Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 6745 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 6745 - 6701

  • On Easter, costly Jews - and costly Palestinians
    • If there is any truth in the story (I think the whole thing is fiction) it is obvious that Jesus was crucified by the Romans. Crucifixion was a Roman punishment for rebellion. (Hence the sarcastic "king of the Jews" plaque.)
      The best accusation we can make against Jews is that it was Jewish authorities who arrested him first and then dobbed him in.

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • "'The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible' Couldn’t disagree more. Jews have gotten repeatedly screwed by trying to stay neutral and thereby annoying both sides in disputes"

      Surprisingly, I'm with you there. Each Ukrainian Jew should decide what sort of Ukraine s/he wants and join the groups agitating for that sort of Ukraine.

      "The Jews of Ukraine are mildly pro-Kiev. They have leverage, they have Jews’ best interests at heart. "
      is the sort of attitude that will get them into trouble. They should (both morally and prudentially) have the best interests of all Ukrainians at heart.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • Is it that the translations are used to try to resolve the uncertainties in the originals? To try to pin down what the original vowels were, perhaps?

    • "The problem is that even Zionists themselves (the researchers) argue that multiple translations of the Bible distorted the names"

      I don't see how translations of the Bible would be a problem, since the Hebrew and Aramaic texts are available. Your quotations make it clear that some of the problems arise from uncertainties in those texts.

  • Updated: Remote-control gun installed atop wall near Bethlehem -- Ma'an
    • @MHughes. (I wish they would fix the reply buttons.)

      "Normal peaceful residence" must surely include a minimum level of support for the society, or, at least, an absence of behaviour likely to damage the society. Of course, defining the latter in a way that does not include behaviour to reform the society for the better can be tricky.

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • GW is global warming. CC is Climate Change. There is a popular speculation (based on computer models of the climate) that continual increase in CO2 from burning fossil fuel will lead (via a complex system of feedback mechanisms) to a continual increase in global temperature. (This is correctly referred to as Anthropogenic Global Warming, or AGW. The term "climate change" can simply mean the natural changes which are part of the natural order.)

      Actual empirical observations show that the models are wrong, and even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes this now. Since an awful lot of people have made a career (and in many cases a lot of money) from this speculation, the IPCC has not yet rejected the main speculation. (Apparently the co-chairman of the IPCC does think that fracking could be a useful bridge technology.)

      On the basis of this speculation there has grown up a climate-doomsday religion which promotes hysterical alarm beyond anything the relevant science can justify. Some commenters on this site seem to have fallen for this stuff and drag it in to discussions of the I/P problem. I'm not sure why the moderators allow the topic to be introduced in the first place, but only occasionally do they allow me to respond. I would be quite happy if no mention of it were ever permitted.

  • Palestinians can have an embassy in Jerusalem, but God forbid not a capital -- Israeli mayor
    • "Let me take you back 3,000 years. Jerusalem is the capital of the world"

      So the last emperors of the Shang Dynasty were based in Jerusalem?

    • "The arabs rejected the U.N. plan and then attacked the Jews in 1967"

      In 1967 Israel attacked Egypt. "The Arabs" did not attack "the Jews".

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
  • Passover for Palestine
    • "any literal minded person (with a modern conscious)"

      Is that a typo for "a modern conscience" or "a modern consciousness"?

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • Teeny niggle.

      "that targeted people because of who they are."

      Surely that should be "because of what they are". They were targeted because they were Jews, not because they were Fred, Joe, and Harry.
      "Who" is like "which". It picks out specific people. "What" is for description and type.

  • It's time to reveal the Israeli role in the US surveillance machine
    • "Weren’t the Australians colonials deadbeat Irish who couldn’t pay their debts?"

      A foul slur, sir! They were English, Scots, and Welsh as well, and most of them - even the Irish - were good, honest, criminals.

      "From distant climes, o’er wide-spread seas we come,
      Though not with much eclat or beat of drum,
      True patriots all; for be it understood,
      We left our country for our country’s good ;"

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • "Mark Landler had a piece in the Times last week"

      Psst! Phil, it was in the NYT, not The Times. Please don't fall back into bad habits.

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • "A climate of fear"

      She should tells us exactly who is afraid, and exactly what they are afraid of.

  • The Jewish community must not embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • "What does it mean that the engineering masterpiece that is the tallest building in the world is in a muslim-majority state? That 60% of university graduates in that state are woman? That just 60 years ago 99% of the population of that state lived in grass huts with no electricity or potable water?"

      I thought the Burj Khalifa was the current tallest building, but from context it sounds as though you are referring to the Petronas Towers in KL. Is it really true that 99% of the population of Malaysia lived in such primitive conditions as recently as 60 years ago?

    • "I find this Left/Right dichotomy to be something that we have been fed as justified polar positions in this country, and it is just not true. "

      You don't say which country you mean by "this country", but the L/R scale is used in most countries I know about. Political scientists know it is inadequate, but no replacement has become popular. Stefan Björklund used three scales to locate ideologies in a three dimensional space. They were:
      Economic collectivism to economic individualism
      Economic equality to economic inequality
      Political individualism to authoritarianism.

      An improvement on the L/R scale, I think, but still not adequate. It concentrates on economics and personal freedom, which were the main concerns of the standard European ideologies, but has no way of representing the main concerns of (e.g.) environmental or religious parties.

      (Björlund, S. (1971) Politisk teori , Aldus, Lund.)

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
    • I don't know whether it is anti-Semitic or not.
      Passover is frequently referred to as a liberation of the Jews, and the story the Jews tell is that it was brought about by God slaughtering Gentile first born. Israel is referred to as a liberation of the Jews, and there is no doubt it involved slaughtering Gentiles, though not everyone agrees that God had a hand in it.
      So what is it that worries you?
      It surely cannot be the case that you are more concerned with possible anti-Semtism than actual slaughter of Gentiles.

    • Killing Gentiles is how God liberates Jews. F16s, drones, angel of death - they all work. Just celebrate!

  • Aussie media focus on Carr's assertion that Israel lobby had 'direct line' into Prime Minister's office
    • The standard story is that opposition to the mining tax was the main influence behind the dumping of Nice Mr. Rudd. However, when we put together Rudd's actions (expelling a diplomat) over Israel's misuse of Australian passports, the fact that Danby was one of the traitors running to the US embassy to blab about cabinet discussions, the fact that the US can't blow its nose without Israeli permission, and the fact that The Very Wonderful Julia "no carbon tax" Gillard was living with an agent for Israel (how direct a line do you want?), some of us feel that our suspicions about Israeli lobby involvement are at least as justifiable as the inordinate length of this sentence.

  • Australia opposed Palestinian UN bid because foreign policy was 'subcontracted to Jewish donors' -- report
    • Just a few reminders of recent events.

      Israel misused Australian passports for assassination purposes.
      PM Kevin Rudd (Labor) protested.
      Deputy PM Julia Gillard (Labor) lay low and said nothing.
      Opposition MP Julie Bishop (Liberal) defended Israel.
      Kevin Rudd pushed out. Julia Gillard become PM.
      Julia Gillard's partner is an agent for Israeli companies.
      Leader of the opposition Tony Abbot kicked off his election campaign at an Israeli/Australian bash.
      Julie Bishop becomes Foreign Minister. Australia takes more pro Israel line at the UN.

    • I don't know, but we can find out. Send me money, and I will try to get the law changed. When I succeed, you will know how much it cost.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
    • Thanks, Nurit. When all Jews are banned from being MPs in the Australian Federal Parliament on the grounds that they are not solely of Australian nationality, we can be sure that 43% of European Jews will not complain.

    • "43% of European Jews even consider it anti-Semitic to assert that Jews are only a religious group and not a nation!"

      But what do they mean by "a nation"?

      And what percentage would agree with "Jews are only concerned with whether a statement is anti-Semitic. They are not interested in whether it is true"?

    • So everyone, everywhere, throughout history, has hated Jews. Why would that be? Wrong deodorant, perhaps?

      link to

  • Because Rep. Jones voted 'present' on Israel aid, lobby group runs attack ad with burning flag
  • 'For me, Palestine is paradise': An interview with Leila Khaled
    • @Naftush.

      I am not claiming that nations need a right to exist. Where do you get that idea.? I am saying that a desire to preserve does not give a right to preserve, any more than a desire to swim gives me a right to swim.

      But saying "X does not give A a right to B" does not imply "A does not have a right to B". A might have that right on some other basis. But (and perhaps more importantly in this case) nor does it imply "A needs a right to B".
      What it does imply is that if it is wrong for A to B, A cannot claim the desire as justification for continuing to B.

      Learn a bit of logic.

    • "Israelis are afraid to find themselves living in an Arab state which it’s culture and language and religions are foreign and intimidating."

      The Zionists should have thought of that before they created a state in an Arab land. Perhaps the frightened Israelis should leave.

      "It’s very natural for a nation to want to preserve itself."

      Natural it may be, but that does not give it any right to do so. Of course, a substantial part of the nation is Arab.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • I dunno. If the Pope, the Dalai Lama, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ayatollah Khameini, the Chief Rabbi, and one or two others were on I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here, I might watch it.

    • "Jesus, this cow is one big disappointment to Ireland."

      Why do people keep dragging Ireland into it? She has nothing to do with Ireland, and hasn't for a long time.

  • Narendra Modi, a politician who presided over anti-Muslim pogrom, may be India's next leader, and U.S. cozies up to him
    • "And where was the feigned outraged on behalf of Sikhs? Maybe because they are a such smaller proportion of the world population – i.e. they are unlikely to cause trouble to the Economist and unlikely to buy the magazine in large numbers – that they don’t matter that much."

      And yet, as far as I can tell, there are more Sikhs than Jews.

      (They mattered a lot to the British in the nineteenth century and twentieth centuries. They were tough, dedicated, efficient soldiers. After the British managed to defeat the Sikh army, they happily made Sikhs a significant part of the British forces. Sikhs have an unparalleled reputation for honesty and trustworthiness. (The phrase "Sikh lawyer" does not roll easily off the tongue.). Chinese bankers and merchants in Hong Kong and Malaya employed them as guards. I have seen a temple in Malaya that has representations of Sikhs as guardian figures, instead of the usual gods. This from the notoriously xenophobic Chinese!)

  • Ehud Olmert's JNF-sponsored tour nixed after corruption conviction
    • "Shame on the Palestinians (in Gaza and elsewhere) for not accepting this truth "

      and the shelling, the bombing, and the blockade

      "and simply moving on with their lives."

      Those who've still got lives, that is.

    • Yonah, if Gaza had been inhabited by Presbyterian Scotsmen or Shinto Japanese (and not kept under blockade, etc,) I have no doubt that they would have made it into a thriving concern. And yet Presbyterian Scotsness and Shinto Japaneseness are no more magical than Jewishness. It is because the Scots and the Japanese are (like European and American Jews) heirs to and participants in modern methods and attitudes. The Arabs in general are still catching up with those.

      But that aside, what is the point of your speculation? How does it affect the rights of the Palestinians?

    • @Ellen.

      Gaza is an integral part of geographical Palestine.

  • 'A Painful Price': The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond
    • Most of us are not discussing how to destroy a country/nation. We are discussing reformation of the country so that is a nation for all its citizens.

    • "I'd love a world where no one think to question Jewish legitimacy, where Israel for Israelis is as non controversial as Sweden for Swedes; "

      Sweden for citizens of Sweden isn't controversial. Israel for citizens of Israel would be a lot more acceptable than Israel is now. But Israel for Jews is controversial.

  • From Portland to Portland, and Amman to Lahore, 'NYT' letter-writers are sharper than 'NYT' writers
    • "there is an incalculable amount of latent antisemitism in this world "

      If you don't know how much anti-Semitism there is, can you be sure there is a significant amount?

  • Liberal schizophrenia and moral myopia: On Ari Shavit's 'My Promised Land'
    • " He’s right that the Palestinian and Zionist narratives are diametrically opposed. "

      I'm not happy about this talk of "narratives". To me the term implies that there are no facts about the matter, but only different stories. It suggests that there is no moral right and wrong about the issue, but just confusion and misunderstanding like a less entertaining Brian Rix farce.

  • Both Sides: Anti-BDS concerns on campus vs. life in the occupied territories
    • "a Colony is when a country sends its citizens to another country to claim that land. ... He has certainly not gone to take over Palestinian land for the Polish government."

      If he was a Zionist, he went to take over Palestine to create the Zionist state there. Not colonialism on your narrow definition, but still wrong.

      "he has gone with no money and no weapons"

      Money and weapons came from somewhere.

    • "The comparison between Jews on campus who are being persecuted by other members of their college "

      Are any Jews being persecuted by other members of their college?

      "A Jewish student may or may not have various political views with regards to Israel yet he is made to feel uncomfortable either way. "

      What makes them feel uncomfortable? Having their beliefs questioned, their attitudes challenged, learning things they have not heard before? That's called "education". If that is what makes them uncomfortable, they should stay away from colleges, schools, and universities.

  • It's the borders, stupid
    • They've been saying that they'll accept Israel on the 1967 borders for thirty years.

    • "Abbas should go for the green line moved 5 miles west. "

      And if the Israelis reject that, he should then demand that it be moved ten miles west.

    • "Check to see if there is still a dead one armed Russian buried at Tel Hai "

      This sounds like something from John leCarre or Len Deighton. Tell us the story, Hostage.

  • Former Israeli general: failed peace talks won't lead to doom
  • In Philly, rightwing Zionists call Dershowitz anti-Semitic for opposing settlements
  • The Israel lobby’s trojan horse: ‘Reforming’ education laws to defund Middle East studies programs
    • 'He cites as an example “any program in which a student is told that she may not speak in a discussion of Middle East politics on the ground that she has ethnic Jewish personal characteristics.”'

      Has this ever happened to any student?

  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • Australia isn't foreign.

    • "There is no evidence Pollard thought he was giving secrets to the Soviet enemy but rather to an American ally and friend;"

      It was his responsibility not to give the secrets to anybody.

  • Jewish National Fund lures singles to Israel with tasteless sexual joke in NYT
    • "They [women] are even less likely to interracially marry,"

      So that's why most interracial marriages are gay marriages!

  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
    • "claiming to work for the Mossad and to have attained the rank of colonel in the Israel Defense Forces."

      They always seems to be colonels. They don't ever seem to be Group Captains, or Rear Admirals, or Assistant Chief Spymasters (grade one). Just colonels.

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • '“The one thing Adelson doesn’t need to waste his money on is our Jewish owned media conglomerates who already give 100% support to Israel’s efforts to wipe out the Palestinians.”

      Antisemitic comment.'

      But is it true?

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • "Europe used to hate Jews because of anti-semitism, now they have a reason to hate us."

      The first half of this is a silly thing to say. "Anti-Semitism" means "hatred of Jews" so all it says is "Europe used to hate Jews because of hating Jews." Does he really think there was no reason for Jew-hatred in the past?

      (This is not to say that previous anti-Semitism was justified, but simply that there were reasons for it. I just do not believe that Europeans decided to hate Jews for no reason.)

  • 'NYT Book Review' gives platform to Radosh to accuse Judis of writing 'what-if' history
    • "I’m starting to think we don’t have a basic set of principles we’re supposed to be following, instead we have different rules for different people based on their ethnicity and/or if they are majority/minority."

      That seems to be what advocates of multiculturalism want. But such people are racists. They think that culture is biologically inherited, rather than learned.

  • 'Contractually obligated' to say the peace process is alive, Aslan told Americans to get ready for one state
    • Calling Israeli Jews and Palestinians "nations" is the cause of this confusion. For sensible people, a nation is a sovereign state, not an ethnic group.

  • Journalistic malpractice: Washington Post suggests Abbas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist
    • What is the point of this poll?
      What difference does it make what the WP readers think about what Obama thinks about what Abbas thinks about Israel's "right to exist"?

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • "Whilst a world-class whiner knows how to blame the whole world in perpetuity."

      Is this whining the Jewish history and heritage that gilagd claims is a justification for nearly everything Zionists do?

      (I'm still waiting for his argument about that.)

  • Saudis don't care about Palestinians, say American commentators
  • Liberal Zionists are the new front line against BDS
    • So David Sasha is saying that there is a tradition of intellectual dishonesty that is taught in Jewish schools.

      (The way the word "casuistry" is used these days certainly carries the implication of twisting the argument to get the conclusion you want, but its original meaning was simply applying moral principles to particular cases. We call it "applied ethics" these days.)

  • UN Human Rights Council resolution warning companies to 'terminate business interests in the settlements' or face possible criminal liability gets watered down
  • BDS' big night: Loyola student government passes divestment, U. Mich votes it down
    • I don't know what other circumstances Max should cite his Jewishness in, or why it is bad that he only uses it for criticism of Zionism, but leave that aside.

      You are condemning him on an impression alone. If you have nothing more substantial than that, perhaps you should stick to "innocent until proved guilty".

    • " far more orders and advice to various communities by Arab officials and officers to quit their villages or to at least send away their women, old folk and children"

      I would expect responsible officers to make some effort to get non-combatants out of the firing line, so I would not be surprised if some evacuation orders were given, but (as you point out) that in no way excuses the refusal to allow them to return after the fighting was over.

      And it in no way justifies the deliberate ethnic cleansing that the Zionists carried out.

  • Liberal Zionists turn on media darling Ari Shavit for promoting Netanyahu's bluff
    • Whoops! "Decent" in my previous post should be "descent".
      That's what comes from hacking things out on an iPad while travelling.

      "Decent" is not a word that fits easily into discussions about Zionism.

    • "Well RoHa, what do say about current day Palestinians who migrated to the region during the past 80 years? "

      If they were legal migrants, they have exactly the same rights as other legal migrants to Palestine, and their descendants have exactly the same rights as the descendants of other legal migrants. I don't think there were many such, mind you. Most Palestinians are descendants of families who have been living in Palestine for centuries.

      "We know that the population of Jerusalem 150 years ago was around 14,000 people with half being Jewish. Today there are over 300,000 Arabs in Jerusalem. How to you get from 7,000 Arabs 150 years ago to 300,000 today without migration."

      First, 150 years ago probably most of those Jews would have been Arabs. We know that a lot of Arab Jews lived in Palestine.

      Second, so what if a lot of people moved into Jerusalem? A lot of people have moved from country to city in a lot of places. How does this justify Zionism and the actions of the Zionists?

    • What? No argument yet? I would have thought you would have one at your fingertips, since you made such an issue of the "Jewish history and heritage" stuff.

      I must admit I haven't had much success in formulating one for you. Since the conclusion is to be one ascribing rights to Jews, it has to be a moral argument. The most common forms of moral argument are those which argue from a basic moral principle and those which draw an analogy with a case which satisfies basic moral principles.

      As an attempt at the first kind, I produced this:

      BMP: People who are connected by decent, conversion, or decent from converts, to a religious group have the right to live in and set up a state in the territory in which that religious group originated.

      Minor premise: Jews are such people, and Palestine is the territory.

      Conclusion: Jews have have the right to live in and set up a state in Palestine.

      That seems sufficiently well formed for criticism.

      The BMP does not seem to be either basic or moral. It does not have the same intuitive appeal as (e.g.) Ross's prima facie duties. Nor is it easily derived from such basic moral principles.
      One can argue in the same way that Welsh Christians and their atheist descendants have an equal right live in and set up a state in Palestine. And Japanese Buddhists have the right in respect of a bit of India, and Indonesian and South African Muslims will argue about sharing a state in the Hejaz.

      These may not be fatal objections, but they certainly make the argument look shaky.

      I'm sure you've got something better.

    • Thanks, Hostage. I knew you'd have the facts at your fingertips.

    • Kay24, since some Palestinians have been terrorists, your claim "ALL Palestinians are not terrorists" is not true. However, it is certainly true that not all Palestinians are terrorists.

    • "Roha, please give references where Palestinians displayed a serious and community willingness to share prior to 1948. "

      Since I am travelling, and working from an iPad, I'll have to leave this to Hostage or one of the other posters who have memorised every document. I recall reading it in one of Atiyah's books.

      "You may think that Jewish history and heritage is irrelevant .... Without this history there is no justification for Jews to be in Israel"

      Can you give a coherent argument to show that Jewish history and heritage justify the creation and conduct of the state of Israel? If not, it is irrelevant.

      As far as I am concerned, the presence of the current Jews in Israel is justified by the fact that they were born there. But that does not justify the conduct of the state.

    • "remind us what the reason for Arab hatred towards Jews was in 1967"

      Hmmmn. Lessee now. A bunch of Jews use war and terrorism to take over a chunk of an Arab land, drive out most of the Arab inhabitants, and subjugate the rest. Nor do the terrorism and wars stop when they have done that.

      Do you think that might have something to do with it?

      "to openly support and understand the need for Israel to be the nation state of the Jewish people."

      I don't understated the alleged need. Can you explain it?

      "The rationale behind this is that some things will need to be shared "

      Before 1948 the Palestinians were willing to share the country with the Jewish immigrants, but the latter did not want to share. They wanted a piece for themselves alone, as a prelude to getting the whole.

      And Jewish history and heritage do not justify anything.

    • ">> … the Jewish people’s demand to recognize its right to self-definition."

      When did "the Jewish people" make this demand?
      What is the basis for this supposed right?
      And what the hell is "self-definition" anyway?

      Do they have specialists to produce this utter tripe for them, or so they cobble it together themselves?

  • Avigdor Lieberman claims transferring Palestinian citizens is perfectly legal
    • "nationality and citizenship are entirely different things."

      In Israel. As far as most of the world is concerned, nationality is citizenship.

      "The odious Lieberman’s wet dream of simply shipping the inconvenient Palestinian Israelis out of Israel"

      As far as I can tell, that isn't what he is suggesting. He is suggesting moving Israel away from the Palestinian Israelis.

      I like the term " Moldovan punk".

    • Perhaps opens the way for the awesomely brilliant RoHa three state solution.

      A scrap of desert for a Jewish State, separated by a chain-link fence from an equally tiny Arab state for those who don’t want to live with Jews. The rest of the country for decent people who are prepared to make an effort to get on with the neighbours.

    • Very revealing. Lieberman would rather give up territory than live on equal terms with Palestinians.

      (And, of course, the usual Zionist inability to tell the difference between "legal" and "right".)

  • Ohio State Hillel member calls Desmond Tutu a 'neo Nazi' for criticizing Israel
    • "Millions of non Jews, including Christians were slaughtered by the Nazis."

      But they don't count, talknic.

    • I certainly do not remember reading anything of that sort in the British press. I was living in Britain during the relevant period and playing close attention to the news.

      If he had said anything anti-Jewish, you can beet your boots his opponents (and there were plenty in high positions in Britain) would have made sure it got plenty of coverage.

  • D.C. scribes party with red wine, vinyl, and image of a terrorist
    • But, tree, most of those on your list were just Arabs. Killing Arabs hardly counts as terrorism, does it?

  • Iymen Chehade fights Chicago school's cancellation of his class
    • Probably the least remembered ally is the Libyan Brigade which supported the British forces in North Africa.

      And it seems to me that Americans often fail to understand that "British forces" means "British Empire forces". Indians, Nigerians, Malays, and a rainbow of others, as well as Canadians, Australians, South Africans, and New Zealanders. The first time a lot of the Free French saw France was when they liberated Paris.

      Australians were very annoyed that MacArthur, in his dispatches, referred to American troops as "American", but Australian and NZ troops as "allied".

    • I love this idea that university lecturers have immense influence over their students. My own experience as a would-be poisoner of young minds is that they are far more likely to be influenced by their idiot friends than by a middle-aged philosophy professor.

      Of course, Iymen is a lot younger, swarthy, and unshaven, so that might help, but there is still the obstacle that young people already know everything anyway.

    • I have seen suggestions that it already happens in respect of climate change. Proponents of the Anthropogenic Global Warming speculation allegedly pressure new entrants to the field in academia to toe the party line, even in the teeth of the empirical evidence.

      However, I have not seen details of any specific cases, so, although it is well known that this sort of thing happens in academic circles (as in other circles), it would be wrong for me to claim that it is happening in this case.

    • "professors are not obligated to present an opposing view to every opinion or fact presented in class."

      Indeed not. Students at university level should be able to (and in any decent university are expected to) do their own research and find alternate views.

  • US desperate to keep futile peace process going a little longer
  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • Medieval Christian peasants and labourers were usually illiterate, and no-one tried to instruct them in Latin. Tradesmen and merchants were more likely to have basic literacy, but very little Latin. Religious instruction (as distinct from Church services) was done in the local vernacular. But the image of Abraham failing (yet again) in his basic duty as a father might have played the role you suggest.

  • US Jewish leaders blast Harvard students on pro-Israel trip for taking photo at Arafat's tomb (Update)
  • Some liberal Zionists will blame Netanyahu for failure of talks
    • "“Why should it be necessary to search high and low for Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state? Because there is none. "

      Since the terms seems to imply a state wherein Jews have supremacy over the other inhabitants, it would be morally wrong for the Palestinians to agree to such a thing.

      " Indeed, opposing recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people is more important to the Palestinians than land, since this is the true heart of the conflict, rather than the other territorial nonsense that the Left has been selling for years. It’s not about territory and not about settlements and not about refugee rights, not at all.”

      What is "national home" supposed to mean? If it means that Jews have the right to take over the land, and take it away from the people who live there, then all the issues of territory and refugee rights stem from that claim. It is the core evil of Zionism.

  • 'Nobody knew where I was, nobody… I was simply disappeared': An Italian tourist's Ben Gurion nightmare
    • "Zionism was a nice idea"

      No it wasn't. It contained the ideas of exclusivity and the rejection of humanity right from the beginning.

  • Some pro-Israel images to ease you into the weekend
  • Slim Peace’s slim chances for justice
    • " You’re against that, that recognition of common humanity thing. At the end of the day, whatever you believe about the power relationship, the Palestinians will never, ever achieve their goals if they can’t recognize the humanity of Israelis and Jews, "

      Difficult for the Palestinians to recognize the humanity of those who deny theirs.
      Interesting to see hophmi discovering the idea of common humanity.

  • Israeli teens dressed as KKK and in 'black face' for mock lynching at school Purim party
    • "why is it that The Jewish packaged religious seasonal holiday stories are about conflict and self?"

      How many of them are about conflict and the tribe? Purim and Passover certainly contrast strongly with the main Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter. Both of those are about God opening up the way for salvation for all mankind, not about some little tribal survival or success story.

    • "But the Jews will still need a holiday of masks and drunkenness"


    • C'mon, Ellen. Halloween was invented in Israel, like everything else.

  • Netanyahu's map of 'Israel' annexes West Bank, leaves out Gaza
    • "we fought the civil war in this country because the north couldn’t compete with the south."

      By "this country" you mean Vietnam?

  • Peace Now board member jokes about owning a SodaStream
    • "The holiday where we commemorate our own attempted genocide"

      I thought the genocide was successful, and lots of Persians were slaughtered. Or am I confusing Purim with one of the other Jewish celebrations of mass deaths of Gentiles.

  • Kerry tries to get out of Jewish-state trap set by Netanyahu and the lobby
    • I always found that title a bit puzzling. Was there some serenity competition among Italian States? Were there states which called themselves "The Second Most Serene Republic", "The Fairly Serene Republic", "The, Well, Sort Of Serenish, We Suppose, Republic"?

  • Lebanon 'affirms right' of citizens to resist Israel
    • "The original statement of the caption inferred that the battles were fought against Israeli forces, "

      No, it didn't. It might have implied that, but it certainly didn't infer it. The speaker, writer, statement, premise or fact implies. The hearer/reader infers.

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • "much more politically correct to say that Judaism is the mother of all the monotheistic religions"

      But not really accurate. Not all monotheisms are descendants of Judaism.

    • I've never studied the prophets in any detail (bunch of tedious old gits) but from what I recall they spent most of their time denouncing the Jews for falling short of what God demanded, and promising various forms of divinely administered torment on all and sundry. When did they do the freedom, justice, and peace bit?

    • Talknic, I think Stephen is writing about moral rights, not legal rights.

      I think we can grant states some moral rights, since we claim that they have some moral duties. But those rights would, I think, be restricted to those which they require to carry out their moral duties.

      One such duty would be the protection of the citizens. This duty does not require either the existence of a particular state or the continuous existence of the state. When East Germany ceased to exist, the duty of protection was taken over by the new combined Germany, and when Czechoslovakia was dissolved, the duty passed over to the two new states.

    • They are an Israeli nationality, not a Jewish nationality.

  • A War on Campus: 'Democracy Now' covers the Northeastern SJP suspension (Updated)
    • Resistance to the Nazis was perpetrated by Europeans, Dutch and Danes, Poles and French, Czechs and Norwegians and Yugoslavs and Greeks. They smuggled Jews to Britain and Switzerland, they carried out espionage and guerrilla attacks. They went to Britain and joined formal armed forces. Some of those Europeans have descendants, too.

  • Why I didn’t make it to Gaza for International Women’s Day
    • Land certainly is the issue. Another issue is the recognition of their status and rights as human beings.

  • It is time to repeal the law being used to criminalize French BDS activists
    • And, since yonah objects to "Jews bring it on themselves rhetoric", I expect he will also object to my "Muslims bring it on themselves rhetoric".

    • At the risk of sounding less diplomatic, there is a relevant case before the courts here in Australia. An international student from Lebanon "married" a thirteen year old girl. It came to the notice of the authorities when he was registering her in high school. He was arrested, alone with the girl's father and the imam who performed the wedding.

      Perhaps the student did not know this would be totally unacceptable in Australia, but the father and the imam live in Australia. If they know about Australian law and customs, then they just blew them off. If they did not know about them, then they simply hadn't bothered to learn. Either way, it shows a total contempt for the society they live in.

      This sort of attitude is not going to help the reputation of Muslims.

    • The anti-Muslim trend in Europe stems at least partly from the perception of Muslims as terrorists motivated by the sort of religious extremism that Europeans abandoned some time ago, and partly by the tendency of many Muslim immigrants to cluster together in groups which seem to maintain the most oppressive aspects of their ancestral culture, rather than assimilate. They create the impression of being parasites upon and enemies of the countries - and the values of those countries - in which they live.

      In France, the Algerian war is an additional influence.

  • Shira Robinson explains the DNA of Israel
    • When WW1 started, the older members of the Monash family worried that they would be persecuted because of their German origins. (They don't seem to have worried about persecution because they were Jews.)
      It didn't happen. John Monash was made commander of the Australian army.

    • "The idea of a Israeli/Jewish state existing in the same way as a French or Chinese state is simply beyond the pale."

      "French"means "connected with or originating in France." Various colonies and ex-colonies have that connection, and so can be called "French States", but I know of no Chinese or Israeli ex-colonies.

    • I don't think he is entitled to an opinion about you, Hostage. To be entitled to* an opinion on a subject one has to have studied and thought about it. I am not convinced he has done either.

      (*We allow people to hold opinions, but that does not imply they are entitled to those opinions.)

  • Israel is now attempting to 'de-Arabize' Palestinian Christians, but in the 1950s it was Jews from the Middle East
  • Video: 8-year-old boys stopped by soldiers-- 'you were about to throw stones'
  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • "People get to define themselves as far as personal identity goes."

      But why bother? What's the point?

  • Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate
    • "We Jews self define as a nation."

      Does that mean Jews call themselves a nation? So what? They could call themselves a flock of penguins. First winter in Antarctica would teach them the difference between what they call themselves and what they are.

    • "Why would either group decide willingly to abandon such clearly strongly held senses of peoplehood,"

      Perhaps by coming to realise that "senses of peoplehood" are obstacles to humanity and morality.

      Perhaps because they see that such "senses of peoplehood" just cause trouble.

      "and for that matter, why should anyone be forced to do so?"

      Because holding "senses of peoplehood" causes trouble for everyone, and thus is wrong.

  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • I look forward to your fierce denunciation of my post in which I hint that Muslim immigrants bring it on themselves.

      (Note to all: My recent posts may not be so perfectly formed as you have come expect. This so because I am travelling, and using an iPad. Since I am thus hampered, now would be a good time for the usual suspects to indulge their predilections for logical fallacies, grammatical solecisms, and infelicitous style. Censure is unlikely.)

    • @Citizen

      The other kind.

    • I was always addressed as "Doctor" when I lived in the US. I have a T-shirt that says "not that kind of doctor".

    • 'when David Petraeus went into small towns in Iraq and saw pictures of the Al Aqsa mosque on people’s walls, he thought, “This Israel Palestine thing is really a big deal here,”'

      I think this is because the "Israel Palestine thing" is a denial of the humanity of all Arabs. It is (Saleema's words*) "We matter and you don't" said to the whole Arab world.

      (*And has there ever been a better summary of the core concept of Zionism?)

  • Robert Caro, Nakba-denier
    • Though I can't imagine what Irish romanticizing had to do with RFK. He was an American.

    • “No president had done more for the Jews than he would.”

      Why should a US president do anything specifically "for the Jews"?
      Surely everything he does (as President) should be for the American people in general or for humanity as a whole, rather than favouring a particular subset of the population.

  • On John Judis's 'Genesis,' and its critics
    • Some Jewish refugees who couldn't get into any other country may well have gone to Palestine just to get away from Europe, but the key point is what they did when they got there. If they failed to oppose the Zionists, they themselves stopped being refugees and became invaders.

      And it seems that most of them did support the Zionists.

    • "two-state solution, the only one that in his view (and mine) is morally justifiable and has any chance of being implemented."

      The only moral justification for it would be that it might be better than the current situation. And it seems that Israel has no intention of ever allowing it to be implemented.

      "By contrast, the parallel Palestinian claim, which is not historically questionable in the slightest, is based on events less than seventy years ago—indeed to a significant degree actually less than fifty years ago, for many Palestinians (some of them refugees from 1948 as well) were driven or fled from the West Bank when Israel conquered it in 1967"

      Palestinians are still being driven out of their homes. The process has not stopped.

      "that in principle the Jews had the right and the existential necessity to create a Jewish state, but the excruciating moral dilemma was that by 1947 there was no place to put it;"

      I contest the principle , but since there was no place to put it, there was no actual right to create a Jewish State.

      "some relatively small number of Palestinians might have had to be expelled (“transferred”), unwillingly but essentially nonviolently,"

      One wonders how this might have been done.

      This whole thing still reeks of "Jews are more important than other people".

  • 'Daily Beast' labels Abbas 'stubborn' for refusing to recognize Israel as Jewish state
    • "I fail to see how a holocaust denier could not be an antis emote. It seems me that the motivation could only be based on Jew hatred."

      Have you never heard of people who are motivated by a respect for truth? A holocaust denier might have only read the works of other deniers, and come to accept their conclusions simply because they seem to be well supported. Many people hold false beliefs because those beliefs seem to be true, and not from any emotional need or personality defect.

    • “When we sign the agreement, the Israelis should start gradual withdrawal. After the specific timeline, there must be no single Israeli in the Palestinian state.”

      No Israeli settlers or military. No Israeli citizens permanently resident in the proposed Palestinian rump state. Any who wish to be permanently resident must give up Israeli citizenship. A bit harsh, but understandable in the context.

      "How would you respond if Benjamin Netanyahu said that there should be no single Palestinian in Israel following a peace deal?"

      If he meant "no citizens of the proposed Palestinian rump state", it would be an understandable response to the Palestinian proposal.

      If he meant "no Arabs" then he would getting into more ethnic cleaning.

  • A model factory for a colonialism in trouble: the SodaStream saga revisited
    • "But for BDS you have a problem, the whole point of RoR in Israel proper rather than in the West Bank is to force Israeli Jews to live under a government they despise."

      How so? The idea is that some, and perhaps all, of the refugees be permitted to live in the territory that is now Israel. How would that turn the government into one they despised more than their current government*? Yes, they would elect more Arabs, and Arab interests would be more strongly represented, but so what? Why would that be so objectionable?

      (*The Australians, the British, the Danes, the Swedes, and the Japanese always despise their current government, no matter who gets elected. I assume Israelis would feel same way about theirs.)

  • Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department 'midwives' democracy
    • "Does the Crimean War make sense?"

      Almost no-one remembers the Crimean War. (And those few who do don't care.) Almost no-one remembers the Great Game to stop Russia from pushing to the borders of British India, and even when it was being played there was no anti-Russian hatred. Almost no-one remembers that British forces supported the Whites in the revolutionary wars, and, again, those few who do don't care.

      Slightly more people remember that the Soviet Union defeated the Wehrmacht in WW2, and are glad of it. It makes them pro-Russian.

      So no, there is and never was any great store of anti-Russian hatred in Britain. Any such hatred in America has been cooked up by crazy Americans for their own purposes.

    • "Many of our attitudes are absorbed directly from England — the have two nearly continuous centuries of anti Russian (and Soviet) hatred built into their psyche."

      Where do you get this idea from? I don't recall encountering any anti Russian (and Soviet) hatred in Britain. Bloviations from politicians trying to suck up to the Americans, yes, but not among the general public. The anti-Soviet propaganda was mostly American in origin, and taken rather lightly by the British.

    • "but in 45 they transferred a million plus army to Manchuria and made the Japanese look silly"

      Not that difficult in 45. But in 38/39, when the Japanese were strong and growing stronger, they fought border wars with the Soviets and were thrashed so thoroughly that they changed their grand strategy and decided that South East Asia had better weather, better food, and prettier girls*.

      (And the Soviet commander, Zhukov, had an experienced army that turned out to be pretty useful later on.)

      (*Still does, too.)

  • 'Netanyahu is a Nazi': Scenes from an Orthodox anti-military draft protest in Jerusalem
    • "Some say that Torah study should be the top priority, and their numbers are increasing."

      As I have pointed out before, if the trend continues, no Jews in Israel will work. And no Jews will join the military. The Israel Arabs will have to support them. And defend them. How long will that last?

    • I thought we weren't allowed to call Israelis "Nazis".

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