Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 23 (since 2010-03-28 04:32:06)

Longtime Jewish peace activist.

Showing comments 23 - 1
Page:

  • NYT, Reuters, Economist journalists self-censor reports from Israel so as not to be 'savagely targeted' -- John Lyons
    • Thank you Citizen C for pointing this out. I am glad more people are talking about this problem: the Jewish far left's belief that the Israel Lobby is not very powerful and should not be viewed as a cause of US support for Israel. That is the view of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

      As absurd as that belief is, many in the Jewish far left cling to it like a religious dogma, even though all the evidence points to the contrary-- points to the fact that the Israel Lobby is very powerful. The Lobby routinely intimidates journalists, congress, and presidents. It skews US policy toward supporting Israel, and has been doing that for a long time.

      But the Jewish far left refuses to see it, because they believe that US capitalist imperialism is the source of all problems. It is heresy for them to think that a special-interest group is skewing US policy to make it worse. They believe US policy is inherently bad because of US imperialism. Blaming any other entity makes no sense to them. They have a "blame America first" and "blame America only" mentality.

      This is counterproductive from an advocacy perspective, because it leads the Jewish far left to say things like: 'The Israel Lobby only lobbies the US to do what is in the US national interest-- and what the US would be doing anyway.' and 'The US supports Israel because it is in the US national interest to do so.'

      Those perspectives hinder our efforts to persuade Americans that support for Israel is harming America.

      The other harmful thing Jewish-far-left groups like Jewish Voice for Peace do is attack fellow activists who talk about the Israel Lobby as a powerful influence. I am convinced that is why JVP attacked Alison Weir so harshly and tried so hard to destroy her credibility.

      I think that top JVP leadership believes that anyone who says the Israel Lobby is the main cause of US support for Israel is simply repeating an antisemitic "trope." That makes the person an antisemite in the eyes of JVP. Alison Weir says exactly that, so JVP is convinced she is an antisemite, based on that alone. That was enough 'proof' for JVP to spend a lot of time and money trying to destroy the reputation of a long-time, effective Palestine solidarity activist who was doing a lot of good work.

      That is what I call putting your own far-left agenda ahead of the Palestinian cause. That is what I call de-facto collaboration with the Israel Lobby to take town a Palestine solidarity activist. That is why I could no longer remain a member or leader of JVP.

  • Bill making it a federal crime to support BDS sends shockwaves through progressive community
    • Thank you for calling my attention to Yonifalic and his comments, which I had not read before. I do not find them to be antisemitic, but rather insightful and fact-based. Reporting unpleasant truths about Israel and even about Jewish history does not make him antisemitic. I say this as a temple-attending Reform Jew who does not see facts or truth-telling as a threat to my Judaism. We need to be open to learning the unpleasant truths about our history and not be so quick to dismiss them as antisemitism.

  • Some big Jewish donors to Clinton don't seem to care about Israel. Hallelujah
    • Thanks for the suggestions. I think I am a member of If Americans Knew. Alison has spoken here at least twice, and she is one of the best, most persuasive speakers we have ever had.

      A Jewish Palestine solidarity group serves one important function. It provides excellent protection to the other Palestine groups in town against bogus charges of antisemitism, which the Jewish Federation here makes routinely. It really helps the other Palestine groups if they are able to say, "This event was co-sponsored by this Jewish group, and Jews helped organize this event." That is usually enough to reassure the Provost of the university (for example) that the event should not be cancelled and the student group that sponsored it should not be reprimanded.

      That was the role our local JVP chapter always played. However, now that national JVP has gotten into the business of "fighting antisemitism" and is saying chapters cannot sponsor certain speakers (like Alison Weir), then the local JVP chapter may no longer be a reliable protector against charges of antisemitism. I think we need another Jewish group here that can be relied upon to support Palestine activists (rather than throwing them under the bus like national JVP has been doing).

    • I did resign from JVP because it was unwilling to reconsider its decision to attack Alison Weir. I am now a former JVP member. I am a member of the general population now. Please suggest some other pro-Palestinians groups I could join. I am even thinking of starting another Jewish group in Kentucky that would be an alternative to JVP. Do you know of any such groups? The only one I have heard of is IJAN (International Jewish Antizionist Network). Is that a good one?

    • "silamcuz" said:

      "Please note that JVP is runned by its members fully and thus, is accountable to them only. If they feel like not working with anyone, its on them to act on it anyway they feel appropriate."

      That is not true at all. I was a JVP chapter leader for years, and I can tell you that JVP is not run by its members at all. JVP is run by a small group of staff and board of directors at the top who make all the decisions. Decisions are handed down from the top to chapter leaders, and handed down from chapter leaders to members.

      JVP is not a democratic organization. JVP members never get to vote on any policy decisions, and certainly not on the decision to attack Alison Weir. Many members were shocked by the attack on Weir, and we asked why we were not informed or consulted before JVP made that public attack.

      Many JVP members are equally shocked by JVP's recent attack on Miko Peled. That is why almost 100 of us JVP members and former members (along with over 200 allies who support Palestine) have created and signed this petition to pressure the JVP staff and board to stop attacking fellow activists.

      Please sign our petition and forward it widely. Anyone can sign it, whether you are a JVP member or not. This is an action we all can take to put some pressure on JVP:

      Petition:

      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhtKy6-pKbF3hRnEvrmE4ew39b8SrGDox5pums_mELW8VfUQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

  • The dark side of Jewish consciousness: manufactured anti-Semitism
  • New statement calls on the movement to focus on Palestine, not divisive internal conflicts
    • I signed this petition. It is entirely appropriate that JVP was mentioned numerous times in the examples. Because in the past several years, JVP has done numerous things to discredit and undermine fellow Palestine activists.

      JVP leaders have made unwarranted accusations of antisemitism against several prominent activists and have worked behind the scenes to get their speaking events cancelled. This is completely unacceptable behavior. It is divisive and destructive.

      If JVP wanted to address antisemitism a positive, helpful way, it would talk with Palestine activists privately and help them improve their language. There is absolutely no excuse for (and no need for) JVP to make public accusations of antisemitism against fellow activists. All it does is destroy their reputations and ruin their credibility. JVP starts that process, and Stand With Us and other zionist organizations come in behind JVP and finish the job of destroying people, using JVP's accusations as proof that the person is an antisemite.

      JVP sees this happening yet keeps making these accusations. So everyone should sign this petition and pressure JVP to improve its behavior.

    • I am glad people pointed out that it wasn't Henry Norr's fault that the full petition text (with examples) was not posted on Mondoweiss. Henry did submit the full text, but a Mondoweiss editor refused to publish it unless the examples were omitted. That was a wrong decision by the Mondoweiss editor. It seems like censorship of the petition. So I would encourage Annie to ask that editor not to censor petitions in the future, and I would encourage her to apologize (in this comment section) to Henry Noor for calling him underhanded.

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • Ha ha. It's funny that the index on the Mondoweiss home page listed Nada's article as having been written by a Jewish man. Someone should fix that.

  • As Trump takes on the neocons, Kristol likens him to Hitler
    • Phil seems to be giving Trump more credit than he deserves and seems to be engaging in wishful thinking. Ascribing more virtue and better motives to Trump than he deserves.
      Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
      A loose cannon spinning around wildly and firing in all directions will sometimes hit a target we approve of.
      Trump is a broken clock and a loose cannon and is a dangerously ignorant and unprincipled man. It probably is a mistake to seem to be supporting him in any way.

  • New West Bank settlement casts light on clandestine role of international support for settlers
  • Campus movement against Israel is largest since anti-Vietnam war movement, Cary Nelson says
    • I love Dalit's sign. Very clever. It' a mathematician's kind of humor. Here's how I read it: "the square root of 48 plus 67 equals 1" or in other words "radical (48+67) equals 1" or in other words "Radical: the land from 48 plus the land from 67 equals 1 state." It's a mathematical pun. I love it. And love Dalit. She is doing great work. Happy New Year everyone.

  • Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Delegitmisation of Israeli apartheid has to happen in the courtroom too
    • Hey Mondoweiss, what happened to the rest of your articles? I used to be able to scroll down and see lots of past articles, like an archive. Now I can't. How do I find your archived articles now? That was a great feature of your website. It would be a shame to lose that.

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • Thanks for writing about Schama’s biased documentary. Schama summed up his bias when he said during the program. “I am a Zionist. How could you not be?”

      Even worse, on my public television station in Kentucky, right after one of the episodes of “The Story of the Jews,” they aired a travel documentary called something like, “Israel, the Royal Tour.” This turned out to be a 60-minute campaign commercial for Benyamin Netanyahu, who was the star of the show. It was stomach-turning. I was appalled that public television would air what was essentially a political advertisement disguised as a travel documentary. I wonder if they got paid to run that. I fear public television is going down the same sad path that public radio went down several years ago: selling out to commercialism, and giving up on public media’s former commitment to unbiased reporting.

  • Several mainstream publications say the two-state solution is dead
    • "And this majority will oppress the Jewish minority and around the merry-go-round we go!"

      Hey "Humble Goyem" jimbowski: that will not happen. Not in Israel any more than it did in South Africa.

      Jews will (finally) write a constitution that guarantees the rights of minorities. Jews will retain control of the police and security services, which will make sure Jews will be safe even though they are a minority. One state is entirely workable. Jews do not need a Jewish majority to make sure Israel stays a safe refuge for Jews.

      All truly successful democracies have constitutions in place to prevent the "tyranny of the majority" (including the United States.) And the Jewish minority in the one state (Israel/Palestine) will be much larger than that of whites in South Africa or of African Americans in the US, too.

  • Moses and Mohammed are not equivalent figures in Jewish and Islamic faiths
    • Thanks talknic. Your reply is the sort of information I was sincerely seeking. Particularly your statements that:

      "The ‘film’ was just another hate inspired slap at Muslims. Another item on the long list of Western atrocities visited on Muslim countries over the last couple of centuries. Keep poking and inciting hatred and eventually something’ll pop.

      "Those M Eastern countries who’ve been invaded (time and again), slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands, occupied, sub-divided, had their resources exploited over the centuries by the ‘West’, have actually been incredibly tolerant. A tiny, tiny minority of Islamic militants or terroristas don’t represent the millions of peaceful Muslims inhabiting the planet. Nor do they represent Islam as a whole.

      There are millions of peaceful Muslims living in the ‘West’. Those who’ve taken to the streets in protest are less than 1%. Those who engaged in any violence even less."

      Your explanation puts it all into perspective. Rami Khouri does the same in his article at

      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/Sep-15/187976-a-week-of-criminals-and-culture-clashes.ashx#axzz26lTwccJO

      He points out that there are at least five separate things going on in the reaction to the film, and it is a mistake to lump them all together and blame Islam for them. They are:

      1. "understandable and spontaneous anger by pious Muslims (usually expressed in non-violent demonstrations)

      2. "pent-up resentment and anger against the United States and other Western countries for a variety of different reasons (biased policies on Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Islamism and democracy promotion, for starters).

      3. "a struggle between mainstream Muslim Brotherhood types and more hard-line fundamentalist Salafists over who will shape their national political systems.

      4. "continued regional expansion of terror groups linked to Al-Qaeda that deliberately target American official or public facilities.

      5. "criminal elements who take advantage of a tumultuous period of change when central governments do not have full control of security"

      Khouri suggests that blaming Islam for the violent responses of a relatively few Muslims would be like blaming Christianity for the actions of "the terrorist Timothy McVeigh, Christian fundamentalists who blow up abortion clinics, those few Americans who have burned down Islamic mosques, Sikh temples or Black churches .... The criminals in this mix must be viewed and dealt with very differently from the others who are angry, energetic and excitable, but not necessarily criminal in either their intent or their conduct."

      I think your reply, and Khouri's article, answer my question. It is not reasonable to blame Islam for the violence. It may be true that the mentality of killing people for religious reasons is present in some forms of Islam. However, the same mentality still exists in some forms of Christianity and Judaism. And there are recent examples of criminals and fringe elements in all three religions who have put that sick mentality into practice.

      The thing I find most encouraging is that Imams in Egypt issued religious fatwahs saying that it is forbidden to engage in violence while protesting the offensive film. That is the kind of religion I like.

    • (If you are not easily offended and want to see it Google: Ganesh Christ Onion)

      I thought the Onion’s satirical article about the X-rated cartoon was hilarious, and made the point eloquently: What other religion is there that kills people for making offensive art about the religion? Does anyone know of such a religion besides Islam? Serious question (not rhetorical.) Maybe other religions do this too? Does anyone know?

      I am totally opposed to Islamophobia and have organized several demonstrations in my city to denounce Islamophobia. That having been said, the Onion article raises a serious question: Why do some Muslims believe Islam requires killing people for making art? Is this a standard practice of some forms Islam at this point in their development (as it was standard practice in Christianity at one point — Salem witch burnings and Spanish Catholic inquisition come to mind) and in Judaism at one point (death penalty for blasphemy as cited in Torah)?

      Anyone up for a serious and factual discussion on this? (Not a lot of shouting, please.)

      I would like to hear from some knowledgeable Muslims. I want to learn about this. In particular, I am wondering if this overreaction to images of the Prophet (of God Peace Be Upon Him) is actually an outpouring of rage over the decades-long US wars and ongoing hostile actions against various Muslim countries (which makes it appear that the US is waging war against Islam,) or is it simply normative for some forms of Islam at this point in the course of their religious development?

    • (If you are not easily offended and want to see it Google: Ganesh Christ Onion)

      I thought the Onion's satirical article about the X-rated cartoon was hilarious, and made the point eloquently: What other religion is there that kills people for making offensive art about the religion? Does anyone know of such a religion besides Islam? Serious question (not rhetorical.) Maybe other religions do this too? Does anyone know?

      I am totally opposed to Islamophobia and have organized several demonstrations in my city to denounce Islamophobia. That having been said, the Onion article raises a serious question: Why does Islam kill people for making art? Is this a standard practice of Islam at this point in its development (as it was standard practice in Christianity at one point -- Salem witch burnings and Spanish Catholic inquisition come to mind) and in Judaism at one point (death penalty for blasphemy as cited in Torah)?

      Anyone up for a serious and factual discussion on this? (Not a lot of shouting, please.)

      I would like to hear from some knowledgeable Muslims. I want to learn about this. In particular, I am wondering if this overreaction to images of the Prophet (of God Peace Be Upon Him) is actually an outpouring of rage over the decades-long US wars and ongoing hostile actions against various Muslim countries (which makes it appear that the US is waging war against Islam,) or is it simply normative for Islam at this point in its development as a religion?

  • AEPi Sigma Pi Stands with Israel?
    • Thank you, Benjamin, my Jewish brother. Yasher Koach. Well done. You have done a mitzvah for tikkun olam. (A good deed for repairing the brokenness of the world.) This is one of the best, most revealing, most encouraging articles I have read lately. It should be forwarded widely.
      -- Russ Greenleaf

  • Huffington Post features Israel lobby propaganda in slander against the Presbyterian Church
  • Jewish press concoct threat against 200 Jewish students in Florida university
    • Excellent reporting, Phan Nguyen. Excellent investigative journalism. This story is top-level work, worthy of any news outlet in the country, including the New York Times, etc. This is why I read Mondoweiss and support it financially. Thank you, Phan Nguyen. Keep up the good work.

  • Episcopalian twit (a review of JFK's former mistress's memoir)
    • WTF? Sorry to spoil your fun kiddies, but what is this post doing on Mondoweiss? How did this make it past the editors or whatever arbiters of good taste there are in this organization? What is the relevance of Phil’s post to anything of importance to any of us regarding the Middle East? What is the point of insulting Episcopalians and Protestants with the title of this post and the content? Especially considering that my Episcopalian, Methodist, and Presbyterian friends will soon be voting on divesting from companies profiting from the occupation, which could be the biggest boost for the BDS movement ever in the USA? (Would you run a title, “Jewish twit?”) When did Mondoweiss become a gossip blog about sex, with explicit sexual talk in the comments section? Did I miss something here? Or did Phil write this immediately after the four cups of wine at the Seder? I really don’t know what this is, but I would rather not see any more posts like this. Or at least put a warning label on it. Maybe “WARNING: Irrelevant, bigoted, and in bad taste; gratuitous sexual gossip and comments; nothing at all to do with “The War of Ideas in the Middle East.”

  • Israeli government sending 100 Israelis abroad to 'defend the state' during Israel Apartheid Week
    • Where can I get a list of these 100 Israelis? Their lectures would be boycottable under the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), because they are representing Israel and they are participating in the "Brand Israel" campaign. It would be good to know who they are.

Showing comments 23 - 1
Page: