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Total number of comments: 16172 (since 2009-08-08 06:29:45)

seafoid

"Either we are all sacred or none of us is" - Paul Fourhorns Tenoso http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/gaza-murderous-melodrama/ "One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice. The Hebrew proverb says: “If force doesn’t work, use more force.” jon s November 16, 2014, 6:56 am "Hophmi, for participating in efforts to promote Jewish-Muslim understanding , is ridiculed, while Max and David , for spreading lies and promoting hatred , are to be admired." I just think Judaism needs to get back to that justice setting.

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  • I want my country back
    • Parasites are fascinating, Just. Such a key part of nature. Why wouldn't similar processes work on our brains ? Plutocrats and their memes- exactly the same

      Zionism reminds me of cordyceps with Judaism as the ant

      link to youtube.com

      or as this snail

    • Wall St is deluded.

      Inequality is bad for equity valuations

      Earnings in the S&P 500 look good because of low interest rates, low labor costs, low commodity prices, cost-cutting and tax optimization but not because of better sales -
      there has been almost no sales growth for the last 4 years. In other words, earnings have increased but not because companies are doing more business.

      It's all going to come crashing down .

    • "I want my country back"

      Even if it was released from the clammy grip of the bots the plutocrats would still be holding it by the balls.
      Get rid of all rent seekers and give Main St wage increases.

    • You need to incorporate mind altering parasites

      link to news.nationalgeographic.com

      And mindsuckers - Zionism is one of those
      link to ngm.nationalgeographic.com

    • Rudoren reminds me of Mencken in his old age, when the country he analysed and skewered so expertly in his middle age suddenly became alien to him. The kids grew up and they thought differently to him and there was nothing he could do about it.

    • Obama has played Netanyahu like a violin. The shouty small dog versus the wily fox.

      Netanyahu has been relentless, the asshole.

      link to nybooks.com

      "Only a fraction of Obama’s May 19 speech was allotted to Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state. Yet the concrete language of that part—which contained names and dates, if not numbers—drew immediate and heated comment. The most controversial sentence was doubtless this: “The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.” It was a plain statement of an obvious truth. Obama, in addition, said that the shape of a Palestinian state would be based on the 1967 borders of Israel, only altered in accordance with “mutually agreed [land] swaps.”
      This had been the common understanding and phraseology of American-Israeli-Palestinian discussions over two decades; but in the past several years, the word “1967” was used less than before; and this became the detail Benjamin Netanyahu seized upon. Immediately after the speech, he issued a statement in Jerusalem that the 1967 borders of Israel were “indefensible.” He repeated the same objection after he met with Obama in the White House. The differences between the two leaders were played out once more in their speeches to the annual AIPAC convention.
      Without backing down, Obama explained the meaning of his reference to 1967: the borders of course would not stay the same, but land swaps would offset the differences. This candor, on the occasions when Obama shows it, is an impressive quality, and it seemed to be appreciated even by the AIPAC audience. Besides, on May 19 he conceded most of what Netanyahu could have asked. He alluded to Gaza only once. He offered no criticism of new Israeli settlements, as he had done in Cairo two years ago, and made no mention of the dispossession of Palestinians on the West Bank.
      From his silence on these points, it was clear that after the failure of the most recent shuttle diplomacy and the resignation of George Mitchell on May 13, Obama personally planned to initiate no further negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He trusted that under the visible pressure of an Arab Spring of their own, now gathering on both sides of Israel’s borders, most Israelis would eventually see his words as a kindly prophecy.
      Netanyahu struck back as if Obama had mounted a deliberate assault with a threat of lasting enmity. Yet Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC was emollient compared to his speech to Congress on May 24. There he made a conquest that can have few precedents. He began with brash familiarity, in a backslapping salute to Joe Biden; spoke with boyish humor about his early years as a diplomat within the Beltway, and his knowledge of an America beyond it; reestablished, with passion and simplicity, the close ties between America and Israel that Obama had sought to view with an impartial loyalty; in short, pulled out all the stops to undercut President Obama on his native ground. The speech itself was a tissue of clichés, anecdotes, and half-truths, but delivered with dramatic buoyancy and urgency as if his life depended on it.
      Congress gave Netanyahu twenty-nine standing ovations. How did he do it? By presenting himself to his audience as an all-but-American politician—one less lucky than they, and more brave, a leader with a fight on his hands; a real fight, in his own backyard and not six thousand miles away. He spoke with gusto of his part in an earlier episode of that never-ending war:
      I was nearly killed in a firefight inside the Suez Canal—I mean that literally: inside the Suez Canal. I was going down to the bottom, with a forty-pound pack, ammunition pack on my back, and somebody reached out to grab me and they’re still looking for the guy who did such a stupid thing.
      Netanyahu did not speak of the subsidized increase of Israeli settlements that accounts for the “certain facts on the ground” he had mentioned at the White House. He invoked the biblical names of Judea and Samaria as if they were as natural to modern Israel as St. Louis is to the state of Missouri. And Congress loved him, or seemed to think it should, from the very moment when he said in a flattering exordium: “Congratulations America. Congratulations, Mr. President. You got bin Laden. Good riddance!” The performance combined the maximum of demagogy with the maximum of smarm, and it mixed aggression, paternalism, and a preening collective self-love, in proportions that Netanyahu assumed Americans would be comforted by. Israel, this speech said, has everything in common with America. We are the home of freedom and wisdom among the ancients, just as you Americans are among the moderns.
      Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was also part of a larger strategy of his right-wing coalition. He got his invitation to address Congress from Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, and the Republican Party is now working to detach Jewish donors from the Democrats and to convert Republicans at large to the Likud and neoconservative politics that support a greater Israel. In the pitch offered to Americans, taking sections of the West Bank from Palestinians is as warranted as the taking of lands from American Indians. Mike Huckabee has indicated his sympathy with this point of view. Sarah Palin wore a Star of David on her necklace in her recent liberty tour. Glenn Beck has planned a mass event, “Restoring Courage,” on August 24 at the Southern Wall excavations in the city of Jerusalem. Americans of the chauvinist and evangelical right are being invited to think of Israel as a second homeland.

      Considered as a response to this predicament, Obama’s speech at the State Department, with its broad-gauge pronouncements and its candor regarding Palestine, was utterly overmatched by Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up. Netanyahu’s belief in his immoderate purpose is stronger than Obama’s belief in his moderate purpose."

  • On Netanyahu's apology to Palestinian citizens of Israel
    • Netanyahu's apology is like a Fox apology. The damage is already done, the circus has moved on and sorry is cheap. No change next time around.

  • Israel spying scandal comes to light one week before Iran negotiation deadline
  • In Israel, the mask is finally off
    • Yonah

      The Foreign Minister at the time- what was his name? He was quite decent. Israel never had a FM like him afterwards. The moment passed and Israel went rightwards and became more cruel.

    • Bintbiba

      I read recently about the Battle of Aughrim in Ireland , 1690 . The Irish lost. The soldiers were stripped of all valuables and left to rot on the battlefield. A commentator noticed how pale their skin was , a whiteness on the land.

      And if you look at Irish people today we are so pale.
      link to gaa.ie

      That is continuity. The music is part of that. There is so much knowledge in the music. Palestinians have the continuity too. Israelis do not. One reason they are so vulnerable to demagogues and Biblical horseshit.

    • The Fed and the one percent are driving the US over the cliff. I don't think it's advisable, myself. Certainly not in a democracy.

      Janet is hopeless.

      Watch as Wall St's fantasy about Main St wage inflation crashes and burns this summer. Equities are trading at 27 times average earnings over the last 10 years.
      Credit is priced with zero risk margin.

      too far
      too high
      too soon

      Also, catalan, it's very hard to maintain the façade of neutrality as a bot, innit

    • PFO

      Cruelty in the name of land is the same everywhere
      Jews whining about how they are treated in the US
      as a comfortable minority is a joke.

    • She didn't go into that. I just saw the sadness in her eyes.

      Reminded me of gol na mban san ár, the crying of the women after the slaughter, composed in Ireland in the late 1500s after another English massacre

      You have to keep going but it's very hard

    • I met a Tamil refugee today. From Jaffna. Left 5 years ago after the Government killed up to 70,000 Tamils in the final battle against the Tigers. She said it was hell. I was thinking about American middle class Jews in universities whining about their sense of victimhood.

    • Seuss saw racism in Korea or somewhere after ww2 and wrote the book. He wouldn't have been a Zionist.

    • Is Israel about a mask or is it something else ?

      Handsome liberal democratic gay friendly eternally sexy Dorian Israel has a dark secret. He swapped reality for eternal hasbara. Every vile deed of moral degradation leaves its mark on a picture hanging in Gaza which shows a very different Dorian.

    • Gaza saw Israel without the mask from day 1. Cruel heartless bastards wearing Stars of David.

    • Israel is a very sick place. BDS will help it re enter reality.

  • Jeb Bush bashes Iran talks as 'foolish' and hails Israeli settlements as 'new apartment buildings in Jerusalem'
    • The GOP is hopeless. Very few votes to get over the line in Zionism.
      The GOP need to get Latinos rather than rich Zionists.

  • Washington 'sits shiva' for the 2-state solution
  • The liberal Zionist lament: Joe Klein and Jodi Rudoren try to explain away Israeli racism
    • Maxi

      the dual fantasy of helplessness and unlimited power

      and Yanks are beginning to see through it

      Duh

    • Rudoren is in danger of being left isolated while the people move on, like a homophobe as the population went over to the side of gay marriage. Repeating hasbara memes may not be career enhancing for much longer.

    • This paper is very interesting on the subject of bias "

      The Role of Decision-Making Biases in Ireland's Banking Crisis

      link to esri.ie

    • Of “Israeli Arabs,” Klein asserted incredibly, “their loyalty is to Israel.” -

      They can't have any Palestinians on to speak for themselves because they'll only say something incoherent, right, Joe ?

      link to youtube.com

      "Slim Williams delivers a stump speech in blackface. This was an important part of nearly every minstrel show -- a performer delivers a political speech filled with puns and malaprops. The speaker's demeanor is reminiscent of the pomposity of Zip Coon; he aspires to great dignity, wisdom and intelligence, but his hilarious mangling of language always makes him appear foolish and ignorant."

      And now Sabras are at it - and Jews were so prominent in desegregation and everything

      ya salaam

  • American Jews are taking back their power from Israel
    • Hoppy should talk to some Muslims via his outreach programs to see how they viewed Protective Slaughter.

    • Good old Jew hatred. Nothing to do with Sabra sons of bitches who think cruelty is politically effective

    • What age are you, Hoppy? Israel is like a FRED process- Fast Rise, exponential decay
      It'll be even more odious next year and you think the kids are gonna go with Likud ?
      Go for a lie down.

    • Israeli Judaism went this way
      link to youtube.com

      American Judaism went off in other directions

      Impossible to triangulate

    • The speech and the arrogance and the racism of the election finally cracked the monolith.
      Israel had been running on fumes for some time. In Hebrew it's fine to decide peace is pointless but they never translated successfully into English. Israelis do not give a f$ck and the penny finally started to drop for Americans. Bad faith .

      The bots took away the fig leaf of hope and they are paying for it now. Hope is for goy losers, they thought..

      I can imagine well intentioned anti BDS activists who wanted to take a stand against something they felt was unjust because Israel would deliver a better way. The stab these people got in the back is unforgivable. Bad faith is the essence of Zionism .

      link to haaretz.com

      "Netanyahu's reelection takes away pro-Israel students' most powerful tool: the existence of a government committed to peace. "The situation has gotten so bad, so indefensible, that, over the past year, the pro-Israel community has given up on defending Netanyahu's policies. Instead, on-campus activism consists of harmless events about Israel’s startup scene or innovative water conservation research. Even “defensive” actions by pro-Israel groups against student government BDS resolutions no longer target the foundation of the BDS movement (that there are human rights violations occurring and that the best way to stop them is to cut ties with those complicit in them), for while they often lack critical context, the citations in the BDS resolutions about Israel’s human rights violations are ironclad. When the pro-Israel camp cannot present an alternative to the cycle of violence, it is very hard to oppose loud, angry students who say they have the answer. - "

  • Why did Herzog run scared? He fears the Israeli people
    • Oman

      You never see stock pictures of Oman where everyone is in uniform either. Only in Judistan.

      And why has Israel never produced a book of poetry as good as Rumi's? any ideas ?

    • Annie

      the Likud breakthrough was in the 1977 election when Begin, a Polish Jew, harnessed the frustration of the Mizrahim with the Ashkenazi dominated Labor party and its Ashkenazi focus .

      That was also linked to the contemporary phenomenon of politics by poorer people as the post war consensus broke down. Also happened in India with the Congress party losing influence, for example.

      The right took over Israel - the left were never very kind to Palestinians but the right tried to create a different reality- like the GOP with Reagan.

      Bennett came along 30 years and many iterations later. He lives in a different religious world as do a lot of his voters.
      He would be something like Israeli Tea Party.

      Also nowadays Mizrahim and Ashkenazim right wingers are very ideologically close.
      But Likud got the ball rolling. and it was mostly Mizrahi to start with,.

    • That is so true, Walid. Liberal Sabras can't go that far. But, even still, when someone like Sommer writes that, it signifies a lakhbatah gaamidah.

      It's trying to fit the modern world into a worldview from 1000BC .
      The Orthodox drive the process. They have the certainty. It aligns wonderfully with the financial interests of the 14 families and the need for an army.

      link to web.ceu.hu..pdf

      "A real territorial exception, the land of Israel is far more than a territory. It is the image and the sign of the Jewish exception. Its intimate link to God sends back to God’s intimate link to Israel. Any change of the relations between Israel and its land is nothing but the clear sign of a change of its relations with God. However, no alteration of this kind is irrevocable and definitive. And none is as deep as appearances seem to tell. The land is a person endowed with will, which may be negative or favourable, now accepting now rejecting its inhabitants.
      Those who live on it, breathe a pure air and its dust for those buried in it has an expiatory power, comparable to that of the altar of sacrifices. Its successive conquerors did not manage to put down roots, which reveals its positive resistance to any illegal takeover. The land of Israel is hit by nothing but what it accepts to be hit by. Essentially pure, nothing could possibly stain it. The destruction and the oppression of a foreign ruler only has a limited impact on it: perhaps the divine impulse from above is no more as intense as it used to be, but evil has no grip on it, and it has itself the power to reject impurity. To consider that the effects of impious acts committed in the Holy Land through centuries are non-existent or fundamentally inessential is a way of implying that the relation of history to it, is like water off a duck’s back. The land of Israel is no more in history, but out of it. The rags of spoliation and destruction mask an essential, divine and unchanging land whose present troubles by no means affect it and which, some day, once again, is to reveal itself in all its untarnished glory. Indefinitely idealised, the land medieval Jews are dreaming of is this land toward which they turn to pray thrice a day. But it is also far more than that, and really something else. The more it is perceived as holy, the more it is lived as different – and as terrible."

      From a lecture by Jean-Christophe Attias and Esther Benbassa: ISRAEL, THE LAND AND THE SACRED

      link to tabletmag.com

      "While Ginsburgh has written more than a dozen books—with titles like Awakening the Spark Within: Finding Your Soulmate; Kabbalah and Meditation, and Interpretation of Dreams and Paranormal Experiences—he is best-known for his notorious essay “Baruch Hagever,” praising Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 murder of 29 Arabs in the Cave of the Patriarch. Goldstein, he wrote, was following the five halakhic principles: sanctifying God’s name, saving life, revenge, eradication of the seed of Amalek, and war. "

      Baruch Hagever :

      link to angelfire.com

      Some things start good and go bad- other things are born bad and stay bad

    • Why would anyone want to run Israel ?

      link to haaretz.com

      "Since where else in the world can the prime minister speak the way our prime minister does? Where else on earth can the prime minister warn about the civil right and democratic duty to vote when it is exercised by a minority that makes up some 20 percent of the entire citizenry of the country? But in the Jewish state everything is permitted, for the Jews. After all, this is a moral no man’s land of the Western world.

      But no matter much we try to evade the final scene, we will fail since it is already written. Justice must be poetic. Sadly, it's becoming clear that the historic period will not come to an end, until we complete our transformation into an absolute monster. Only then will we succeed in breaking the chain of heritage of moral innocence and win the chance of real political emancipation.

      The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and maybe even the founding of the State of Israel, are just subplots in the Jewish tragedy, and the Palestinian and Israeli victims — supporting characters. How many more victims will be required before we learn our lesson? What level of pain do we need in order to feel it? The future will tell.

      In the 2015 election we learned that it is impossible to complete historical processes through imagination. Maybe it's only natural: Has anyone ever really learned something from the experience of others? It has become clear to us that the time has not yet come for a dramatic political change and that Israel needs to see with its own eyes what is at the end of the path it is treading down with ever widening strides. "

    • It is very interesting to read the reactions of Liberal Sabras now the monster is out in daylight and baring its fangs . Pandora's box has been opened.

      link to haaretz.com

      "Yarrow, older and visibly more fragile, was undeterred, and had returned to Israel for a concert at the Jerusalem YMCA. Nobody anticipated the circumstances in which the show would take place, as the performance, scheduled more than a year and a half in advance for March 18 and 19.
      Between songs, Yarrow reminisced about the original Selma march for civil rights, which he participated in, and the recent commemoration of the event, where he performed at a synagogue. Standing below a banner that proclaimed “Celebrating Respect and Acceptance,” he spoke of love, peace, and decency and warned “if we do not protect freedom and justice, it will go away.”

      At the very moment he was speaking, critics in the U.S. were comparing Netanyahu’s “hate speech” to race-baiting politician George Wallace - the symbol of all that the marchers at Selma opposed.
      If any of this was going through the mind of the host, Ambassador Dan Shapiro, he didn’t let it show. After praising Yarrow’s program, he told the audience of how both Peter, Paul and Mary and David Broza were the soundtrack of his childhood and adolescence and young adulthood.
      Shapiro is a liberal American Jew fluent in Hebrew who attended Reform movement summer camp and spent a college year abroad in Jerusalem. He and his wife Julie Fisher wear both their personal connection to Israel and their support for progressive causes on their sleeve.
      Shapiro, a close advisor to President Obama, who would soon harshly criticize Netanyahu’s racial rhetoric on Election Day, saying that “ Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly … If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don't believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country."
      As I watched the Shapiro-Fisher couple swell in pride as their young daughter joined Yarrow singing his most famous song “Puff the Magic Dragon,” I mused that the 40-something couple, who met in Reform movement summer camp might be members of the last generation of American Jews to grow up feeling that their deeply-held liberal beliefs and an attachment to the state of Israel are in any way compatible. All signs point to a future in which the little girl who was singing would live in a world where she would have to choose between one or the other. "

  • Netanyahu's victory ‐ what is the cost?
    • Bintbiba
      Israel is not stable. Injustice always bears that risk of disequilibrium. Zionist hegemony is not a rule of nature,, So I would not rule anything out. It will come down to how many goys are sickened. The news of the world is the template.

  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • But also the insight from many painful episodes in history rather than some biblical riff.

    • Freedland. Usually he would spin it but not now. Too hard to triangulate. Netanyahu went too far.

      Israel really let down people like him. Bad faith now turned inward.

    • Walid

      Israel as a unit is sick. It can never find balance, hence all the wars.
      It is unlikely to end well. The standard of living is irrelevant. Deep dysfunction is what counts.

    • Fink had a different strategy and didn't deserve the flak. He is one of the good guys. I guess this Israeli election and the reaction to it will reinvigorate BDS and stop a lot of pointless but perhaps unavoidable bickering.
      They may all be on message as Zionists but they support a losing ideology. Israel is a very sick puppy. Driving a wedges of justice between Sabra hardliners and US jews will be great fun.

    • Torture, shortsightedness, plutocracy, underfunded education systems, inequality, police brutality, settler colonialism, exceptionalism syndrome- the 2 countries have quite a lot in common. But the US has a much more robust public debate and capacity to change when necessary. Israel has put all its eggs in the basket of darkness.

    • Jews in diaspora behave differently to jews in israel. Israel has to be racist because of Judaism and exclusion/chosenness. This is suppressed in the diaspora because it is not practical but in israel which is full of half educated bigots it is let rip.

    • What is the point of j street?

      This election is a vindication for max Blumenthal. He got so much crap from the jewish establishment for his feeling the hate in jerusalem video. And he was right.
      Now Israel is toxic.

    • The Hebrew trap. What is logical in hebrew sounds vile in English. And it does matter what the goys think , Israel.

    • A pyrrhic victory. Zionism is fucked when anti BDS campaigners say Israel is unbackable. Phil's mom may keep the faith but young American Jews will not. Lose the universities and it is over. Khalaas. God and her dopey people AGAIN. Dersh must be sickened. It is almost like Bibi is an antisemitic conspiracy rather than a jewish bogeyman. A fitting end to a sick hate filled career.

  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • If Douglas' mother was not chosen does it make him less jewish than Walter from the Big Lebowski? Does douglas roll on Shabbos ?

    • Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, Hoppy. Hasbara is dead and it's not our fault.

    • Great post, Philip

      Jews in America do not have much to whine about.
      Middle class white people don't have either. Most whining is to protect privilege.

      Douglas would never swap places with an Indian Dalit from Tamil Nadu.

    • Douglas and his basic instinct to defend the indefensible

      link to imdb.com

      Catherine: Killing isn't like smoking. You can stop.

      Except Israel can't.

      Nick: What's your new book about?
      Catherine: A Ziobot . He falls for the wrong ideologue.
      Nick: What happens to him?
      Catherine: She kills him.

      Gus: Everyone she plays with dies.
      Nick and the people of Gaza : I know what that's like.

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
    • Dukkah is much nicer, duh

      link to taste.com.au

    • It can't. Because Judaism doesn't fit with democracy. The secular sabra Jews may have time for it but the Orthodox don't and they have the balls and Judaism is what they define.
      the absence of a Jewish 'pope" is also chronic- there is no discipline and renegade rabbis can say anything they want.

    • Mooser

      Zionism should never have had access to guns. The self obsession and chosen stuff is only for private use and shouldn't ever be tried on unwilling adults. Yonah can fantasise about being special in private but he wouldn't dare draw in his neighbours, would he ? Shmuley would never try it out on Taylor Swift fans even if he felt it strongly, which he probably does. Social constructs stop that kind of thing.

      That's as it should be but in Israel they actually overrode the voices in their heads and went the whole hog and that is why it is such a mess now.
      The Palestinian at the end of this video represents the rational trapped in a world of madness, as all the Palestinians are

      6.27

    • "How about a person devoted to the least among us?"

      I used to wonder about that too but now I think it's not possible for a Jewish state where the self declared focus is on the survival of Judaism as a religion. When self preservation is the goal inequality is unavoidable.
      What counts for Yoffie is this. It's a noble goal until you look at the means. But yoffie never looks at them. He just looks at the goal.

      And what could be less controversial than securing seder evenings into the future if you ignore all the murder ?

      Self obsession comes as standard, along with military cruelty. Anything up to and including genocide and nuclear war if certain opaque red lines are passed and a Jewish Dick Cheney decides seder is under threat. No need to explain in detail. Or just some land is suddenly available. why not ? Margins.

      This is why it is so hard to keep the words Jewish and democracy together.
      “They believe that without Israel all Jews will perish " as Avigail A said yesterday

      Israel takes unimaginable risks and tell Jews it is doing it for them and that it is the only guarantee of a Jewish future.
      link to youtube.com

      Certain Zionists justified last year's carnage in Gaza by bringing in intermarriage . Zionism is a parasite lodged deep in the Jewish brain.

      And it can never focus on the least among us. Because in doing so "all Jews may perish."

    • - a lot of American Jews think everything is fine eg Yoffie

      link to haaretz.com
      "American Jews who identify with Israel’s center-left are in shock. How, they ask, could this happen? How could Bibi-the-terrible be reelected? Surely, Israel is lostMy response: Get over it. It’s not that complicated, and it’s not that surprising. Isaac Herzog is an estimable man—smart, politically skillful, moderate, reasonable. But’s he also physically small, with a high-pitched voice, and without combat military experience. And he projects the image of a nerd. Indeed, he is not the charismatic general that Israelis seek in a leader. Israel is a small country in a dangerous neighborhood, surrounded by enemies, and, at the moment, by more extremism, civil war, and fanaticism than usual in the Arab countries on her borders. I am simply not shocked that despite their abhorrence for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – yes, abhorrence doesn’t seem like too harsh a word – Israelis still see him, and not Herzog, as the tough guy they need to steer the ship of the Jewish state.

      And no, Israel is not lost. Bibi, not a man of strong principle – or perhaps of any principle whatsoever – will adjust and reset his political compass and his image. He will reframe his comments on a Palestinian state. He will speak soothing, conciliatory words to the Israeli electorate. He will reach out to the American administration, promising cooperation and perhaps even “a new era.”

      When my American friends wonder how Israel’s political system could possibly be so dysfunctional, I remind them to look at the American political system, which at the moment is not functioning at all. We should not be surprised, I remind them, that Israel’s leaders are every bit as incompetent as our own. Democracies are imperfect instruments of governance, and we Americans are hardly in a position to be preaching to others on such matters.

      Yet none of this is to say that, as an American Jew devoted to Israel, I am happy with the results. I am not. While this election result will not bring about an immediate crisis, either with the American administration or with American Jewry, I am worried about the future. I am worried about the possibility of gradually deteriorating relations that, in the next few years, will undermine ties with long-time political friends, with Democrats and some Republicans, and with the mainstream of the Jewish community, which remains assertively progressive in its outlook.

      That being said, what do I, as an American Jew, hope to hear and see from Mr. Netanyahu in the days ahead?

      First: A statement that Israel is committed to democracy. I don’t need to hear another call for negotiations, or even a peace plan, but I do need a clear and plain proclamation from Israel’s elected leader that Israel will not budge from the democratic values that have always been the foundation of Zionism. Israel will be a Jewish and democratic state, Mr. Netanyahu must say, and he must give us his solemn assurance that even if the details of how to accomplish this are not clear now, the principle remains central to his political outlook. No equivocation, please. No dancing around. Just say what Zionists have always said, and American Jews – and all Americans – will be reassured. Surely that is not too much to ask.

      Second: An apology to Israeli Arabs for his comments about Arabs "voting in droves." Americans are immersed right now in remembering and celebrating the great achievements of the civil rights era. The events in Selma are very much on our minds, a source of pride for right and left alike. Mr. Netanyahu’s slur of Arab Israelis was, in many ways, more shocking than his statement dismissing a Palestinian state. Racism – and that’s what it was – is grating for all Americans and particularly shocking for Jewish Americans, who stood at the very core of American civil rights work. There is only one way for Mr. Netanyahu to deal with his repugnant words, and that is to repudiate them with a profound and sincere apology. Again, no dancing around. "Say you were wrong and that you are sorry, and that Israel fully embraces her Arab citizens. And then demonstrate that you are sincere by opposing legislation that discriminates against Arab Israelis by promoting Israel's Jewish character at the expense of her democratic character.

      Third: Don’t give away the store on matters of religious freedom. All Israelis, and Mr. Netanyahu in particular, tend to forget just how important religious pluralism is to the American Jewish community. It may not seem important now, but if in six months' time triumphalist ultra-Orthodox parties lash out at liberal Jews and rescind what few rights they have in the Jewish state, the American Jewish response will be anger and bitterness. Here I do not expect public statements from Mr. Netanyahu. What he needs to do is work quietly, behind the scenes, to make clear to the ultra-Orthodox parties that will soon be in his coalition that there are limits to what they can demand.

      All is not lost. Liberal expectations, in Israel and America, were unrealistic. Israel is resilient and strong, and it will survive a flawed leader as it has many times before. But there are things that Mr. Netanyahu can do to strengthen his position with America and American Jews, and my fervent hope is that he will be wise enough to do them. "

      What was it Michael Rosen said ?
      link to facebook.com

      "I sometimes fear that people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis. Fascism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you...It doesn't walk in saying, "Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.""

  • Netanyahu's victory marks the end of the two-state solution
    • This is a HUGE article.

      Anti BDS activist in the US who says Israel has just stabbed him and his colleagues in the back. Israel is too ugly now to defend.

      link to haaretz.com

      The real winner in Israel's election: BDS

      Netanyahu's reelection takes away pro-Israel students' most powerful tool: the existence of a government committed to peace.

      "The situation has gotten so bad, so indefensible, that, over the past year, the pro-Israel community has given up on defending Netanyahu's policies. Instead, on-campus activism consists of harmless events about Israel’s startup scene or innovative water conservation research. Even “defensive” actions by pro-Israel groups against student government BDS resolutions no longer target the foundation of the BDS movement (that there are human rights violations occurring and that the best way to stop them is to cut ties with those complicit in them), for while they often lack critical context, the citations in the BDS resolutions about Israel’s human rights violations are ironclad. When the pro-Israel camp cannot present an alternative to the cycle of violence, it is very hard to oppose loud, angry students who say they have the answer.
      This week, the Israeli electorate let slip the opportunity to elect someone with any vision or viable alternative to the status quo. Instead, they chose to reelect Bibi and his policies of “managing” the Palestinian issue. Netanyahu's victory is also a victory for BDS. His anti-Arab, anti-two-state-solution, nationalist coalition will serve as potent propaganda fodder for painting Israel as a racist, colonial power. Students for Justice in Palestine and the BDS movement will undoubtedly continue to gain traction as long as this government as power. What's more, Netanyahu's actions will further alienate committed young Jewish pro - Israel supporters, like myself.
      This is not to say that without Netanyahu, Israel would have suddenly cleared its blemishes and secured peace with the Palestinians. I do not trust that the current Palestinian leadership is truly committed to curbing incitement and anti-Semitism, or to giving up their territorial claim for the entire land. But I’d suggest that Israel would have been better off without a prime minister who is actively dedicated to making things worse.
      I am also not naive enough to proclaim that removing Bibi would have stopped anti-Israel sentiments on campus. The American college campus has bred Israel-bashers since Israel’s very inception – much before the occupation, the settler movement or the mistreatment of African migrants. Those extremist elements pose no threat to Israel’s standing in the world. The danger appears when moderate, peace loving liberals, who want to see nothing but justice and peace, are forced to side with the extremists because they see no alternative, given the positions of the Israeli government. "

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