Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 9247 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 9000 - 8901

  • How to win the battle for freedom, justice, and equality
    • "“Heavenly religions” refers to the three Abrahamistic religions."

      As Yitzhak points out, there are more than three. Baha'i, Druze, and Mormonism all count as Abrahamic, I think. If there are any Babis left, they count as well. And I'd be inclined to include Yazidi, too.

    • Nathan, you are being repetitive, so I shall have to be repetitive in reply. (Given my age, everyone will expect that of me.)

      1. "cognitive self-centrism".
      I am well aware that Zionists do not see the world the way I do. They would not be Zionists if they did.

      2. Palestinian attitudes to Jews.
      Zionist Jews declared themselves the enemies of the Palestinians from the beginning of Zionism. They have discriminated against, attacked, murdered,robbed, oppressed, and persecuted Palestinians from the start. Palestinian hostility towards Zionist Jews is fully justified.
      And yet, if the oppression and persecution stopped and was replaced by reconciliation, the hostility would diminish. Try it.

      3. Ending the conflict.
      What you want is the Palestinians to put forward a proposal that would lead to them ceasing resistance and yet leave Israel essentially unchanged.
      And you want to blame the Palestinians for not advancing such a proposal, even though it cannot be done.

      (You do not seem to expect anything of the sort from Israel, and attach no blame to Israel.)

      4. Reasons for change.
      You acknowledge that the Israeli Jews are not moved by appeals to morality, but you seem to think that their selfish attitudes are not reprehensible. Just a "different perspective". And you ask for reasons why the comfortable Israeli Jews should find it in their self-interest to change.

      The aim of the BDS movement, and the efforts to put international pressure on Israel, is to make the Israeli Jews so uncomfortable that they will change.

    • Nathan, perhaps you could direct me to those parts of the PA website that lead you to believe that the Palestinians would never accept Israeli Jews as legitimate residents and citizens a secular democratic state.

      In the current context of Israeli Jewish oppression of the Palestinians, I have no doubt that there are many passages on the website that express hostility towards the Jews, but if that oppression were to be replaced by apology and an effort towards reconciliation, I think it highly likely that a great deal of the hostility would fade.

      And, yes, I agree with you that the Israeli Jews probably think of themselves as fine fellows, and want to keep their state going. I freely admit that I have no idea of how to persuade them to recognise the requirements of justice.

      But that does not mean that we should give up looking for a way, and BDS seems to be one of the stronger options around just now.

    • Nathan, you are playing fast and loose here. On the one hand, you say

      " it is self-evident that this is a conflict between two rival communities in a very small country. "

      Now what most of us on my side of the fence want is an end to that conflict. Do you?

      But you then when you say

      "The intention of “ending the conflict” would mean that you are referring to the end of Israel – not ending the conflict with Israel"

      you are talking about ending the conflict with the state of Israel, (which is a conflict between a community and a state) without, it seems, that state being changed in any way.

      And I will frankly admit that I do not believe such a thing is possible.

      "For the anti-Israel world, a negotiated settlement of the conflict is unthinkable. It would mean that Israel is here to stay, and it’s final."

      No, the negotiated settlement could be a negotiated end to Israel as it is, and its replacement by a better state.

    • " In simpler terms, the Palestinians objected (and object) to the Jewish immigration. Founding the single democratic state doesn't solve that grievance in the least, and the conflict would continue in the framework of the single state."

      You keep saying that. And yet

      " The vision of a secular democratic state in all of Palestine as set out by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1968, has always been more compelling for Palestinians than that of two states. Through a single state Palestinians would exercise their right to self-determination by returning to and living in the entirety of the land that had been Palestine, alongside the Jews living there, with equal rights for all."

      (My italics.)

      The Palestinians have made it clear that, although they consider (rightly)that the Jewish immigration was wrong, they will accept the Jews as legitimate residents in the context of equal rights for all in a secular democratic state. (Actually, they said this in 1947, 21 years before 1968.)

      "Since your plan calls for the end of the Jewish state, it would be a nice idea if you could give a convincing reason why it would be worthwhile for the Jews to give it up."

      This is much more to the point. How can the Israeli Jews be persuaded to act with decency, humanity,and morality, when they clearly have no understanding of such concepts?

  • Trump calls Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey and Jordan 'enemies of America' for Jerusalem vote
    • Ivanka may be happy, but the US Embassy staff won't be. The main occupation of embassy people is attending the piss-ups thrown by other embassies. So the US staff will have to drive down to Tel Aviv for the bash at the Japanese Embassy, stagger to the after-party at the Australian Embassy, and then drive back to Jerusalem in the early hours. And then the same again in a few days for the Swedish Embassy do.

      When it is the US turn, will all the others want to haul themselves to Jerusalem, and then back for the Argentinian after-party?

  • Federal judge blocks Kansas law punishing BDS supporters
  • Zionists should be excluded from left-oriented protests
    • OT, but Maxwell just happened to fall over a guard rail on his yacht, at night, in a dead flat calm, without anyone hearing anythingy. His dodgy dealings were coming undone, and he had cancelled a speech in London and rushed to his yacht.

      Complete accident, of course.

    • "Enter “sayan” into Google and you get a mountain range in Siberia."

      Mossad has agents everywhere.

    • Other way round, surely. I have been reliably informed that nearly everyone in the world is a fierce anti-Semite, so, if the far left openly reveals its anti-Semitism, it will gain credit and popularity.

    • hophmi's "right" raises the possibility that two opposed minority groups could define the very existence of the opposing group as hatred. This would mean that we, the decent majority who care about the well-being of minorities, would be obliged to remove the hatred by eliminating both groups.

    • ", like every other minority, retain the right to define what constitutes hatred against them,"

      There are not many RoHas in the world, so I'm a member of a minority group. And I will tell you that the world has failed to provide us with huge quantities of money and a continuous stream of eager seventeen-year-old girls for our entertainment. We define this as hatred towards RoHas, and demand an end to this pervasive anti-RoHaism.

      And any other minority group can similarly define anything as hatred.

      Honestly, hophmi! Where do you get this nonsensical "right" from?

      "a smear that has antisemitic overtones; Salaita is really saying here that Jews only care about Jews."

      If that is the way it seems, is he not allowed to say it? And if it is true?

  • In 'NYT,' Israeli minister calls BDS activists 'enemy soldiers' and compares them to Nazis
    • 'Bennett calls the BDS movement a “new enemy”, which, although lacking “tanks and missiles”, nevertheless “poses a serious threat to the Jewish state”.'

      That's odd. I seem to recall being told that BDS was ineffective and pointless. Is my memory playing tricks on me?

  • Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is 'right choice,' and will lead to 'significant exodus of Jews' -- Henry Siegman
    • Yonah, I am beginning to think you are more cunning than I originally estimated. In the middle of a number of perfectly good sentences, you slip in a couple with commas after the subject clauses. You are doing it just to annoy me, aren't you?

  • Israel, are you a real state?
    • Mersa Matruh, and the battle there, is a familiar name to those of us who know a little about WW2

      The French in Egypt were replaced by the British. In WW1 Egypt was the staging post for the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent Palestine campaign, which meant the addition of Australian and NZ armies as well. The British Army had a presence in Palestine throughout the Mandate, and in WW2 the Australians took Syria from the Vichy French. And there were always Circassians, travellers and passing sailors.

      I don't wish to cast aspersions at the ladies of the Tamimi family, but we all know that mistakes can be made, and accidents can happen. There was plenty of time for blue eyes and fair hair to become family traits.

  • The not-so-secret life of Mathilde Krim
  • Palestinian ambassador reveals details about Trump's meetings with Abbas, accuses the U.S. of 'backstabbing'
  • New Orleans City Council rescinds human rights resolution, igniting the movement for Palestinian rights
    • Gee. What a surprise. Who'da thunk it. Etc.

      (But, Keith, you mustn't suggest that any Jewish organization has any influence on any US policy. That's anti-)

  • 'We’re going to have nothing to do with (peace process) any longer' -- Trump threatens Palestinians
    • They think he is par for the course. They remember GWB and others.

      And I recall a BBC reporter commenting on the meeting between Helmut Schmidt and Ronald Reagan. He pointed out that Schmidt was more intelligent, better educated and more sophisticated than Reagan, and added "And he speaks better English, too."

    • This is a threat?

  • There are two narratives, but one reality: Palestinian dispossession
    • "I think the best thing would be if the Palestinians would agree to negotiate an end of conflict with Israel."

      Negotiate with people who have no honour, no honesty, no decency?

      Negotiate an agreement which the Israeli government will break the next day?

      The record is clear. The only agreement that the Israelis would keep is one in which the Palestinians abandoned all claims to Palestine, to their homes, their farms, their companies, and all their property, and then walked across to Jordan. The Israeli Jews might then refrain from killing them as they went.

    • Gamal, that's what comes of going to soma parties.

    • "Finkelstein is very easily identifiable as a Jew, as his face has very obvious Semitic features."

      Can't see it myself. His nose looks pretty straight, his forehead high rather than sloping, his lips fairly thin. Not at all like the pictures in Der Stürmer.

    • That "more or less" covers a lot of ground. But, regardless of the status of the writings, it does seem to be the case that there was a Christian religious identity in 150 CE.

      But why should we put on the "Western" restriction?
      Zoroastrianism has been around for much longer. The Rig Veda texts were composed sometime before 1200 BCE. Even the earliest texts of that upstart newbie Buddhism seem to have been written down by the first century BCE.

      (I am doubtful about the current tendency to early dates for the gospels. I suspect too much weight has been placed on the Rylands fragment P52. See:

      Nongbri, Brent (2005) "The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel." Harvard Theological Review 98:23-52.)

    • "I am a Jew, born in Ukraine."

      So you can be traced back to Europe.

      “ descend from a long line of women that can be traced back to eastern Africa over 150,000 years ago”.

      I thought most humans could be traced back to Eastern Africa. It is our historic homeland.

      "Eastern Africa (if you are geographically challenged, that’s near Middle East)"

      Which bit of Eastern Africa? Eastern Africa covers the Cape to Cairo. Most of it is a long way from the ME.

      The various versions of human evolution tend to centre on Kenya.
      From Nairobi to Jerusalem is about 3,683 Km.
      But from Kiev to Jerusalem is about 2,110km.
      That makes Ukraine (Europe ) closer than Kenya!

  • Israeli Defense Minister urges ban against poet for calling Ahed Tamimi a hero
    • It was obvious at the time that Animal Farm was an allegory of the Soviet Union, with the pigs as the leaders and Boxer as Stakhanov.

      But, as you say, such allegories can be used for other circumstances.

  • Examining 'Ten Myths about Israel', by Ilan Pappe
    • Incidentally, even if the Jews are, in some meaningful sense, a "people" or a nation, Zionism is still morally wrong.

    • The article does not admit that the Jews were or are a nation.

      "Jews have considered themselves to be a nation" is not the same as "Jews were/are a nation".

      You seem to have difficulty with this point, so perhaps the following will help.

      (a) I consider myself to be devilishly handsome and irresistible to women.

      (b) I am devilishly handsome and irresistible to women.

      Is (a) the same as (b)? If it were, women would be constantly flinging themselves at me, crying "Take me! I'm yours!".

      Alas, this doesn't happen.

      I am not what I consider myself to be; (a) is not the same as (b).

      And similarly, saying "Jews have considered themselves to be a nation" is not the same as "Jews were/are a nation".

    • "Kings of Palistin’ (‘Walestin’ perhaps)"

      There are genetic studies that hint at the Welsh having Middle Eastern ancestry, so this just strengthens the claim of the Welsh to Paestine as their historic homeland.

  • Netanyahu has taken a wrecking ball to Israel's favorability ratings among Democrats
  • Military spying unit to enter Israeli high school curriculums in search of recruits
    • Perhaps it is time for the Arabic schools to introduce classes in Defence Against the Dark Arts.

    • This article doesn't make clear what is happening in the schools. Have the schools started teaching a course in basic spying, or is there just a proposal to teach such a course? Is the course elective or mandatory?

  • After disturbing tour of Hebron, Roger Cohen takes a step away from Zionism
    • Oh, hush. You know perfectly well that we are supposed to pretend that the Zionists meant no harm, and that all was sunshine and lollipops until 1929. It's the evil anti-Semitic Arabs who are at fault. That's the approved line. Stick to it.

  • Abbas's crime was saying that Zionism is a colonial project
    • 'The Jews view themselves as sharing a common descent, and there is no doubt that Hebrew-speaking Gideon Levy meant that definition of “nation”.'

      But that odd definition of "nation" has nothing to do with the real nations of the world.

      however, let that pass. Let us pretend that the fairy tales the Jews tell themselves are actually true, and that they do share a common descent.

      So what? What moral implications does it have? How does it give Jews any right to take over Palestine and set up a "Jewish State" there?

    • "Do you know what the cause of conflict might be?"

      You obviously don't know, or you would tell us in plain words, and then tell us how it can be resolved.

    • Unwin's gibberish was carefully constructed to sound almost like English, so that one felt that one almost understood what he was saying, and perhaps even the general import, but just missed a bit of the meaning hear and there.

    • Particularly clever in that, in spite of all the mispronunciation sand malapropisms, we can understand what his speech is about. Those of us who were in Britain at the time know all the people whose names he mangled, as well.

      But this should not be taken as an excuse for imperfect English.

  • No one cares about intermarriage anymore
  • Israel as a perversion of Judaism and the modern nation-state
    • "Which ones are the Jewish genes? They will have designations, what are they?"

      They are the ones with the Levi-Strauss label, aren't they?

    • "It isn’t just a question of contact between the two communities in, say, the 17th century, is it?"

      I would have thought that the Jews in Russia would have lived very different lives, and been affected by different events, from the Jews in Iraq.

      But I don't know. That's why I asked.

    • "Jews ... are united through their common history"

      The Jews of Iraq have a common history with the Jews of Russia?

  • Once again, 'NYT' says Judaism = Zionism
    • "In his first year in office, Trump has lambasted any facts he dislikes as “fake news”, while making nearly 2,000 false or misleading claims of his own – "

      I hope this author is not implying that there was any truth in the "facts" that Trump declared fake.

    • Pay us. Unless we are actually slaves. Then you just have to feed us.

  • Braying donkeys
  • Documentary on Israeli-Palestinian dialogue -- 'Pomegranates' -- leaves the viewer even more despairing
    • The young Israelis are whining about injustices that were committed against other people, and which stopped more than seventy years ago. The young Palestinians directly experience injustices being committed against themselves right now, and by the society to which the young Israelis belong.

  • Palestinian-American businessman, 57, is arrested by ICE in Cleveland, shocking supporters
  • Bassem Tamimi on court decision to hold family members indefinitely: 'we can’t expect anything else from the court, this is life under occupation'
    • And yet they look like the sort of people one would like as neighbours.

      "Morning, Mr Tamimi. Lovely day, isn't it? Not in prison, I see. Oh, it's Ahed and Mrs Tamimi who are in prison now. Well, these things happen. You know that as well as anyone. Whoops, here comes the IDF . Must fly. Give my regards to your wife and daughter, if you see them again."

    • I'm surprised Bassem isn't in prison right now. But I'm sure the Israelis are looking for a convenient excuse to get him.

  • After 30 days in jail, Ahed Tamimi's detention is extended indefinitely
    • "The conviction rate for Palestinian suspects in Israeli military courts is a whopping 99.74%"

      This proves that the Israelis almost never arrest the wrong person, doesn't it?

  • 'Struggle for one state with equal rights for everyone' is here, 'NYRB' reports
  • What's wrong with colonialism?
    • "Has anyone ever offered an argument to support this idea?

      sure, zionists."

      I've never seen one. Zionists use the idea, promote the idea, base their claims on the idea, but they don't provide an argument from basic principles to support the idea. They do not offer:

      Premise 2
      Premise 3 ...
      Therefore “if some Jews lived there in the past, all Jews have a right to live there now”.

    • Annie, the general idea seems to be "if some Jews lived there in the past, all Jews have a right to live there now".

      Has anyone ever offered an argument to support this idea?

    • All this stuff about Jewish "ethnicity" is irrelevant. Modern European Jews may or may not be descendants of Palestinian Jews. Either way, modern European Jews had no right to invade Palestine, take over the land, and drive out the people who were living there.

    • "What is [ sic] the definitive signs and characteristics of ‘Jewish ethnicity."

      Didn't some guys in the 1930s draw up charts and table to help with that?

      "And most of all, you need to tell us how each person can tell for themselves if they are a Jew or not. "

      It would be really helpful. I'm pretty sure I'm not a Jew, but sometimes, in the dark watches of the night, I do have twinges of doubt.

    • "You left out “assassinating Swedish diplomats” from your list."

      And British diplomats. Don't forget Lord Moyne.

    • "Ah, the good old seventh century! Came between the sixth and eighth century, if I’m not mistaken. Funny how they usually come in numerical order, isn’t it?"

      Coincidence? I think not! I smell a conspiracy.

    • No, Nathan. There are other routes to the end of conflict. One would be for the Jews to apologise for invading Palestine and taking over the country, etc., and then working with the Palestinians to create a single, just, society with equal rights for all.

      The colonists do not have to be expelled. They can dismantle the colonial structure and assimilate with the natives.

    • "Give it a rest nathan.It is not our job to tell you lot what is right or wrong.You should know it."

      Since they obviously don't know it, it is our duty to tell them. We know they don't listen, but we have the duty nonetheless.

  • PLO endorses BDS, makes unprecedented call for sanctions
    • Never fear! Australia will spring into action and save the day.

      Come on, Turnbull, Bishop, let's get going! We can ...





  • Israel declares the entire village of Nabi Saleh, home to Tamimi family, a closed military zone
    • Great photo. Or terrible, from an Israeli point of view.

      Mum and dad look like proud parents. Daughter looks as though she loves her parents. They probably have a few grumbles about each other, as any normal family does.

      But that is what makes the photo great from my point of view, and terrible for Israel.

      They look like a normal family, not slavering monsters.

  • Facing serious damage to its image, Israel must smear its critics as anti-Semites
    • Exactly, Mooser.

    • As long as we don't make a drinking game out of it. My liver couldn't take it.

    • A few more.

      Israel is a safe haven for Jews fleeing criminal prosecution anti-Semitic persecution.

      Israel invented mobile phones and cherry tomatoes.

      Israel has sexy beach girls.

      Israel is better than [ insert name of particularly ghastly shithole country].

      I'm sure there are more.

    • "Israel’s occupation of land between Resolution 181 and the 1949 Armistice did not gain legitimacy simply because Israel refused to budge as it was required to do."

      I am not convinced that the declaration of the state even inside the 181 borders had any legitimacy.

  • What MLK's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' tells us about Ahed Tamimi in a cold Israeli cell
    • Gamal, do you think you could restrain yourself a bit? We are trying to air our prejudices here, so it's very disconcerting to have someone who actually knows a lot about it chiming in.
      Spoils the mood.

  • After New Orleans City Council implicitly endorses BDS, officials say resolution was not about Israel
    • I didn't think they would be allowed to do it. I fully expected the usual suspects would react sharply.

      (Though we mustn't jump to the conclusion that the suspects have any sort of influence on public affairs. Such an idea would be anti-something.)

  • A private tour of the Hebron Heights winery
  • Israeli soldiers shoot 3-year-old Palestinian child in the head during West Bank military training exercise
    • I wondered where she got the surname "Sawalha" from.

      Don't watch the prog, though it is broadcast here. (Most people's ancestors, including mine, are pretty boring.) The title is a bit misleading, though. It should be "Who do you think your ancestors were?"

  • Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to 'Israel's might'-- Roger Cohen
  • From Spinoza to Vilkomerson, Jewish voices for peace have long been banned-- by Jews
    • "Wow, those “Jewish courts” work fast on capital cases! "

      I don't think they bother the courts. They know they will get the right person 99.74% of the time.

    • Jon s, thank you for the good wishes.

      And I agree. If the study of the Torah leads to that sort of thinking, the Rabbis have a great deal to be modest about.

    • Echi, if the rabbis can't walk the walk, they shouldn't think the magical thoughts. Let's see them do some magic. A simple Wingardium leviosa would be a start.

      Mooser, even in 1600s England they had the sense to keep that stuff out of the law, and that includes the laws against witchcraft.

    • Thanks for your comments, echi. It is flattering to see my terminology taken seriously.

      However, I must point out that it was not my aim to deny wiggle room to the ill-willed. I'm not sure I could. I was simply trying to reduce the equivocation by differentiating between some of the standard meanings of the term "nation".

      Yes, some states were called "empires" rather than "nations", and I would be inclined to call modern China an empire. But "p-nation" is one of the meanings of "nation".

      It was Siberiak who pointed out to me that "nation" is also used to refer to the type of groups I call "c-nations". I think it is damned silly to call them "nations", but apparently it is done, and so I have to include that category in my analysis.

      As for Finns as an n-nation, we have an ambiguity in the term "Finns". When I set them up as an example of an n-nation, I mean "blond people, impervious to cold, speak Finnish, have memorised the entire Kalevala".
      But the term "Finns" is also used to mean "citizens of the p-nation of Finland". And, as Kaisa has told us, there are some who are not blond, and some who do not speak Finnish. I have even heard whispers that there are some who do not recall a single line of the Kalevala", though I'm pretty sure that is just a baseless rumour.

      As for the rape of language, I do my best to prevent it, but I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness.

    • " as the spelling of the Hebrew word for betrothed [me’orasa], is similar to that of the word for inheritance [morasha], the punishment of a gentile who studies Torah is like that of one who engages in intercourse with a betrothed young woman, which is execution by stoning. ”

      And the spelling of "burglary" is similar to the spelling of "buggery", so the same punishment should apply to both.

      Are these Rabbi types :
      (a) totally nuts
      (b) incredibly stupid
      (c) both


    • Jon, you seem to be saying that "living on stolen land" and "living in my peoples' historic homeland" are mutually exclusive. Could you explain why they are exclusive?

      (And, perhaps, also explain what "historic homeland" means?)

    • Echi, go to my profile and put "c-nation" in the search box. Then read all comments that include the term. All your doubts will be dispelled, your questions answered, your attachments to samsara dissolved, and you will gain enlightenment.

    • A kibbutz? Work, shorts, and folk dancing! The blood runs cold at the mere thought of it.

    • But is Marnie wrong?

    • I have, in previous comments, explained in detail why Jews do not count as a p-nation or an n-nation. I do, however, think they can qualify as a c-nation.

    • Translating a name to something that sounds quite different is renaming. But as far as I can tell, Spinoza never used "Baruch". He was "Benedito" to his family and friends, and "Benedictus" when he was using formal Latin. He didn't rename himself. It is only in recent years that he has been renamed "Baruch".

      It is an insult to the man to reject his preferred name and impose the name he was cursed under.

    • We should follow Henry's lead on this. English monarchs outrank God.

    • Montagu was not the only dissenter. We should not forget the first native-born Governor General of Australia (1931 - 36), Sir Isaac Isaacs.

      Sir Isaac's main points were

      "Summarising my objections…the demands of Political Zionism are:-
      7. A negation of Democracy, and an attempt to revert to the Church-State of bygone ages.
      8. Provocative anti-Semitism.
      9. Unwarranted by the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate, or any other right; contrary to Zionist assurances to Britain and to the Arabs’ and in present conditions unjust to other Palestinians politically and to other religions.
      10. As regards unrestricted immigration, a discriminatory and an undemocratic camouflage for a Jewish State.
      11. An obstruction to the consent of the Arabs to the peaceful and prosperous settlement in Palestine of hundreds of thousands of suffering European Jews, the victims of Nazi atrocities; and provocative of Moslem antagonism within and beyond the Empire, and consequently a danger to its integrity and safety.
      12. Inconsistent in demanding on one hand, on a basis of a separate Jewish nationality everywhere Jews are found, Jewish domination in Palestine, and at the same time claiming complete Jewish equality elsewhere than in Palestine, on the basis of a nationality common to the citizens of every faith."" rel="nofollow">

      It is rather depressing to see that both Montagu and Sir Isaac present the same sort of objections as those which we post on MW.

      Though their versions are more elegantly expressed, and in better English.

    • Thank you for calling him "Benedict". That was the name he chose, the name he published under,
      the name he was known by in his time, and the name he he was known by throughout most of modern history. It is only in very recent years that people have started calling him "Baruch".As far as I can tell, he never used "Baruch" outside the synagogue.

      Nor (again, as far as I can tell) has he changed his views since 1677. (If he has, perhaps he could send us a note.) He did not, as you point out, atone. But he is now famous and admired, so people like Prof Klausner want to reclaim him as a Jew and bask in reflected glory. Such people are contemptible.

      "Therefore at the present time there is nothing whatsoever that the Jews can arrogate to themselves above other nations. "

      I'll continue that quotation a bit.

      "As to their continued existence for so many years when scattered and stateless, this is in no way surprising, since they have separated themselves from other nations to such a degree as to incur the hatred of all, and this not only through external rites alien to the rites of other nations but also through the mark of circumcision, which they most religiously observe. That they are preserved largely through the hatred of other nations is demonstrated by historical fact."

      Yonah has a attack of the vapours whenever I say anything like that.

      But even in Spinoza's time, Jews were hardly a nation in any modern sense.

  • 'Curricularizing Israel'-- the Hebrew program in suburban Chicago schools
    • Old Karl was actually quite a bright lad, and had some good ideas when not being threatened by Wittgenstein's poker.

    • Annie, we did get (via the reading material) some history and politics in my Latin classes. This is probably the source of my prejudice against the Gauls.

  • The Times discovers 'the best interests of the American people' in the Russia case
    • Misleading headline again, Phil, though the first sentence does clear up the confusion.

    • I think it is pretty obvious that supporting Israel could be in the interest of Israel. But, if by "this country" you mean some other country than Israel, you will have to tell us which country before I can give an opinion.

  • When Zionism is the essence of life, a break has huge consequences
    • "Zionists simply see the solution – the Jewish nation-state, as a survivalist solution. They are therefore not inclined to see any ‘problems’ ensuing from it, such as human rights violations and challenging of international law, as more than mere obstacles or challenges facing this ‘special case’ –"

      And this view implies that Jewish survival is more important than any other consideration, including the survival of non-Jews. As Saleema so neatly summarised Zionism, "We matter, and you don't."

  • Finally a 'New York Times' columnist says liberal Zionism is dead
    • "The Palestinians have also shown no willingness to share with the Jewish people. "

      During the Mandate period the Palestinians did not want to "share" their land with a bunch of foreign immigrants who intended to set up a state in which Palestinians would be, at best, second-class citizens. Why should they have been willing to "share" their land?

  • Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of 'Jewish people' is assault on my religion -- Queens rabbi
    • Actually, Mooser, the word "lascivious" always makes me think of M'Andrew's Hymn.

      "I’d seen the Tropics first that run—new fruit, new smells, new air—
      How could I tell—blind-fou wi’ sun—the Deil was lurkin’ there?
      By day like playhouse-scenes the shore slid past our sleepy eyes;
      By night those soft, lasceevious stars leered from those velvet skies,"

      Just the other day I saw the phrase "soft, lascivious, stars" in a Philip Marlow novel, so we now know that Chandler read Kipling.

    • Dr Who doesn't make inkblots. He fights Daleks.

    • Mooser, it was you who raised the topic of sects.

    • Thank for the nice little song, Kaisa. Is that a kantele playing the accompaniment?

    • Thanks, Annie. The docs say everything is going well, and I should be OK as long as Mooser doesn't give me lascivious ideas.

    • Mooser, I had a triple bypass just a few weeks ago. I don't think I can handle even normal orthodox sects at the moment, let alone anything a bit "different".

    • I've been doing what I can, Mooser, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to start charging for my time.

      But Zionists can afford a few dollars for me, can't they?

    • Then they should try to deserve better.

    • I've seen arguments both ways. I don't hold an opinion on the question. There might have been a real person behind the myth. There might not. I do have a firm opinion that the Gospels are a mix of fiction and forgery.

      But my main point is that, if Jewish religious beliefs give Jews special rights to Jerusalem, should not Christian religious beliefs give Christians special rights to Jerusalem and Bethlehem?

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