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  • UNESCO votes to admit Palestine as a full member
  • How's that for turnaround time? -- US cuts off funding for UNESCO
    • So Israel can just ignore any rockets fired at it from, say, Gaza. They will all be stopped.

    • "our determination to work with UNESCO to advance U.S. national interests."

      I though UNESCO was there to educate the impoverished, improve the status of women, and that sort of thing. Silly me.

  • If Sen. Ron Wyden wants to end arms sales to Bahrain for 'violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent', why not Israel?
    • "If Sen. Ron Wyden wants to end arms sales to Bahrain for ‘violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent’, why not Israel?"

      Israel has got that video.

  • Netanyahu needs a history tutor -- Can UNESCO experts help?
    • Welcome to the wonderful world of linguistic pedantry!

      As a long-term practitioner, I can assure you that opportunities to exercise your skills abound in any internet forum.

    • "Netanyahu needs a history tutor"

      What for? When he needs some history, he just makes it up.

  • Ethical Oil?: The Canadian oil industry and the Israel connection
  • A weekend of violence in Gaza
    • "they do exactly opposite of what they are supposed to represent"

      The Abrahamic religions are supposed to represent a cruel, bloodthirsty, spiteful sky monster who is going to kill everyone and then torture all those who either didn't kiss his arse or kissed it in the wrong way.

      The followers try hard, but they don't represent him well enough. Too many soft-hearted wimps among them give in to their sense of human decency and morality. They start doing the good things annie mentioned. Bunch of sissies.

    • "it would be like saying the holy crusade had something to do with christianity."

      The Crusades had nothing to with Christianity? Which crusades are these?

    • Renege on an agreement?



      I'm shocked - shocked - that you could suggest such a thing!

  • Lessons from the Other Occupiers: A critical engagement of #Occupy and J14
  • The Israeli army shot at me and 3 Palestinian kids in Gaza today
  • Racism toward Arabs is what unifies the Zionist right, says JJ Goldberg, liberal Zionist
  • 'A historic forum:' Sylvia Schwarz tells Minneapolis gathering that privileging Jews is racism
    • "violence that has erupted between two ultra-Orthodox sects ... a group of Hasidim brutally attacked Avraham Hirschman,...“They said we’ll murder you,”.... a violent dispute between members of the large Hasidic Gerrer dynasty and the fanatic Sikrikim group"


      "Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated ... and many prayed for Hirschman’s recovery."

      Help me out, here. Which are those traditional Jewish values people keep referring to?

    • "nobody lives for centuries."

      I thought Jews lived for thousands of years. That's how it's possible for them to suffer for a thousand years and then to return to Palestine.

    • "The majority of the yishuv sought primarily a home in their historic sentimental home, and sought to purchase land."

      And how many of them sought to make common cause with the Palestinians, to be good neighbours and members of the community into which they had come?

      How many of them supported the wicked Zionist plan to create a Jewish State?

      Stop trying to peddle this idea of innocent immigrants. It just doesn't ring true.

  • Boston Zionists fail to excommunicate Vilkomerson and her call for 'equality, respect' and boycott
    • “All I can suggest at this point is that any challenge of the right of the Jewish people for self determination and sovereignty in their traditional homeland crosses the line and will not be accepted in the Jewish community.”

      If so, that just reveals the moral blindness of the Jewish community.

  • The lobby rescues its old warhorse from glue factory: Israel is a strategic asset
    • "So relativity matters, huh?"
      You are missing the point. The point is that Zionism damaged the position of Jews in Arab lands.

      "So, Palestinians were involved in the fighting, and the goal was not the protect the Palestinians, but to stifle the Jews. "

      Of course they were involved. Preventing the Jews from establishing a state was a necessary part of protecting the Palestinians.

      "strongly suggesting once again, that this conflict is not about justice, but about two competing nationalist narratives. "

      Narratives? The competing nationalisms were not morally equal. They did not have equally just claims.

      Palestinian nationalism was the desire for an independent Palestine for the inhabitants of Palestine. This was a reasonable desire.

      Jewish nationalism was a desire to set up a state in the whole of Palestine, by driving out or subjugating the Arabs. This was an evil desire. (Until you accept the idea that Jews do not have any sort of special rights or special importance that gives them moral precedence over other people, you will not recognize the evil.)

      Palestinian opposition to this plan was totally justified.

      "It notes anti-US Arab terrorism of the time, mentioning the bombing of US interests in Beirut and Jerusalem. "

      And clearly points out that these were consequences of US support for the partition plan.

    • We already knew that, but now we have proof.
      If the CIA says it, it must be true.

    • You mean this one?

      "A representative of the Jewish Agency has stated that in the event of partition the 400,000 Jews in the Arab states outside Palestine may have to be sacrificed in the interest of the Jewish community as a whole"

      I noticed this one.

      "Before the enunciation of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the Jews in the Near East fared as well as other minority groups throughout the world."

    • "other nations actually pitch in when pirates emerge."

      Just to rub that point in a bit, here's a list of the members of the Combined Maritime Force. The CMF is a multi-national naval partnership, commanded (as of today) by a Turkish Rear Admiral. It was set up to deal with Somali pirates. As far as I can tell, all but two of the members have been involved in action.

      Royal Navy
      Royal Australian Navy
      Royal Belgian Navy
      Royal Canadian Navy
      Royal Danish Navy
      Royal Malaysian Navy
      Royal Netherlands Navy
      Royal Saudi Navy
      Royal Spanish Navy
      Royal Swedish Navy
      Royal Thai Navy

      Bulgarian Navy
      Chinese PLA Navy
      French Navy
      Finnish Navy
      German Navy
      Greek Navy
      Indian Navy
      Iranian Navy
      Italian Navy
      Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force
      (S) Korean Navy
      Pakistan Navy
      Portuguese Navy
      Russian Navy
      Singapore Navy
      Turkish Navy
      United States Navy

      Other navies have also operated against the pirates.
      Kenyan Navy -
      Yemen Navy-
      Royal Norwegian Navy -

      But I can't find any mention of the Israeli navy doing anything to help.

    • "The realist case for Israel is very clear. First, It’s the only stable state in the region. Every other state bears the risk of having its government overthrown"

      So what? Why would that affect the US? US oil companies have managed to keep operating in spite of the instability.

      "Second, it is the only state in the region with a population that is supportive of the United States. No other country has such a population"

      What does the US need their support for? And when have they actually ever done anything helpful for the US?

      "and that fact WILL NOT CHANGE if the US abandons Israel. "

      Really? Before Israel, the US had no enemies in the region. If the US abandons Israel, the attitude of the people of the region will move towards neutrality. Which is better: the support of 7,500,000 and the hostility of 315,000,000 Arabs and 78,000,000 Iranians, or the neutrality of the 393,000,000 and the 7,500,000 being a bit less positive?

      "Third, Israel is a highly-developed modern technological society."

      So what? The same is true of Sweden and Singapore, but we don't see the US crippling itself to support them.

      "Fourth, Israel’s geo-strategic position makes it an especially valuable ally in a region otherwise hostile to the United States. "

      Israel isn't an ally of the US. It never does anything to help the US. Also, if the US were not an ally of Israel, the region would not be so hostile to the US.

      " there are sides here"

      But the US does not have to take sides. The US interests in the area are (a) oil, (b) military bases to protect the oil supply, and (c) military bases to attack the Soviet Union [fill in latest enemy].

      And where does the oil come from? Where are the bases? Same answer to both questions. The dysfunctional, underdeveloped, freedom-less, anti-American, swarthy, unshaven, wild-eyed, fanatical Arab countries. And that is the way it has been for years, in spite of the instability and anti-American-ness.

      Dumping Israel would improve the US position. Israel is a liability.

    • "given the dearth of true external strategic threats to the US"

      You're discounting New Zealand?

  • Minneapolis panel pitting Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews gets no media attention
    • "Founding a state for All the Swedes or Hungarians in the world is not racist."

      Insofar as that founding excludes other ethnicities, it is racist.

      "In fact, that is how these states were founded,"

      So you want to adhere to the political standards of princes of the Dark Ages?

      "the only difference with Israel being that most Hungarians and Swedes were in the geographical area of their countries when the countries were founded."

      And that is a vital difference. Those countries were founded on the territory where the people already lived.

      "Most Jews were not in Israel "

      Exactly. They had to leave their own countries, go to Palestine, and push out the people who lived there. That is racism in action.

      Incidentally, most whites are not in Whitia, either.

    • "Israel was founded not as the country of the Jews that were there in 1948, but as a country for ALL the Jews in the world. Nothing racist about that."

      A country is founded for ALL the members of a particular ethnic group, and you say it isn't racist?

      "Whitia was founded not as the country of the whites that were there in 2015, but as a country for ALL the white folk in the world. Nothing racist about that."

    • "Are people with dual passports foreigners?"

      No. But you are saying that all Jews belong to Israel whether they want to or not. A foreign country is claiming that some Australian citizens, who have never had anything to do with the foreign country , actually belong to that country.

      "Any Jew is a citizen of Israel."
      This is not recognized by Australia. If it were, there would be no Jews in the Australian Federal Parliament, since the law requires that MP be of Australian nationality only.

      "If just before becoming independent, some Swedish people would havehad been exiled and many of them would were not have been physically in Sweden at its independence, you can be sure that Sweden would have granted them citizenship anyway."

      Technically, Sweden has always been independent, but we can regard the break-up of the Kalmar Union and the ascension of Gustav Vasa to the throne as a sort of independence day. And I have no idea what arrangements they made for Swedes who were out of the country at the time, but the arrangements of 1532 are probably not the best guide for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

      If they were the same as those of modern Sweden, they would only have granted citizenship to people whose parents were already Swedish citizens. Sweden does not regard people who are citizens of other countries as Swedish citizens unless they also formally hold Swedish citizenship as well. (Dual citizenship is only recent in Sweden.) Scandinavian citizens can gain Swedish citizenship fairly easily, and no distinction is made between Finnish-speaking Finns and Swedish-speaking Finns.

      When Israel was formed, the majority of those Jews who lived outside Israel had other citizenships. They were not in exile, but living in their own countries.

    • I'm not asking you to return it. I'm telling Richard that the Zionists did not have the moral right to buy the land without the consent of the Palestinians.

    • "If the Jewish state would have been formed in Antartica, would it be racist according to you?"

      English lesson for you. Do not put "would have" in the "if" clause. Whenever you feel the urge to do so, replace it with "had" Your question should be

      "If the Jewish state had been formed in Antartica, would it be racist according to you?"

      And the answer, of course, is "yes". Even there is no-one to practice the racism against, the concept of self-governance of an ethnic group is still a racist concept, since it excludes people of other ethnicities.

    • "So all Jews are agents of Israel now?"

      Sure they are. The guy down the street from me, an Australian citizen, born and brought up in Australia, whose parents are Australian citizens, born and brought up in Australia, and who have lived here all their lives, is some sort of foreigner because he is a Jew.

      And they call me an anti-Semite!

    • "Saying that Sweden is for the benefit of Swedish citizens is exactly the same as saying that Israel is for the benefit of the Jews."

      No it isn't. Saying that Sweden is for the benefit of Swedish citizens would be the same as saying that Israel is for the benefit of Israeli citizens.

      There are plenty of Israeli citizens who are not Jews, and there are plenty of Jews who are not Israeli citizens.

      Sweden does not claim that all people of Swedish ancestry are Swedish citizens.

    • "So how can you say that Sweden is not for the benefit of this one group when as a matter of fact it is?"

      Because the state does not discriminate between the members of the majority group and the members of the minority group. All Swedish citizens are deemed equal under the law.

      "And they strongly limit immigration to Sweden."

      But the limits are not based on ethnicity.

    • "Since no Aborigine ever gave consent for Brits to buy land or dump convicts in Australia, by what right does any non-Aborigine own land in Australia then?"

      Good question, and one that generates fairly lively discussion in Australia. The British Government didn't buy the land. They just took it. The "Native title" decisions and the practice of acknowledging Traditional Ownership recognize this.

      Land ownership under the laws imposed by the British was legal, but does not seem to have any moral foundation. Since the Australian Government is more-or-less democratically elected, its current laws for land ownership can be said to have at least a whisper of consent, and thus a faint odour of morality.

      I will certainly never claim anything more than legal right to land.

    • "To the extent that Israel is Jewish and democratic simultaneously, it is firmly in the tradition of western democracies."

      You keep saying this, and you keep getting told why it isn't so, and you keep ingnoring the lessons. You are a really slow learner.

      I will explain yet again.
      "Israel is Jewish" means "Israel is a state for the benefit of an ethnic/relgious group".

      Britain is not a state for the benefit of an ethnic/relgious group.
      Sweden is not a state for the benefit of an ethnic/relgious group.
      Australia is not a state for the benefit of an ethnic/relgious group.

      Each of them is, officially, a state for the benefit all its citizens.

      So as soon as you say "Jewish and" you have placed Israel outside the Western democracies.

    • "So you don’t believe that people from outside of the land have the right to buy land legally, and live there?"

      Not without the consent of the inhabitants of the territory. Since, in this case, the inhabitants were not consulted about the relevant laws, and made their objections to the process clear, it seems that consent was not given.

    • "how does the urge for a home space for self-governance equate to racism,"

      When the proposed self-governance is the self-governance of an ethnic group, it is automatically racist, since it is discriminating between people on the grounds of ethnicity.

    • Exiled at Home, why are you quoting Einstein and Buber?
      Witty knows what they meant far better than they did or you do.

  • Leading progressive magazine gives Palestinian solidarity the Swastika stamp
    • Now that bit is a lot easier to understand. I rather wish it was't.

      "According to Halacha there is no way to revoke a person's Judaism; he is a Jew all his life. His whole life he is obligated to fulfill commandments and whenever he does not he is considered a sinning Jew ... this one is not our brother and one should not show him pity. More than that: we kill him whenever and wherever possible ... and this [apostate] is considered a man, not an animal [because he is a Jew, not a gentile, who is considered like an animal]. "

      You're a great salesman for this whole Jewish tradition thing, Hostage.

    • "So the religious authorities are in favor of keeping track of who is and isn’t a Jew regardless of religious observance"

      Does that mean the religious authorities keep track of people who they think (on the basis of some weird set of criteria) should be Jews in order to punish them for not being Jewish enough?

      "See ... Sanhedrin.."

      No. I've tried it and it makes my brain hurt.

    • "its an ethnicity and culture"

      But not a biologically determined ethnicity, right?

      "expecting people to embrace discarding their ethnicity is not only unrealistic"

      That is not the issue. WJ said the Jewish Question is "What does it mean to be a Jew when one doesn’t believe and when one doesn’t share the Hebrew language."

      I am asking "Why does it matter whether this ethnic label is applied?"

      And, of course, the question can be applied to other ethnic labels as well. If someone asked "What does it mean to be Hispanic when one's family has been in Canada for three generations and only speak English and French."

      I would ask "Why bother asking that?"

    • I can understand a believer wanting to retain Judaism*. But for the non-believer...?

      "Maybe if I had no siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews who were Jewish, I might consider that aspect of future human history undeserving of my thoughts. But I do have that connection to the Jewish future."

      Can't you feel concern about them without fretting over whatever it is that makes them Jewish?

      And I still would like an aswer to my basic question.

      (*For me, of course, it is just another morally-corrupting, mind-rotting, soul-destroying Abrahamic religion like Islam and Christianity.)

    • "why not roha? if you’re jewish?"

      As I understand it, WJ's Jewish Question is "What makes an unbeliever a Jew?"

      And there doesn't seem to be a clear answer to this. Perhaps WJ will come up with one.
      But my question is this.

      Why does it matter?

      What is the point of ataching this label 'Jew' to people who are not believers, when, so far, no-one seems able to say what the label means?

    • "Please note that, even if Israel were to be granted all of the territory of the former mandate – free of any Palestinians – there wouldn’t be any of it beyond the range of its neighbors weapons."

      But that's the whole point, Hostage. In order to prevent another Holocaust, Israel has to expand its borders so far that at least the central part will be out of range. That is going to be at least the Nile-Euphrates-Yemen borders. A big project, but only an anti-Semite would deny that it is necessary.

    • "I claim that I live in Freud’s shadow"

      See, there's your problem.

      "and Freud did not deny his Jewishness, so why should I? Einstein did not deny his Jewishness, so why should I? "

      Because you are more sensible than they were? You recognise that "something essential that he cannot define" is suspiciously similar to "nothing"?

      But I thought you (WJ) were a believer, and I apologise for an unintended insult. My use of "you" in my earlier post was a general use. I should have used "one" but I didn't want to sound like Prince Charles.

      However, my question still stands. Why would anyone - believing Jew, non-believing Jew, or non-Jew - claim “Jewishness” for any non-believer?

    • "George Burns, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Jerry Seinfeld aren’t generally thought of as religious figures,"

      "but they are all regarded as Jew-ish."

      But why bother?

    • And I'm not being snarky when I ask that. (Me? Snarky? As if!)
      It is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know.

    • "what does it mean to be a nonbelieving Jew.'

      As a rough, off-the-cuff, answer, I would say it means that you claim membership in the Jewish collective, either because your mother told you that and you haven't grown up, or because you want the special treatment discussed here.

      But if we set those considerations aside, I would suggest that the question is pointless. Why should anyone want to claim "Jewishness" for any non-believer?

    • "it is a book about the Jewish question"

      "Every time that Gladstone came close to answering the Irish question, the Irish changed the question." (Sellars and Yeatman?)

      So what is the Jewish Question?

      (Aside from "Is it good for the Jews?", of course.)

    • Once, in New York, I was accosted by a guy in a funny hat (funnier than mine, anyway), black clothes, and sporting a beard and dreadlocks, who asked me "Are you Jewish?"

      "Only slightly," I replied.

    • "The guardians of high culture, both in England and the U.S., "

      There are, of course, no guardians of high culture in Scotland or Wales.

  • Lacking 'legitimacy' in its neighborhood, Israel is imploding -- Sullivan
    • "Israel is a homeland."

      What does this mean? Israel is a state. Does a "homeland" have to be a state? What is a "homeland", anyway, and why are "homelands" important?

      "It will not disappear"

      The chunk of land has been there for quite a while now, and there is no reason to suppose that it will slide into the sea next week. But the state of Israel is just a state established on that land. States appear and disappear fairly often.

      ", easily."

      Do us all a favour. Take a break from posting here, and spend your time learning how to use commas.

  • Breakthrough: 'Ynet' honestly seeks answer to question, How did American Jews get so rich?
    • "she didn’t know she was american til the sixth grade."

      That's really depressing.

      Some years ago I had an American student who thought she was some sort of Greek as well as American. She told me that my lecture on duties to ancestors enabled her to free herself from that idea. She was able to just be an American. She no longer felt she had to care about Greece, pretend to like Greek folk music, be nasty to Turks, call a kebab a "gyro', or any of the rest of the nonsense.

      It was a great liberation for her.

      But at least she already knew she was some sort of American.

  • Why Palestinian rights are not front and center for OWS meta-brand
    • I recall hearing an American man say "Anyone born in America is a Native American. I'm an Indian."

    • "Adding and blending cultures is enriching for a nation, keeps us from being boring, produces a lot of great stuff and knowledge."

      Exactly. Adding and blending, not separating into little "communities".

    • I haven't seen the most recent figures, but according to the older figures that I remember, only 8% of the population if the USA are immigrants. All the rest were born in the USA.

      (Compare that with Australia. At least 20% of the population are immigrants, including me, the PM, and the Leader of the Opposition.)

  • Testimony of an Israeli activist who was robbed and beaten by settlers while attempting to assist the olive harvest
  • David Brooks propagandizes for Netanyahu-- he has no partner for peace
    • 'Brooks ... says that love of Israel is a core element of my identity, and Noam Chomsky's, and Alan Dershowitz's, too: "As an American Jew, I was taught to go all gooey-eyed at the thought of Israel…"'

      Pathetic! He was brought up to go gooey-eyed, and so he does. "I was brought up to ..." is the most feeble excuse. It is a refusal to take responsibility for yourself.

      Grow up, Brooks! "Identity" isn't sacred, and it isn't immutable. You don't have to be Clark Kent just because mummy wanted you to. There's a phone booth over there. Go in and change your identity.

  • The writing on the wall
  • Gelb's 2007 analysis of Middle East policy proved dead wrong (on settlements, Palestinian state, neocons, Arab dictators)
    • I don't really know who this Gelb person is, but since he's been dead wrong about everything, he'll be fired and no-one will pay any attention to him again.


  • Off the coast of Gaza
  • The Global War on Halloween (fake head not included)
    • Glad to know someone else appreciates Keats, Shelley, and Shakespeare.

    • Halloween is far older than Christianity. All Saints Day was invented by the Church to try to Christianise a pre-existing pagan festival, as part of the Church policy of religious repression. (They did the same thing with Yule and Easter.)

      In Northern Europe, the end of October is the time at which Autumn stops being a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosomfriend of the maturing sun. By then the gourd has swollen and the hazel shells plumped. The fruit of the vines and the apples from mass'd cottage trees have been gathered. The bees have gone into their clammy cells and shut the door. There are no more fumes of poppies.

      This is the time when Autumn gets serious. It gets damned parky. The rain lashes down. The wild West Wind drives the dead leaves before it, and chariots the winged seeds to lie cold and low in their wintry beds. You know that soon icicles will hang by the wall, Dick the shepherd will blow his nail and so will you.

      This sudden change is a natural break in the year. And, naturally, the ancients realized that, when there is a break, the THINGS from the Other World can slip through into ours. So the various Holloween celebrations were devised to control them by sympathetic magic. The American pumpkin lanterns and parades of zombies are far more faithful to the original purpose of the festival than anything the Church does.

    • Second life is a site with sex shops and BDSM dungeons? I'd never heard of the site. I just found that image by Googling. I'll have to go back and have a proper look at it. Where are the best bits?

    • I think there was a raid. I think a number of people were killed.
      I think a number of videos were shown. (One was of a man watching TV. Alleged to be Bin Laden, but recognized by locals as the landlord.) I think a number of contradictory accounts were given.
      (E.g. OBL was shot while (a) hiding behind a woman (b) aiming an AK47 at the Americans (c) standing there unarmed.)

      And they told us that they performed an instant DNA test, and then buried the body at sea so that no-one could steal it and claim he had risen from the dead.

      I don't know what happened.

      I do know I don't trust official announcements from governments. But I can't put too much faith in the media either.,2933,41576,00.html

    • "Was there any proof that Osama bin Laden was indeed killed?"

      He probably died some years ago.

    • " It celebrates the fact that our government was not overthrown,"

      That's what the king wanted them to celebrate. I think most people celebrate it as a noble attempt, and keep hope alive for the next one.

  • Nationalism reduced religious tolerance in Middle East
  • Dying of schmaltz
  • Egyptian revolutionary cartoons (part 1)
  • AJC and ADL urge Jewish community not to bicker, so that US politicians don't waver in support for 'the Jewish State'
  • Muammar Gaddafi captured and killed in Sirte
  • Gary Ackerman blasts NYU divestment campaign, NYU students and faculty blast back
  • Palestinian citizens of Israel are second class citizens, even in the Prague airport
    • "On the other hand, can’t Arabs realize that the actions of a few of them have brought this suspicion down? It’s not just some blind prejudice, it’s our reality that Arabs are more likely to hijack planes."

      On the other hand, can’t Jews realize that the actions of a few of them have brought this suspicion down? It’s not just some blind prejudice, it’s our reality that Jews are more likely to [insert RoHa's most frequent anti-Semitic accusations here].

  • More creeping halacha
    • "Hasn’t multicultural society reached you yet?"

      From my perspective, "multiculturalism" (when it comes close to being conceptually coherent) is a form of apartheid, and a form of racism. The multiculturalists insist on dividing people up into groups depending on their biological ancestry. They try to trap people into the traditional cultures of their ancestors, rather than allowing them to blend into the wider society of the country in which, often, they were born.

      Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has some trenchant criticism here.

      Rather than write an essay of similar length, I will simply add that duties to fellow humans, and duties to society as a whole, take precedence over any concerns for ancestral culture, tradition, etc.

    • Let them start respecting the religions, customs, traditions, and laws of the country they live in.

    • You should have agreed on condition that you were upgraded to first class.

    • "the right to flout our laws"

      But doesn't God's law take precedence over U.S. law?

    • But then the men would be able to ogle the women and get all excited! It would turn their thoughts away from God.

      The women don't get excited by looking at the men, and anyway it hardly matters if they think about God or not, does it?

    • "To avoid physical contact between members of opposite sexes that is prohibited by Hasidic tradition, men sit in the front of the bus and women sit in the back."

      When I lived in Jeddah, those evil Saudis had a separate compartment for women at the back of the bus. Of course, this meant that they couldn't pay the driver, so they rode free.

  • Endangered Palestinian village gets int'l media attention-- except from the U.S.
    • I thought Morgan Bach was a Welshman.

      This line struck me:
      "then the Japanese, Belgians, and Norwegians built the 2nd floor."

      Japanese, Norwegians, and Belgians can get along with Palestinians. (Even though we keep being told that Belgians can't even get along with each other.)

      Remind me. Who is it who just can't get on with the Palestinians?

  • Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn't
    • "A single state solution with RoR avoids all of these legal problems."

      By "ROR" I assume you mean a right for Palestinian refugees living outside Palestine to return to Palestine. Those living in the West Bank and Gaza would automatically have RoR simply as free movement within the single state.

    • "There are and should be many basis’ of self-governance."

      Drivel. And the plural of "basis" is "bases".

      States which privilege one ethnic group of over others in the way that Israel does are in breach of moral norms, no matter how many of them there are.

    • "denies self-governance to Jewish Israelis. "

      Jewish Israelis do not have a right to self-governance qua Jewish Israelis.

      Israelis have the right to self-governance as inhabitants of the territory, as long as the exercise of that self-governance does not breach any moral norms. If they choose to set up an ethnically-based state, then they are in breach of those norms.

    • "You do know that you are articulating a uniquely anti-democratic assertion, one that would deny self-governance to 6 million."

      Don't be ridiculous. I am denying that there is a right to "self-determination" (in the sense of creating a state) for ethnically or religiously defined groups.

      I have presented the arguments against your "ethnic self-determination" nonsense several times. I have presented arguents in favour of "self-determination for inhabitants of the territory" several times.

      Others (including the formidable Hostage) have done the same.

      You have never presented a criticism of those arguments.

      You have never presented a counter-argument to support your position.

      Until you do, your claims are nothing but piss and wind.

    • "Sure, but was it a good idea for them to abandon the Wankel engine?"

      It wasn't successful enough, and they got fed up with being called a bunch of Wankelers.

    • "Zionism is cruel, supremacist and a grave injustice. Anyone who doesn’t truly believe this deep down cares more about their own clan than the suffering of Palestinians and the inhumanity they’re being forced to bear indefinitely or just refuses to come to grips with the immorality rampant within their clan. Even Avrum Burg is smelling the coffee. Letting go of Zionism is STEP ONE to recovery and hope."

      Repeat this loudly and often.

    • "The days of Western powers forcing things on the Jews ended in the 1940s."

      Western Jews were part of the Western powers.

    • Jewish self-determination rights"

      No such rights.

      "the historical self-determination rights of the Jewish nation"

      No such rights. No such nation.

      "Palestinian self-determination rights"

      No such rights.

      "Ask if they’d be willing to live in a state where none of the law is based on religion and see what the answer is."

      Ask after you have made sure they know what the alternatives are.

    • "If Palestine can exist only by replacing the Jewish state, it should not be permitted to come into being."

      Because Jews are much more important than anyone else.

    • "I would never have considered joining a traditional kibbutz"

      I don't know what makes a kibbutz "traditional", but I recall hearing that in the kibbutzes (kibbutzim?) of the 1950s, the boys and girls showered together. That would have made me at least consider it. When I was a boy, of course.

  • 'Occupy Boston' takes on the the occupation of Palestine
    • “Medicare not warfare” is appropriate. It keeps the focus on how the people are being are being screwed over, wihout too much detail.

    • Much as I like to see such demonstrations, I am not sure they are tactically sound at the moment. Although there are complex linkages among the various issues, trying to include them all is likely to lead to confusion and diffusion of the force of the Occupy movement. And of course, it opens the door for the "anti-Semitic" whine.

      I think the emphasis should be kept on the "hang the bankers and eat the rich" message. That is something that everyone (except the bankers and the rich) understands and approves of.

  • Release
    • " since when did a growing trend of modesty become depressing?"

      If I thought it was a freely-chosen growing trend of modesty, I would not mind so much. (Yes, I am a dirty old man, so I would mind a little. But not much. There are plenty of other girls in sufficiently exiguous garb to justify the expense of new glasses.)

      I would expect such a trend among Malays and Indonesians to be one of trousers or longer skirts, and high-necked blouses. But to see them adopting the hijab suggests that they are being pressured into wearing a Middle Eastern garment by the religious leaders who are trying to impose Middle Eastern versions of religious law.

      As we all know, religious law is devised by miserable old men who never had any fun and don't want anyone else to have any. They are always particularly cruel to women.

      So for the sake of the women involved, I feel depressed.

    • "a country that believes in redeeming its soldiers no matter what the cost."

      After five years of trying to avoid negotiations. That shows great concern for his well-being.

    • Something I find both surprising and depressing is the large number of Malay and Indonesian women students I see wearing hijabs right here in Australia. These are educated women studying in a country where the usual garb for young females is a tank top and tiny shorts.

      The hijab isn't part of Malay/Indonesian tradition, and when I was an undergraduate I never saw a Malay or Indonesian wearing one. The students were believing Muslims, but outside the mosque they wore mini-skirts.

  • Feel the earth move-- 'The Forward' proffers This-is-one-country idea to its readers
    • "in general religions are not in themselves evil"

      Some don't seem to be very evil.

      "lots of good aspects of culture that come from religion and religious people."

      Quite a lot of good art. Buddhist statuary, Islamic tile-work and architecture, Christian music. (Except when it involves singing, of course.)

    • I'll try this again. The Mods didn't like it last time, so they might not like it this time, but I live in hope.

      It seems to me that a single state is inevitable in the long run (200 years) and probably in the short run (50 years).

      So surely the sensible thing to do would be to work out what sort of a state that should be, and a plan for achieving it.

      A truth and reconciliation process will be needed.

      And the planners will have to face the fact that it is not Sweden. Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are burdened with nasty traditional cultures and evil religions. There are large numbers of particularly rebarbative nutters in the territory.

      But sensible, reasonable people should be able to work out a way to organize things so that they can have a fairly just state which gives a fairly decent life to everyone.

      "Instead of putting all this energy into brutally separating people from each other and from land they hold dear, why not work on finding ways to live together based on rights and mutual respect? Fairness is a much more stable basis for political order than sameness."
      robin September 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm

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