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Total number of comments: 3934 (since 2009-10-01 15:59:16)

seanmcbride

Website: https://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride

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  • There is no pride for Jews in the state of Israel
    • Philemon,

      "Kathleen, as Mooser points out, Sean has, for some time – it’s very silly that it’s gone on for so long, but Sean had some weird idea that Mooser was a Jews-uber-alles guy, and that got Mooser’s back up...."

      No, that's not it at all.

      When I first pointed out that the Jewish religious establishment was using Judaism and Torah-based themes to promote Zionism and justify Israeli policies, Mooser objected. We've argued the point back and forth for quite some time, and my impression is that we now better understand each other's positions. Mooser may even agree with me in part since this assertion is clearly grounded in reality.

      By Jewish religious establishment, I have always been referring to those Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist leaders associated with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

      link to conferenceofpresidents.org

      I have also pointed out that the influence of progressive anti-Zionists on American politics (and especially on the US Congress) is minuscule (non-existent, really) compared to that of the Jewish religious establishment. They haven't been able to elect a single politician to the US Senate or House of Representatives -- nor is there any prospect that they will do so in the foreseeable future.

      This is rather an important issue for those of us who are trying to figure out what is going to be the future of American Mideast policy in the coming years.

      American Jews who share the views of JeffB and hophmi have been much more successful in achieving their political objectives than progressive anti-Zionists like Mooser, who have occupied the farthest fringe of American politics for over a half century. I largely agree with progressive anti-Zionists (although I consider myself more a non-Zionist than an anti-Zionist) -- but I have no confidence that they will be able to move the political needle on Israeli issues in the Republican and Democratic Parties. Even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders expressed support for Operation Protective Edge.

      Mooser's views on Judaism may differ from those of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist leaders -- but they have had little impact on real-world politics.

      Two quotes of note:

      1. "The prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] praised "the spirit of the Jewish community in France," which remains "totally connected with Am Yisrael ("the nation of Israel"), Eretz Yisrael ("the land of Israel"), and Torat Yisrael ("the Torah of Israel")."

      2. Naftali Bennett: "We love the land of Israel, we love the people of Israel, we love the Torah of Israel - and we're proud of it."

      Contemporary Jewish leaders have fused Judaism and Zionism into a single ethno-religious nationalist ideology -- that is a fact. And very few Americans are willing to challenge that belief system -- they believe that by defending Zionism they are defending Judaism.

    • Mooser,

      Sometimes discussions on Mondoweiss become a bit heated.

      On core values I think we agree for the most part -- live and let live. Human beings (and human groups) should treat one another with fairness and decency -- give one another space to breathe and go about their business.

      And some of your witticisms of late have been stellar -- up to your highest standards.

    • Mooser,

      I think we both agree that it is a mistake to mix together religion and politics -- as we agree on most other issues. Most Americans get that.

      Once any religious group enters the political sphere, it becomes fair game for criticism on political grounds. If it uses its religious ideology to justify political activism and policies, its religious ideology also becomes fair game for criticism.

      What is your take on Scott Ratner's article?

    • As a rule, the more that militant ethnic and religious nationalists lobby for their cause, the more friction they create with ethnic and religious outsiders.

      It's an irony that hasbarists don't seem to be able to grasp. The harder they work, the deeper the hole they dig for themselves.

    • Regarding the lengthy (and often heated) exchanges here about the problematic relations between Judaism and Zionism, this is the most articulate explication of the issue I have seen to date.

      Money quote: "After all, in no other country besides Israel is Judaism the perennial justification for a decade’s long quest to suppress and uproot the culture and presence of millions of non-Jews."

      I strongly agree with this:

      "As the birthplace of the Jewish religion and the location where its most important modern day features and symbols came into being, the land of Israel should absolutely be an area where Jews from around the world, as both visitors or permanent residents, can bask in their cultural and linguistic heritage in tandem with all other religions and peoples native to the region."

      The main problem facing the Jewish religious establishment in 2015: how to disentangle Judaism from Zionism. Once that mission is accomplished, many of Israel's problems could be fixed and the I/P conflict could be resolved.

      On the entanglement of Judaism with Zionism:

      "Bennett: 'The day is near that the Jewish Home party will lead Israel'" link to middleeastmonitor.com

      Naftali Bennett: "We love the land of Israel, we love the people of Israel, we love the Torah of Israel - and we're proud of it."

      When will the leaders of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism begin pushing back against these ideas forcefully and effectively? Perhaps too late to avert a catastrophe.

      As a rule, I never advise religions how to manage their affairs -- that is their business. But religious Zionism now influences American politics in ways that are impossible for Americans to ignore.

  • Obama cites donor pressure re Iran, but 'NYT' won't tell you what he means
    • JeffB,

      Jewish neoconservatives, not Christian evangelicals, were the prime movers behind the Iraq War and the exploitation of the PNAC's "New Pearl Harbor" (9/11) to kick into gear their long-planned scheme to use the "Global War on Terror" and "Clash of Civilizations" to rain down destruction on Israel's enemies.

      Everyone here can Google the factual details for themselves:

      [Google; iraq war jewish neoconservatives link to google.com ]

      But they probably won't bother -- they already know what's what.

      I could go through the exercise of citing chapter and verse from the top 100 Google hits on this subject, in dozens or hundreds of comments, but I've got better things to do.

      Jewish neoconservatives are also the lead agitators in the campaign to push the United States into a war against Iran -- and Benjamin Netanyahu -- the prime minister of Israel -- is the foremost agitator of them all.

      This political faction is motivated entirely by its passionate loyalty to Israel, Zionism (Jewish nationalism) and Greater Israelism (Torah-based Zionism) -- it couldn't care less about the American interest or American values.

      No one has claimed that Jewish neoconservatives = "the Jews" -- or that other interested parties (including Christian Zionists and non-Jewish war profiteers) didn't march in step with them in foisting the Iraq War on the American people with a collection of deliberate lies and torrents of pro-war propaganda (much of it from the distinctly *not* Christian New York Times and Washington Post).

      What is even more repulsive than the behavior of this faction in engineering the Iraq War is its adamant refusal to accept any responsibility for its actions after the disastrous results became evident to everyone.

    • Bornajoo,

      "The main reason for a possible attack on Iran is to stop them from gaining parity of power with israel and also to stop them gaining a deterrent from future annihilation"

      Once again, l like your clarity of thought and expression. That sums up the situation perfectly.

    • JeffB,

      To start making sense of our two lists -- mine and yours, we could being by comparing these two collections:

      1. anti-Iran remarks by Daniel Pipes
      2. anti-Iran remarks by Dennis Ross
      3. anti-Iran remarks by Douglas Feith
      4. anti-Iran remarks by Jennifer Rubin
      5. anti-Iran remarks by Michael Ledeen
      6. anti-Iran remarks by Pamela Geller
      7. anti-Iran remarks by William Kristol

      vs.

      1. anti-Iran remarks by Chris Dodd
      2. anti-Iran remarks by Chuck Hagel
      3. anti-Iran remarks by Jay Rockefeller
      4. anti-Iran remarks by Jesse Helms
      5. anti-Iran remarks by Richard Lugar
      6. anti-Iran remarks by Strom Thurmond
      7. anti-Iran remarks by Tom Daschle

      Your list is so weak that apparently you didn't notice that Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond have been dead for years -- they are not ringleaders of the campaign to attack Iran -- and that Chuck Hagel has been a strong critic of the Israel lobby.

      Tom Daschle was highly critical of the Iraq War -- he was also a target of the 9/11 anthrax attacks, which were almost certainly a false flag op. The massive cover-up concerning those attacks remains firmly in place.

    • JeffB,

      Stand back and look at the big picture.

      One almost never notices Americans arguing with Norwegian Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, Chinese Americans, etc. about the politics of Norway, Ireland, Italy, Germany, China, etc.

      But the arguments between Americans and Jewish Americans over Israel are torrential and often vicious -- just follow the comment sections on the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, etc. (Especially take a close look at the angry responses that Jennifer Rubin has managed to provoke from Washington Post readers.)

      So what in the hell is going on? If I were you, I would be gravely worried about these developments and try to understand them -- I would be wondering about where all this is going.

      You are trying to convince us -- and yourself -- that nothing is amiss. Most of us are not buying it. We can see what is plainly in front of our nose.

    • JeffB,

      Are you claiming that Dodd, Daschle, Hagel, Helms, Lugar, Rockefeller, Thurmond and many other names on that list were conspicuous agitators for the Iraq War and are now conspicuous agitators for an Iran War?

      You are not making the slightest sense -- you really need to upgrade your hasbara efforts.

    • JeffB,

      Which leading Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic organizations were ringleaders of the Iraq War and are now ringleaders of the campaign to go to war against Iran?

      Keep in mind: "With 78.2 million baptized members, it [the Catholic Church] is the largest religious denomination in the United States, comprising 25% of the population." -- Wikipedia

      As I recall, the Vatican officially opposed the Iraq War.

    • JeffB,

      JEFFB: "I see your list of Jews but so what? One could assemble a much larger list of Christians. Heck given the relative size of the denominations I imagine you could assemble a much larger list of Presbyterians, Methodists or Episcopalians."

      Yes, but will these mainstream Christians (not Christian Zionist extremists like John Hagee) be raucous ringleaders of a campaign to go to war against Iran?

      Please name the Presbyterian, Methodist and Episcopalian organizations that have been conspicuously agitating for an American war against Iran on behalf of Israel -- that have been ringleaders of the Iraq War, the Global War on Terror, the Clash of Civilizations, an Iran War, Islamophobia, etc.

      What is the Christian equivalent of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations? See the list of CP members here: link to conferenceofpresidents.org

      JEFFB: "Mark Kirk does stuff AIPAC likes and Mark Kirk gets money from AIPAC. That’s the way it normally works."

      It's normal for an American politician to receive nearly $800,000 from a lobby that is working for the interests of a *foreign government*? And that is working night and day to drive the United States into World War III on behalf of that foreign government?

      Regarding Mark Kirk's pro-Israel funding, see link to opensecrets.org

      Do you see the governments of Ireland, France, China, etc. manipulating the US government this way? Or Irish Americans, French Americans or Chinese Americans working frenetically to push Americans into self-destructive foreign wars on behalf of Ireland, France or China?

      Future historians, JeffB, are going to adjudge this situation, in which for several decades the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have subverted and controlled the US Congress to the detriment of American interests, as being highly abnormal and bizarre. This state of affairs will not go on forever -- and the backlash promises to be titanic once Americans begin to realize that they've been led up the garden path by a narrow ethno-religious nationalist movement (cult, really) that is radically in conflict with fundamental American and modern Western democratic values.

    • JeffB,

      After being burned so badly by the Iraq War, you would think that Jewish neoconservatives, Jewish neoliberals and pro-Israel activists would be cautious about conspicuously leading Americans into another war -- this one with Iran -- that could be a much greater disaster than the Iraq War. But they have shown no such caution -- their zealotry has got the better of them. Into the breach and over the cliff at full steam -- the very definition of fanaticism and messianism.

      Re: into the breach:

      "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
      Or close the wall up with our English dead.
      In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
      As modest stillness and humility:
      But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
      Then imitate the action of the tiger;
      Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
      Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
      Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
      Let pry through the portage of the head
      Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
      As fearfully as doth a galled rock
      O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
      Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
      Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
      Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
      To his full height."

      Spoken by Henry, Henry V, Act III Scene 1 (William Shakespeare)

      But few of these agitators for endless Mideast wars are willing to put their bodies on the line -- they are laptop warriors. At some point they -- and the entire lobby that supports them -- are going to be held accountable for their actions and for the damage they have done to the American interest.

    • JeffB,

      "The #1 public advocate for war with Iran is Mark Kirk (R-IL), United Church of Christ same as Obama."

      Regarding Mark Kirk:

      "Mark Kirk Is AIPAC's Million Dollar Baby" (MJ Rosenberg)
      link to huffingtonpost.com

      BEGIN QUOTE
      Mark Kirk, the House member from Chicago who is now the GOP Senate nominee, is the #1 recipient of pro-Israel PAC money in the entire House. In fact, of the top 10 recipients from both Houses, he is the only House member.

      Why do the PACs love him?

      It is because Kirk is a pure Israel-firster. For Kirk, Israel can do no wrong. Add to that that he sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations where he brings home the bacon for Israel big time. Its wish is his command....

      During the Gaza war, he famously told a pro-Gaza war pep rally in Washingtom that "it's time to take the trash out" in Gaza. That was at a time when 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians (and 320 children) were being killed by the Israeli army.

      Kirk has courted AIPAC since he was a House staffer and now it could pay off big time for the lobbying powerhouse. In the past, AIPAC has had hundreds of senators who took all their cues on the Middle East from AIPAC. But, in Kirk, they will have something else. Their very own senator.
      END QUOTE

    • JeffB,

      "The #1 public advocate for war with Iran is Mark Kirk (R-IL), United Church of Christ same as Obama."

      Isn't the pro-Israel wing of the Jewish lobby the most important factor in the anti-Iran, pro-Iran sanctions and pro-Iran War lobby?

      A few examples:

      1. Abram Shulsky
      2. AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)
      3. Alan Dershowitz
      4. Alan Kuperman
      5. Anne Applebaum
      6. Avigdor Lieberman
      7. Ben Chouake
      8. Ben Stein
      9. Benjamin Netanyahu
      10. Benny Morris
      11. Bret Stephens
      12. Caroline Glick
      13. Charles Krauthammer
      14. Cliff May
      15. Commentary Magazine
      16. Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
      17. Dan Meridor
      18. Daniel Pipes
      19. Danielle Pletka
      20. Danny Dayon
      21. Danny Yatom
      22. David Brog
      23. David Frum
      24. David Horowitz
      25. David Makovsky
      26. David Wurmser
      27. Dennis Ross
      28. Dick Morris
      29. Dore Gold
      30. Douglas Feith
      31. ECI (Emergency Committee for Israel)
      32. Ehud Barak
      33. Elliott Abrams
      34. Eric Cantor
      35. Frank Gaffney
      36. Fred Hiatt
      37. Fred Kagan
      38. Frontpage Magazine
      39. Haim Saban
      40. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
      41. INSS (Institute for National Security Studies)
      42. Israeli government
      43. Jamie Glazov
      44. Jane Harman
      45. Jeffrey Goldberg
      46. Jennifer Rubin
      47. Jewish neoconservatives
      48. Jewish neoliberals
      49. Jewish World Review
      50. JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs)
      51. Joe Lieberman
      52. John Podhoretz
      53. Jonathan Schanzer
      54. Joshua Muravchik
      55. Kevin Bergner
      56. Lester Crown
      57. Likud
      58. Malcolm Hoenlein
      59. Matthew Kroenig
      60. Max Boot
      61. Meyrav Wurmser
      62. Michael Ledeen
      63. Michael Makovsky
      64. Michael Oren
      65. Michael Rubin
      66. Mike Evans
      67. Natan Sharansky
      68. NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council)
      69. Norman Podhoretz
      70. Oded Tira
      71. One Jerusalem
      72. Pajamas Media
      73. Pamela Geller
      74. Randy Scheunemann
      75. Reuel Marc Gerecht
      76. Richard Cohen
      77. Richard Haass
      78. Richard Perle
      79. RJC (Republican Jewish Coalition)
      80. Robert Kagan
      81. Robert Wexler
      82. Shabtai Shavit
      83. Sheldon Adelson
      84. Shimon Peres
      85. Steve Rosen
      86. William Kristol
      87. Yaron Brook
      88. ZOA (Zionist Organization of America)

      There are many others.

      What other special interest group in American politics has been as aggressive and conspicuous in instigating and promoting conflict with Iran?

    • Giles,

      "AIPAC is the head of a power configuration that is far more than a Lobby."

      For a list of some of the key components of the Israel lobby, see [# pro-Israel organizations link to friendfeed.com ]

  • On CNN, Boteach lectures two prominent Muslims about freedom they 'enjoy' in US and Israel
    • American,

      Notice that Shmuley Boteach is using the Torah/Old Testament God as a rationale for hating and committing violence against his ethnic/national enemies. In other words, "G-d" is a psychological projection of Boteach's own personality traits. And perhaps this is the way it has always been with regard to the religious inventions of mankind.

      Our respective deities tell us a great deal about who we really are.

      Shmuley Boteach:

      "Judaism never posits a G-d that is so monolithic as to be described as love. Do you really want a G-d who is all love when it comes to punishing the Nazis for cremating children? Do you want a G-d who is all love when it comes to stopping an al-Qaida terrorist from planting a bomb that will blow up an airplane? Or do you want, at that moment, a just G-d who will cause that terrorist to have a car accident on the way to the plane so he can’t plant his bomb."

  • Netanyahu crashes Paris unity march, French gov't fumes
    • JeffB,

      "Memes take time to spread through a culture and fully integrate. American Jews didn’t invent Zionism. American Jews came to be Zionists late. But today they are and institutionally Judaism is Zionist globally."

      **"institutionally Judaism is Zionist globally"** -- clearly this is the case. In fact, Jewish religious Zionists are now arguably the most vital component of the Israeli government and the worldwide Israel lobby, especially in the United States. Judaism and the Jewish religious establishment are an arm of the Israeli government.

      This is an ideological and cultural development of the utmost significance within Jewish history and human history as a whole -- few people have begun to contemplate the full implications and consequences.

    • JeffB,

      Associating Judaism exclusively with the Israeli government would be like associating Roman Catholicism exclusively with the Italian government or Protestantism exclusively with the German government or Islam exclusively with the Saudi government.

      If Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam *had* been associated exclusively with single nation-states and governments for the past few centuries, they would probably be completely discredited by now because nation-states and governments are highly volatile and fallible entities.

      You say, "I’m comfortable with where I stand." I think you are standing on incredibly thin ice and don't realize it. This won't be the first time that Jews have been swept up by a self-destructive and false messianic movement.

    • JeffB,

      "It is not the martians that are building Israel, it is the Jews. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows that the Jews support Israel. If Israel is a manifest evil, then the Jews are supporting manifest evil. Who does that sort of thing? Evil people. Calling Jews evil and saying that Israel are evil are effectively indistinguishable. The idea that there is some great moral divide between the two is a farce."

      You are arguing that all Jews and "the Jews" collectively are Zionists and are responsible for Zionism and the policies and actions of the Israeli government -- quite a dangerous line of thought -- but most Zionists agree with you.

      This is precisely the kind of argument that authentic antisemites are on board with -- but no surprise there -- Zionists and antisemites have been collaborators from the beginning of modern Zionism.

      Whenever opponents of antisemitism try to draw clear distinctions between Jews and Zionists, Zionists like yourself are eager to push back and claim that Jews and Zionists are indeed synonymous.

      Imagine if all Roman Catholics were to be judged and held responsible for the policies and actions of the Italian government or any particular Italian regime -- Zionists fail to see the pitfalls in conflating religion and politics at this level of intensity. Catastrophe is guaranteed.

      When are you going to take the trouble to think these issues through?

    • Mooser,

      "Oh, JeffyB doesn’t hesitate to use the Jewish religion for an excuse for anything when he feels like it."

      The 55 member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations appear to be on the same page with JeffB, along with the entire US Congress.

      Judaism=Zionism.

      Is it possible to turn this around? If so, how?

    • Mooser,

      "What a great idea, David! And if “International Jewry” (sic) was anything but the invention of anti-Semites, why, it maybe could happen!"

      Jewish and Israeli establishment organizations and publications use the expression "world Jewry" all the time. Google it. They keep that meme fully charged up from decade to decade.

      Judaism probably explains their attachment to this belief -- the Torah-based notion that all Jews worldwide comprise a single mystical collective -- one that is often defined in ethnic and/or nationalist terms.

      This is typical (from the Forward):

      "Israel Approves 'Revolutionary' World Jewry Initiative" link to forward.com

      Try browsing:

      [Google; "world jewry" link to google.com"world+jewry" ]

      (Once again, WordPress can't handle some basic URLs for Google search expressions -- you'll have to plug that phrase into Google yourself to see the hits.)

  • 'With God’s help, the journalists at Haaretz will be murdered just like in France': Death threats follow publication of cartoon in Israeli newspaper
    • Bornajoo,

      "I have held the belief for some time now that Israel is simply waiting for a cataclysmic event to take place (sponsored, promoted, engineered by them) so that they can expel the remaining Palestinians once and for all."

      I've thought this for some time also -- this strikes me as the endgame that Israel has had in mind from before its creation -- and it has a good chance of achieving this goal with the close covert cooperation of neoconservatives, neoliberals and Christian Zionists in the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, etc.

      I agree 100% with all your other points -- which were stated with admirable focus and clarity.

    • Mooser,

      All human cults with strong grandiose and euphoric tendencies may have a significant genetic component.

      Increasingly we are beginning to realize that there are genetic markers and drivers for much of human behavior (and many mental disorders).

      For instance, try Googling:

      1. [Google; bipolar disorder genetics link to google.com

      2. [Google; obsessive compulsive disorder genetics link to google.com

      3. [Google; tourette syndrome genetics link to google.com

      Is there an ethnocentrism gene (or complex of genes)? -- here's betting that we will discover it before long.

      Wrt to Ziocaine Syndrome -- clearly some people are more susceptible to it than others -- the question is why. Innate proclivities and predilections? Cultural programming? Social stress?

      Ziocaine Syndrome is just one of many manifestations of messianic ethnocentrism as presented by numerous ethnic groups, with varying degrees of intensity.

    • Mooser,

      "Bornajoo, I fully appreciate “seanmcbride”s analysis of Judaism and Zionism, and I am sure “seanmcbride” has practical programs he could suggest."

      What I am suggesting is that strong minds within the Jewish community who understand the problematic relations between Judaism and Zionism open up the public conversation with energy -- and see if they can move the needle within the Jewish religious establishment (and the Jewish and Israel lobbies). Don't be shy. Don't hold back.

      Quite a few progressive anti-Zionists are treating the Jewish religious establishment and mainstream Judaism as a sacred cow -- don't go there, don't criticize, don't challenge their political activities in support of the Israeli government and Zionist ideology. I think that is a mistake. That is a point of maximum leverage -- try pressing on the lever.

    • Bornajoo,

      Love your posts -- so clear-headed and full of life.

      Clearly, waiting for massive ground-up ideological reform within the religious Jewish world -- which may never happen or take decades or centuries -- isn't going to solve the I/P problem -- not even slightly. Some kind of effective outside coercion needs to be applied on Israel to persuade it to alter its course.

      But, alas, Israel's power in American politics is so vast that so far it has been able to fend off this coercion. For as long as the Jewish lobby within the Israel lobby within the United States chooses to exercise its influence to protect Israel, it will probably succeed.

      So I guess what I am saying is that I am **really** pessimistic about witnessing a just and happy solution to the I/P conflict during my lifetime -- it may never occur.

      Annie Robbins recently got me thinking about the possibility that perhaps the global BDS movement will succeed in routing around the American government and the Israel lobby and convince Israel to seek a meaningful peace agreement with the Palestinians. I am hoping that she is right.

      But one can also envision Israel waging a successful campaign of black ops against all the key leaders of the global BDS movement -- taking down the most important individuals one by one and discouraging others from taking their place.

      Israel may also succeed in getting World War III off the ground between "the West" and the Muslim world -- pushing public concern for the I/P conflict to the far margins of consciousness. Look at how much political traction Likud has been able to acquire from just two events -- 9/11 and the Charlie Hebdo shooting. It may require only a few more incidents of this type to push Americans and Europeans completely over the edge with regard to unleashing massive genocidal violence on Israel's enemies (including Palestinians).

      The Republican Party, which now controls the US Congress, is already fired up to rush down the violent path that the Israeli government has constructed for it. Just listen to the words of GOP leaders like Lindsey Graham.

      Meanwhile, if the leaders of mainstream and establishment Judaism came to the conclusion that Israel and Zionism were harming their fundamental and long-term values and interests in a dangerous way, they could in fact turn this entire situation around quite quickly. I think they should be lobbied along these lines -- you never know -- it might work.

    • Mooser,

      When I think of Ziocaine, I usually think of its more extreme expressions, often by the religious settlers: crazy eyes, robotic demeanor, biblical cursing, death threats, spitting, price tag attacks, vandalism, threats to destroy the world, vicious verbal abuse, generalized dementia, etc.

      The obvious question arises: what are the root causes of this behavior? What is the chicken and what is the egg?

      We need to understand what is going on here.

    • Mooser,

      All along through these exchanges I have been aware that we agree on the essentials: Zionists do not represents all Jews (religious or secular) and many Jews are not Zionists. (I am currently making this argument with JeffB.)

      The difference in emphasis between us: I am increasingly pessimistic that any political group in the United States (progressive anti-Zionists or otherwise) is going to be able to take on the Israel lobby and win.

      I am one of those people who thought that liberal Zionists were going to succeed in achieving an end to the I/P conflict two decades ago -- so much naivete on my part. Frankly, I am weary of the entire topic and often wish never to hear about it again. It's a black hole that sucks up valuable energy and provides no useful returns -- the very definition of neurosis -- round and round the hamster wheel.

    • Philemon,

      SEAN: "I don’t think that progressive anti-Zionists are going to make any progress in effectively challenging Zionism until they begin to deconstruct the roots of Zionism as an ideology."

      PHILEMON: "Sean, the only problem is that we already know the roots; blood and soil nationalism was an epidemic back in the 19th century."

      European nations abandoned blood and soil nationalism after World War II but Zionists doubled down on it. And contemporary Zionism seems to be more grounded in several thousand years of Torah/Old Testament ideological structures and themes than in 19th century European nationalism.

      Over the last half century, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist leaders have succeeded in erasing all distinctions between between Judaism and Zionism -- so, in your opinion, what's next on the historical agenda regarding these matters?

      Zionism appears to have acquired close to ironclad control over the entire American political system and is driving the West into an apocalyptic war against the entire Muslim world -- one probably using WMDs.

      How do progressive anti-Zionists intend to turn this situation around? With BDS? What steps will the Israel lobby take to counter BDS?

      PHILEMON: "Now, maybe you would like to point out that some strands of Judaism were more susceptible to the infection."

      Some strands? All the most influential branches of Judaism are firmly in the Zionist camp:

      Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Member Organizations
      link to conferenceofpresidents.org

    • Mooser,

      Do you time to explain what you mean by Ziocaine? What is it exactly?

    • Daniel Rich,

      "I don’t understand why your criticism [of Mooser] comes in the form of a comment and is not directly aimed at Mooser himself. Is this because of an old feud between the two of you I’m not aware of?"

      Mooser and I have had quite a few exchanges about the role of biblical ethno-religious nationalism in driving, energizing, empowering and defining Zionism -- I wouldn't characterize the exchanges as a feud -- but we always seem to be talking past one another -- failing to dock and communicate.

      I responded to Keith's comment here because it rang a bell.

      On the subject of tribalism: one must define varieties of tribalism -- ethnic, racial, religious, ethno-religious, cultural, etc.

      One can easily measure the degree of tribalism of any particular tribal group -- simply count up the number of times leading members of a tribe mention their tribal identity, issues, problems, conflicts, enemies, etc -- in the age of Big Data and text mining, a trivial task.

      If I were preoccupied with Irish tribal (Irish ethnic nationalist) issues, you could rightly describe me as an Irish tribalist -- but I am not. Most Americans are not ethnic tribalists or ethnic nationalists.

      I see no differences of consequence between white nationalists and Jewish nationalists (Zionists) -- all expressions of ethnic nationalism share the same fundamental characteristics.

      I don't think that progressive anti-Zionists are going to make any progress in effectively challenging Zionism until they begin to deconstruct the roots of Zionism as an ideology.

    • Keith,

      "Mooser can, at times, be hysterically funny, but he can also be quite hostile to even discussing Jewish organization and Jewish power."

      Mooser seems to believe that there is no such thing as the Jews (and their organizational leadership) and that this non-existent people and special interest group has had nothing to do with Zionism.

      *Real* Jews, supposedly, are like Mooser -- impossible to pin down on anything -- as slippery as mercury -- barely there at all -- certainly not accountable for any bad or questionable beliefs, policies or behavior.

      I recall Mooser's humor as being more clever and subtle at one time than it is now -- delivered with a much lighter touch -- not so dependent on heavy-handed sarcasm to make its exasperated points to a never-ending stream of his supposedly intellectual and moral inferiors.

  • Why I am not Charlie
    • Mooser,

      An interesting article just published by the Jerusalem Post:

      "Netanyahu at Paris victims' funeral: Time for civilized world to uproot enemies in our midst"
      link to jpost.com

      BEGIN QUOTE
      "These aren’t just enemies of the Jews, but all of humanity," the prime minister said. "It’s about time that all of the civilized world unite and uproot these enemies from our midst."....

      The prime minister praised "the spirit of the Jewish community in France," which remains "totally connected with Am Yisrael ("the nation of Israel"), Eretz Yisrael ("the land of Israel"), and Torat Yisrael ("the Torah of Israel").
      END QUOTE

      According to the current prime minister of Israel ("the King of the Jews" in the minds of some), Zionism is all about three key concepts: 1. Am Yisrael ("the nation of Israel") 2. Eretz Yisrael ("the land of Israel") 3. Torat Yisrael ("the Torah of Israel").

      Which was precisely my point when our long-running discussion on these matters first began.

      As for "uprooting our enemies" -- that sounds quite biblical in the genocidal sense.

    • Mooser,

      Isn't Israel itself -- and the Zionist movement as a whole -- trying to self-segregate? Why else define Israel officially as "a Jewish state"? This psychological temperament and syndrome isn't limited to the ultra-Orthodox.

      All ethnic and religious nationalist movements and ideologies tend to be self-segregating, self-ghettoizing and xenophobic -- that's the name of the game. The Torah/Old Testament -- which provides the core themes and memes for Zionism -- is the world's supreme model for enshrining and sacralizing this pattern of social organization.

    • Page: 39
    • # regarding Zionism and climate change denialism -- some attitudes and positions that strongly tend to cluster together:

      1. anti-environmentalism
      2. pro-Afghanistan War
      3. pro-Afpak War
      4. pro-assassinations
      5. pro-Big Oil
      6. pro-carbon industry
      7. pro-Christian Zionism
      8. pro-Clash of Civilizations
      9. pro-climate change denialism
      10. pro-ethnic nationalism
      11. pro-Fox News
      12. pro-fracking
      13. pro-Global War on Terror
      14. pro-global warming denialism
      15. pro-Greater Israel
      16. pro-Iran War
      17. pro-Iraq War
      18. pro-Islamophobia
      19. pro-Israel
      20. pro-Judeo-Christian fascism
      21. pro-Libya War
      22. pro-mass surveillance
      23. pro-military-industrial complex
      24. pro-neoconservatism
      25. pro-neoliberalism
      26. pro-radical wealth inequality
      27. pro-religious nationalism
      28. pro-religious Zionism
      29. pro-Syria War
      30. pro-torture
      31. pro-war profiteering

    • seafoid,

      "Climate models are better than finance models and getting better. Climate change goes on meanwhile."

      Do a bit of data mining and you will notice that there is a close correlation between pro-Israel militancy and climate change denialism -- why this is the case is open for speculation.

    • Mooser,

      There are hundreds or thousands of stories in contemporary Jewish and Israeli media outlets describing efforts by many religious Jews (mostly ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox) to self-segregate and self-ghettoize.

      It wouldn't be surprising if these cultural attitudes weren't much more prevalent among the Jewish community as a whole several hundred years ago -- before there were Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and secular/humanist Jews.

      One could even argue that modern secular and humanist Jews often self-segregate to a degree, in terms of where they live and with whom they associate -- they often tend to cluster in cliques and clearly defined social networks.

    • Mooser,

      Many leading political activists on the left in American politics supported the crimes of the Soviet Union during the early and middle decades of the 20th century. It's a major chapter in American history and the history of 20th century left-wing politics.

      Yes -- the Soviets actually managed to murder many more human beings than the Nazis -- and before Nazism rose to power in Germany. Many of those human beings were targeted for the crime of being Christians.

      Try Googling:

      [Google; new york times stalin link to google.com ]

      Particularly take a good look at Walter Duranty.

      Many of these pro-Soviet Americans on the left actually defined themselves as being "progressive" -- they used that specific word.

    • The fact that a major terrorist event smells funny doesn't prove that it's a false flag op or inside job. But it's worth paying attention to the unfolding of any patterns of information and evidence that might lead to suspicions in that direction:

      1. [Google; charlie hebdo conspiracy link to google.com ]

      2. [Google; charlie hebdo false flag link to google.com ]

      3. [Google; charlie hebdo inside job link to google.com ]

      4. [Google; charlie hebdo mossad link to google.com ]

      Always reserve judgment on these matters until all the well-documented facts come together.

      My impression is that neoconservatives have engineered so many provocations directed at Islam and Muslims over the last decade that many of these incidents are now occurring spontaneously -- mission accomplished, from the neocon standpoint. The flames are roaring nicely after being carefully lit and kindled.

    • Theo,

      Regarding the mass murder of Christians by "progressives" during the early decades of the 20th century:

      [Google; communism christians killed link to google.com ]

      Hardly a trivial or light-hearted issue.

      Tens of millions is rather a large number.

  • The moral hysteria of Je suis charlie
    • Mooser,

      ME: “Who do you think bears the primary responsibility for Zionism?”

      MOOSER: "Sean, if you want to pin it on me, go ahead. You might as well. I probably did it during one of those “white nights” Graham Greene spoke of."

      If you ever feel like getting serious on the subject, I would be curious to hear your thoughts.

      One could compile a list of the 100 most influential leaders of Zionism for the past 120 years -- perhaps they bear primary responsibility for the political movement they have led.

      Some Zionists might assign blame to "the nations" -- the non-Jewish nations of the world -- for pushing Jews into a corner -- because "the goyim" suffer from the disease of antisemitism -- which apparently is a genetic, biological or neurological disorder. Others do of course claim that "God" is the author of Zionism.

      (The Graham Greene reference is to opium -- got that.)

      I have suggested several times that Zionist ideology is organically rooted in ancient and traditional Judaism -- probably we still don't see eye to eye on that issue. The world will probably survive our disagreement. I find myself increasingly curious about the psychological factors driving and forming all religions.

    • Mooser,

      "But I do think Zionism and Israel will make every effort to see they go down together. And Zionism will make every effort to see Judaism gets the blame and the responsibility, if it comes to that."

      Who do you think bears the primary responsibility for Zionism?

  • Dershowitz story is also an Israel story
    • An update on the Epstein/Dershowitz controversy

      For over a week now the story has come to a dead halt in the mainstream media -- with the exception of Alan Dershowitz broadcasting his side of the story to the Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets.

      Certainly Dershowitz has a right to defend himself -- and he may well have been falsely accused (which would be outrageous) -- but the mainstream media have not lifted a finger to look into the stories of Jeffrey Epstein's underage rape victims. So there seems to be a distinct agenda in play here -- the mainstream media are hoping that the story will blow over and be forgotten, with no clear resolution concerning the facts about what really happened.

      But the defamation suit by Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards against Alan Dershowitz is still in play.

      Following what is going on is simple with Google News and Twitter:

      Google News: link to google.com

      Twitter: link to twitter.com

      Legitimate questions for Alan Dershowitz on the minds of many people: how did you come to be so deeply involved with Jeffrey Epstein? How much did you know about his operation? What role did you play in crafting the NPA (non-prosecution agreement)? Were you involved in defaming and intimidating witnesses?

      There is one new story on the controversy:

      "Black Girls Excluded From Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Harem" link to jewishbusinessnews.com

    • "U.S. judge may unseal Epstein sex-crime plea deal records" link to whbl.com

    • Jeffrey Epstein's Connections (NNDB Mapper) link to mapper.nndb.com

    • "How Alan Dershowitz bullied rape victims to protect a serial child molester"
      link to electronicintifada.net

      BEGIN EXCERPTS
      Dershowitz played a key role in negotiating a secret provision in Epstein’s plea deal that immunized “any potential co-conspirators” from federal prosecution. In other words, Dershowitz negotiated an agreement that (if the allegations against him are true) shields him from prosecution for participating in a child sex-trafficking ring.

      Since there has been no trial to determine whether Dershowitz and Prince Andrew are liable for the allegations against them, which they categorically deny, they should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

      That said, while the mainstream press revives its interest in Epstein and reproduces strongly worded denials from Dershowitz and representatives of Prince Andrew, it has overlooked the role of Epstein’s social network in building up his influence and shielding him from accountability. Media coverage of Epstein has been particularly derelict in failing to note the pivotal role of Alan Dershowitz, Israel’s most aggressive defender, in securing near impunity for a sexual predator and his accomplices by bullying, harassing, intimidating and smearing child victims of rape....

      The federal government had mountains of evidence to put Epstein behind bars for decades for child sex-trafficking and serial molestation.

      Epstein procured and molested no fewer than forty underage girls, some from other continents and as young as twelve, in a trafficking ring that involved some of the most powerful people in America and around the world, including “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders,” according to the court filing.
      END EXCERPTS

      The mainstream media haven't "overlooked" this issue -- they are deliberately burying it.

      (This may be the most important article written on this story to date -- read the full text.)

    • What may be more important to know are his hidden gurus, string-pullers, "rabbis," enablers, investors, managers, guides, mentors and clients -- his covert network.

    • Still a mystery: how, precisely, did Jeffrey Epstein obtain his wealth?

      "Jeffrey Epstein profile: How did Prince Andrew’s college-dropout friend become an island-owning billionaire?" link to independent.co.uk

      "However, Epstein made his money might seem irrelevant when compared with his predilection for young girls. However, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of financial services ought to have asked tough questions, and nobody appears to have."

    • Is Dershowitz becoming a bit unhinged? Read the following carefully:

      "Alan Dershowitz Responds" (Ed Whelan) link to nationalreview.com

      One is reminded of the old saying -- a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

      Competent legal advisers would probably have urged Dershowitz against going on the mainstream media rampage of the last few days -- rash statements he has made could create problems for him down the line -- especially the defamatory remarks.

      With regard to Virginia Roberts -- either she will be able to provide credible, concrete and detailed descriptions of her encounters with AD -- perhaps buttressed by reliable eyewitness testimony from others -- or not. This remains to be seen.

    • You know, this Epstein/Dershowitz story is barely underway:

      "The filing also accuses a famous Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, an attorney for Epstein, of having abused the minor, and describes a larger criminal plot run by the financier to facilitate blackmail. The victim claims she was trafficked by Epstein “for sexual purposes to many other powerful men, including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister and other world leaders.” These men are not named—yet."

      link to lawfuel.com

      So many more shoes to drop.

    • Where exactly did Jeffrey Epstein's money come from? Certainly CIA+NSA+FBI+IRS must know. Who are his clients?

      And how much money has Alan Dershowitz received from Jeffrey Epstein?

      Do the mainstream media have any interest in these matters? Or are they going out of there way not to discuss them?

    • lysias,

      Wikipedia pulls together facts and data on important fast-breaking news stories.

      See [Wikipedia; Charlie Hebdo shooting link to en.wikipedia.org ]

      See also [Wikimedia Commons; Category:2015 Charlie Hebdo magazine shooting link to commons.wikimedia.org ]

    • "Perhaps this is all nonsense. But you have to put the available puzzle pieces together. I’m not typically a conspiracy theorist but I’m starting to really think this story is MUCH bigger than anyone is letting on. And once you start to suppose, then the really wild theories can be entertained. “Listen Tony, we really need you onboard with this Iraq thing. Pity if anything were to emerge that might sully your impeccable reputation…”"

      "The guy has the largest residence in all of NYC. oh..and his own private island populated with underage concubines. Where did this all come from? That’s the first thing we need some sort of plausible answer for."

      So why aren't the New York Times and Washington Post looking at the obvious elephant in the room? -- they have the investigative resources to do so (at least they once did).

      One possible explanation: they are part of Jeffrey Epstein's political network (along with Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Henry Kissinger, Larry Summers, Michael Bloomberg, Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair, etc.) -- they are much more interested in protecting him (and his string-pullers) than in reporting the facts about him and his operation.

      Also, they may be eminently blackmailable.

    • From the BBC:

      "Alan Dershowitz sued in Prince Andrew sex abuse case"
      link to bbc.com

      "A royal aide has said the prince will "move on and push ahead" with his work, describing him as "resilient"."

      Prince Andrew is moving in precisely the opposite direction of Alan Dershowitz -- he wants the story to die down as soon as possible -- not fan the flames.

      Most of the parties to the NPA (non-prosecution agreement) with Epstein are probably also hoping that this controversy quickly disappears.

      Also:

      "It is likely the 54-year-old's first public appearance will be at a reception at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland later this month."

    • Breitbart is rushing to Dershowitz's defense for the same reason Shmuley Boteach did -- he's militantly pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. That's the only issue that matters for them -- nothing else is real or of consequence.

    • "I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003" - The Daily Beast (Vicky Ward) link to thedailybeast.com

      "He has a way of spooking you, does Epstein. Or he did. My babies were born prematurely, dangerously so; he’d asked which hospital I was giving birth at—and I was so afraid that somehow, with all his connections to the academic and medical community, that he was coming for my little ones that I put security on them in the NICU. When they’d been released home some months later, I went out to my first party. There was Jeffrey Epstein, sucking a lollipop. “Vicky,” he said, “you look so pretty.”"

    • Isn't the real scandal here revolving around whatever people engineered the non-prosecution agreement? (Not to mention whatever parties were behind the witness tampering and intimidation?)

      If the New York Times and the Washington Post were still real news operations, they would be all over this. But they appear to be part of the same incestuous social/political network that was behind the NPA -- they are all circling the wagons.

    • Dershowitz is probably worrying that if Prince Andrew fails to conduct a scorched earth legal counterattack against Cassell, Edwards and Roberts -- to puff himself up with volcanic moral outrage -- their collective position of adamant denial is going to look soft and weak.

      In fact, Prince Andrew is giving every appearance that he wants this entire controversy to go away immediately and completely -- not another word. Dershowitz is busy cooking up a long-running circus for all the world to gawk at. Smart?

      Here's betting that most of the high-level principals in the case who palled around with Epstein, and accepted his favors, simply want Dershowitz to shut the f*ck up -- not to stir the pot. Leave sleeping dogs lie.

    • Dershowitz is really happy about the new lawsuit filed against him:

      BEGIN EXCERPT
      In an interview Tuesday, Dershowitz said he “welcome[s]” the lawsuit against him as an opportunity to combat what he claims are false accusations.

      “This gives me a weapon that I didn’t previously have, and the weapon is the power of deposition,” Dershowitz said. “I can now subpoena them, put them under oath, subject them to cross-examination, and prosecute them for perjury if they lie.”

      “This is a very positive development for me,” he said.
      END EXCERPT

      "As Dershowitz Takes Action To Refute Allegations, Lawyers Sue for Defamation -- Dershowitz, Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Says He "Welcome[s]" Lawsuit (The Harvard Crimson)" link to thecrimson.com

    • An update on this story:

      "U. professor Paul Cassell fires back at Alan Dershowitz, files defamation suit | Deseret News" link to deseretnews.com

      BEGIN EXCERPTS
      A day after famed attorney Alan Dershowitz went on national TV calling for the disbarment of University of Utah law professor and former federal Judge Paul Cassell, Cassell and his co-counsel have countered with a defamation lawsuit.

      On Tuesday, Cassell and Florida attorney Brad Edwards filed a defamation lawsuit in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County, Florida, claiming Dershowitz engaged in "character assassination" against them in national media interviews, and acted in "willful, wanton, reckless, and intentional disregard" of the two attorneys."

      The suit by Cassell and Edwards calls Dershowitz's TV appearances a "massive public media assault on the reputation and character" of the two attorneys. In their suit, the attorneys say Dershowitz spoke "without ever conducting any investigation of the credibility of the accusations, and of having acted unethically to the extent that their willful misconduct warranted and required disbarment." The attorneys contend that Dershowitz's statements "were false and known by him to be false at the time they were made."

      "Alternatively, Dershowitz made the statements in reckless disregard of their truth or falsity, intending that the statements would provide support for Dershowitz's false protestations of his own innocence and direct attention away from Dershowitz's personal knowledge of and involvement in Epstein's criminal conduct and the subsequent coverup of that misconduct. Dershowitz's statements were and are defamatory per se directly attacking the fitness of the plaintiffs to engage in the honored profession of the practice of law," the two attorneys wrote.

      Cassell released a statement from Jane Doe No. 3 on Monday that said she is "looking forward to vindicating my rights as an innocent victim and pursuing all available recourse. It appears that I am now being unjustly victimized again. These types of aggressive attacks on me are exactly the reason why sexual abuse victims typically remain silent and the reason why I did for a long time. That trend should change. I'm not going to be bullied back into silence."
      END EXCERPTS

      Alan Dershowitz may have made his situation much worse by savagely attacking Paul Cassell, Brad Edwards and Virginia Roberts.

      And he and Shmuley Boteach have managed to drag Israel and "the Jewish people" right into the middle of this mess, in association with Jeffrey Epstein.

      What Israeli and Jewish values were exhibited by Jeffrey Epstein's honey-trap operation, which lured in some of the most powerful leaders in the Western world?

      Questions are now being raised about Dershowitz's possible role in tampering with and intimidating witnesses in the Epstein case:

      "Prince Andrew's friend Jeffrey Epstein 'used aggressive witness tampering to prevent truth coming out'" link to telegraph.co.uk

      Read the full text -- it's an appalling story.

  • Against self-determination
    • Mooser,

      Btw, there is a worthy adversary for you on Twitter:

      Buber Zionist link to twitter.com

      He sometimes reminds me of you -- but without your charm, wit and sense of humor.

      He has posted 163,000 tweets and has 3,700 followers.

    • Mooser,

      Do you post on any social media platforms which we could follow? I am sure that you, like everyone else here, have interests that extend well beyond the range of the I/P conflict.

      I urge Mondoweiss commenters here to provide as many avenues of communication with them as they feel comfortable with sharing with us.

      Exploiting the capability of the Internet to enable multidirectional communications netwide, with no centralized gatekeepers, is a key tool for energizing grassroots political activism. For instance, I've noticed over the last year or two that many of the best minds on I/P issues are communicating with one another on Twitter -- with no intervening moderation.

      Mondoweiss might be able to integrate some of these social media features with its blog. (The standalone blog with its comments section will always be irreplaceable.)

    • Mooser,

      "Sean, You don’t know???. Gee, that sorta means we can flush nearly everything you’ve said so far. I though you had that “what is Jewish” thing all taped up and measured out?"

      Actually, what I have said several times is that the contemporary Jewish establishment has leaned heavily on Torah/Old Testament memes of sacred peoplehood, sacred nationhood and sacred territory to justify Zionist beliefs and policies. That establishment has itself framed "Jewishness" in those terms. Many prominent Jewish media outlets are supersaturated with these claims and assertions.

      But I would sincerely like to hear your thoughts on what traits constitute Jewishness -- especially when it is stripped of Judaism. You would know a great deal more about these matters than I -- someone of Christian European background -- would.

    • Comments provided as-is, without warranty of any kind and used at your own risk. ©2015

    • Annie,

      By the way, do you have a blog or social media feed in which you express the side of yourself that isn't focused on Mideast politics?

      This is my feed: link to friendfeed.com

      Some of my other interests: climate change issues, artificial intelligence, programming languages, linguistics, literature, film, music, etc.

      I wish more Mondoweiss commenters here would post pointers to their non-Mideast-politics-oriented social media feeds -- I presume (hope) that all of us have other interests -- most of what is going on in the world has nothing to do with the I/P conflict. It would also be useful for Mondoweiss commenters to expand their ability to communicate with one another multidirectionally across the entire Internet (not just within the confines of Mondoweiss). Most blogs do not provide features for enabling that kind of communication.

      For instance, Twitter, Friendfeed and Google+ offer the capability for users to communicate directly with one another in public or private messages without any centralized gatekeeper.

    • Annie,

      As I explained before, assigning traits to ethnic groups is highly problematic -- and can often lead to crude stereotyping or worse. I usually avoid it.

      But when some members of some ethnic groups insist on engaging in this activity in regard to themselves, that is interesting. One is curious about what precisely they have in mind.

      What do you think Alan Dershowitz had in mind?

      When Israeli leaders seek to define Israel officially as a Jewish state, what exactly do they mean by the term "Jewish"?

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