Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3898 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 200 - 101

  • '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".

  • Mainstream press embraces Netanyahu's speech as supporting Kerry initiative
  • Reflections of an Iraqi in Palestine
    • "Anyone can read the UN Yearbook or history books, like Segev's (and even Oren's), and learn that Israel's path to war lasted many months and was in full swing by late 1966, when Israel launched the large-scale invasion of the the West Bank Hebron region of Jordan."

      Some of us don't have to bother with history books. We remember reading it in the newspapers.

  • Anti-anti-semitism: How did a movement against bigotry lend itself to another form of bigotry?
    • @talknic

      '“and what could possibly motivate the Israelis to ever agree to such a situation? “
      A sense of right and wrong might do it.'

      But when have the Israelis ever shown that they have such a sense, let alone been motivated by it?

      (And why the devil haven't the webmasters fixed the reply buttons?)

    • "Similarly, there is a sovereign Irish state."

      Not similar at all. All citizens of Ireland are Irish. (Being a citizen is what makes them Irish.) And that includes Irish Jews.

      But not all citizens of the Jewish state are Jewish.

      "Moreover, the lesson learned from it and from the thousands of years of Jewish persecution preceding it is that there necessarily must be a sovereign Jewish state."

      Not necessary at all.

      "Moreover, as the Occupation has shown, there must be a sovereign Palestinian state"

      Again, not necessary at all.

    • Where do you get those three criteria from?

      All a state needs is a territory with people (not 'a people') and a government in effective control over that territory.

      When we ask for the justification for a Jewish state, we ask why it has to be Jewish, and not just a state.

  • John Kerry and David Broza perform for AIPAC
    • 'John Kerry saying "am yisrael chai."'

      Kerry clearly needs to take a break. His mind is going.

      First, it should be "Is Israel chai?"

      Secondly, how could any sane person possibly think that Israel might be Indian spiced tea?

  • National summit to re-assess the special relationship -- Friday in D.C.
    • Where's my share of the billion dollars? I've been posting pro-Palestinian comments here for years now! C'mon, pay up, Phil!

  • Pelosi calls Israel's creation 'the most spectacular political achievement of the 20th century'
    • Another wild-eyed crazy woman. An American version of Julie Bishop.

      Here, in semi-random order, are a few political achievements of the 20th Century that some of us might think are slightly less than totally unimportant.

      Federation. (1 January 1901)
      Russian Revolution and formation of Soviet Union.
      Break-up of same.
      Votes for Women in Britain and Switzerland. (And a few other backward places that hadn't caught up with 19th Century New Zealand.)
      National Health services in civilized countries.
      Dissolution of British and French Empires.
      Declawing of cats made illegal in civilized countries.
      Chinese revolution from Imperial to PRC.

  • Poll: If two-states collapse, Americans overwhelmingly favor 'democracy'
    • @Siberiak
      "Even if true, those aspirations would be for ALL Palestinians who would want to be citizens of such a Palestine–and those would be national aspirations."

      But not aspirations for a specifically Palestinian Arab State, as distinct from an inclusive state in all Palestine. It is those aspirations that I doubt.

    • @Siberiak (I will be really glad when the reply buttons get fixed.)

      "West Bank Palestinians to give up their national aspirations,"

      I am not yet convinced that the West Bank Palestinians have any strongly-felt national aspirations. My guess (and I will set it aside in the face of solid evidence) is that the aspirations are for full and equal citizenship in a state on the territory of Palestine. The movement for a West Bank state was simply a desperate bid to free themselves from Israeli oppression.

    • "Far, far more Americans favor Israel than favor the Palestinians. I know you think it doesn’t matter, but it does, because in foreign policy, the activists are most important, not general public opinion."

      But if general opinion is not important, then surely it doesn't matter that far more Americans favour Israel than favour the Palestinians.

  • Call to prayer in Hebron was forbidden 49 times in a month because it annoyed settlers
    • If you don't like the call to prayer, don't go to live among Muslims.

      In Britain, church bells, adhan, and your car quadrophonic sound system are all equally subject to noise abatement laws. Your neighbour's sound system is, apparently, exempt.

  • Gov. Jerry Brown brags on signing historic agreement with Netanyahu in Silicon Valley
  • AIPAC reaches out to Christians with morphing Star of David
    • @JeffB

      I think the Americans advocating those policies believe that they are in the best interests of Israel. They do not seem to have any concern for what is best for the USA.

    • "Americans are free to advocate for whatever policies they think are in the best interests of the United States."

      But this group seems to be advocating policies that are in the best interests of Israel, and sod the US.

    • "You should be thankful to them for finishing off those crazies that Netanyahu has been absurdly funding as after Syria, they had planned on taking on Lebanon and Israel."

      Perhaps Netanyahu thought that, once the crazies had taken over Syria and Lebanon, and started attacking Israel, no-one would protest about Israel destroying them and seizing chunks of Syria and Lebanon.

      (Psssst! "If it wouldn’t have been for Hizbullah jumping into the war, Syria would have been already lost."

      should be

      "If it hadn't been for Hizbullah jumping into the war, Syria would have already been lost."

      Not difficult.)

    • Grossly fat Christians from Arkansas support AIPAC!

      That's really going to win over the hearts and minds of the world.

  • Tax-deductible apartheid: JNF raises $60 million a year for racially-discriminatory housing
    • "Japan has pledged more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority, as representatives from 22 nations reiterated their support of the Palestinians’ quest for their own state."

      Told you they were all anti-Semites.

  • AIPAC is losing influence in US politics because it is too tied to Israeli government -- Judis
    • “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.”
      Attributed to John Sheehan, S.J. (a Jesuit priest)

    • "their intent to at last get a female POTUS."

      Gee! The US might have a woman as head of state/head of government. It might catch up with Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Iceland, Sri Lanka, Central African Republic, and Canada. And many others. Even Australia.

  • 'NYT' dismisses Wieseltier attack on Judis as tempest-in-a-teapot
    • "I just want to let you know that Sand thinks that also the Palestinian people is a modern invention."

      So what if they are? Their rights do not depend on them being "a people", but on them being human beings.

    • "The idea is not that we try and roll back every injustice ... the best we can do is reduce violence going forward"

      We can do better than that.
      First, we can acknowledge and apologise for the injustice.
      Second, we can try to make some recompense for the injustice.

      The Palestinians know that they will not be able to live in the houses stolen from them by Israelis. But accepting the Right of Return at least to the extent of allowing Palestinians to enter and settle in Israel would be an public acknowledgement of the injustice, and a step towards recompense. It would demonstrate a willingness to live at peace with the Palestinians.

      But Israel does nothing to reduce violence going forward. On the contrary, it commits more and more violence to create more and more injustice. The Nakba did not end in 1948.

  • Thinskinned AIPAC blackballs Jim Lobe
    • “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,” John Kerry said during an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th century behaviour in the 21st century.”

      [Cough] Iraq? [Cough]

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
    • And I see that Germany is trying to cool things down a bit.

      link to

    • The ongoing expansion of NATO is going to get a bit of a setback if Putin turns off the gas. Nearly all the main gas lines run through Ukraine, and big hitters like Germany and Italy suck up a lot of that gas. So while the US might decide to get tough with the Russians, the Europeans are going to want to try to handle the business in a way that keeps them warm in winter.

  • 'NYT' says East Jerusalem isn't occupied, and Israel lobby takes credit
    • O.K. You really seem to have lost it now, Yonah.

      "Those who dismiss the bible on whatever grounds, because only people in Texas read the bible, for example, will have an animus to the people whose language is the language of the bible. They will of nature oppose those people."

      Bollocks. Plenty of us dismiss the NT on the grounds that it is patent fiction, and yet have no animus towards the Greeks.

      "Because parts of the bible are grotesque and the ideals of the world oppose those parts of the bible, therefore many are apathetic to the bible and to those who carry on the name of the people of the bible."

      The nastiness of parts of the Bible is a good reason for opposing those people who push the Bible as something valuable. Apathy towards "the people of the Bible" is just the same sort of apathy that is felt towards anyone who has no special call upon our attention.

      "He who dismisses the Tanach as Texas is an idiot."

      I've never heard of anyone who can't tell Texas from the Tanach.

      "And he who is an enemy to the language of the Tanach is opposed to us."

      Is anyone an "enemy to the language"? I suggest that adding another language to the stock of living languages was just adding to problems of communication. Does that make me an "enemy of the language"?

      "Meanwhile some of you are clearly enemies to my wish to see a future 100 years for now for the Jews."

      Gee. Too bad.

  • ‘Safe Hillel’ Exposed: Undermining open dialogue in the Jewish community
    • "Certainly nations engage in process that no individual person understands how to do."

      Even if this were true, it does not imply a stream of consciousness.

      "I’m not sure how your argument wouldn’t apply to an individual if one viewed it as a collection of cells."

      A human body is a collection of cells. The whole body, when functioning normally, supports a single stream of consciousness. No-one knows how. (Neuroscientists and philosophers of mind* expend considerable effort in solving this problem. No success so far.)

      "If one argues that human societies are a figment"

      I'm not arguing that human societies are a figment. (Where do you get that idea from?)
      I'm arguing that human societies are not conscious beings in the way that individual human beings are conscious beings. A society does not have a single stream of consciousness. There is no "what it is like" to be a society. Thus, terms like "murder" and "suicide" cannot be literally applied to societies. Those terms can only be metaphors when applied to societies.

      *I'm one.

    • "Before a child is conceived you can decide whether now is a good year or not. Once they are conceived you can talk abortion and maybe pick a different child to raise. At 67 years old killing it is just a murder."

      This is a deceptive metaphor.

      The literal meaning of murder is that of deliberately inflicted literal death of an individual person. Literal death means that the person's body stops functioning and becomes smelly and unfit for consideration. We don't know what happens to that person's stream of consciousness.

      But there is no stream of consciousness associated with Israel any more than there is a consciousness associated with the West Brisbane Cheesecake Photography Club. When the club is disbanded, there is no club stream of consciousness to be interrupted. There is no decomposing body.

      Similarly, if Israel were disbanded, no state stream of consciousness would be interrupted. No state body would decompose. This is not literal death. It would not be murder.

      We have very strong moral concerns about literal death.

      When literal death is not involved, "murder" is just a metaphor, but the use of that metaphor can improperly invoke the moral concerns we have about literal death. This can lead us astray in our moral thinking.

  • Sheldon Adelson to honor Sean Penn at neocon ball
  • 'New Republic''s literary editor attacks its senior editor as nasty, ignorant self-hating Jew
  • Netanyahu seems to put Hitler mustache on Angela Merkel
  • Israel lobby group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers
    • "You wrote that your family worked very hard to maintain your Palestinian identity and to keep you from becoming ‘Americanized.’ Can you please explain what aspects of Americanization were most offensive to you and what aspects of Palestinian political and cultural life should be introduced into the US?"

      Question based on unsupported assumption. Has he ever suggested that any aspect of Americanization is in any way unwelcome to him (as distinct from his parents)?
      Has he ever suggested any aspect of Palestinian political and cultural life should be introduced into the US?

      A better question would be "Do you agree with your parents' policy?"

      "As a lawyer, you must be acutely aware of the difference between South Africa whose laws set up apartheid and Israel whose laws strive to ensure equal human and civil rights for all. Are you intentionally deceiving this audience by claiming Israel has an apartheid system or do you really not understand the difference?"

      Assumes Israeli laws do indeed strive to ensure equal human and civil rights for all. Should be an easy one for him to answer simply by showing unequal laws, and then adding "Are you intentionally deceiving this audience by claiming Israel has equal laws, or do you really not understand the way Israeli law works?"

      "In order to have peace, there must be mutual understanding and even respect for each other’s narratives and history. Which aspects of Israel’s history and situation do you and other Palestinians find most persuasive and legitimate?"

      Part of a possible response: "It would be wrong to respect narratives when they are blatant, self serving lies."

  • Political Zionism is destroying a culture and a people, and intentionally so
    • "hell the essential demand of jewish nationhood is treat us as a nation but don’t treat anybody else meeting the same critera as such."

      I've never seen those criteria spelled out, so I don't know whether any other group meets those criteria.

      Jews do not, as I have often pointed out, meet the criteria for "nationhood" that I have seen.

    • "Do Zionists blow up buildings all round the world?
      Do Zionists dispatch terrorist emissaries to kill innocent civilians?"

      I'd baulk at describing British Cabinet Ministers as "innocent", but work your way through this little list anyway.

      link to

    • @ Yonah (When, oh when are they going to fix the "reply" buttons?)

      "You are an enemy to the all small minority groups that wish to maintain their identity."

      Much better summation. (Though I don't know why you include "small".)

      "you are an enemy to any Jew who wishes to maintain his/her identity. Why is this so difficult for you to understand?"

      I understand it perfectly well. That does not alleviate my fear that your obsession with finding Jew-hatred everywhere is verging on the pathological.

    • @yonah

      I'm afraid your post just reinforces my suspicions of growing monomania.

      We have been sparring for years, so after all this time, you should be familiar with my ideas. You really ought to be aware of the following.

      (a) I do not see any way that the term "nation" can be properly applied to the Jews
      (b) I regard "identity" as too vague and disparate a cluster of concepts to have any practical value (and thus cannot have said that nations are allowed "identity")
      (c) I consistently advocate integration and assimilation for minority groups, even if they are not Jews. I consistently reject hyphenation.

      (Here are a few examples of c.
      link to

      link to

      link to

      But go to my profile and use the search terms "Irish", "assimilation", "assimilate", and you will see my position clearly.)

      And yet you seem to totally disregard it all. You represent me as singling out the Jews for assimilation. This distortion suggests to me that you are concentrating on looking for Jew hatred and ignoring everything else.

    • yonah, take a breath or two.

      My obsession with English grammar is both a charming eccentricity and a valuable public service.

      Your obsession with finding Jew hatred everywhere is starting to look like monomania.

    • "when Golda Meir was asking the Polish government to deny Israeli emigration to those Jews whom the Israelis thought were old or disabled."

      So Israel isn't the final refuge for any Jew who feels persecuted.

  • Jewish day school student first learned about 'occupation' when he got to college
  • Meet the Jewish students who are taking on the Jewish establishment
    • "And what is the ultimate source of these obligations?"

      Basic morality.

    • "And you presume to dictate to me what my obligations are as an American citizen, is that it?

      I’ll define those for myself, thanks."

      I think you will find that US Law and US society will want to help you with that.

    • "One can always determine what [who?] one is"

      By "what you are" Cliff means "what sort of thing you are".

      When expressed as a question ("What are you?") the answers include such things as "human being, Welsh, left-handed lesbian Latvian spokeshaver's apprentice, curmudgeonly old fart, California Gal, Buddhist Monk, Member of The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London, PhD, person with a deep appreciation for the sanctity of life, and all that other stuff". (This might be the "identity" we hear about so often.)

      "Who you are" means simply "Name, DOB, and other immediately relevant details to enable us to pick you out from the crowd". It is a matter of bare individuation.

      So "being Jewish is an essential part of who I am” should be "being Jewish is an essential part of what I am.”

      Cliff is correct to distinguish between the self and the "me" (I would use the term "self image"*) and to point out that we can, with effort, change our self image. We can change what we are.

      We cannot change who we are. I cannot (without being totally extinguished) cease to be this particular individual. Even if (per impossible) I become a pleasant tempered, kind hearted, old gentleman, devoid of all sarcasm and pedantry, I will still be this particular individual.

      (*Not an entirely satisfactory term, since it seems too passive, whereas what Cliff is referring to includes the activities, etc., based on that image. Perhaps "constructed self" would be better.)

  • 'Price-tag' attacks on Palestinians are as Israeli and common as matkot on a Tel Aviv beach
    • "A language’s offensiveness is a very subjective thing – just ask RoHa what he thinks about some of the “modern English” he witnesses on this site! :-)"

      Offensiveness is certainly subjective. The bad grammar that offends me is objective, in that it does not conform to the Platonic Form of English grammar. This Form exists in the Intelligible Realm of Being, and is accessible to anyone who is prepared to make a little effort.

      George Soros' first language is Hungarian, not Esperanto.

  • By 2035, Jewish population in Israel/Palestine is projected at 46 percent
    • 'We can go back in history for approximately 3000 years and one thing Palestine never was – “Palestinian”.'

      So even three thousand years ago the native people had no rights in Palestine?

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • @yonah

      I'm not denying he was influential. I agree that terms and concepts from psychoanalysis are widely used and part of modern culture. But that is the junk I was referring to.
      Does spreading that make him a "great mind"?
      Did he contribute anything other than the junk?

    • @ Yonah

      "Firstly I think that Freud was a creative genius. I cannot testify as to his science, but his contribution to Western culture has been immense."

      Aside from junk science*, what did he contribute?

      "As far as the question: was it Freud’s Jewishness or the Yiddish culture that spawned him or was it Western civilization? "

      Since he peddled junk, I don't care.

      (*People do keep falling for that, don't they?)

    • "If the Jewish culture of their background is real, then that is not an imaginary Jewish civilization, but a real one that formed a subset of European civilization."

      A culture which is part of a civilization is not a civilization in itself.

      "Not just Western Europe, but Eastern and Central as well."

      Sorry, my terminology is a bit confusing here. I include all Europe, the Americas, and Australasia in the term "Western European civilization". Perhaps I should just say "Western civilization".

    • "The Jewish community is rebranding Jewish culture, from the brave civilization that gave us the greatest minds of the last 100 years, Einstein, Marx"

      Einstein and Marx were products of Western European civilization, not some imaginary Jewish civilization. The Jewish culture of their background (and which was, perhaps, contributory to their intellectual eminence) was part of Western European civilization. I have noted before, though, that the Jews who are lauded as "the greatest minds" seem not to be very Jewish at all.

      "and Freud"

      Great mind? Him?

  • 'Can you tell who is an Arab?' appeal is tax-deductible
    • I wouldn't trust any of them not to be Arab if they were given half a chance. Obviously none of them understands what a razor is for, and they all look ready to use filthy Arab lies to take advantage of the innocence and naivety of pure-hearted virgin Jewish girls so that they can indulge their foul bestial lusts on the trembling bodies of those unfortunate maidens.

    • So, after all the debate, which one of those swarthy, unshaven, shifty-looking characters is an Arab? (Or not an Arab, as the case may be.) Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Exactly. Got avoid this sort of thing.

      link to

      link to

      (Pictures from the days when people knew how to use a razor.)

    • "Jewish teenage girls from dysfunctional homes are seduced and lured into Arab villages regularly beaten and raped, often locked up with no way to escape."

      Hold on a minute, there. Wasn't Israel supposed to be the place where Jews would be safe?

    • So, although no-one can tell which is a Jew and which is an Arab, we mustn't let Jewish girls fall for the wrong one. Whichever one it is.

  • Breaking: Students rise up against NY Jewish school's 'prohibition' of Rashid Khalidi
  • Hillary Clinton to do NY fundraiser with man whose 'only agenda' is Israel
    • "Palestinians deserve a state of their own. "

      No group deserves a state. Every state should secure the moral rights of all the residents therein.

      "Distinctly persecuted groups deserve the right to be free and safe."

      But not at the expense of other people.

  • Truman feared backing Israel would involve US in 'new world conflict' -- Boston Globe

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