Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 8577 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 8000 - 7901

  • Map map on the wall, who's most existing of them all?
    • And yet we conventionally call them all countries. We call Switzerland a country, as well.

      Re Iran: The north west of Iran is Azeri, the south east is Balouchi, and the country includes Arabs, Kurds and some people called Lurs. Very confusing for me, since I think of a lur as a large Viking horn.

      (I had an Iranian student whose mother was Turkish, and whose father was Farsi, so he learned both languages from his parents. But they lived in Tabriz, so his education was in Azeri. He learned English at school.)

      But as I said previously, it is not very important. It has no effect on the rights of Palestinians.

    • Quite right, gamal.

      But I think JeffB is still trying to refine the pure essence of a nation in his alchemical laboratory.

    • Establishing the multiple strains of Palestinians ancestry might be of technical interest, but it will not change their moral status. They will have exactly the same rights as they had when their ancestry was merely guessed at.

    • "If the p-nation isn’t an n-nation you might very well have an empire or a confederation not a country."

      Would Canada, Brazil, India, Iran, China, and Russia count as countries? I could make a case for each of them having more than one n-nation.

      (I am not sure that this is terribly important, since I do not see the rights of the Palestinians dependent upon whether or not Palestine was ever a "country".)

    • Exactly, Mr. eljay.

    • "apart from about 200 years when the Crusaders occupied Palestine in whole or in part,"

      Occupation is the wrong term. The crusaders set up an independent sovereign Christian state in Palestine.
      Also, Palestine is the country in which Christianity originated. (According to the Christians.)

      These two facts prove that Palestine is the ancient homeland of Welsh Methodists and Holy Rollers. They have every right to establish a Methodist Roller state there.

    • "The definition of a country is a nation residing in a territory governing that territory. "

      What do you mean by "nation"? P-nation, n-nation, c-nation, or something else?

  • Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the 'merchant of JVP'
  • New York rabbi links Jewish Voice for Peace to Osama bin Laden and Assad
    • No, I won't accept your apology for lack of education until I see some evidence of that lack.

      Don't worry too much about "elk". Most British people will understand what you mean if you say "moose". Even in Scotland.

      In case you're wondering whether there is a specific Australian word for the animal, there isn't. We don't have them here. Not venomous enough.

    • "Elk" is English. "Moose" is American. Americans talk funny.

      And now I will know what to say if I do see a monster in the Finnish forests. Thanks.

    • Kaisa, sorry. Fingers must have slipped to put that "n" in.

    • Kansa, thanks for the breakdown of the Finnish sentence. That is really interesting.

      I like the meeting with the moose/elk/älg/hirvi, too.

    • Mooser, head out on the highway, looking for adventure, and whatever comes your way.

    • That might apply to Mooser, since he identifies as a moose (älg). I'm not sure we could call him "wild", though.

    • And on the subject of titles, eljay, it's Dr. RoHa to the likes of you.

  • No self-determination
    • "Scientific theories are usually based on existing facts, which they then try to explain. Further observations and predictions based on the theory confirm whether the theory is true or not."

      Observations don't confirm that the theory is true. They confirm that the theory can make a lot of true predictions. But once the theory makes a false prediction, it is time to change it.

      (This happened with the geocentric theory. Using the Ptolemaic model, it made very accurate predictions of the positions of the stars. But Galileo's observation of the phases of Venus showed it was false.
      Likewise,the Newtonian model was falsified by failure to predict the exact positions of Mercury.)

      We never know whether or not scientific theories are true, but we do know that some are much better at predicting than others.

  • Why I'm keeping my child home from school in Israel on Holocaust Day
    • Yes, but calling people "fascists" is nothing new. The usually deplorable Wikipedia has a fairly good article on fascists, and it includes a fine quotation from Orwell about the use of the term as an insult.

      I have heard it applied (by people who wouldn't know a faggot with an axe if they saw one) to standard Conservative MPs who spent a good part of their youth fighting real Fascists in North Africa and Italy.

      As is often the case, the aim of the insult is to avoid debate with political opponents, lest anyone think the opponent has a point.

    • And I expect to be as successful as the great king.

      But a pedant's gotta do what a pedant's gotta do.

    • Yes, Mooser, I expect that some people can get vicariously exhausted by my efforts to hold back the black pall of ignorance and barbarism that is sweeping across the world.

    • "the “purer racial genes”, the sicker are the descendants..

      Quote of the month, Kasia."

      I agree.

    • "They’re even scared of poetry and little children."

      Very sensible of them. Both can be appalling, and frequently are.

  • Speaking of Palestine and academic freedom
    • It would be nearly as great an error to assume that Campus Watch is wrong about everything as it is to assume it is right about anything.

    • Yes, perhaps I should withdraw that suggestion.

    • "I’ve lost two jobs in the past three years because of my sharp criticism of Israel and I’m a month away from being unemployed again."

      And that's your last warning. Next time you'll get whacked.

      You know, only too well, that the Zionists are a bunch of gangsters and thugs. They bribe, blackmail, and bully to get what they want. Go up against them, and you risk your job, your reputation, and your life.

      I hope I'm wrong, and they let you live. They might think that you will be a better warning alive and broken than dead and gone.

      Perhaps Norman Finkelstein can give you some tips on how to be an independent scholar.

    • "This suppression of discussion is a crime in itself, and a crime which affects a great many more people. Because it is a direct attack on all Americans’ Constitutional right of free speech. It is a glaring case in which Israel does NOT share America’s values."

      This is ambiguous.
      Do you mean
      (a) "it is a crime because it is an attack on the right"
      (b) "because it is an attack on the right, it is a case of Israel not sharing values"

    • As with John Neill, I don't detect any bias between speech by Milo Whosis and speech about Palestine. Salaita is simply pointing out that the outcome depended on power structures.

      For my part, I am in favour of very free speech. Freedom to question the authenticity of Anne Frank's Diary, and freedom for Yonah to rant about it. I regard the current fashion for making "hate speech" illegal to be an assault on the principle.

  • Settlers from Kushner family-funded community attack 3 Israeli grandmothers
    • Middle Eastern religious fanatics attack Jewish grandmothers!

      Perhaps there should be some sort of safe haven where Jewish ladies could be protected from violence and hatred.

  • Hasbara-steria: Netanyahu ministers charge NYT with 'journalistic terror attack,' hunger striker with 'suicide terror attack'
  • The bulldozers of Shavuot, 1967
    • "but all acts oriented towards Jewish independence, including attacks on the British and including obliviousness to Palestinian notions of fairness are acceptable, because the overriding danger to the jews required tunnel vision."

      You really have rejected morality. Your main concern is "good for the Jews", and for that you are prepared to accept death and destruction for non-Jews.

      If Israeli Jews share your attitude, the Palestinians and Israeli Jews will not be able to arrive at a modus vivendi. Living together requires justice and trust, but how could the Palestinians trust people who lack morality, and think only of their own benefit?

    • What do you mean by "the validity of the Zionist movement up until may 8, 1945"?

      "Politics is important. More important than morality?"

      And what do you mean by politics?

    • Yonah, is that just a long-winded way of saying that you don't like people pointing out the immorality of Zionism and Zionists, or are you trying to argue that the historical realities count as a justification or an excuse for Zionism?

    • Dear Uncle Mooser,

      I need your expert advice again. Jon s presented Judaism thusly:

      “Instead, here’s a set of laws to live by and deeds to perform. Live according to those laws and you’ll be fine. You’ll find yourself living a good, moral, life, and you’ll belong to a community based on shared laws and traditions.”

      Which sounds pretty good.

      But Yonah - staunch defender of Judaism, Jewish tradition, Jewish community - abjures morality in favour of realpolitik, as though he were reinforcing the anti-Semitic tropes Yoni Falic invoked.

      What am I to believe about this Judaism stuff and morality? Is there a connection?

      Please help.



    • And those white people whose grandparents died in battle against the Nazis? Can they reject morality?

    • "I would have preferred avoiding the 67 war."

      I'm sure quite a few other people would have preferred that.

      "The Jewish people have a religious gathering place and that is the kotel, occupied or not, whatever, that is the focus of the books."

      And Jewish religious requirements are more important than the rights of anyone else.

  • Check out the new Mondoweiss t-shirts
    • No mention of the blue ring octopus, the stone fish, or the cone shell. (It's a seagoing snail. And it can kill you.) Hell, even a male platypus can give you a rough time with the venom from its spurs.

      Australian wildlife is God's last message to humanity. "I hate you all, and I want you to die in agony."

      But all of us here, even the lonely goatherd high on the hill, have confidence in confidence that we can avoid most of these beasties.

    • Thank you for your generous offer, eljay. However, I shall take the word for the deed.

      But what do we do with a problem like Mooser? He drags up these dreadful show tunes, and then everyone wants to get into the act. Even amigo.

    • Amigo, strange things happened in those far off days.

    • The problem is that, when a seventeen-year-old tells me that I am too old, it means that I can't do it. Not with her, anyway.

    • You are trying to lure me with sounds of music, sweet airs that give delight and hurt not, aren't you? Just so that I will have more of that tripe torturing me.

      Well, I'm not so easily trapped. Its a long, long way to run, but I'm prepared to climb mountains and ford streams to escape.

      And, as for the t-shirts, while I approve of the principle, I'm no longer sixteen, going on seventeen, so I don't fancy pictures of angry people on my stomach. Besides, I'm short of dough, so for me they are a bit dear.

    • Thanks, Mooser. Now I'm going to have that stupid song running through my mind all day.

  • I am not a jew
    • "She worries mostly that g-d is crying."

      The poem shows that she worries about the victims of Israel, and quite rightly.

      She doesn't need to worry about g-d. He's old enough to look after himself.

  • Israel packs seven lies into one statement on the Palestinian hunger strike
  • Israel will celebrate 50th anniversary of '67 war in -- an illegal settlement!
    • If you mean full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines, it seems there are none left. However, there are still people who are descendants of the Tasmanian Aborigines.

  • Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank
  • Academic boycott campaign is growing fast at Trinity College Dublin
    • "I seem to recall that South Africa was a fairly isolated place that didn’t have color TV until 1976 "

      And I thought apartheid was the major problem!

      Aside from gold and diamonds, SA was a major exporter of minerals and agricultural products, including wine, to the world. Well integrated into the world economy.

      Had a first class cricket team, too.

  • Allegory of the 'tough neighborhood'
    • I suppose you are right. That is why the Zionists are encouraging Jews to make Aliyah from murderous France, brutal Denmark, appalling Australia, and that total hell-hole, Canada.

    • And it makes perfect sense to want to move into a tough neighbourhood, to encourage the rest of your family to move in with you, and to make enemies of your neighbours.

  • Trump dines, Arabs die
  • The false piety over Spicer's Holocaust mistake
    • 12 minutes went by and Spicer fielded 16 questions on matters such as North Korea, Ivanka Trump, and tax policy before Cecilia Vega of ABC brought up his comment, ...

      The press conference then went on for another 12 minutes and 15 questions or so without any question about Hitler and gas."

      Maybe they thought that getting information about policy on North Korea, tax, and, yes, even Ivanka was more important than fussing over a throwaway line.

      "So it was only when reporters were instructed about how horrifying the comments were ..."

      Instructed by some mysterious person(s) who decided that the slip-up was horrifying?

  • Sean Spicer needs to go to a Holocaust center
  • The selective concern for beautiful babies
  • Passover has become little more than an act of communal hypocrisy
    • I gave a rough, functional, definition, earlier.
      “the society that sustains us. (And by that I mean the society of the people who grow most of the food we eat, and purify and pump the water we drink. The society that cleans our streets, teaches our children, provides our electricity, and performs the dozens of other services that keep us going.)”
      But we should also add in the benefit of decent treatment by the people who live near us.
      This definition could be summed up as “the society with which we have a social contract”. (You remember signing that, don’t you?)
      In practice, this would correspond mostly to the society that is around us in a geographic sense, and the society of which we are members in a political sense, so it would correspond fairly closely to the nation state. This is not to deny that we have duties to humanity in general.
      Of course, there can be plenty of points to quibble over. (For some countries, the people who grow a lot of the food live in other countries on the other side of the world, but British people do not have the same duties to Argentina and NZ as they do to Britain.)

      Does that help?

    • I'm not sure what your appeal to history has to do with it.

      I suggested that rejection of the community was immoral. You asked what was immoral about it. I explained.

      (But then, I have explained several times that it is wrong to put a comma after a subject clause, and yet you still do it. Look at your third sentence.)

      As for Hermits, Maoris, and the Amish, we would have to look carefully at each case.

    • Yonah, 己所不欲 勿施于人 (do not impose on other what you yourself do not want) is a good start, but there is more to 恕 (reciprocity) than that. It also involves the duties that we have to support the society that sustains us. (And by that I mean the society of the people who grow most of the food we eat, and purify and pump the water we drink. The society that cleans our streets, teaches our children, provides our electricity, and performs the dozens of other services that keep us going.)

      Society works by general agreement to follow the rules and support the society. Those rules (禮) are more than the law, and they give rise to social duties. Merely obeying the law is not sufficient to fulfil those duties. The law just combines the minimal regulations to make a society bearable, regulations to promote the interests of the elite, and regulations to promote whatever crackpot nonsense is currently fashionable.

      A group which accepts the benefits of the society, but refuses to be part of it, rejects its values, and shuns the very people who create those benefits, is failing in its social duties. A group which prefers its own interests over the general interest, which discriminates in favour of its own members over the other members of society, is failing in that duty of support.

      Maintaining a separate society does not inherently offend anyone if laws are obeyed.

      Mooser- in fact politically the separatism implied in some religious Jewish practice will end up causing friction. This is an important political consideration. I do not consider it a moral consideration.

      You do not see friction in society as a moral issue? You do have a very limited grasp of morality.

    • "If the surrounding community feels rejected, that's their problem. Nothing immoral here"

      Perhaps not when it feels rejected, but when it is rejected, there is a breach of morality.

    • The world except for Syria.

    • "no one knows whether you sincerely believe what you claim to believe, Judaism said never mind about endlessly declaring your belief."

      But the important thing is having the belief, regardless of whether anyone else knows that you have it, or whether you declare it or not.

      "Instead, here’s a set of laws to live by and deeds to perform. Live according to those laws and you’ll be fine. You’ll find yourself living a good, moral, life, and you’ll belong to a community based on shared laws and traditions."

      That would be fine, if those laws actually did lead to a good, moral life and belonging to a community. But if those laws lead to an uncomfortable life, and an immoral rejection of the community you live in*, then the reasonable thing to do is to reject them.

      And if you don't have the belief** that they are duties ordained by God, what reason do you have not to reject them?

      So it seems to me that the belief is necessary for Judaism.

      (*As, it seems to me, they do in the case of Judaism.)

      (**I notice that you seem to assume that beliefs are in the head. If they are nothing but brain states, then they are, but if there is more to them than that, then they might not be. But we have a few thousand years worth of philosophy on that issue, and no resolution yet.)

    • “it’s not about believing, it’s about belonging”.

      Not really a religion, more a social club, then.

    • What is the point of the practice if it is not supported by belief? Why not just give up the two handed cups and try to be a decent human being, as most of the rest of us do?

  • 'This miracle, this gift, this jewel' -- Obama's ambassador to Israel declares he's a Zionist
    • No full stop there.

      "This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
      This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
      Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
      Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
      For Christian service and true chivalry,
      As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
      Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
      This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
      Dear for her reputation through the world,
      Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
      Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
      England, bound in with the triumphant sea
      Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
      Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
      With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
      That England, that was wont to conquer others,
      Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
      Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
      How happy then were my ensuing death!"

    • 'Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli’s use of torture stating that “I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of Palestinian children,” '

      And that's as far as she went. Then it was straight back to brown nosing the Americans and the Israelis.

  • Israel’s ‘right to exist’ and the Palestinian right to resist
    • My paper version of The One True Dictionary prefers the usage I have given. Unfortunately, the online version is now behind a paywall, so I cannot tell whether they allow this modern corruption.

      I see no value in blurring the distinction between the meanings.

    • (And they might even infringe the wrong rights as well.)

    • "Joseph Levine, professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts ...Sari Nusseibeh, professor of Philosophy at Al Quds University in East Jerusalem "

      Things have come to a pretty pass when you end up quoting professors of philosophy.

      (Psst: "US troops infringe on/upon Syrian territory", but "the Israelis infringe the right rights of the Palestinians".
      Infringe + on/upon = trespass
      Infringe = act contrary to, restrict.)

  • It's 7-0 against BDS on 'New York Times' opinion pages
    • "The most important editorial space in the English-speaking world "


    • "I guess it’s OK to attack Syria — folks widely recognized as being Arabs and having dark skins after all"

      Let's be precise here. It's OK for Americans and their Arab proxies to attack folks widely recognized as being non-American-supported Arabs, but it isn't OK for Russians and non-American-supported Arabs to attack the American-supported Arabs.

  • The liberal double standard on boycotting North Carolina and boycotting Israel
    • "If there was any point of still being here it is Israel."

      The only point in being Jewish is Israel? And the point of Israel is being Jewish, with the two-handed cups, no Xmas, and a Jewish Army?

      For this absurdity Zionist commit their monstrous crimes!

  • The real free speech threat
  • Israel, naked under the microscope in Cork
  • Trump's new war has neocons, Clintonites, and Israelis applauding, but left and realists dismayed
  • You know your country's in trouble when you're afraid to put on a bumper sticker
    • I would add that Zionism is wrong regardless of whether it counts as or is classed as racism.

    • The other 32% wanted to leave no matter what it cost?

      I can't open your article from the Telegraph, but it seems to me that (regardless of funding) support both for and against Brexit came from people across the "left-right" spectrum, but that the final vote was against the smarmy-pants elite.

    • "Racism = prejudice on grounds of ancestry?"

      I think we need a little more detail than that. The British political system shows strong prejudice on grounds of ancestry, in that people with the right ancestors are more likely to end up as monarchs than those of whose blood is at the other end of the spectrum.

    • What a wonderful crystal ball you have!

      But, with the exception of immigration, I doubt that those points were of much concern to most Brexit voters. They are used to lies.

      Many of the older voters will have remembered the lies they were told in 1973 and 1975. Many of the younger ones will have seen that "Remain" was supported by the smoothy-chops Davos man types, by the fashionable artsy-fartsies, by the respectable commentators, and by the Establishment in general. So naturally they would vote to leave. (The American phrase "stick it to The Man" applies here, as well as the principal that anything the Establishment supports must be bad for the rest.) Others, again, will have decided to take a chance that things couldn't get much worse, and might even get a bit better. And some will simply have wanted to take their country back.

    • Voted for by the people.

    • A bit OT, but I do you see Brexit as "the right wing won"?
      It looks more like the people won against the elite to me.

  • 'I came to explore the wreck of Zionism': A report from the 2017 JVP meeting
    • "“A man was high up in a burning building. To save his own life he jumped out and landed on another man, breaking the latter’s back. You’re telling me he shouldn’t have jumped?”

      If he knew that he would kill the other man, the answer is "He should not have jumped."

  • 'New sheriff in town' Nikki Haley is gonna kick anyone who objects to latest Jewish settlement
    • "Can we now look forward to ..."

      I'm sure we can look forward to those who have been lambasting Trump for restricting Syrian refugees now being equally vocal about his taking action that will create more refugees.

  • New book by Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli journalist, crushes liberal Zionism
  • The Jewish revolution
    • "If Israel fails there won’t be a Jewish community or meaningful size. We’ll join Odin worshippers, the cult of ISIS or Cybele cults as dead religions."

      And so, I ask, as I often do, what?

      Cybele, Odin, and Isis are gone, and ta'en their wages. Might it not be time for Judaism to go as well?

    • From Donne, via Byron, to your middy-blouse.

  • 'Jerusalem' on Gaza TV set is as close as many Palestinians will get to real thing
    • I suppose that it does seem miraculous that a mind can be changed. That is one of the results of thinking philosophically and scientifically rather than just following closed-minded politically correct fashion. I did, indeed, think that the accusation of being racist was just a standard insult being thrown by those who do not like him, but now I see that there is evidence for some racism.

    • "Minds do not change."

      Minds do change. My mind is being changed about how much of a racist Trump is.

    • If you write the question in English*, I might be able to answer it.

      (*Or Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Welsh, Japanese, Chinese, or Spanish. But then other MW readers might not understand it.)

    • We could do without unnecessary French phrases as well.

  • J Street attends rightwing anti-BDS summit-- and gets called 'anti-Semitic'
  • Palestinian-American teacher brutally attacked by Jewish Defense League outside AIPAC conference
    • Interesting video, gamal, but it has not persuaded me that extending the oppression of women is a good idea.

    • Sorry, Mooser, I don't understand what that is supposed to mean.

    • "the much more serious consequence of this “liberal” emphasis on identity politics is to divert attention away ..."

      I thought it was a pretty obvious "divide and rule" ploy.

    • If it were just the women and girls who moved to the US, then it would make sense. But if the men come then the oppression will simply be transferred.

      "Or is the cultural magic of misogyny so potent that the US will become just like them, instead of the immigrants learning different standards?"

      The reality is that many of the immigrants seem very reluctant to learn different standards, and persist in following the customs of the country of origin.

    • I will add that I am not surprised that there has been an upsurge in "white nationalism" The continual emphasis on divisive identity politics, encouraging people to seek the good of their tribe, with no concern for the good of all, the common good, was bound to lead to that.

      (I know I am lagging behind, Our connections to the external world (for those who believe there is such a thing)have been disrupted by the recent cyclone and floods, so the Internet is unreliable here at the moment.)

    • I see a lot of the figures come from the Southern Poverty Law Center. From what I have heard, that organization has morphed in to a witch-hunting group that would class a chess club as a hate group for following the "white goes first" rule.

      But even if that is not so, and the SPLC figures are accurate, I note that the growth occurred in a time in which non-Trump presidents and politicians were all loudly denouncing ISIS, in which Muslim refugees were arousing the antagonism of Europeans, and terrorist attacks were being attributed to Muslims. It seems likely that these factors were at least partially responsible for the increase.

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