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Total number of comments: 14550 (since 2009-08-08 06:29:45)


I wonder where the struggle between universal human rights and - “A Jew is by the nature of his creation a purer being. Similarly with the holiness of the land: The soil of Israel is essentially holier, the stones are holier because the land was destined by God to serve as the place of the Children of Israel” is headed. - "Either we are all sacred or none of us is" - Paul Fourhorns Tenoso

Showing comments 14550 - 14501

  • Goldberg tries to police view that Israel's actions fuel anti-Semitism
    • "It’s always wrong to blame Jews for Israel’s abuses. -

      the concept of Birthright is very tricky , isn't it ?
      Why would people associate Jews in the diaspora with Zionism ?

      Is it supposed to be like a Fed put, with all the upside and none of the downside ?

  • Palestinian babies not included on Israel gov't list of most popular names
    • De facto if not de jure, Shmuel.

      There is no quality control in that area in Israel.
      Any rabbi can say whatever he wants to the Yediot Idiot or to the soldiers as they prepare to go into Gaza.

      It's very like Israel's attitude to international law.

    • It would SO embarrassing for the most popular name for a boy in Eretz Israel Hashlemah to be Muslim since Muslims do not count as fully human under rabbinic law.

    • I think I know why. Mohammed is the most popular boys' name amongst Muslims and ven in a country like the UK with a small Muslim population it comes in the top 20. It would probably be top 5 in Israel given that Jews are likely to choose from a wider range of names (Ari, Whiney, Needy, Sleepy, Dopey, Yossi etc )

  • Homegrown jihadis and the limits of the Israel lobby
    • Israel always says that the Middle East is a dirty neighborhood, a jungle, take no prisoners sort of area. And ISIS would probably say the same. It's not Chevy Chase, is it? It's the only language they know. It's for their own good.

    • And post Protective Slaughter we are supposed to believe that Israel is on our side? Why ?

    • Behind the guys with the knives is an army of administrators. They got Mosul's electricity sorted out in a few hours. They have serious money and resources behind them. They are more efficient than the US was in Iraq. No issues round loyalty in Iraq. They saw a problem with the Sunni population and they went for it and the Iraqi army was bought to run away.

      I don't like them but they are far more than their NYT coverage.
      And they know how to play Americans like a violin. They know where that foreign adventure G spot is and they tickle it like the pros they are.

      Behead 2 Yanks and 6 years of Obama stay at home no more wars dissolves in 2 days.

      link to

      "The Cook Political Report on Friday noted the return of the “security Mom”, voters once focused exclusively on domestic issues but who shifted after the 9/11 attacks to worry about the “safety” of their children in an unstable world.
      The turning point was the beheadings last month of two US journalists by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or Isis. Once videos of their killings were posted on the internet by Isis, their deaths amounted to virtual public executions.
      Bill McInturff, a Republican-aligned pollster who along with a Democratic colleague conducts the closely watched Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, said the change in public opinion had been “sudden”. That poll showed 61 per cent of respondents thought military action against Isis was in America’s national interest.
      Although he admits it may be “harsh” to say, “when foreign policy matters, it is when American lives have been lost”.
      The beheadings had the biggest impact of any news story followed by Americans in the past five years of his polling. “This was a big deal,” he said."

      This is also a very good analysis

      link to

    • ISIS is very like the early Zionists- a well funded well armed well trained crowd of foreigners want to establish a state in the Middle East, using extreme violence against a disorganized Arab army.
      No interest in human rights, ends justifying means. Ask Ari Shavit.

    • Is beheading a few westerners as bad as murdering 500 children? I'm not sure.

  • Naive? At a Jewish spiritual retreat center, I insist on talking about Gaza
    • Another thing, Shmuel. Cultures do dumb down especially when a lot of thinkers leave and the values of the ignorant dominate. Sayed Kashua is the latest in a very long line. A lot of the people who could have enriched Israeli culture are living abroad now.

      I think about say Orthodox girls and what kind of cultural inspiration they are likely to get in monotone IDF YESHA Israel.

      Israeli culture doesn't seem particularly blessed with resilience. Maybe that's a better way of putting it.

    • Great comment, Shmuel

      I do think the culture is a big part of the problem. Trauma as well, obviously. But what is it in the educational system that overrides what kids inherit from their families about living a good life with respect for other people? Do you think it's all down to trauma ? It seems like the culture wasn't strong enough to show people another way.

      And yeah, of course there are deep aspects and Israel has poets and some great artists but at the height of the madness in July what was coming out with 95% approval was pathetic. And it's so hard for thinkers to stand up to that.

    • Invitation only, Gene. Sorry. You need to keep talking to your therapist and maybe when you are older if you make enough progress we could think about inviting you. But you have to engage first.

    • Mooser

      If the US army or the Russians ever have to, shall we say, mop up resistance to a peace deal in Israel/Palestine that involves maverick ex IDF it won't be pretty.

    • Maybe they are called filisteeni in Arabic and they don't need p.
      The ignorance is breathtaking.

    • German is a great language if you need to construct a word- they clip together - you can call anything a wahn/mania - eg Sausage + Wahn, Building + Wahn, Money + wahn
      Zionism is a Landwahn

    • Blood madness

      I would have expected someone like you to be able to stand back and take a nuanced view of the madness that Israel went through in July but 95% is pretty comprehensive so even people like you were roped in .

      July 18, 2014, 7:45 am We are hoping and praying for the safety of our soldiers, in battle with a vicious enemy and for the innocent civilians on both sides. - See more at: link to

      No awareness of why Gaza might want to lose the occupation or what sort of PR damage Israel was doing to itself.

    • Jon

      "On the post itself, it’s always amazing how the extremists on both sides echo and mirror each other. The Jewish man who wants to get rid of the Palestinians mirrors the Palestinians who would like to see us gone… -"

      Your descent into Blutwahn during July was fascinating . Most people just want to see Israelis living in peace with Palestinians but Israeli society will have to be reformatted for that to happen. It would be far better if you stayed- otherwise you'll bring the same crap to wherever you go next.

    • Shmuel

      Take another settler colonial society with an invented identity- Ulster Unionists- and look at what happens when the memes break down after the natives gain their rights.

      Israel has a massive identity crisis coming up. Who exactly are Israeli Jews and can they be Israeli without going to war every 4 years ?

      I think language has a lot to do with how issues are framed and how ideas are shared.

      And if Israeli culture were deeper maybe it would have been able to withstand the encroachment of the right wing IDF/settler Weltanschauung into most of the important areas of Israeli public life.

      When it all goes tits up the Israeli Jewish people will still be there but what sort of identity will they have ?

    • It's very interesting to listen to people like Hass and Finkelstein talk about the influence their parents had on their thinking and compare it to the 95% of Israelis who supported the last round of carnage in Gaza. It must be related to how Israelis are educated . Because how did 95% of the people become so indoctrinated that they can't see beyond the Hebrew bubble?

      If you think it's not the Hebrew issue- what is it? Is it a specifically Jewish insularity problem? My guess is that the language has a lot to do with it. Israel is so out of touch with the rest of the world.

      No cultural continuity and a lot of stuff was made up on the spot in the 20s and 30s. Zionism is full of shit. It has to be in order to run apartheid successfully.

      The overwhelming belief in violence as the answer to Israel's systematic problems. What exactly is the problem in Israeli culture and where does it come from? Answers on a postcard.

    • link to

      "In _Teaching as a Subversive Activity_ (1969), Neil Postman
      and Charles Weingartner argued that "crap detectors" have
      played a key role in history:

      One way of looking at the history of the human
      group is that it has been a continuing struggle
      against the veneration of 'crap.' Our
      intellectual history is a chronicle of the anguish
      and suffering of men(and women) who tried to help their
      contemporaries see that some part of their fondest
      beliefs were misconceptions, faulty assumptions,
      superstitions, and even outright lies. (p. 3)."

      Would it be possible for Lynn to rise above the barbs and do something that recognizes just how crap Zionism has become ? Forget about what the bots say- just stay focused and try to show them how deluded they are . No need to even mention palestinians.

      I like the idea of sitting shiva for tikkun olam . It would make a great workshop.

    • If I were Lynne Lopez S I would take a different tack with the morons. I wouldn't say anything about Gaza. I'd just talk about hypocrisy and the difficulty of inner peace while harboring feelings of hatred

      When a man finds no peace within himself it is useless seeking it elsewhere, as they say in France.

    • This "spiritual" defence of barbarism reminds me of an interaction between Shavit and Levy on Israeli TV

      link to

      Shavit: Gideon, You want a secular, democratic state. You’re worse than the extremists among the Palestinians.
      Levy: Terrific. OK. Perfect. Anti-Semite.
      Shavit: And this is a kind of anti-Semitism, an unwillingness to recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
      Levy: [Just] say Nazi.
      Shavit: No, this is an extreme anti-Israeli approach that you spread like poison around the world. And then you call it demagoguery. This is demagoguery of the worst kind, your demagoguery.
      Levy: I’m a little tired of Ari Shavit. Who tries to have it all. It is … I want to refresh people’s memory, once and for all. We came to a country inhabited by another people.

      Margalit: Oh, delegitimizing of Israel. We understand.
      Shavit: Then let’s leave. That’s why you’re not worried about Iran, because you agree with Ahmedinejad. You think we should go back to Austria. That’s what you’re saying.
      Levy: [Just say] Adolf Hitler.

      Israel has a particularly shallow culture- they ensured that when they dropped everything in favour of a dead language and moved to a land virtually none of them had any familiarity with.

      India has a much more resilient culture with far more real life experience to fall back on

      "The four standard methods for dealing with conflict : conciliation, placating with gifts, sowing dissension and using force. It is easier to employ a method earlier in the order than a later one . Placating with gifts is twice as hard as conciliation: sowing dissension is three times as hard and use of force four times as hard."

      Kautilya, the Arthashastra

      " One must always be vigilant, without a moment's carelessness, against the eight sins that the mind perpetrates

      Kamam or craving
      Krodham or anger
      Lobham or greed
      Moham or attachment
      Pride "

      Man's primary duty is toi keep all these things at a safe distance from himself"

      Sai baba

      China too

      "Those who assist a leader by means of the Tao do not use arms to coerce the world, for these things tend to reverse - brambles grow where an army has been, bad years follow a great war.

      Weapons are inauspicious instruments, not the tools of the enlightened. When there is no choice but to use them, it is best to be calm and free from greed, and not to celebrate victory. Those who celebrate victory are bloodthirsty, and the bloodthirsty cannot have their way with the world"

      Sun Tzu

      Even the US

      "The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its power, and when they realize that at the centre of the universe dwells the great spirit and that this centre is really everywhere, it is within each of us"

      Black Elk

      Poor Judaism. So lost.

      Zionism was just one big inherent mistake.

  • The rabbi at the shitshow
    • "For 47 years this imaginary left has been keeping its fingers crossed for the occupation. It’s not that it supports it, heaven forbid, but haste (and extremism) is from the devil. In fact, this left perpetuates the occupation; it’s the pretty face that stands behind it. - "

      It stands side by side with the imaginary brigades of Progressive Jews of the USA

    • "BDS is annoying, but will amount to nothing of note. If you study,BDS had very little to do,either time change in SA."

      Complacency combined with Jewish smugness can be so dangerous

      link to

      "Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said on Thursday the credit crisis had exceeded anything he had imagined and admitted he was wrong to think that banks would protect themselves from financial market chaos.

      I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organisations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders,” he said.

      Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, defended himself, saying that virtually no one had foreseen the meltdown of the mortgage market, or the inadequacy of banking capital standards in preventing the collapse of institutions such as Bear Stearns."

    • Israel has previous on destruction of charity for Gaza- second flotilla I think and there are probably more cases. they also trash Gaza exports- It's is a cruel, inhuman system they run there. They hate Gaza because it reminds them of 1948 and what they did and the early 40s and what Jews did not do

      link to
      The anonymous soldier in Barnea’s article also recounts a similar event prior to the Shujaiya massacre:
      We got close to Kibbutz Nahal Oz and then they gathered us together. You know how it is in the army - when told to gather, you gather. Waiting for us was a bunch of Breslev Hasidic Jews singing “Messiah, Messiah,” dancing and bouncing around. We formed a circle around them, and a bunch of fighters danced with them in ecstasy
      Israel’s ground assault on the Gaza Strip began late on Thursday 17 July, with tanks receiving orders “to open fire at anything that moved.” Over the next few days, the Shujaiya district of Gaza City was subjected to intense and indiscriminate bombardment, including 600 shells fired by an artillery battalion and 100 one-ton bombs dropped from the air.
      Rontzki’s speech to Israeli soldiers recalls his time as Israeli army chief rabbi, when, in 2009, he told religious students that troops who “show mercy” towards the enemy in wartime will be “damned.” During Israel’s so-called “Operation Cast Lead” massacre in 2008-09, the army rabbinate under his leadership distributed inflammatory publications that referred to the massacre as “a war on murderers.”
      Rontzki was one of the founding members of Itamar, a fanatical Israeli settlement colony near Nablus, where has also led a yeshiva, or religious seminary."

    • They are so scared of BDS.
      The mask will be removed and everyone will see what has become of organised Judaism.

    • Aliyah (going up) is no longer an appropriate word to describe moving to Israel, a failing state run by sociopaths.

    • There has to be some outlet in Jewish society for the feelings of people who know that what Israel is doing is wrong. Otherwise Zionism is going to sink .
      There is just too much difference now between the original Hillel and the modern Hillel and the money can't hide it any more.

    • Zero self awareness

      link to

      "Anti-Islamic ads will begin appearing on 100 New York City buses and two subway entrances next week, but transit officials have rejected an ad from the same group that includes the phrase "Killing Jews."

      The six approved ads show an image of beheaded American journalist James Foley standing next to his killer.

      The ads are paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative run by blogger Pamela Geller. She says the campaign highlights points about Islam ignored by government and media. "

      And nobody says anything

    • link to

      Clif Brown says:
      July 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      What gives value to Judaic ethics over the centuries was made possible by the inability to be the power in the world or in any region. This denial allowed the maintenance of an ethos distinct from might makes right. It could not be corrupted because it was prevented from tasting the apple of power. The alternative to utter despair under continual oppression was keeping the faith, for otherwise the suffering would have been meaningless.
      Now the apple of power is being eagerly devoured and my impression is that if questions of ethics from the Judaic tradition were posed to most Israelis, the answer might be, “what the hell are you talking about?!” And yet there is a remnant that is closely held – the idea of being the victim, even in the absence of any oppressor…it is like an empty shell…a container with no content…carrying the ark with no covenant inside and no understanding that anything should be inside. Or perhaps a better analogy is that the ark was dropped and nobody noticed.

    • They will say anything for money. The incentives are all wrong.

    • "Donors" AKA plutocrats and the major orgs like Hillel decide everything even if as now the hasbara is nonsense. And something about Jewish culture keeps most people in line.
      Part of the pathology of Zionism.

      link to

      “I can’t talk to you until this conflict is over,” one relative writes me. I don’t know if she’s joking. Except I haven’t heard from her.
      One of my Jewish writer groups becomes about responding to “anti-Israel commenters,” and not about writing.
      I have to get off of Facebook. I feel so alone.
      I remember feeling this way before Iraq. I did not believe there were WMDs. I did not think the invasion was a good idea. I did not want my boss at the Jewish paper – a super liberal guy – to write an editorial in favor of the war. He did.
      I remember this feeling from the last Israeli incursion into Lebanon. It seemed like a bad idea, but saying so publicly seemed to be an even worse idea. For a few weeks, that is, until most other people came around.
      “We just have to wait it out,” my husband says now, noting how history vindicates liberal positions. He doesn’t oppose rooting out Hamas, just the Israeli victim mentality that accompanies it. I know he feels even lonelier than I do, one of the last card-carrying Meretz Israelis left in America.
      Will everyone else come around on this subject?
      From the pictures of the recent pro-Israel rally at the United Nations, I doubt it. But I don’t need them to come around. I just wish I was allowed to express a different opinion without being called naïve, simple or a self-hating Jew.
      All my life I was taught that the beauty of Judaism is that it’s vibrant, open to debating many different opinions. I wonder if that was ever true.
      And in the end, I wonder if any of it matters – what we post on Facebook, what we comment on others’ posts, all our mindless social media chatter.
      Some pundits say that the court of public opinion is the war. If so, we Jewish liberals are the casualties. "

    • no more silent consent or loud indifference

      link to

    • This discussion really belongs in "US politics" (aka the ongoing crisis in Judaism).
      Leshaw is a prominent example but the issue is far deeper than just her case and the impossibility of speaking coherently about Israel.

      link to

      "“I hear a lot of pain over the current tension between the terrible, terrible things that are happening to people in Gaza,” says Rabbi Amy Schwartzman of Virginia’s Temple Rodef Shalom, “and the feeling that Israel needs to defend itself.”
      “Judaism has a moral standard…. When that morality is compromised, we need to talk about it publicly.”
      The frequent unwillingness to do just that – not to mention the vitriol with which such questions are often greeted – has meant that for many the only option is silence, or anonymity.
      A recent college graduate who asked not to be identified says: “There definitely is this huge discomfort and shame…. The past month has been really difficult. There’s really huge tension where I’ve felt like, ‘where the hell do I go?’”
      Unlike some who say they aren’t going to synagogue right now “because I don’t want to deal with what I’ll hear” (as one person put it), this young woman attended services on a recent Friday night “because I was feeling really emotionally torn.... But also out of curiosity, I didn’t know what [my rabbi] would say.”
      “Then the rabbi was saying all these things about peace, but never said the words ‘Palestinians’ or ‘Gaza’.” Ultimately the congregation was urged to attend a pro-Israel rally.
      Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, reports that soon after the upsurge in hostilities, a donor with strong Israel ties told her that his children “don’t want anything to do with Israel, and they don’t necessarily want anything to do with Judaism”; at about the same time, a woman who grew up in “a very strong Jewish community” told Jacobs that “her social values aren’t lining up with what she’s seeing coming out of Israel.”
      “I think the Jewish community has just been so tone-deaf about this,” she goes on. “It’s completely tone deaf to what’s in people’s minds.”
      Another anonymous speaker, who’s worked in the organized Jewish community for years, says that “with the younger generation… their set of values is one that’s based in universal justice, tolerance of the other, particularly of the disenfranchised.”
      He adds: “Here they look at a situation where there is a dissonance… and the dissonance is deepening all the time.”
      Even those who haven’t witnessed a pulling away from Israel or the community report what Rabbi Peter Knobel, rabbi emeritus of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Illinois called “frustration and a tremendous amount of pain… I think what people are looking for is something to give them hope and they’re beginning to despair that this is a permanent problem.”

    • "To the wicked, everything serves as pretext." ~ Voltaire

      link to Lerner @LTCPeterLerner • 5h
      #Gaza terrorists launched rockets that smashed within the Strip near Shifa hospital. Nothing todo with #IDF!

      Leshaw either supports this or she doesn't. There's no trangulation afterwards.
      Israel is very, very unwell.
      Gatekeepers like Leshaw should get out of the way. Israel needs a mom who can take over and bring the kid to a medical facility where it may have to spend the next decade. That Ziocaine abuse is really hard to deal with within the community.

    • Israel has been morphing for some time . The pathology of its descent into the final destructive form is very like the process by which a man becomes a paedophile.

      link to

      "Jim Gamble, the founding head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said there was a theory that men such as Bridger and Hazell became caught up in a "spiral of abuse"."They begin to want more, they want access not to still images but to video images, and then they want to get more real experience."

      You think one example like the Abu Khdeir murder is the pits , that it can't get any worse, but you have to take the longer view, that the process that drives the behavior is not yet finished because the people who run the model are still iterating away.

      July was an important step in the descent but by no means the end.
      you must be so proud.

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