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Total number of comments: 6760 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

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  • Peter Beinart misses South Africa's apartheid lesson, Gideon Levy gets it
    • That should be "a national anthem for a unified Palestine".

    • "The national anthem includes 4 different sections, Afrikaans, English and Zulu and Xhosa. Can you imaging Abbas singing Hativka?"

      I can imagine Abbas singing a national anthem for a unified Palestinian that has sections in Hebrew.

      "Can you see Abbas declaring his support for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews?"

      After a just settlement is reached, yes, I am sure he would.

  • Passover Auto-Pilot
    • "I wonder what is the largest trauma that your people have suffered."

      I'll let Walid decide who, if anyone, counts as "his people", and simply ask why this question is important.

    • "It’s their last ditch attempt to keep the tide of Jewish history from being overwhelmed by the Jewish prophetic."

      What does this mean?

  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
    • "Jewish self definition"

      What does this phrase mean? The endless business of deciding who is and who isn't a Jew, or something else?

    • American, you probably know a lot more about Truman than I do, but the following paragraph suggests that his judgement of Jews as selfish predates the pressures of the lobby.

      "It has been objected that Truman’s anti-Semitism is not fully treated in Judis’s book. ... Truman was a man of his era with conventional social stereotypes about many groups. ... Truman’s prejudice against Jews as selfish was obviously exacerbated by the pressure of the lobby. "

      And I see that Hostage supports that view.

    • "Truman’s prejudice against Jews as selfish was obviously exacerbated by the pressure of the lobby. Still, it was prejudice: it was surely unfair to call a group selfish who had just seen 2/3 of its European population annihilated."

      But it was not the slaughter of foreign Jews that made Truman think of American Jews as selfish. He had that idea before the slaughter started, so, if it was unfair to hold that idea, it was unfair regardless of the Holocaust. If it was fair, how did the Holocaust make it unfair?

  • How many 'Palestinian Arabs' want to kill 'all Jews?'
    • 'it’s a pity so many Palestinian Arabs failed to heed the words of Israel’s Declaration of Independence where an appeal was made
      “to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.”'

      Difficult to heed those words when they were being driven from their homes by force of arms. Not much easier when they were prevented from returning by force of arms.

      "They do not have a right to demand any “right of return” into the sovereign territory of the State of Israel."

      People driven from their homes have an obvious moral right to return to them.

    • 'We want to be able to go back to Pamela Paul with the most accurate “modifier.” “Many?” “Some?”'

      A fair few? A handful? More than you can shake a stick at?
      My guess (based on my knowledge of human nature rather than specific knowledge of Palestinian attitudes) would be "most of the time, hardly any".

      I look forward to educated answers.

  • Obama and Kerry are spurred by 'vainglory' in pursuing talks -- Finkelstein
    • Hostage, you're the nearest thing to a prophet we've got, and I hope you are right in prophesying Israeli fear of sanctions and arrests. But we have seen Israel get away with so much for so long that I have doubts.

    • Exactly. Israel screws the Palestinians. Any reason they would not continue, only more so?

    • How about Diwali, the Queeen's Birthday, Songkran, or the Royal Hobart Regatta? Were they on the calendar?

    • "Israel would have to enter the vacuum created as a result, offering Palestinians security, education and welfare services at a cost Israel cannot afford."

      What's to stop Israel from saying "if you won't do it for yourselves, do without?"

    • Which is astonishing, since it destroyed his career and tossed him out of the system to be "an independent scholar". I suspect that his outlook has been embittered by that.

  • 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.

      But
      "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 gypsycreams.org

  • 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.

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