Well, I tried, but if anyone knows the answer, they are not allowed to tell me. My attempts to clarify the question are not published, so I am not allowed to ask it again. I will have to remain puzzled.

    • I understand why holocaust denial is forbidden on this site, but I don't understand (a) why it is bad, and (b) why it is deemed anti-Semitic. Can you explain?

    • So if you don't atone, you won't go to Hillel?

  • White House says Netanyahu offers no alternative but military action (and Liz Warren won't say if she's attending speech)
  • Banksy goes to Gaza
    • Excellent work by Banksy.

      "on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens”

      We do sometimes look at other things. But kittens are what the internet is for.

  • Leading NY institutions discuss the Nakba -- and there is not a Palestinian in sight
    • That is a tricky one. I pondered a little about it myself.

      On the one hand, "with the assumption" certainly refers to "start the story", and is equal in status to "from 1920".

      On the other hand, my fingers automatically put it in, and I am inclined to presume they have good reason for punctuation. Perhaps they thought it was something in the style of an Oxford comma.

      On reflection, I think you are right to question it. I was not writing a list, so the Oxford excuse does not apply.

      I will institute a Commission of Inquiry for my fingers, which might lead to disciplinary action and a spell in the re-education camps in the North.

    • I sometimes think that Zionists cannot distinguish between legal and moral because they simply do not understand morality. If they understood morality, they would not be Zionists.

      But that is the Socratic position that if people really understood that what they were doing was wrong, they wouldn't do it. And look what happened to Socrates.

    • Be that as it may, Walid, it is important to stress that none of this absolves or in any way mitigates the evil of Zionism.

    • Incidentally, the Arabs offered a pretty good deal. They offered to integrate the Jewish immigrants who were already present as full citizens with equal rights, and (if I remember rightly) had even agreed to Hebrew as an official language.

      No partition, no "ethnic/religious" state. No further waves of Jewish immigration.

      Seems fair to me.

    • You want to start the story from 1920, and with the assumption that the establishment of a Jewish State was morally justified.

      But the story starts before then, with the origins of Zionism among European Jews. From Herzl on, the Zionists planned to take over a country already occupied by other people, and to create a state for themselves there. This was not for the benefit of the people who lived in the land, nor for the benefit of humanity as a whole, but for the benefit of their group.

      This was morally wrong. It does not matter how often it has been done in the past by other people, or by whom it has been done, or when it was done, or how many other people have got away with it.

      It was wrong.

      And the idea behind it, that Jews are more important than other people, and so their wishes and needs outweigh those of other people, was also wrong.

      Not surprising, then, that Arabs started resisting when they saw their country being invaded by people who showed themselves to be enemies of the Arabs.

      The Zionists were uninvited foreigners. They entered the country with the avowed (loud and often) intent of taking over the country and setting up a state in which they would be top dogs, run for their benefit.

      They set up an alternative society, with institutions for the promotion of Jewish interests and from which locals were excluded. They bought up some land and drove off the tenant farmers.

      The people of Palestine understood perfectly well that this bunch of European settlers intended to take the land from them, and this intention was there even before the settlers arrived.

      If the Europeans had entered modestly with the intent of becoming part of the community instead of rejecting and replacing it, I suspect things would have been very different.

      " Those state-building efforts were legal under the Ottomans, then the British."

      Zionists never seem to understand the distinction between "legal" and "moral".

      "Also, the Yishuv knew there were millions of Jews in Europe facing considerable danger (one wonders if even they fully understood it). The Yishuv couldn’t possibly hope to provide refuge to at least some of those millions with belligerent irregulars nestled in densely Arab areas under loose Jewish control."

      The Yishuv had no right to provide refuge to those Jews at the expense of the Arabs. Once again, this is the attitude that Jews matter more than other people.

      And building barns does not mitigate this wrong.

    • "Shapira says, at least says here, that if BG wanted a Jewish country, this is the only way to get it. She is not saying “inadvertence” here; she is saying “necessity”.

      Shapira's attitude is that the wants and needs of Jews are more important than the wants and needs of other people. "We matter and you don't."* And for that very reason the creation of Israel was wrong. Basing a state on such contempt for humanity was itself a crime.

      "Shapira went on to say that ethnic cleansing– “population movements” — was the norm at that time of history. They happened across Europe and in India and Pakistan. Judging Israel for its conduct then by today’s standards is like judging George Washington for holding slaves."

      It's the old "we can't judge them by today's standards" cultural relativism again. The idea is that right and wrong are just the attitudes of the majority. When those attitudes change, right and wrong change.

      Philosophers have written so much criticism of this view that it amazes, and depresses, me that it still hangs around, but it seems to be still established in the artsy-fartsy set. (Applied selectively, of course. we do not hear the alleged decapitations performed by ISIS dismissed as "It's just their way.")

      Ethnic cleansing is wrong. Always was. Always will be.

      (And there were plenty of people in America during and before GW's time who held that slavery was wrong. Thomas Paine was not the least, but the legislatures of Vermont (1777) and Pennsylvania (1780) passed laws abolishing slavery. Pennsylvania Quakers protested against slavery as early as 1688.)

      (*Thank you yet again, Saleema.)

  • Kerry says Netanyahu was wrong the last time he pushed war for the U.S.
    • Is he bullet-proof as well, or just brave enough to take the risk?

    • "life was better for most Iraqis under Saddam"

      There was a time when I never thought I would write that a country was better off when it was run by a brutal, repressive, murderous, war-mongering, CIA-sponsored, paranoid, thug.

      Only cynicism and my cat save me from total despair.

  • Forensic expert says Israeli forces killing of 19-year-old Palestinian 'similar to an execution'
    • Aspiring chef shot dead by Israeli soldier
      Palestinian girl injured after being hit by settler vehicle in Silwan
      Palestinian injured after being rammed by an Israeli car in Hebron
      Israeli extremists attack shop in Hebron
      Four injured by live Israeli fire in Bethlehem
      Dancing children attacked by Israeli forces
      Israeli extremists open fire on Palestinian homes in Bethlehem
      Five Palestinians kidnapped in the West Bank
      Several Palestinians injured near Jenin; three children kidnapped in Jerusalem
      Settlers burn mosque near Bethlehem
      Christian center set on fire, vandalized in Jerusalem hate crime attack


      This is why I look for pictures of kittens.

  • Israel gives out 'security Oscars' at the UN to Iran, Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia and PA
    • Bit confusing, there, Taxi.

      It's pretty obvious that the US engineered the coup that overthrew the government, but I haven't seen anything to suggest they gave any support to the Russian speaking rebels in the East. Those rebels got a lot of their equipment from the Ukrainian army. I'm pretty sure they are getting some supplies and advice from Russia, but I haven't seen any decent evidence of Russian regulars crossing the border. The chief of the Ukrainian armed forces recently denied that they were fighting actual Russians.

      The official language of the Ukraine is Ukrainian (very similar to Russian) and as far as I know Ukrainian speaking Ukrainians generally regarded themselves as Ukrainian. I don't know whether previously they regarded themselves as being a subgroup of Russians in the way that the Welsh are a subgroup of the British, or whether they regarded themselves as distinct from Russians in the way the Welsh are distinct from the English.

  • Netanyahu speech is 'destructive' of 'bipartisan, immutable relationship' between US and Israel, Rice says
    • "What we are doing on these sites."

      Mostly commenting on and criticizing the evil of Zionism.

      Anything wrong with that?

      Fairly often commenting on the flaws of the Arab world and the various evils of Arab governments.

      Anything wrong with that?

      "Whataboutery: it’s deep."

      What is that supposed to mean?

  • Israel turns off power to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the dead of winter
    • "criticizing minor auto-correct spelling mistakes as a last resort"

      My ire was misdirected. I apologize. That blasted auto-correct creates more errors than drunkenness and illiteracy combined. (Or so I suspect. I haven't tried typing while illiterate.)

      Not a last resort, though.

    • "for not towing the Qatari’s line.

      "For not TOEING the Qatari's line", dammit.

    • Americans don't like to write naughty words, but they think that British or Australian versions aren't really naughty. (After all, we write them all the time, and they even get published on MW.)

      Americans were quite happy to advertise "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me", even though "shag" is a very naughty word in Britain. (And you can have fun buying carpets and pipe tobacco.) I doubt that an American equivalent (if there is one) would have been allowed.

  • Cycle '48: Remapping the Nakba
    • The Canadian Government should mount a military operation in Israel to rescue these persecuted Canadian Jews and take them back to Canada where they would be safe.

    • "If nationalism is bad why not find non-nationalistic solutions like settling Palestinians in other parts of the ME (plenty of empty space) or assisting there emigration to the west as Millions of Muslims have been doing in the last two decades?"

      Alternatively, instead of sending the Palestinians to places they don't want to go, why not send the Israeli Jews to the lands of their forefathers? Quite a few are going to Germany already, and there is plenty of empty space in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine.

      Or what about assisting their emigration to the US, as millions of Jews have been doing for the last century or so?

  • Inflammatory posters at UCLA call Students for Justice in Palestine 'Jew haters' (Updated)
    • "Jews on campus don’t owe anyone anything."

      Are you suggesting that Jews on campus have no duties to their fellow students, to the University, to the society which sustains them, or to humanity as a whole?

      Why are they exempt, and does this exemption cease when they graduate?

  • Ten year old Palestinian boy attacked by settlers and abducted by Israeli soldiers while playing in the snow in Hebron
  • Racism is in the air: Video showing racist exchange between Israelis and a flight attendant goes viral
    • " proper British accent may sound patronizing,"

      If, while using said accent, you drawl a little, look down your nose, and toss in a Latin phrase or two, the lower orders will recognize their cultural and intellectual inferiority, and subjugate themselves accordingly.

      On the other, using the same accent, but with a sort of reticent politeness (Hugh Grant and Martin Freeman can give lessons in this), and you can charm your way into almost anywhere.

    • "I actually addressed them with a posh British accent "

      I've got one of those. Very useful at times. Combined with old fashioned, reticent, courtesy it gets amazing results in Asia, and especially those bits that were once British. Scares Americans. They think you are a super-villain.

  • Netanyahu flips off Harry Truman
    • " Israel to purchase 14 more F-35 planes from U.S."

      If Israel actually had to pay for those (perhaps from the money they get by selling the best bits of the technology to China) it would serve them right. The plane is, by most accounts, a turkey.

      Of course, we in Australia will have to pay for ours. For a fraction of the price we could have bought Russian, French, or Swedish planes that actually work.

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