Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 237 (since 2013-05-07 16:45:54)

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  • Brant Rosen's prophetic voice elevated him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day
    • My only personal edits to this article would be to put the title sentence in the present tense, and to remove the phrase "A huge error in judgment."

      Brant's prophetic voice elevates him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day.

      His judgment is not in error by even an iota.

      I hope that these events lead to his inclusion in an even greater and more effective community than a single synagogue.

  • Rabbi Brant Rosen steps down from Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue saying his activism on Israel/Palestine has been 'lightning rod for division'
    • Wow - I don't know if this will turn out a victory or a loss. Rabbi Brant is a hero to me and has demonstrated his integrity many times in my presence. Any activist or religious group would benefit immensely from his participation, and I hope that more than one has the sense to offer him a new professional home.

  • Coming to a campus near you: ADL recruits student politicians for Israel trips
  • Have I failed to acknowledge Palestinian violence?
    • I think there's a word for that, what is it ... oh yeah! Partition!! That'll fix everything!

      Water doesn't care about lines in the dirt. Please explain how water ownership and usage would be be managed in these alleged two states. And no, it's not about drawing lines in the dirt and saying "We'll work out the details." The water is the issue. The lines in the dirt are the details, or in this case, irrelevant distractions.

  • Watch: Young Israeli Jew at Western Wall calls for 'another war and another war and another war and another war'
    • Your phrasing about "sides" is indefensible. There are not sides. One powerful state holds approximately half of the people in its purview in conditions ranging from discrimination to outright death-camp, depending on location. This is not about two sides with even a glimmer of equivalent status, nor about competing policies for a given entity, nor about two hostile policies in conflict. One does not choose a "side." This is not a matter of opinion.

      Whoops, editing this in. This post is not a personal attack on you. I'm talking about terminology. I do find your username startling but am willing to learn more about why you chose it.

  • 'Day of rage' tomorrow: Palestinian resistance 'starts with the tongue'
  • Israeli deceptions revealed in story of ‘kidnapped’ soldier
    • He'll never manage the Sharon-look: that perfect blend of dull psychopathy, pure lethality, and forward motion. Sharon lived in the moment, the now, of non-reflective domination, what's inaccurately called "apish." He always seemed poised to tear into the nearest human who dared contradict him with his teeth, if he were blocked from turning masses of humans into pools of blood with jets or troops.

      Bibi is nothing in comparison. He always looks as if he's about to dodge a sudden blow, and his bravado seems fueled by an stunned awareness that somehow he's gotten away with it so far. I have no doubt he'd collapse like a ruptured balloon at the first pushback with any substance, and although all that'd do is reconfigure the current oligarchy of psychopaths in the Israeli cabinet, I'd still dearly love to be there for it.

  • Evanston Public Library censors Ali Abunimah, saying issue is 'complex' and he'd need to be balanced (Updated)
  • Who broke the ceasefire? Obama blames Hamas against the evidence
    • Arrrgh, "feared" abducted, is that the spin now? Whereas just yesterday the NYT front page featured Goldin's handsome (we must get him back!) smiling (oh no! poor abductee) face in full color, the text braying about Hamas breaking ceasefires with its vicious abducting ways.

  • 'Dear American Jewish community, It's time to talk about Zionism'
  • The Brits are way hipper about Palestine than Yanks
  • Will 'Protective Edge' galvanize the US mainstream, as 'Cast Lead' galvanized the left?
    • Dermer: “We are upholding our values under the most extreme circumstances.”

      He's right about that, anyway.

      The values are sadism, brutality, phobia, ignorance, atrocity, arrogance, and that curious bullying thing in which the bullies revel in knowing that what they're doing is wrong, and pretend to dare anyone to do anything about it, but knowing privilege is protecting them. That these values are "ours" within Israel is historically undeniable.

      The most extreme circumstances are the bravery, resolve, and potential power of the Palestinian nation, and I use the latter word most precisely.

  • 'Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?'
    • I don't need help in reading comprehension. I also trust yours and don't need to explain my point.

    • ‘Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?’

      H'mmm ... let me see ... ummmm, I think, OK I'm reaching here, hold on ... I got it, I got it, don't rush me ...

      Why, that would be a yes. I only wish this fellow had not observed two (2) horrific assaults using DIME weapons, white phosphorus, drones, and literal herding tactics upon live human beings, let alone a nine-year ecological oppression of a million-and-a-half people which amounts to constant torture, before figuring that out.

      I mean, come on! I'm supposed to applaud an epiphany that required this much cost?!

    • Dershowitz Blitz alert: "Intent!" "Intent!" Because the BAD guy's intention is always clearly villainous no matter how understandable or even admirable his action may seem, and the GOOD guy's intention is unknowable, so even his most despicable act might be sanctified by his possibly spotless intention.

      Stuff it, you.

  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • "... in the history of civilization" ...?! Morality upgrade! Next it'll be "throughout the solar system," or "across the known dimensions."

  • Israeli embassy puts Mona Lisa in a hijab -- 'Israel now, Paris next'
    • Yeahhhh ... hey wait, wasn't there some THING, you know in the olden days, about Ireland? Did some other country occupy it? Am I remembering that or just making it up? I could swear someone told me ... maybe ...

    • As if Mary isn't ordinarily depicted in Levantine, hair-covering garb anyway! Do an image search for "Mary mother of God" and see what happens. The Irish probably wondered what the hell the embassy idiots were on about.

    • Knowledgeable people* double over with scornful laughter at the mention of Mossad and Aman. No analyst in the CIA or U.S. military intelligence takes any of their childish manipulative "intelligence sharing" seriously. That's why smoking laptops and other nonsense always show up stovepiped to complicit authorities in the NSC or other executive positions, usually via those fake-ass Cheney-era layered-on agencies with two guys in them.

      * [redacted]

  • 9 things the American media isn't telling you about Israel/Palestine
    • Your lists are both accurate and precise.

    • I'm skeptical of her* surveying too. Seriously, cannot Hasbara Central send their A-team? She* is merely in the hamster-droppings category.

      I prefer JeffB's possibly-sincere attempts to fold his defensive crouch for Zionism into heartfelt if watered-down U.S. liberalism; a post of his provides the mental exercise of Sudoku crossed with a serial-killer's notebook. I also appreciated Obsidian's special talent for lying but he she or it seems to have given out recently, and I think we'll hear a "bang" from the backyard pasture any minute now.

      But this array of functionally illiterate, earnest 'cause I typed it, stale talking points under leet names is merely insulting.

      * Pronoun based on the handle, but it's highly dubious; I'm visualizing a pimply Hillel International asset two years past his Birthright trip and the coterie of college freshmen he's supposed to be "running" against Mondoweiss.

    • You again? Newsflash: the United States of America and the State of Israel are not allies. There is no alliance. The condition called alliance is absent. The U.S. is not an ally of Israel, and Israel is not an ally of the U.S. "Pls" investigate this issue fully.

  • Destruction of Gaza's children is something 'every one of us must confront' -- Jon Snow
    • More nonsense. Recognized by whom? According to the Israeli administration, is there or isn't there a government of the Palestinians, and who is its executive at this moment? Borders? Here's a white-board and a dry-erase marker, please draw Israel's borders for me. "Guaranteed" security? What's that supposed to mean? And if you don't like "colonialism," then how about fascism and genocide? If not, why not exactly, using real words?

      Your posts are useless, worthless, thoughtless tripe, along with the other leetspeak-named newcomers here, obviously coached to spray fecal mist more-or-less at random through the comments. Tell us about how you found this site, h'm?

  • Dr. Kristol's curriculum: US 'special responsibilities' include 'ancient longings' of Jewish nationalists
    • You nailed it about becoming white. I think 1967 only started the process, strangely in tandem with the Freedom Rides and subsequent events - odd as it seems, getting fired up about "tough Israel" went hand in hand with getting proud about being Jewish in the States and being politically active there. The clincher come later in the mid-70s. The 1973 war with the U.S.'s very public airlift and the mythology that Israel itself was literally threatened with annihilation ... that was the transition, I think. It was right at the time of all those splinters from the PFLP committing atrocities and hijackings too.

      Plus, check out Mayor Rizzo's successful campaign in Philadelphia to white-ify Italian Americans as a pushback vs. black civil rights, and dovetail it with the breakdown between black/Jewish activism when northern white discrimination started getting criticized instead of "those" nasty southerners "down there." There's a book called Broken Alliance by Jonathan Kaufman that starts some discussion about this and provides a lot of good details, but I think soft-pedals it too much - the topic deserves a lot more.

  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
  • The swan song of the Israeli left
    • I saw Mechilot when it came to the States, at a film center not a commercial movie theater (big surprise). Thanks for making it and thanks for your article here.

  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • Name a cease-fire broken by Hamas.

    • "There is no obligation" = "Fuckin' make me." Which encompasses all the content of any Zionist position at this time. The sneer of the privileged.

    • "The beatings will stop when morale improves."

      Your proposal overlooks the blockade. It also forces the 1.7 million people in Gaza to remain prisoners, unable to travel or conduct trade as they will, with their considerable geographic and labor assets shackled. It is "reasonable" only from the standpoint of a person who likes kicking a prisoner deciding that the prisoner must now have his legs broken and his teeth removed, and calling upon the very authorities who are to protect people to enforce these actions, in the interests of "peace."

      Your post is monstrous and in its framing about being somehow about intangibles, monstrously dishonest.

  • Arab reporters come under attack from Israelis
    • I used to be at least impressed at the Dersh's footwork, in turning a given verb or noun into its precise opposite through sheer force of delivery and a mash-faced grin. One can recognize the skill of a stand-up act even if the content is nothing but vile. Now, though, he seems tired. His "if-thens" have become merely stupid, as if OMG the terrorists will suddenly realize, as if it hadn't occurred to "them," that airports are the soft underbelly through which they can eviscerate Civilization (and the fabric of time & space I shouldn't wonder). It sags and stumbles. His Dershowitz Blitz hasn't been seen in a while - the part where he can spot anti-semitism or other nefariousness with his "smack sense," but no one else can hold anyone accountable for anything whatsoever because "who can know anyone's actual intentions." No new book, either - I think that he's lost without his so-helpful staff of grads, hangers-on, ghostwriters, and typists at Harvard.

  • The fascists wanted to murder us: An eyewitness account of Haifa's anti-war protest
  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • Is no one recalling the heritage of the name?

      The cover or media name for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was Operation Peace for Galilee. The in-house names for its two phases, long in planning despite the fig leaf of the claimed casus belli, were Little Pines (taking the southern coast and the south to the Litani, much like the 1978 invasion) and Big Pines, striking at Beirut.

      Big Pines was implemented by Ariel Sharon rather to the rest of the Israeli government's surprise, and the ensuing siege of Beirut was named Operation Iron Fist.

  • Ceasefire. Tightening the Gordian Knot?
    • Israel could draft a charter in the first place, specifically that constitution it was required to provide in order to become a member of the UN, and which we are all still waiting for, along with a declaration of borders. In the now 64-year-old failure to provide these, why is it still permitted to participate at the UN, again?

  • Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder says Israel is using our taxes to 'drop bombs on children' and take land
  • Sawyer blunder indicative of noxious bias against Palestinians in American journalism
  • State Dep't says Israel has a right to defend itself, but can't say the same of Palestinians
  • Beating Palestinian boys 'to a pulp' is a tradition among Israeli forces
    • Not to diminish your point, but aargh, the phrasing in that article, right here ...

      Almost all of them have had to do things that go against human decency and morality

      They didn't have to. They were told to and obeyed, often with enthusiasm.

  • How long can Israel depend on Mizrahi docile loyalty? Smadar Lavie asks in new book
    • Piotr, offered in complete agreement with your points: Greater Appalachia and Ulster Scots
      My aim is to underscore the ethnic distinction of the "white trash"* you're talking about, i.e., it's not solely an economic tier within a larger uniform "white" population. Again, I think this strengthens your analogy.

      * a racist term, generally laughed off as "not racist what are you talking about" among more privileged Americans, especially in media discourse - yet another correspondence

    • This is from "In the Land of Israel" by Amos Oz, published 1982 - the specific bit may be from a prior-published article, I'm not sure.

      And suddenly from the back of the crowd, “You whites.” … Now they all address me as the plural “you.” And a lean man with fiery eyes shouts, “My parents came from North Africa; all right, from Morocco. So what? They had their dignity, didn’t they? Their own values? Their own faith? Me, I’m not a religious man. Travel on the Sabbath. But my parents – why did you make fun of their beliefs? Why did they have to be disinfected with Lysol at the Haifa airport?” … [another man speaks, “in sadness beyond all anger”] “… now that Begin’s here, believe me, my parents can stand up straight, with pride and dignity. … You go tell your friends: until they let us come to Kibbutz Tzora when we want, to swim in their pool and play tennis and go out with their daughters; until they accept the kids of Bet Shemesh into their school, or bring their kids to school here instead of instead of dragging them a hundred kilometers by bus to some white school; until they stop being so snooty, they’ve got nothing to look for here. We’re Begin.”

      “What did they bring my parents for? I’ll tell you what for, but you won’t write this. You’ll think it’s just provocation. But wasn’t it to do your dirty work? You didn’t have Arabs then, so you needed our parents to do your cleaning and be your servants and your laborers. And policemen, too. You needed us to be your Arabs.

      “But now I’m a supervisor. And he’s a contractor, self-employed. And that guy there has a transport business. Also self-employed. …If they give back the territories, the Arabs will stop coming to work, and then and there you’ll put us back into the dead-end jobs, like before. If for no other reason, we won’t let you give back those territories. Not to mention the rights we have from the Bible, or security. Look at my daughter: she works in a bank now, and every evening an Arab comes to clean the building. All you want is to dump her from the bank into some textile factory, or have her wash the floors instead of the Arab. The way my mother used to work for you. That’s why we hate you here. As long as Begin’s in power, my daughter’s secure at the bank. If you guys come back, you’ll pull her down first thing.”

    • I'm always interested in further knowledge, but you are not grasping whom I'm talking about. I am speaking of people who did not immigrate but rather were there already - a small percent, but not infinitesmal either. The Zionist narrative relies heavily on the false concept that all modern Jewish people in the Levant came from somewhere else, and especially that the European Zionists came first. It's tied into the myth of the diaspora/ingathering and also into the idea of pioneers arriving in a land of ignorance. That's why no one in the U.S. knows a thing about the Jewish heritage in Beirut, for instance. And why the proper term for Jewish Arabs living in the area to the south, and having lived there as long as anyone, would perfectly appropriately be called Palestinians.

      There's a lot to talk about concerning the diversity and social history of Israel and the Levant in general. But I am making sure that single-digit, maybe barely 10% of the population doesn't get lost in that shuffle. This isn't the first time I've seen a storm of words raised as fast as possible to obscure this point.

      The term "white" does deserve deconstruction. I used it in the sense that people mis-use it - identifying light pigmentation with the word "Europe," which is incorrect in both directions, not to mention connected with much racism - in order to highlight (no pun intended) the error of this outlook. I don't need instruction on the error itself.

    • YES! This general issue has been one of my go-to points for years, much to the consternation of my fellow Americans who can think only of Jewish white people, all descended from Holocaust survivors of course, vs. Muslim Arabs. Add to it the existence of Jewish Arabs who were living there prior to and during any of the drama of the past century, even more invisible to American eyes if that's possible, and you can get a lot of eyes squinting and questions forming.

  • After brutal police beating, Palestinian-American Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, sentenced to home arrest without charge
    • That may rate as the single most repellent post I've seen here.

      "Disproportionately" is not the issue. The issue is the mask of security and law enforcement over atrocity. The issue is discrimination which has clearly slid directly into flat-out oppression. There is no "disproportion" of these things - they are wrong. No sliding scale of proportions to discuss at all.

      What is the comment about the U.S. police - fully true - supposed to be: (i) a pass for the Israeli officers' behavior "because Americans do it," (ii) a dig at U.S. citizens' criticisms because they "obviously accept it when it's their own," or (iii) a woeful acceptance that "well, all police do this, it's how it is" ...? The answer is obvious: this is a professional debate tactic, to say something with multiple contradictory, incorrect implications. It's a fine example of filling the air with flak in order to distract.

      Your so-called pertinent question is enough to disqualify you from even the barest acceptance in the dialogues among thinking people.

      Maybe it's a Poe. Maybe I'm unaware of a satirical poster who uses "Double Standard" as a username and states the most absurd and revolting hasbara provocation possible as a form of critique. Someone else please advise.

  • 'Survival and well-being of the Jewish state' is a national security interest of U.S., Indyk says
    • Don, I do not converse with or respond to demands from people who use "Sorry" sarcastically. For evidence of Polish-American influence on U.S. policy in the 1950s, locate a building called a library and read a book.

      For those who are interested, I can see I was a bit confusing by quickly lumping together the reactionary interests who pushed for "liberation" from areas "enslaved" by communism (Polish Americans, Cuban Americans, and others), vs. those in power somewhere, equally reactionary or more so, who received protection or privilege from the U.S. or NATO (too many to list). The latter were the satrapies, the former were wannabes. However, I do not see them as particularly different.

    • Hi Walid, I already have. Profile 5 in Shahida is called "God Will Know His Own," and it concerns how domestic reactionary politics tagged by religious codes become international entities. The process relies completely on foreign privilege afforded to the disgruntled domestic group. The interplay among fundamentalist-evangelical Christians in the U.S., the fervid rhetoric of the Likud, and the Wahab/mujahideen connection is the main example, but another at a smaller scale is the resurgence of the Phalange in Lebanon.

    • Gaahhh. "national interest" ... "historic ties" ... "attachment" ... "emotional, spiritual" ... This nonsense rhetoric has been going on for 40 years almost to the day.

      No one will call it out for what it is: co-opting Cold War rhetoric at its most propagandist and tying it to a specific and limited political interest, particularly one associated with ethnic and (il-)legal privilege. It's a well-tested strategy. Many special-interest groups bought status within U.S. political system by swearing themselves to the cause of satrapies scattered around the world, each one enforced by U.S. military presence. Polish-Americans did it, largely through the control of the Chicago Tribune. Cuban-Americans did it, through their seizure of the Florida electorate. Mormons did it, first through the FBI, and then throughout the intelligence apparatus. Evangelical Christians got there eventually, perfuming over the stink of the John Birch Society while hijacking its patriotic rhetoric. Every such group does this by elevating U.S. military action to the pinnacle of political achievement.

      A sector of Jewish Americans came to it a bit late, finally managing to paper over the well-entrenched perceived association between Judaism and communism from the 1910s through the 1960s. The "Cold War II" (the SALT-SALT II transition) was their chance, associated with the advent of that cunning idiot Richard Pipes to policymaking circles. It meant splitting from effective activism, e.g. labor and civil rights, in all but name and in the most tepid middle-road lip-service, suddenly adopting "leftist" as an epithet.

      Indyk came in on the next wave, a product of the New and Huge AIPAC of the 1980s, a grinning cheerleader for Israel's atrocious war in Lebanon, a deliberate architect of these "ties," and Goldberg is one of its indocrinated devotees.

      Neither of them can identify anything specific to which their airy abstractions refer. Neither of them can answer the question, "What are Israel's borders?" Neither of them can point to a single benefit to the U.S. arising from a single policy either has recommended or helped to engineer. Listening to them echo their single, base (in every sense) policy under the guise of discussion is simply sickening: an exercise in deceit and the unrestrained urge to violence.

  • After repeated calls for vengeance, Netanyahu urges Israelis to be 'cool-headed' and seek 'justice'
    • One step in the direction toward a law-abiding country would be adopting an actual constitution. I believe that was mentioned in the UN acceptance of membership back in 1949, as well as the requirement for declared borders. 65 years later and they're still getting a pass on those, for no reason at all.

    • The senator has lied to you and attempted to deflect you with nonsense.

      1. Giving money to a state isn't an alliance. It is aid.

      2. The U.S. legislature does not draft or establish alliances. The document the senator referenced has no power to do any such thing; it is nothing more nor less than an opinion-statement from that branch of government.

      An alliance requires a treaty. There is no U.S.-Israel treaty. In its absence, the only question to ask is why we provide so much aid and why our legislature wastes its time declaring its (meaningless) commitment to this other nation.

      I completely agree with you about the shared values, adding exceptionalism as the blanket term. I am also interested in these often repeated "historic ties," which to date have never been identified.

    • DaBakr, be quiet. The grown-ups are talking.

    • Well, Israel isn't a U.S. ally.

      That's right. No treaty, no alliance. All talk of "our ally" is vapor.

      Call it out whenever you see or hear it.

  • Liberal Zionists' denial of Israeli racism heightens danger to 'everyone living in this land' -- Blumenthal
    • Not only that, but again, what "kidnapping?" Is language to have no meaning at all?

      Picked up in a car, presumably against their will for at least some of the ride given the phone call. Shot. Buried.

      Not seeing a kidnapping. The term is being used specifically as code.

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
  • Turning blood into cement: Reflections on nationalist violence in wake of suspected revenge killing of Palestinian teen
    • In fact, I would really like it if we could stop referring to the people in Israel as Jews.

      I completely agree and I never do it. Even more never now that you've put it out there, and I hope others consider the point.

  • The world's sympathy cannot be limited to Israeli victims
    • I noticed the same thing when the Maronite Catholic elite of Lebanon were our "Christian friends" back in the 80s. Gemayel, never al-Jimayyel or al-Jumayyil. GeaGea, never JaJa or Yahyah.

  • What did Israeli officials know about the missing teens, and when did they know it?
    • My question: why is the term "kidnapping" being employed in any way? They were not "abducted," "held," or otherwise ... you know, kidnapped. They were shot and killed, then buried. Not seeing the kidnapping part. So why does this term get the limelight?

  • Glib, simplistic, and extreme -- the world according to Richard Landes
    • Beat me to it, Walid. Better than I could have done, so that's good.

    • Agreed. To bigots like Landes, Islam = Arab = Bedouin = "The Sheik" = brigands, and more. It's a blend of British Empire and Hollywood melodrama. For anyone to credit this tripe with an academic degree and employment is a disgusting farce. Political science as political theater.

    • Why did this post under the byline of Pat Nguyen pass moderation? It is rank racism, drawing upon the notion that a "people" is "ready," or not, for some social program or responsibility. This notion is pulled straight from the imperial playbooks of the past three centuries and is socially and politically rotten to the core.

  • 'Haaretz' conference trumpets tired word 'Peace' (when the only solution is 'equality')
  • Oldman labels himself an 'A-hole' for saying Jews run Hollywood
    • Wait - to be "a Jew," one must be demonstrably pursuing a Jewish strategy or agenda? The term "individual" is juxtaposed to "Jewish?" This is the ADL's official position?

  • Jeffrey Goldberg leads the charge on latest BDS smear: Presbyterian Church divestment is anti-Semitic because David Duke supports it
    • Don't I know it! I was faculty at DePaul during the Norman Finkelstein showdown and have worked a lot with SJP there. Dersh's vile behavior and apparently immunity to even the most basic intellectual or professional critique continue to mystify me.

    • It is in fact gibberish. Unfortunately, it is strategic gibberish straight from the hasbara manuals which urge confusion as a tactic against those who are not ignorant enough to accept lies.

      Note as well the disingenuousness of falsely accusing others of antisemitism (i.e., of being murderers or wishful murderers), then responding with doe-eyed "wow" to wholly appropriate rebuttal. This poster has zero room for playing the oh-how-hostile hurty-feels game.

    • Naftush: clearly you failed that Logic 101 course you speak of. You're playing two bogus tricks in one spot, each relying on nothing but telepathy.

      1. "Harks to." If you think it's anti-semitic, then say so and own it. This is the Dersh's "smacks of" tactic, to prevent anyone from saying "How?" As long as he says "smacks" and "harks," he doesn't have to say how, he Just Knows.

      You can Just Know all you want, but as logic, it's donkey's ass.

      2. Reference to abstract others. In this case, the unseen enemies lurking about, the bedfellows, whose malevolent aim as well as their very presence cannot be referenced, only claimed through mysterious senses. Without your mind-scan powers, where are they? (looks and looks) Ah, you Feel It. Well! Who can argue with that?

      Screw your Just Know and your Feels It. The next time you invoke logic, demonstrate some.

      You did say "as I see it" and similar. That's good. It's the start of realizing that you presented no basis for your claims at all.

    • Spit take. The Dersh, criticizing alleged plagiarism?! Let's shine the light of day on Harvard's internal investigation of his own. The one he claims "exonerates" him but which no one else will talk about.

  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • Unless, of course, you're a Christian who happens to be living there already.

      Newsflash: "Christians" does not equal "white Americans."

    • Your intellectual dishonesty is intolerable.

      1. Yes, the U.S. ranks among the top five perpetrators of human rights abuses, world-wide. This is not a controversial or difficult statement. The use of atomic weapons in 1945 alone would put it in the top slot for many.

      2. The U.S. also affords considerable economic opportunity and political freedoms to its citizens, both to varying degrees and neither to the extent of its propaganda.

      The combination of #1 and #2 is typical for empires. That's not confusing or contradictory at all.

    • Agreed, especially with your last point. I no longer accept these abstract projections about abstract masses in conversations. I don't even bother to say, "Hurts how? Which Jews?" Not when there are completely real harms done to completely real people being explicitly supported by the person I'm talking with.

      Time we should also start calling this wretched rag "The Backward."

  • Fear of anti-semitism accusation did not stop Presbyterians from witnessing occupation
    • Mayhem, you shoot less straight than John Hinckley Jr.

      Can anyone imagine anything more disingenuous than referencing ISIS as a representative of the "Arab world," bankrolled as it is, originated as it is, ultimately and absurdly serving the purposes it does? Do you not grasp why and how those you reference Pakistan came to power and who keeps them there? Or does Hasbara 101 simply fail to teach that?

      Oh, and newsflash: Pakistani aren't Arabs. Unlike a ton of Jewish Israelis who are.

      As for what individual Presbyterians do with their personal finances, why don't you ask them, individually, instead of making up your own answer and trumpeting it as evidence?

      This is too easy. You're played out. Leave the field to the newcomers like this afire-with-smarm Pat Nguyen person, and go wherever it is bots go when their rhetoric limps this badly.

  • In 'turning-point' vote, Presbyterians divest from occupation-linked corporations
    • I'm *hoping* that one of the key features of this moment is that the MSM demonstrates a recoil, rather than an attack. When major religious institutions do something like this, it's not like a university (whose highest-paid, I do not say "top," admin is easily suborned, or perhaps is defined by its prior subornment) or the U.S. legislature (ditto). Secular rhetoric aside, U.S. culture is deeply religious even if the phrasing and observance are mild, and if you include religious-tinged patriotism in the definition, neither is mild at all. I'm thinking that mainstream Protestant denominations simply aren't safe targets for the usual howls, smears, and lies - try it and people won't knuckle under, but will rather ask, "What? Why?"

      I could be wrong, but I hope I'm not. What my hope suggests is that the MSM delivers a big crickets-chirping non-reaction, denoting the moment when Zionist power over U.S. discourse finds its over-reach at last.

    • Agreed. Solidarity with every point and with Woody's reply.

      My phrasing: "This is not about relationships among institutions. This is about the responsibility of each institution."

  • Make 'hasbara' a household word
    • High five, Talknic.

    • "Secular pan-Arab rhetoric??" Nasserism is supposed to be or have been jihad? That is a bath of burning stupid. 'Scuse me, I need to bash my head against the wall a few dozen times now.

  • 'The explosion of Jewish dissent is a struggle against the assimilation of Jews to power' -- Ellis
    • I agree that it's an important question. Without disagreeing one bit about the history of power and injustice, I also think about networks of organized resistance. Two examples from recent history include the Lutheran churches across the DDR (Deutsche Democratische Republik) and their integration with the larger organizations, during the 1980s; and the Shi'a mosques and schools across Iran and integrated with others in Iraq and Lebanon, during the 1970s. Neither case is a simplistic Hollywood story, and each includes a thousands ifs-and-buts to quibble about, but I suggest that each was also a meaningful part of successful resistance+overthrow against the regime.

  • Wisconsin Jewish leaders open the door to-- shhh -- anti-Zionists
    • Feathers: to answer your implied question, I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, not that it matters. Nor do I fear accusations of being "anti" anything.

      Your opinion is of no interest to me until you do, in fact, begin making sense. You might try beginning with reading my post which *praises* two Catholic institutions, specifically, and Catholic institutions of higher learning generally, for fostering debate rather than authoritarianism. Your defensiveness is misplaced.

    • Feathers: you're making no sense at all.

    • I can speak to that regarding DePaul, although the precise situation at Marquette is less familiar to me. The term "a Catholic university" can be misleading, especially in comparison to many U.S. Protestant universities and colleges. For instance, DePaul was founded by Vincentians and maintains a ministry, but is not otherwise owned by or affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church as an institution. The ministry does not wield policy-making power. The school's board of trustees has no religious requirement or affiliation, its curriculum is not subject to review by the Church, and its policies aren't required be "be" Roman Catholic except for its own internal charter's inclusion of some rather vague Vincentian phrases. In the official literature and bylaws, there are a lot of references to the school's Catholic "character," but without specific policies or institutional teeth. (For those who are interested, as far as I can tell, Vincentian Catholics are best understood as Unitarians who ended up under the tent a few centuries ago.)

      Based on its public presentation, Marquette is more institutionally Catholic, but it's also Jesuit, which historically is best described as "if there must be heretics, better to give the cleverest ones a title and keep them close." Jesuit institutions are notable sites for intellectual and political debate, rather free from conservative doctrine, and fuddy-dud authoritarian Catholics tend not to thrive there. But I don't know much about how this plays out at Marquette specifically.

      Neither is a Roman Catholic school in any sense similar to a parochial K-12 school. Again, both situations are very different from what one expects and finds at many Protestant religious institutions, in which the curriculum and the personal practice of faculty are expected to be firmly on-message concerning religious doctrine and the political positions of a particular church or sect.

      I'm not sure if this post is relevant to your point, which is a bit unclear to me, but since I've seen posts at Mondoweiss in the past which include some puzzlement about all this dissent at Catholic universities, I figured I'd try to explain a little. Let me know if I went down a different road from yours.

    • A minor clarification: I'm talking about people whom I don't know, who email me out of the blue. Since I use my real name, it's easy to find me on-line. For whatever reason I ring enough hasbara bells to bring'em to me. Some are "concerned." Some are passive-aggressive. Some are ever-so "just interested" in dialogue. I'm convinced most of them are trading off between deliberate intimidation and deliberate time-sucking. This doesn't affect any of your points except for the bit about accepting them as they are - since they're not relatives or acquaintances of any kind, and since they seek me out, I have little compunction about replying with a solid position statement. The problem is avoiding replying again, because they'll go into whatabout and just-one-more-thing for days.

    • I get emails from people like this, not all the time, but regularly. I have not been impressed with anything except their persistence, which usually lasts until I state I can no longer afford an hour a day batting down empty assertions. It's given me an education in the rhetoric, though. Ultimately, it comes down precisely to this bit you quoted, Annie: that there is a single community that counts because Holocaust, it is defined as soldiering for Israel on all fronts, and that's simply and only the meaning of "Jewish." Anything else can be agreed upon, disagreed upon and discussed, or tolerated as long as the core tenet isn't violated; anything that violates the core tenet is the enemy and must be suborned if possible (hence the friendly emails), distracted from if not, smeared if that doesn't work, or when all else fails attacked with startling ruthlessness. That latter threat is always there, and it always contains elements of derangement. I've seen it happen to SJP during the past years of activism, and I've seen the "kindly old Holocaust survivor" (as one emailer introduced himself to me, and which I find unlikely) go rabid when I failed to hop through the right hoop. We've seen it here, as when JeffB spun into a disturbing fantasy about killing his daughter to save her, in the event of some unfathomable consequence of BDS.

      Therefore I don't feel sorry for Sorin Iancu. I consider him and like-minded people unsettling.

  • Autopsy reveals Nakba Day protester killed by live ammunition
  • Chris Matthews and David Corn defend Israel against 'slander' of apartheid
    • I suspect the aides already do.

      A standard background-and-clearances check applied across the board to the U.S. congressional and senatorial staff would be a wonderful thing.

    • It's bigger than that. Slander applies only to persons. A state cannot be slandered.

  • 'Israel is bitterly dividing American Jewish community' -- AP
  • Let it go
  • Video: 'CBS This Morning' runs hard hitting spot on boycott of Israel
    • I don't agree with the optimistic analysis. I think the whole clip is a cunning and unfortunately effective pro-Zionist precision strike. Waters and BDS are being demonized. "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" is a serious icon of oppression in U.S. pop culture, probably much more familiar and meaningful to it than any real-world wall (Berlin, U.S.-Mexico), and I think there is zero viewer connection between the song and the real Zionist wall. Instead, it's cleverly used here to depict Israel as the walled-in victim and to depict Waters as the wall-building hypocrite. The only dubious good thing is that the boycott is mentioned at all, and I suspect only because the designers of the 'news' clip think it's a devil-word, the slam-dunk to depict Waters as a crazy-man and to laud the Stones' concert in Israel.

  • Dershowitz disqualifies an entire continent from supporting BDS, citing history of 'Jew hatred'
  • Soldiers detaining Palestinian schoolgirls for picking cherries is reminiscent of Germany in 30s -- Misgav
    • Overall, I agree with you completely. I offer a dissenting opinion about the details, which only reinforces my agreement with your final sentence all the more.

      1. Never say "never." Both expulsion and direct elimination are not only verbally present in current Israeli rhetoric - and not merely fringe rhetoric - but they have been practiced to the fullest extent possible in the moment, more than once.

      2. The phrase "abused becoming the abuser" should be retired. The architects of misery in the combined areas of Israel proper, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and adjacent parts of Lebanon and Jordan cannot lay claim to the heritage of Holocaust survivors. The actual and literal survivors of the Holocaust who arrived in Israel in the late 1940s did not enter the power echelons and policy-making apparatus of Israel. The more clear we can make the fact that Israelis have always been wretched and vicious toward the Holocaust survivors they pretend to represent, the better.

  • UC Santa Cruz student government votes for divestment from occupation-linked companies
    • Just,
      I agree with your intended (concluding) point, but you're confusing me - the DePaul vote was a student body referendum, but the UCSC vote *was* a student government vote. I think your point is still supported when I look at the details of the vote: first swings this way, then that way except not by 2/3, then they vote to shelve the 2/3 ... so tortuous.

  • Public debate on Zionism sets a crucial precedent
    • Re: Woody's recommendation, I agree. Zach S is conducting classic flak-barrage tactics, what we evolutionary biologists recognize as the Gish Gallop, to no purpose other than to make sure newcomers to the site cannot enter or even perceive a worthwhile discussion in the comments. It is rank intellectual dishonesty and also deliberate sabotage.

      Imagine if the knowledgeable posters here - citing Walid and Hostage as two, right off the top of my head - were able to conduct a solid discussion, comparing disagreements and interpretations, helping others to learn and perhaps arriving at new ideas. But no; with Zach S blithering away at high volume & frequency, they and the rest of us are reduced to dancing like fools, swatting away bits of flak, while the bots high-five one another.

    • The more of these debates, the better. Here's why, as I see it.

      In the tweet cited in the previous Mondoweiss article, Sucharov writes: "And, as a Jew who was raised with Zionist narratives and feels a deep emotional connection to Israel, I admit a certain subjective attachment to the idea of maintaining a Jewish and democratic state."

      And ... that's all she's got. That's all any liberal Zionist has: "a certain subjective attachment," which is to say, an unexamined personal mythology. The debate reveals that one side is composed of observations and events, and the other - when prevented from obfuscating those observations and events - is composed of nothing but a self-reinforced self-image.

      Therefore debating a liberal Zionist is the best possible public strategy: unlike the "fundamentalist" Zionist, he or she is not intellectually dishonest enough to produce a Gish Gallop, and therefore must fall back, ultimately, on his or her attachment to the personal mythology. The dishonesty is wholly emotional.

      Sucharov seems to me to be quite close to examining the mythology, since she herself brought her position to this point in her tweet even before the debate began. Let's hope her debate experience with Max closed the final leg of the circuit. But regardless, the real gain is that if the debater is not willing to examine it, then the audience certainly will. This is what the audience sees and hears:

      Side 1: A nation is occupying, oppressing, discriminating against, and strategically murdering over half the people directly subject to its policies. This situation persists solely because the U.S. aids and abets it.

      Side 2: That's all true, but I'd rather believe XYZ about myself than respond appropriately.

      Once Side 2 is revealed as simply not wishing to engage fully with the issue, the fact is revealed that there is no actual debate to be had. There aren't two "sides." During the debate, when the personal mythology is revealed, then the prevailing conditions and the political response are no matter for debate at all.

  • Democracy and divestment -- DePaul and UCLA students try to thwart Israel lobby
    • YES. I'm one of the faculty advisors to SJP DePaul, and it has been a long hard road. The credit belongs to the students, who have organized so many great things over the years and also learned from the appalling obstacles they've encountered - the whole week has been fantastic.

    • [DePaul] It's quite exciting here! Some great footage from today should be available soon. Students stayed at the SAC pit (yes, I know, funny name) until after 10 PM last night, and at every event so far, the atmosphere has been festive and unapologetic, a real *demonstration* that invites questions and participation. By contrast, the counter-protest seems sullen and off-putting, relying heavily on nationalism, "loyalty" to Israel.

  • The real SodaStream commercial they don't want you to see
    • "shortsighted" = meaningless criticism, posed in opposition to undefined and unknowable "farsighted" - in this case defined in practice as "keep Americans dancing a jig"

      "unfair" = effective against stunningly vicious discrimination and oppression - oppressors always define "fair" as maintaining their power

      "largely unenforceable" = non sequitur award so far for 2014; by definition boycotts are not enforced, and should it turn to policy matters, the U.S. has immense enforcement powers over any aspect of Israeli policy, should its administrators choose to use them (or more likely, use them in order not to get left behind)

      "ultimately self-defeating" = by being entirely successful - or don't you understand that the purpose of all activism is to render itself unnecessary?

  • 'You seem to be on both sides of this legitimate/illegitimate kind of a thing': State Dept. spox says neither Israeli settlements, nor settlement boycotts, are legitimate
    • My thoughts were similar. Think about it ... she gets up in the morning, and at some point in the first minutes of becoming fully awake, she remembers that it's a work day. Is that ... good news, to her? Does she say, "Oh goody!!" What's her expression in the morning mirror? I wonder this every time a really dedicated flak stands there and deflects and blithers for, how long is it, an hour? More? I loathed Tony Snow politically but after a few sessions of being genuinely stricken with horror at his performances, I sort of felt for him. Like watching a miserable but highly competent performing animal ... but then, since it's a human, I say, "What do you think you're doing? What do you actually see in that mirror?"

      We don't have to read Hannah Arendt to learn about the banality of evil.

  • Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to 'fanatical' Zionist lobby
    • H'm ... On the slim chance that you are actually going to be helpful, I invite you to contact me through the email at the site you visited. (And to others who have done so, my public thanks for your interest in the book/game)

    • Garbage. That's not a paraphrase of Lewis' book at all. That's clash-of-civilizations horse shit. I didn't say anything about "edifying" either.

      There's no point in replying seriously to your posts. They are nothing but sprays of flak.

    • Thanks! (and phooey for more corrections ...)

    • Mahane: the Arabic conjugates the root word "shahida." You live in Israel and can't figure that out?

      Thanks talknic!

    • Thank you! You are a treasure.

    • I thought I'd add a little context and a couple of important points to the discussion of Truman. The following bit is excerpted from my book Shahida (http://www.adept-press.com/shahida)
      ---
      In 1947, the post-WWII British government effectively turfed the whole problem to the United Nations, setting the end of the Mandate at May 14, 1948. Immediately following the announcement, the Haganah (precursor to the Israeli Defense Forces) and paramilitary groups such as the Irgun terrorized, brutalized, and expelled over 700,000 people not only from the “Jewish area” as designated by the Partition Plan, but from wherever they could impose their reach. This process, called in Arabic al-Nakba (the Catastrophe) continued throughout the ensuing wars until their conclusion in 1949.

      Meanwhile, the partition was hotly deliberated at the UN, in terms which are mostly lost because none of them fit Cold War narratives later adopted by anyone. The result was the Partition Plan, assigning part of the area to “Jews” and part to “the Arabs,” proposed to the United Nations by the Soviet Union, immediately seconded by the U.S. It was voted in as UN Resolution 181 under circumstances which suggest strong-arming by both powers. This happened while these two states were embroiled in the Berlin Blockade. If you know any references which can help me understand that, please tell me.

      [Map: UN Partition Plan, 1947, passed at the United Nations]

      The Plan stipulated that both regions were to treat all residents in a democratic, rights-based fashion, and another was that the entire region should represent a single economic union. It was never implemented. Instead, the day before the British Mandate expired, the leaders of the Zionist community declared the existence of the State of Israel. Eleven minutes later, the Truman administration recognized the new state de facto, and a couple of days later, the Soviet Union recognized it de jure.

      Upon this event and the continued cleansing, armies from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan (then called “Transjordan”), Syria, and technically Lebanon (less than a dozen soldiers!), as well as irregulars from many other Arab states, invaded the former British Mandate and attacked, seeking to hold territory and to engage the Haganah. The latter were by no means outnumbered and were vastly better organized and armed with aircraft and weaponry, including the new AK-47, by the Soviet Union via Warsaw Pact nations. Not only were the Arab League forces repelled, the IDF now controlled territory in excess of the (ignored) Partition’s description, all of which was claimed for Israel, as imposed under armistice with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

      [Map: Israel at the end of al-Nakba and the War of Independence, 1949]

      Given the recognition of Israel by what were now the two Cold War superpowers, it’s not surprising that widespread outrage at this irregular way to make a state could not stop its inclusion in the United Nations following the armistice in early 1949, via UN Resolution 273. It included some important provisos, such as the right of refugees to return to their homes, the international and independent status of Jerusalem, and the requirement of a democratic constitution. Despite becoming a UN member state, Israel was not recognized by a number of other states. This situation was not actually all that uncommon, the two Germanys being excellent examples at that time as well.

      What was not present in any of the international documents, before, during, or after UN Resolution 181, is any use of the phrase “Jewish state.” This phrase can be found only in Israeli national statements and is not acknowledged in any form by any other state.

      None of the provisos for UN membership were met. The State of Israel has not adopted a constitution, and did not and has never declared borders. Therefore the lines you see on maps are those recognized or accepted by other states. Various military conflicts have resulted in an ever-changing map.
      ---
      I posted this to emphasize a couple of points which some readers here might not know.

      First, that the Nakba began and was largely successful for the Zionists prior to the scheduled end of the Mandate, and while the Partition Plan was being debated and drafted, not after its vote.

      Second, that the Partition Plan, although passed in the UN, was never implemented. Not even a tiny bit.

      Third, that the "founding of the State of Israel" was internationally established strictly through the utterly unilateral recognitions by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Recognition technically doesn't mean a damned thing. But only the informal, unofficial weight of those nations got Israel into the UN at all, even provisionally. That inclusion had nothing to do with the long-discussed end of the Mandate or the Partition Plan.

      Fourth, that Soviet policies at this time are almost impossible to understand critically and historically, as everyone on this earth has a stake in characterizing the final stage of Stalin's premiership in some gaudy fashion or another. Amy Knight's book Beria, the only non-hysterical biography of this historical figure I can find and which debunks the popular portrait of a homicidal pervert, suggests that both Stalin and Lavrenty Beria took great pains toward supporting Jewish Soviet interests, counter to most 1980s talk of anti-Semitic Soviet culture.

      Five, that the recognition by the U.S. (I don't know about the U.S.S.R. one) did specify the borders as laid out by the Partition Plan, but was applied to a state which now controlled territory beyond those borders. This is completely raving incoherent: does the U.S. recognition text "justify" the Partition, in terms of "Jewish land," but not in any other details? Does the recognition of Israel when it claimed land beyond that render the Partition irrelevant, regardless of the text, and regardless of the zero-actual-connection between U.S. recognition and UN inclusion? These and similar questions founder in the mess of contradictions and irregularities. Also, this whacked context renders all current Green Line talk, so popular after 1967, wholly moot.

      Six, that the "founding of the State of Israel" (announcement + the two recognitions) was timed to the end of the Mandate, exquisitely so, and had nothing whatsoever to do with fighting the Arab armies, hence calling that conflict a War of Independence is flatly inaccurate.

      A great deal of modern Zionist rhetoric, and especially all nitpicky land-trade talk associated with the two-state shibboleth, gleefully exploits modern people's ignorance of this sequence of events.

    • Corroborated by Wikipedia! Fail. When students tell me, "It's on Wikipedia!", I tell them, "Give me ten minutes."

      Gilbert is an imperial hagiographer. Try reading a real book, in this case, The Jews of Islam by Bernard Lewis. Hardly an "anti-Israel" author, so you can't pull that nonsense. Also, for most readers here who shudder at the name, he wrote it before his brain melted sometime in the 1990s.

      Did Jews across the non-Christian states enjoy idealized U.S. style equal rights? No, of course not - no one did, not in the U.S. either. Did they receive specific, Jews-directed hate-speech and hate-actions? No, they did not. (Special treat: learning the actual career of Maimonides)

  • Rabbi raises 'dual loyalty' question-- and all hell breaks loose in DC Jewish community
    • As I tried to explain above, the dual-loyalty accusation was invented in a single, specific context for the term "loyalty." That context was anything but a democratic (or communitarian, or whatever) concept; it was a concept precisely as you describe as authoritarian. Worse than that, even, as I see it, because it also favored a specific seizure of power and its keeping.

      Discussion of any and every possible use of the term is beside the point, and a fine example of internet blithering. What matters is that when Israel and Palestine are being discussed, and people's unacceptably horrible loyalties are being exposed (Alterman and Makovsky as prime examples), then a reverse accusation appears: "You're accusing me of dual loyalty," or some other complicated layered response to such an accusation, like "it's single loyalty because the two things are the same." If you get caught in debating that, it's hopeless - the only thing to do is to call out that unacceptably horrible commitment in the first place. "Your loyalty is privileged bigotry and the institutionalized force it employs, period. Screw your loyalty, whatever you want to call it or don't want it to be called, it's contemptible."

      I'm saying, stay out of the nuances of loyalty discussion as it pertains to Jewish identity and Israel/Palestine. Instead, call out unacceptably horrible loyalty, as such, then and there.

    • H'm. It also occurs to me to say this: if the generalized level I was talking about is too much or goes too far, then we can stay with Israel and Palestine as the only topic. In that case, I submit that single-loyalty to Israel as it stands today and dual-loyalty to the U.S. and Israel (as exemplified by Alterman's self-description) are bad things - because loyalty to such awful privilege, oppression, destruction, and general horror is monstrous.

      Does that work? I'm saying that to debate and twist about in confusion about whether it's double or not, or whether that's good or not, or whether that's anti-Jewish or not ... is to miss that key point, which makes all that foggy talk irrelevant.

    • If by "loyal" you mean operating in a communal framework for everyone present, supporting laws which facilitate that community, seeking to alter other laws, and supporting justice in working all that out, then sure. People should do that. You can call that "loyal" if you want, but there isn't any loyalty actually. Can people be proud of it? Sure, and rightly. Can they prefer to live there rather than anywhere else? Sure. None of that's a bad thing.

      Do you see the difference? I'm criticizing literal devotion to a particular group of alliance holding power, and equating that loyalty to eligibility for citizenship. That's the context in which the phrase "dual loyalty" was coined: not that someone was proud of two things at once, or could see themselves living in either place, but rather that they were willing to lie, betray, exploit, and kill for someone else instead of for "us."

      By that definition, then, no, I do not think anyone should be loyal to any state or other power-apparatus, ever.

      Look at your username - what does it mean? Are you proud of the U.S.'s many good features, happy to participate in those, publicly critical of other features, publicly committed to changing them, willing to risk yourself to the benefit of others there, also willing to refuse such a risk when you think it's misguided? I think so, or am willing to think so. You are a good citizen (I mean that in the best way), a fellow community member with me; we might agree or disagree on whatever thing, but we live together and work it out.

      But that profile isn't "loyal." I submit to you that when someone talks about your loyalty or lack of it, they're not talking about that profile. They're talking about whether you deserve to be an American. If you criticize certain things and try to change them, then you certainly don't, as they see it. That's the loyalty I'm saying no one should have or be permitted to express without it being called out for what it is, privilege and bigotry.

      I'm being very precise. I'm not permitting a friendly reading of "loyalty" because people like Alterman are using that to mask their actual devotional loyalty of the sort I'm criticizing. I'm suggesting we avoid that trap, and if we have to, shelve the friendly reading of the word in order to do so.

    • Is there hope for a rational discussion in these comments? I'll try.

      1. The issue begins with what loyalty is supposed to mean, at all. I submit that this concept is already broken and undesirable. It was originally framed, and I think continues to be, as more than merely liking one's community and generally abiding by its laws and operating within its framework. I'll call that "citizenship," not in the legal sense but rather the living-here sense.

      i) State, not community. It's about a given power-structure, and not just a means of sharing or dividing power, but of holding and keeping it.

      ii) Nation-state, not merely state, which usually (despite denials) means a given ethnicity or specific hierarchical complex of ethnicities, language, legal framework, and similar. Therefore the state apparatus is not only to be held and kept, but also (and only) by specific people and interests.

      In this context, loyalty is not merely a pleasant feeling, or an irrational but probably-harmless sense of elevation. It is specifically action to keep that power held by these particular people.

      2. I submit that when loyalty is further extended to be synonymous with citizenship, that is a bad thing. Confusingly, it's usually framed as to a "country" or a "nation" (in the vague U.S. sense, masking the ethnic issues), not to what it's really to - a cabal or locked-down special interest in a state apparatus. This phenomenon means that to live here, one must be a fanatic to a specific power-structure and specific holder of that power. It means that to dissent, or to struggle against some exercise of that power, is literally to negate one's citizenship.

      It means being willing to kill for that special kind of citizenship and to die for it. It means lying for it, and betraying others to it. It means equating dissent or compromise with disastrous defeat. It means upholding it against anyone and everyone.

      I'd like to see the loyalty oath stricken from the process of immigration. I'd like to see the pledge of allegiance stricken from American schools and understood, and taught about, as a cousin to such things as segregation and McCarthyism.

      3. So ... is dual loyalty bad? Such a question only makes sense to someone who thinks single loyalty is a good thing in the first place. In that context, it's a self-answering question: clearly if you're not loyal to Us, then you cannot also be loyal to Them, and therefore "dual loyalty" is actually not a literal term, but a euphemism for "traitor." It is the cry of a vicious, paranoid, privileged fanatic: a Brownshirt. Or a Neocon, the same thing with horn-rimmed glasses.

      Here's what I think is most relevant for the I/P issue, when dual loyalty is brought up: that the whole concept of loyalty is being taken as a good thing. So Rabbi Weintraub (falling into the trap) says, "Hey, that looks like dual loyalty," and this despicable Makovsky person can say, "But it's not, it's single, so it's OK!" ... and caught in the trap, neither Weintraub nor anyone else realizes that the problem is not single vs. two-in-one vs. dual vs. quintuple, but rather, that this kind of loyalty to anything - but especially to a specific power-holder in a state apparatus - is bad in the first place.

      Fail to understand that, and you will be forever vulnerable to the Altermans who say, "Yeah, I'm dually loyal, because twice-times excellent is so excellent," and to the Makovskys who say, "No, it's single loyalty because there's really this thing called the U.S. of Israel," and either way, the magnificent audacity of their lies and the horror they serve with such lies is whisked out of the conversation.

      In what's left of the conversation, they get to spray all the fog about their motives and their intentions and the effects of their actions, and how such things are unimpugnable and/or unknowable and/or unaccountable. They can do this because once untethered from what is actually called out as wrong, then their honed skills at this fog-talk kick into high gear, disorienting everyone else.

      So! My call? The loyalty is bad. Whether to the U.S. (more accurately some specific power-cabal in it) or to Israel (ditto), or to any damn place you can name (ditto). Alterman and Makovsky support evil practices in an evil way, and that's all there is to it. Don't get swept up in the single-dual-polyamorous spectrum of fog about it.

      Perhaps then we can talk about the precise two-step that makes a cabal of specific ethnic and economic power-grabbers (I do not say "interests," this is about privilege and profit) possible across several nations, foremost among them the U.S., Israel, and Saudia Arabia. And finally, we can talk about the people who benefit from it, for some of whom, "being Jewish" is specifically and only code for loyalty to one set of the entwined components.

  • Scarlett and Oxfam chat over Palestinian land loss
    • I will paraphrase this but with rudeness. "Why, our coloreds just love working here, we're one happy family. Maisie! Maisie, get on out here, and tell these folks how much you loooove workin' in this house. See that? Git on back home and tell your friends, we don't have any of those problems y'all keep talkin' about."

      With the addendum that the southern white U.S. accent does not hold any special ownership over this attitude and tactic.

  • A double standard on 'terrorism'
    • "... one of the worst attacks on American soldiers ..." I believe the correct phrasing would be *one of the most successful attacks."

      To learn something about it: http://adept-press.com/wordpress/wp-content/media/Shahida-excerpt-PR9.pdf

      U.S. soldiers were set up to die in a perfect storm of policy incompetence.

      This confounding of "terror," "human bomb attack," and "resistance vs. American forces" must cease. Even if I supported the sending of U.S. troops into Beirut at that time in support of Amin Gemayel, which I did not (and do not still), it is grossly wrong to mix up these terms.

  • Obama says likelihood of Iran deal and Israeli-Palestinian agreement are both under 50%
    • I got this one. It all makes so much sense! OK, first, the Iranian administration is lying because ... uh, they're liars! Which means what they say is lies. So simple!

      And they are such liars that they MADE the intelligence from all those nations' agencies all lie too. Even Mossad, yeah, they're lyi-- um ... the Iranians made them lie. 'Cause that's how they do it, they ... you know. So, nuclear weapons! Wiped off the map!

      I've been running into this a lot. It's that same little shrill guy, saying to his big sort-of confused mean friend. "You gonna let that bitch LIE to you like that? You gonna let him PUNK you?" (to the guy he wants to see beaten up) "Yeah, we're gonna FUCK YOU up! Yeah!" (back to his friend) "He's lying, man! Show him what that gets!"

      Call it out. It makes no sense. There isn't a shred or speck of reason for hostilities or any of this drama between Iran and the U.S. It's nothing but the little shrill guy.

  • An open letter to Stephen Harper, agent of colonialism, injustice and hypocrisy
    • Someone help this person. Apparently the exclusion of specific parties from coalitions and the completely broken provisions of the Basic Law are lost on him. Is the relentless disenfranchisement of so-called Israeli Arabs lost on him? Invisible? Does he really think that Israel's domestic policies produce a state for all its citizens?

      "... they have all the same rights I have ..." I throw up my hands. Mahane: they do not. Only the most dedicated closure of eyes and mind could yield your outlook. I understand the haters and bigots better; they say, "Those foreigners and infiltrators and Ay-rabs are bad, bad, and it's a good thing they have less rights then us, because we want them to have no rights at all, and we want them gone!" What you're saying is the most remarkable self-deluded noise ever.

      Someone else, please say something this person can begin to grasp. Or is this merely a matter of outright hasbara that has walked itself into absurdity simply by continuing to obstruct?

    • Part one
      "The verbal attack of the Arab MK’s on your PM in the Israeli parliament saying that “Israel is an apartheid state” is the best proof that Israel is not an apartheid state, but free and democratic state."

      Was that supposed to make sense? Is this one of those "we let them vote so see how democratic we are" tap-dances? Have not I and multiple other commenters here explained that we know what that trick is, what "Arab party" means in Israel? Is your thumb stuck on the page in the hasbara manual that says, Americans don't understand coalition politics so they will always cave if you mention voting?

      Part Two
      Let's hear your peroration on "peace, reconciliation, and living together." I'm really curious to know what those words become in your model of desired outcomes.

      And here's the real newsflash: BDS and its general line of activism is not a "program," or a "framework," or a "hatrack" or whatever they call it next. It is a signal: to STOP the appalling practices that are in force today. There you go. Stop them. If not, then the little spigots keep turning off. And should you really not, then the activism necessarily shifts to cutting off the big spigots. This kind of activism outflanked Reagan easily. You ain't no Reagan.

      No one here is interested in providing you with a societal blueprint. We pay for your government's blood-reeking policies, and we want them STOPPED.

      Having STOPPED, then build whatever state you can in that context, and do the peace, reconciliation, and living together then. Work it out because that's your responsibility, not mine. Don't lay that on anyone else. Omar Chaaban doesn't have to tell you how to do it. He - and we - are saying, STOP that, and we do in fact hold the keys to the cash.

      If you want the very best for the current Jewish nationals of Israel, and I'm reaching here, for everyone who lives within its reach as well, then this will do it. It's on you to support BDS where you are. Then I'll believe you want peace, reconciliation, and living together.

  • Ignoring Human Rights Watch report, NYT suggests 15-year-old goaded Israeli soldiers who killed him
    • If Jewish people were oppressed, discriminated against, displaced, imprisoned, tortured, murdered, then you get to be a sniffer-out of (your term) Jew hatred.

      That has indeed been the case in the past, in Europe for a very long time, and as I see it, also to a lesser extent in the shorter history of the U.S.

      None of that is the case now. None of it. Now, you speak from outrageous privilege, not from testimonial, not from witness to oppression and hatred. The outrageously privileged do not get to "sniff out" hatred and define what is and is not tolerable from those who criticize them. Nor do the criticizers need to consider their feelings.

      Another point: the improved and in fact entirely repaired condition of Jewish people in Europe and in the U.S. as well did not and does not emerge from the existence of Israel in its current form. What Israel accomplishes is the special outrageousness, an unacceptable addendum to the welcome removal of discrimination and worse against Jewish people, an addendum seized by those who relish it and socially engineered it into a propagandized populace.

      If you actually cared about Jewish people and about both the legacy of horror and the present-day of inclusion, then you would campaign for BDS.

  • 'Scarlett letter' -- Social media pillory Johansson for representing settlement business SodaStream
    • Wait, Obs ... let's see - you suggest an action which was not taken by Mondoweiss, then insult MW on the basis of that action. Are you sure you're Obsidian? Your posts have been way, way lame lately; they used to be subtle. This makes zero sense right out of the gate. Are you posting while drunk?

    • "Jews have a right to live and work in ... the West Bank." Yes, indeed they do, or rather, any citizen-minded person, Jewish or not. No one objects to that, subject to whatever work visa or citizeship process is involved. But we are talking about occupation, land theft, martial law, exploitation, economic theft, home destruction, secret police harassment, gratuitous imprisonment and torture, and daily brutality. These are what the government and culture of Israel do there. Are you claiming the right to those too?

      Plus, "leftists!" "Leftists!" Oooooh, scary leftists! (I'm getting a bit bored with that one, it's all over the place)

  • Sharon's journey was Israel's journey-- and what does that tell you
    • I think you have it exactly. I've gone 'round and 'round too and come to the conclusion that he was a driven killer. Why, and exactly what degree of sociopathy might be diagnosed, isn't too interesting to me. Every single policy he enacted, invented, or promoted can be summarized as either killing, or setting up for a grander kill. I specifically include the removal of settlements from Gaza, which at the time was flatly sinister to me, and post-Cast Lead, I cannot believe is ever referred to in any other context.

  • Israel's '60 Minutes' attributes success of boycott movement to unending settlement of West Bank
    • Indeed. Hell on the helpless, as I say.

    • Weak, both on logic and on effective snark. I'll show you how it's done.

      1948: Armies being unprepared and incompetent is no barrier to them going into action.
      1967: I suppose you're referring to Nasser "strangling" Israel by closing the Suez Canal, which reduced deliveries/transport to Israel by FIVE percent.
      1973: Saved the Egyptian army AFTER having saved Israel's hold on its acquisitions through supply - so without the prior airlift and supply ...

      "Independent" my ass! Israel, like Saudi Arabia, exists in its current state specifically and only through U.S. largesse and international clout. It's a wretched and spoiled client state.

      "Well-developed" my ass too! How'd that Carmel fire go again? "I know, we'll plant a fires-cycle tree species all over and then drop our civil infrastructure to zilch; that'll go well." [pause] "Oooooh, West Bank firefighters, helllp, pleeeease!" (see, Mahane, that's ecology, a subset of biology, and it's really important)

      "Prosperous" my ass squared! Examine income inequality and quality-of-life variables across the entire population, and research the word "bubble." Plus its military and settlement costs being offset via the U.S., to our shame.

    • (sniff) Freddie!

    • Pish posh on Israel winning wars.

      1948-49: Soviet-supplied planes and AK's vs. a rabble armed with WWI leftovers who had no discernible strategy (I'm talking about the "Arab armies")
      1956: stood down by direct joint order from the U.S. and U.S.S.R. administrations
      1967: gratuitous strike (resembling the attack on Pearl Harbor more than the actual attack on Pearl Harbor did), followed by equally gratuitous destruction during the alleged cease-fire
      1973: balls thoroughly kicked; bailed out by U.S. airlift and diplomatic intervention - again, inflicting the most damage while the opponents obeyed the internationally-declared cease-fire (note that the attackers sought to liberate areas seized in 1967, not to "destroy Israel," so it's not like the IDF even successfully defended it)
      1978: invaded and occupied a nation with no military to speak of - perhaps it's worth noting that "successfully" invading Lebanon is no more than driving tanks through indefensible territory (same for Syria)
      1982: invaded as above, besieged and bombed Beirut with complicity of Lebanon's elites, spent almost two years saying "no, you do it" back and forth with them regarding actually fighting the PLO, culminating by engineering the slaughter of 2000-3000 old people, mothers, and children
      1983-1990-2000: steadily being beaten by Hezbollah, whining about it constantly
      2006: balls thoroughly kicked by Hezbollah

      Real tough, Mahane. The only things the IDF can do effectively are bomb stuff and immiserate a captive, mainly helpless population. Actually fighting is beyond it. (Astonishing how U.S. and Israeli military culture gets such a boner from the Nazi blitzkrieg and hasn't ceased to copy it - despite it being a dead-last loser in terms of any actual imaginable goal.)

  • More on Mark Kleiman's appeal to Jews to come out against Iran sanctions
    • "Yes, there was something to be said for the Kennans, the Achesons, and the Bundys who won the Cold War." Ah. THAT kind of liberal. Flat-out imperialist.

      I think you nailed it.

      Might I add that his writing makes scientific prose look elegant.

  • Cary Nelson, the AAUP, and the privilege of bestowing academic freedom
    • I'm a university prof. Reading this confirms and explains about a dozen hassles I've faced personally in the past fifteen years, and it also makes me want to heave.

  • Eric Alterman declines request to debate Max Blumenthal at Brooklyn College
    • Wincing a little bit here, both re: Kathleen and W. Jones above. The ritual is called tatbir, and although bloody, consists of a very shallow nick to the skin. It's customary during the Day of Ashura in scattered, few locations in rural Shi'i areas, such as the Jabal'Amil in southern Lebanon. In Jabatiya, Ashura parades and performances are spectacular and draw considerable tourism, in part because tatbir is very exotic to everyone, most Muslims included. The practice is deemed pagan and rather disgusting by every formal Shi'i institution I know of; Amal and Hezbollah both famously run bloodmobile drives during Ashura in Jabatiya in part to discourage it by offering an alternative way to "bleed for Ali."

      Furthermore, as I understand it and have not seen otherwise in any documentation, tatbir is typically performed by men and male teenagers. That an Ashura observant would so gash a small female child is dubious on its face, and although I can't speak for what anyone anywhere might do, I suspect that someone who did that in Jabatiya might find himself instantly under criticism, to put it mildly - i.e., get the shit beaten out of him by angry moms and burly Hisb guys ...

      I would be much less surprised to find that the woman speaking to Max had at best a distorted telephone-game understanding of the practice ("Those Moozlims cut up their little girls' faces!!").

    • Agreed. The right debate here in the U.S. is what Americans will or will not pay for, will or will not endorse internationally, and will or will not do at the UN Security Council.

  • Eric Alterman continues to justify lack of Palestinian voices at 'The Nation'
    • Great post, plus I vote for "the Dershowitz Blitz." I think it's accurate, satisfyingly insulting, and tuneful. And we need it! Creationists got a cream pie in the face every time they Gish-galloped, once it had a name.

  • Is this a first? State Dep't rebukes out-of-control Israeli minister
  • Europeans with 'no legitimate claim' to America wiped out indigenous people -- 'totally different' from Israel (Harris)
    • You got that right! I'm also struck by how well Hophmi managed to get an enormous response-count with a few well-placed outrageous statements. Could that be the aim? Not a reasoned argument and dialogue, but rather to create a pile of objections and continued back-and-forth based on erroneous statements - so that when people come look at the thread, they see "people fighting" or "dogpile on the pro-Israel guy" and are turned off? Maybe there is method to Hophmi's technique, which as you say, taken at face value, is consistently hard to credit as genuine in any way.

  • 'The Israel I love is increasingly hated'-- Richard Cohen
    • I'm also curious to know specifically what he means by "the Israel I love." Where is it? What are its qualities? What does it who? Who's in it?

  • Bronner whitewashes Sharon's atrocities
    • Taxi & Walid: many thanks, for both the kind words and the information! If you're interested, check out the link on the first page to see the contents page of the book. That's only one of nine profiles, themselves modifying six chapters.

      Bronner's article still baffles me. How can anyone look over Sharon's career like that? Is it not apparent that this man's priority, always, was to bathe in blood? If he could get away with it, he did it - and seems to have mastered the art of brazening it out; if he had to bide his time and set it up (which is only and fully what I see in pulling Israelis out of Gaza), he did that instead.

    • I thoroughly agree with this article. Mondoweiss mods: I hope it's OK to post an excerpt from my book Shahida which juxtaposes the lives of Ariel Sharon and Yasir Arafat. I'm doing so in the spirit of agreement with Mr. Samel and in support of his points.
      http://adept-press.com/wordpress/wp-content/media/Shahida-excerpt-PR8.pdf

  • 'NYT' says that AIPAC is pushing the 'march toward war'
    • Wait a minute ... you've been tearing up the articles with comments inveighing against "leftists," "extreme leftists," and "radical leftists" lately, very much in the sense that such an orientation instantly obviates any value or trustworthiness. And now all of a sudden you're criticizing something as McCarthyite?

    • In support of Phil's post: one does well to review the status of "ally" between the nations - the newsflash is that they aren't allies and that phrasing needs to be called out at every opportunity.

  • MLA delegates pass measure against Israel denying entry to academics
    • "the Jewish state dissolve[s] itself" is not the same as "[a] people disappear"

      You seem earnest. I doubt that you are generally obsessive or blithering stupid. Consider the glaring fixed idea I've highlighted in your post. Is it really the way you think it is?

  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • Cue tearful eulogies from despicable people who are paid by my tax dollars.

      I imagine that his ravenous corpse, finally (fully) released from the constraints of cosmic sanity, will lumber into the most high-profile gathering of such people and devour them. Serve'em right.

      Whereas I hope that the symbolism of the mindless, obese hulk of Zionist policy, kept on life-support for so long, finally expiring, will be taken seriously by everyone else.

  • Palestine, 1927
    • Thanks seafoid. Looking over the post, I should clarify that I'm mainly talking about Americans who see themselves as "representing" for Israel. Most of them are informed mainly through the J-Post, their extended families which may have ties to Israeli interests, and organizations like Hillel International or Stand With Us, which they perceive to be grass-roots. Their general view is that there are "two sides," in two different places. They might even admit privately that the "other" side has "some right" to it, but consider it also to be primitive, savage, and murderous; whereas although maybe (their idealized) Israel did something sort of bad long ago, it is now a liberal free-thinking almost rarefied society, and bad-ass too which is cool. (The parallel to the U.S. portrait of the idealized former West Germany during the 1960s is almost too perfect, including the fake "economic miracle.") They don't know anything about ethnicities among Israelis, religions among Palestinians or other people in the Levant, or the circumstances of the state's origin except as related in Exodus. They've been told, and they believe it, that they must represent in this way, and that no one else can do it.

    • I think of it as ping pong, or rather, that their model of dialogue is based on ping pong. Behind them, they think, is death: horrible genocidal death. So they have to bat the ball back as hard as possible, to keep it from going there. It doesn't matter if it misses the table on the other side (makes sense) - just bat it, hard, keep it from going past. It's literally impossible to have a discussion because they don't care exactly or actually what they say or how it looks to anyone else in terms of logic or response - what matters, they think, is that people see them responding at all, in the negative in some (any) way. To them, that means they whacked the ball and kept it from going past, and persisting in that, no matter what, is their goal. In fact, the less logic the better, because fervor is the selling point: "See, I'm going to stay here and keeping batting these balls back no matter what!" That's also why they don't care about being refuted; they only care about new balls and the exchange implied by staying with one of them is absolutely what they want to avoid. No exchange: just bat each new scary thing being said away, it's an attempt at murder after all. Again, to them, it's about avoiding plain and simple death; they're that scared. That's why they repeat old nonsense, because they perceive it to have worked last time. That's why they uncritically seize new talking-points whenever they're provided, because they are exhausted and frantic, keeping this going. Since they aren't literally insane, they know how much lying and bad-faith talking they're doing, so it makes them ashamed, and soon, persisting in this action while in a state of shame makes them mean.

  • Dershowitz steps down from Harvard to spend more time with what he loves -- Israel
    • I think you may well be right. He's been an embarrassment to Harvard and its law school (which is really saying something) since the internal investigation into plagiarism - whose results have yet to see the light of day.

      As far as I'm concerned, his inclusion in academia at all has yet to be justified in any understandable way.

  • Chilean soccer team puts Palestine front and center
    • I get that. I'm referring to the subsequent land grab in 1948 and all other land grabs since, as well as the persistent refusal to acknowledge those 1947 borders in any way, or any eventual "this is far enough" borders. I don't think you and I are disagreeing.

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