Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3430 (since 2009-10-01 15:59:16)



Showing comments 3430 - 3401

  • Mark Halperin excommunicates Rand Paul, over Israel
    • RudyM,

      I don’t know. Hillary seems pretty defeatable in general. I think the Democrats will be making a mistake to make her their presidential candidate.

      Hillary was stale, dull, boring and uninspiring in 2008 and she will much more so in 2016. She's a crude neocon and a tool of the most corrupt elements of Wall Street and the Israel lobby.

      If Elizabeth Warren made an effort I think she could easily defeat Clinton -- just as Barack Obama buried her in 2008.

      She is not nearly as bright as Bill and has no political accomplishments of note on her resume. We have never seen her lead from convictions on any issue. She is running because she is addicted to power and expects to be coronated by an equally corrupt Democratic Party.

    • lysias,

      The tech companies are upset by what the NSA has been doing, at least now that it has become public. It hits them in their wallets. And that’s an issue on which Paul is strong.

      This situation (and sector) potentially provides Rand Paul with a huge opportunity to rake in major campaign contributions. I wonder if his political organization is smart enough and capable enough to exploit it.

    • It's always enlightening to see members of the Israel lobby expose the operations of the Israel lobby so frankly.

  • 'NYT' abided by Israeli gag order even as 'EI' scooped it repeatedly
    • The New York Times agrees to be gagged by Israel.


      I believe this is yet more evidence of Israel-centrism at the New York Times.

      It really would be useful to know precisely which individuals within the New York Times hierarchy are responsible for the pro-Israel propaganda machinations at the paper and what precisely are their ties to Israel.

      These are important facts that the American public deserves to have in its possession.

      And the same point applies to the Washington Post.

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • A few parties that are trying to push the United States into a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine:

      "Former Reagan Adviser Urges U.S. to Counter Russia with ‘Strength and Leadership’: Calls for Awakening of the West in speech" link to

      1. FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative)
      2. Kurt Volker
      3. McCain Institute for International Leadership
      4. neoconservatives
      5. Robert McFarlane
      6. Washington Free Beacon

    • Stephen,

      There is currently a great deal of interesting speculation about who might have been behind the Ukrainian antisemitic leaflet on Daily Kos:

      link to

      Most people agree that it was a false flag provocation -- the main question, as usual: who benefits?

      One line of thought: those who are trying to demonize Russia and to push the United States into greater involvement in the Ukrainian mess are the lead beneficiaries. This leaflet pushes all the right buttons.

    • Stephen Shenfield,

      So it appears to be a provocation, though we don’t know by whom or for what purpose (it would be easy to come up with several divergent hypotheses).

      It is true that Ukraine’s Jewish leaders have expressed support for the “Banderite junta in Kiev” and no doubt that helps to protect Jews in central and western Ukraine, but at the cost of endangering Jews in the southeast. The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

      *Too many* available divergent hypotheses, I would say at this point -- there are numerous candidates for "persons (groups) of interest." But one does note that this seems to be a polished and sophisticated provocation -- one which points to the capabilities of a professional intelligence service.

      The speed with which John Kerry jumped on this incident without bothering to do due diligence is curious.

      With regard to Jews getting involved in violent conflicts among ethnic groups in Europe and Russia -- highly dangerous, to say the least. The best advice: keep as low a profile as possible.

    • Those who follow European (not just Mideast or Israeli) political developments have noticed that there is a current resurgence of "Zionism" (ethnic nationalism) in all of Europe. There is no telling how far it may go. Jewish Zionists are of course in a weak position with regard to opposing it.

      Once this chemistry gets going -- conflicts among competing ethnic nationalisms -- it is very difficult to stop it from escalating. One provocation leads to another. It's very much an ego thing. Every group has its "Bible" and its good reasons for doing whatever it wants in defense of its sacred ethnic territory and interests.

  • Stephen Walt: publishing 'Israel lobby' ended any thought of serving in US gov't
    • yonah fredman wrote:

      I think that Walt has been vindicated over the last 8 years and the role of Israel in US-Iran relations specifically has shown that the Israel lobby’s power is outsized. Also, it makes no difference if the neocons only represented one strand of what is best for Israel, when the towers were hit, these people whose coloring may have been tainted by a specific type of support for Israel Likud Netanyahu policy led us into a war that was in fact against American interests.
      So Walt was right and I don’t need to look him in the eye and test his heart. God can do that.


      You have been surprising me and making several reasonable statements lately that boost your general credibility -- they haven't gone unnoticed and unappreciated.

      If you were currently the Israeli PM, Israel might have a chance to save itself before it is too late.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • JeffB,

      You are unable to see the forest for the trees: if Jews around the world are going to organize their politics around narrow ethnic nationalism and the aggressive pursuit of their ethnic self-interest, every other ethnic and religious group (especially in the United States and Europe) is free to play by the same rules.

      As a dedicated Jewish nationalist yourself, you have no basis on which to object to or complain about the ethnic or religious nationalism of any other group. They will do whatever they please, no doubt often citing Israel and Zionism as a model and justification for their ethnic or religious nationalist beliefs, policies and actions.

      Do you really not see where this is going? Zionism has opened up a major can of worms in Western culture and politics and left Diaspora Jews in a highly precarious position.

      By the way, once again: where are you coming from on Mideast and Israeli politics? -- in a general cultural and political way -- I am not trying to pry in your private life:

      1. ethnic background?
      2. religious background?
      3. nation(s) of citizenship?
      4. political affiliations?
      5. position on the Iraq War?
      6. position on an Iran War?
      7. position on Israeli settlements?
      8. position on the Israel lobby?
      9. position on neoconservatives?
      10. position on ethnic and religious nationalism in general?

    • hophmi,

      What the world will look like if everyone goes down the path of aggressive and discriminatory ethnic and religious nationalism:

      Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine link to

      Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.

      Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website.

      The leaflet begins, "Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality," and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and "register."

      It says the reason is because the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, "and oppose the pro-Slavic People's Republic of Donetsk," a name adopted by the militant leadership.

      By the way, we need to know much more about the origins of this campaign -- it may well be a twisted psyop of some kind.

    • hophmi,

      (Again, no reply button.)

      While you are trying to sell us on the idea that Israel is a tolerant society open to all ethnic groups and religions, I am looking at this article which just came my way:

      Palestinians Are Being Forced to Destroy Their Own Homes link to

      While the Palestinian population in the city has quadrupled to over 300,000 since 1967, municipal authorities have only zoned nine percent of East Jerusalem land for Palestinian construction. Even with this space being set aside, permits are rarely granted, and the result is widespread “illegal” Palestinian construction—which, of course, Israeli authorities can then order to be demolished.

      Tens of thousands of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents now live under the constant threat of having their homes demolished by Israeli authorities, part of a policy of displacement that has been taking place in Jerusalem with a startling degree of public support for more than four decades.


      Wringing the city dry of any Palestinian or overtly Arab presence is not a new Israeli practice. What is relatively new, however, are the self-demolitions being inflicted on the Palestinian community—the financial penalties giving people no other option than to destroy their own homes and move away. Meanwhile, Israel saves face; houses are being cleared without the pesky publication of photos depicting their systematic ethnic cleansing of the area—no bulldozers, no Israeli youngsters wielding M-16s, and no wailing women. It is a PR miracle.

      Cognitive dissonance, much.

    • hophmi,

      It seems impossible to break through your iron wall of ethnic self-absorption, but one more try:

      Would you have any objections if white Christians in the United States, Britain, France and Germany treated Jews in the same way that Israel treats Arab Christians and Muslims?

      And a second question: haven't Israel and all Zionists lost the right to lecture Western nations about how they govern themselves concerning modern Western democratic and liberal standards? What if those nations decide to go full-bore "Zionist" in defense of their traditional ethnic and religious values and cultures -- just like Israel? How could Zionists possibly protest in a persuasive way?

      It's really quite simple: either every group gets to play ethnic and religious nationalist games, or none do. Jews around the world will need to figure out on which side of this grand divide they stand.

    • hophmi,

      (Again, no reply button.)

      We are not "single-minded" or especially "aggressive" and our interests are not "narrow" or exclusively "ethnic."

      The 6000+ comments you have posted on Mondoweiss are a perfect example of a single-minded obsession with one's narrow ethnic nationalist interests -- and with Israel and Zionism in particular. Very few Irish-Americans, British-Americans, German-Americans, Japanese-Americans, etc. would be bogged down in such a fanatical crusade -- they are focused on much more important public policy issues that are relevant to humanity as a whole.

      With regard to "aggression": do you have any idea how many abusive and insulting remarks you have directed against your fellow commenters here? They have all been captured in the MW archive. And then we also have at our fingertips the archives of Frontpage Magazine, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Press, Commentary, Israel National News and dozens of other Israel First publications -- they tell the tale, and future historians will be analyzing them in depth.

    • MHughes976,

      We know what would be the reply of white Christian nationalists in Europe and the United States to this argument: for demographic reasons their own traditional cultures are under seige and falling apart and they must take forceful measures to protect themselves and their societies. They are leaning on precisely the same arguments that are regularly used by Israeli leaders to justify Israeli/Zionist policies -- and it is true that demographic trends are moving against them.

      (My point of view on all this is that all cultures are in a state of perpetual change and evolution in interaction with other cultures, and that this is usually a good thing -- not something to fear. But many people disagree with me.)

      If Israel thinks that it is going to receive a special pass from the modern democratic West regarding the expression of aggressive ethnic and religious nationalism, I think it is mistaken. Either the West will oppose Israel on this issue or it will revive its own ethnic and religious nationalist traditions -- it will be one or the other.

    • hophmi,

      Israel is not in any way an ethnically exclusive state. It is multiethnic and multiracial.

      How many non-Jews -- especially Christians and Muslims -- have been high-level members of the Israeli government from its founding to the present day? The equivalents of Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Jack Lew, Elena Kagan, Alan Greenspan, Eric Cantor, etc?

      Please name them.

      Do you think that most Israelis/Zionists believe that Christians should be represented at the highest levels of the Israeli power elite in the same proportion as Jews are in the American power elite?

      How likely would that be considering that Israel insists on being officially defined as a Jewish state?

    • hophmi,

      You don't like the answer, but we certainly have one.

      And your answer doesn't address the main question: on what rational grounds can you object to all ethnic groups being as single-minded and aggressive in the pursuit of their narrow ethnic nationalist interests as Jewish nationalists are about theirs?

      You are so encased in your ethnocentric and ethnic nationalist cult bubble that you fail to realize just how dangerously out of sync you are with most Americans and Europeans on these issues.

      Most Americans and Europeans are not ethnic nationalists -- but you would have no grounds to object if they chose to pursue their respective "Zionisms" as obsessively as you do. There are already plentiful signs that quite a few Europeans are beginning to use Israel and Zionism as a model and justification for reviving their own ethnic nationalist traditions and energies. One doubts that you will be happy with the outcome.

    • Woody Tanaka,

      I'll pose the question to you, Mayhem and all your fellow Zionists here: What could possibly be your objection to instituting, in the United States, a country for "White Christians" if we stipulate that Jews and African Americans would suffer exactly that which the Zionists imposed on the Palestinians: First, they would be subject to martial law for a generation and most of their property would be seized by the state, then they would split into two groups - one half would become second-class citizens but subject to discrimination in dozens of different ways, and the other half would be subject to occupation of their land, oppression in every way, restriction on travel, random killings, destruction of their economy and way of life, and that would go on forever, but 47 years at a minimum.

      What possible problem would you have to treating American Jews and African Americans in this fashion?

      This is a point to keep bearing down on with maximum pressure: all ethnic and religious groups in the world have as much right to pursue their nationalist agendas as Jewish Zionists -- with just as much intensity and aggression, and with as little regard for the interests and rights of ethnic and religious outgroups. Pro-Israel activists have no answer to this argument -- usually they fall silent or run away from the debate.

      In truth, David Duke is no worse than Benjamin Netanyahu. White Christian nationalism is no less legitimate than Jewish nationalism (Zionism). Certainly Jewish nationalists are responsible for many more human rights violations in recent decades than white nationalists.

      This is the dilemma liberal Zionists face: on what possible grounds can they object to the ethnic or religious nationalism of any group in the world? The more they get tangled up in these intellectual self-contradictions, the more enraged and abusive they become -- they really are suffering a major mental breakdown -- hence all the irrational fury they are directing at Max Blumenthal.

    • pabelmont,

      (Again, no reply button is available.)

      One notices that many pro-Israel activists indulge in verbal abuse and personal attacks on a regular basis.

      Consider a few examples:

      1. Alan Dershowitz
      2. Ben Shapiro
      3. Bret Stephens
      4. Caroline Glick
      5. David Greenfield
      6. David Horowitz
      7. Debbie Schlussel
      8. Jennifer Rubin
      9. John Podhoretz
      10. Orly Taitz
      11. Pamela Geller
      12. William Kristol

      There is a tone of brutal aggression in their communications that seems to reflect the xenophobic ethnic nationalist (supremacist?) culture (cult?) in which they are embedded.

      In any case, M.J. Rosenberg often falls into this style of speech -- whether he is going after "the enemies of the Jews" (antisemites, Jew haters, Israel haters, etc.) or AIPAC (his former employer). Check out his tweet stream for numerous instances.

      This kind of lobbying and political agitation usually backfires, obviously -- most people are turned off by the hysteria and the perpetual din.

      Pamela Geller takes the cake for this kind of thing -- she's the Queen of Screech -- but there are many other pro-Israel militants like her.

    • Two tweets of interest (Gareth Porter vs. Buber Zionist):

      GarethPorter @GarethPorter: Pro-Israel right drags Blumenthal into KC killings, shows no smear is too sleazy 2 be used against a critic of Israel. link to

      Buber Zionist @buberzionist: .@norabf Israel-Haters whine as Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh & company in linking Slappsie Maxxie 2 KC shooter suspect link to

    • MJ (Mike) Rosenberg @MJayRosenberg Apr 14

      If I thought Max Blumenthal's work advanced peace, it would be one thing. It doesn't. It advances hatred.


      How is reporting the facts about racism (and hatred) in contemporary Israeli culture "advancing hatred"? What facts did Blumenthal get wrong in his book?

      Perhaps you could flesh out your charge with some well-reasoned arguments and solid documentation.

    • tweet from the man

      MJ (Mike) Rosenberg?@MJayRosenberg·59 mins

      The BDS and Mondoweiss Israel haters succeed at nothing except driving us evil liberal Zionists far far away. Brilliant strategy!

      I applaud and respect M.J. Rosenberg for revising his views about Israel and for expressing strong criticism of the Israel lobby for several years now -- that took a great deal of courage -- but have others noticed that lately he seems to be sounding more and more like Pamela Geller? "Israel haters"? The level of vituperation in his writings and posts has become increasingly disturbing.

      Is Mike capable of settling into a rational and civil discussion and debate with Mondoweiss commenters on Israeli issues and acquitting himself with dignity and intellectual force? His latest volleys of cheap and abusive potshots at Mondoweiss have not been helpful for his reputation.

      By the way, Mike: the term "liberal Zionist" (or "liberal Jewish nationalist") is as oxymoronic as the term "liberal white nationalist." Think about it. Modern liberalism as most of us understand it is not compatible with ethnic and religious nationalism -- particularly of the highly militarized and oppressive kind.

    • pabelmont,

      On the KKK front, it strikes me that you can count the present-day instances of KKK-type violence (call it terrorism if you must, but definitely call it hate crimes) in USA on the phalanges (phalanxes) of one finger of one hand, but you cannot count the number of KKK-like attacks by Israeli settlers (and police and border guards and IDF) on Palestinians on all the phalanges of all the fingers of all the hands in the Israeli Knesset (when in session, of course).

      Another way to frame this: compare the number of victims of white nationalism for the past half century to the number of victims of Jewish nationalism (Zionism).

      The victims of Jewish nationalism would include all those Palestinians who have been killed, driven from their homes, tortured, abused, etc.

      To the extent that the Iraq sanctions and the Iraq War were driven by neoconservatives with deep ties to Likud Zionism, the victims of those operations could also be added to the tally.

      (Recall that liberal Zionist Madeleine Albright, in a CBS interview, described the deaths of a half million Iraqi children as the result of the Iraq sanctions as "worth it.")

      Another approach to this topic: what role did Judaism and Zionism play in motivating the terrorism of Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir? Both Goldstein and Amir explicitly used Judaism and Zionism to justify their acts.

      Frazier Glenn Miller, like Anders Breivik (the Norwegian mass murderer), used Jewish nationalism as a justification for white nationalism.

    • Simon Spungin's job right now is to try to redeem the reputation of Haaretz and to offer a full explanation for why Haaretz circulated this disgusting smear. Is he going to do his job or not?

    • Oh, this is just perfect:

      Applying Haaretz and Free Beacon’s arbitrary methodology, Rania Khalek noted that there were 11,500 mentions of Haaretz in the VNN Forum, and that Miller himself had cited Haaretz in roughly seventy forum postings, thus making Haaretz even more culpable in the Kansas shootings.

      So Haaretz was a more important "influence" on Miller than Blumenthal.

      What does Simon Spungin have to say for himself and his liberal Zionist newspaper, which is apparently in bed with the Likud Zionist Washington Free Beacon in the promotion of this smear?

      These incredibly dirty tactics damage the attacker much more than the target of the attacks.

  • Alterman says BDS is helping Netanyahu
    • "two-state fakers" -- great phrase -- and they include Eric Alterman, Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller, Martin Indyk, Haim Saban, Leon Wieseltier, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, the full membership of the NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council) and many others (mostly Democrats and liberal Zionists). They've been stringing everyone along for two decades now with false promises and covert sabotage of the bogus peace process.

    • Mike_Konrad,

      They won’t. Sadly. I wish rich Jews would pay the Arabs to leave. But when I bring this up on chatrooms, there seems to be defiant fury from the Jewish community at the thought.

      If Israelis are unwilling to pay reparations for the Nakba, and for the costs of the population transfer you propose, who do you think will assume the burden of these expenses?

    • Mike_Konrad,

      Nope! Israel will not budge. She has 300 nukes, and is in Samson option mode. She will not budge.

      How would Israel's nuclear arsenal prevent Israelis from becoming personae non gratae in the United States and Europe while suffering a severe decline in their standard of living? And wouldn't most Israelis replace their current expansionist and intransigent regime with a more reasonable government if they were faced with that prospect?

    • Mike_Konrad,

      Generic Christian. Non-denominational. I find fault in every denomination with a heirarchical leadership … which is just about all of them.

      Which Christian theologians have most influenced your thinking about Israel?

    • Wow -- I just browsed the top 10 comments under Readers' Picks for this NYT editorial -- yet again, a solid wall of thoughtful criticism of Israel and pro-Israel American policies. It is a certainty that New York Times higher-ups have been paying attention to this significant trend in opinion among its own most valuable readers. A movement this forceful is impossible to ignore or buck.

      Regarding the notion of the United States leaving Israel to its own devices -- free to expand settlements into Greater Israel without serious consequences -- I doubt that it will fly.

    • Page: 34
    • Mike_Konrad,

      There is NO way Israel will budge. Whether you think Israel is right or wrong; Israel will not budge.

      1. If the United States and Europe greatly reduced financial, political and military support for Israel, do you think Israel would budge?

      2. Do you support or oppose the settlers?

      3. How much money does Israel owe Palestinians at this moment in history? Can you name an approximate number for the total reparations owed? And who will pay those reparations? Perhaps Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban and their fellow Zionist billionaires?

      4. With which religious denomination are you associated?

    • Balfour,

      I think the Times is also covering themselves by "officially" assigning equal blame for the Peace Talks, yet the Paper opens their editorial stance up to readers comments, and by an overwhelming margin the commenters blame Israel for the lack of progress. The last time I can remember an event this significant is when Walter Cronkite read his editorial questioning the purpose of the Vietnm War after the Tet Offensive in 1968.

      I think it is no exaggeration to describe the major crackup between mainstream media publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post and their readerships over Mideast and Israeli politics as a historical development of extraordinary importance. I have been thinking this for several years now, since I first noticed this remarkable split opening up. Something is going to have to give -- and I am betting that it will be the unquestioning Zionist attitudes and editorial policies of those publications. In the age of the Internet, they are sitting ducks.

      Renegade Web publications like Mondoweiss are having a much greater impact on the conversation about Israel than the traditional mainstream media. One can easily verify this claim through social media analytics.

    • One can use Twitter search to identify which parties have been using the Kansas City shootings to attack Max Blumenthal:

      [Twitter; Blumenthal link to ]

      1. Alana Goodman
      2. Buber Zionist
      3. Daniel Greenfield
      4. Eli Lake
      5. Frontpage Magazine
      6. Gateway Pundit
      7. Josh Block
      8. M.J. Rosenberg
      9. Pamela Geller
      10. Robert Stacy McCain

      See a pattern?

  • Amid 'climate of fear' at Vassar, president comes out against 'action and protest' re Israel
    • hophmi,

      The Catholic Church is a massive, beyond-wealthy organization with a long history of persecuting others, sanctioning colonialism, military adventurism, and God knows what else.

      Why is everyone always picking on the poor Roman Catholics? Why are there so many Roman Catholic-haters out there?

      Joking. Say whatever you like about the Roman Catholic Church or Christianity in general -- much of what you say may be true. You will probably not be verbally abused or molested by morally outraged Catholics or Christians who are always spoiling for a fight with their enemies.

    • Annie,

      Mondoweiss articles often rank among the top 10 hits for Twitter searches on Mideast topics these days. It has acquired considerable influence among the global cool crowd -- vanguard thought leaders. I've noticed this trend increasingly in recent months.

      Most other sites/bloggers seem quite stodgy by comparison -- bobbling in the wake. Phil's writings are easily in the same select class with, say, Glenn Greenwald or Juan Cole. I actually prefer Phil's essays to theirs much of the time. He's definitely a spark plug.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • LeaNder,

      Are you watching Sean?

      Sorry -- I didn't mean to be a dick about your writing. I singled out that particular sentence of yours when I was feeling especially irritable. Usually you express interesting ideas and I value your contributions.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • Citizen -- that is an eye-opening list that will forever live in infamy, when one considers that the PNAC instigated the worst foreign policy disaster in American history (the Iraq War). Notice how many PNAC affiliates are leading pro-Israel activists -- the PNAC was basically an Israeli op -- now rebranded as the FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative) -- and one of dozens of similar organizational tentacles of the neoconservative/neoliberal wing of the Israel lobby.

      For a list of some leading pro-Israel activists (many of them PNAC affiliates), see:

      link to

      By the way, I am as big a fan of lists and tables as ever -- and your link is an especially well-organized one. Lists are sets of precise facts that permit one to see what is really going on in the world -- often worth much more than volumes of vague opinionating.

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • Jerome Slater,

      I am a non-Zionist (not an anti-Zionist) who is generally sympathetic to the idea of Jews enjoying a homeland in the Mideast, but who is pessimistic that this project is going to work out. But even if the project does fail, Jews will land on their feet.

      In the meantime, one can make one's best effort to try to come up with a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that produces a good outcome for Zionism -- but many of us are growing weary of the entire controversy. There are more important issues to focus on. This mess has dragged on far too long and has consumed too much valuable mental energy. There is very much the feel of an endless neurotic loop about it.

    • lobewyper,

      Ethnocentrism (which I think you are describing) is, as you argue, probably more primal than religion -- although they are sometimes fused in ideological systems and cultures.

      All of us naturally and understandably feel ethnocentric pride and loyalties to one degree or another, whether we are Jewish, Irish, Italian, Chinese, Turkish or whatever -- the question is, to what degree. Some people from all ethnic traditions become fanatical on the subject. Most of us try to overcome a strictly ethnocentric way of looking at the world because militant ethnocentrism usually leads to bad outcomes and because it is too constraining.

      Jewish ethnocentrism, both religious and secular, is obviously a major contemporary issue -- it is impossible to ignore in the aggressive and self-absorbed rhetoric of Jewish pro-Israel activists. And it is probably going to lead to a bad outcome.

    • Ellen,

      F.E. Peters is indeed essential reading on what could be termed "Abrahamist ideologies":

      [book; F.E. Peters; The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume I: The Peoples of God; 2005; Princeton University Press link to ]

      Winner of the 2003 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Religion, Association of American Publishers

      One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2004

      The world's three great monotheistic religions have spent most of their historical careers in conflict or competition with each other. And yet in fact they sprung from the same spiritual roots and have been nurtured in the same historical soil. This book--an extraordinarily comprehensive and approachable comparative introduction to these religions--seeks not so much to demonstrate the truth of this thesis as to illustrate it. Frank Peters, one of the world's foremost experts on the monotheistic faiths, takes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and after briefly tracing the roots of each, places them side by side to show both their similarities and their differences.

      The key to understanding group human behavior is to investigate the core beliefs that energize and motivate it. Certainly Abrahamist religious beliefs are the key driver of contemporary conflicts surrounding Israel. They need to be thoroughly deconstructed.

    • lobewyper,

      I wrote a short time ago about the “deeply ingrained attitudes and beliefs” stemming from early childhood indoctrination. This indoctrination is reinforced during the entire life-span of many Jews, thus rendering it “second nature.”

      I had no problem deconstructing my own cultural/ideological indoctrination (Roman Catholicism) and I have known many Jews who were able to undergo the same process of skeptical questioning regarding Judaism.

      But in truth many religious believers of all types are what I call "underwater" or sleepwalking -- fully immersed in a small conceptual bubble without any understanding of the big and complex world outside that bubble. They sincerely and intensely believe the script they have been handed by the "authorities" in their culture.

      Why some people are independent thinkers and others are natural born herd members is quite a mystery.

      My experience in trying to conduct rational discussions with most religious Zionists (or Zionists who have been strongly influenced by religion) is, forget about it. It's like beating your head against a concrete wall -- their minds don't work in the way one usually expects educated minds to work -- open to real-world facts and evidence, logic, etc. They use information as a tool to rationalize their irrational beliefs in an utterly implacable way. They are true believers -- ripe for the plucking by clever self-appointed priesthoods and cannon fodder for false messianic movements.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius,

      Does anyone know of any books/websites (other than Shlomo Sand) which explore Jewish history in a more dispassionate manner?


      [book; Norman F. Cantor; The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews; 1995; Harper Perennial link to ]

      Cantor's book is much more intellectually honest and tough-minded than Schama's sentimental and blinkered take on the subject.

    • lobewyper,

      I appreciate why most Jews would be reluctant to address this topic for the reasons you mention. Let me emphasize that my only motive for trying to open a dialogue on the subject is to reduce, not increase, tensions on this issue -- to get all the crazy stuff from all our respective cultures out on the table where perhaps it can be tamed and brought under rational control to a degree. I am not trying to back Judaism into a corner with intellectual gotchas.

      I respect and draw inspiration from many aspects of the entire Jewish tradition (including Judaism). I am fully aware of the many problems in my own tradition (Western European, Christian). I think we need to try to sort out the good and bad from all our traditions collectively in a spirit of good will and helpfulness, and with the objective of keeping the human race from blowing itself to kingdom come.

      I've noticed that most cultural and ideological wars revolve around emotional and irrational ego issues that reasonable people should find easy to overcome if they make an effort.

      I *do* see contemporary Israel sliding into a dangerous "us vs. the world" mindset rooted in ancient biblical memes -- the subject needs to be discussed with the purpose of trying to change this dynamic in a more positive direction -- doing that is in everyone's best interest.

    • In viewing all five episodes of Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews, I was struck by the relentless main theme: Jews have been in conflict with "the nations" -- one national enemy and Pharaoh after another -- since the inception of Judaism to the present day, century after century.

      One would expect Schama to be eager to explore in depth the underlying causes of this peculiar historical phenomenon, but no go -- his intellectual curiosity doesn't take him there. And he is, of course, in his own words, a Zionist -- that is, a Jewish nationalist.

  • 'There's a lot of anti-Semitism out there' -- Johansson reviews her role as 'new face of apartheid'
    • biorabbi,

      Great comment on Johansson, Waters and on the need not to let our political disagreements with others cloud our judgment about their talent and character. I agree completely.

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
    • hophmi,

      Do you agree with Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook and other leading Jewish intellectuals who signed that famous New York Times letter that Likud Zionism constitutes a toxic mix of religious mysticism, racial supremacism, terrorism, gangsterism, ultranationalism, Fascism, Nazism, etc.?

      link to

    • These two passages from Einstein's Collier's essay (1938) are verifiably accurate:

      1. The formation of groups has an invigorating effect in all spheres of human striving, perhaps mostly due to the struggle between the convictions and aims represented by the different groups. The Jews, too, form such a group with a definite character of its own, and anti-Semitism is nothing but the antagonistic attitude produced in the non-Jews by the Jewish group. This is a normal social reaction.

      2. Perhaps even more than on its own tradition, the Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world. Here undoubtedly lies one of the main reasons for its continued existence through so many thousands years.

      link to

      You are right that Keith's quote contains a single fraudulent sentence: "The root cause is their use of enemies they create in order to keep solidarity." That sentence doesn't appear in the Collier's article.

      Einstein in a New York Times letter (1948) expressed his views on the Zionist faction which currently rules Israel (Likud):

      Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

      The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

      Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

      The public avowals of Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.


      Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

      During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

      link to

      Note carefully the language used and the charges lodged: Nazi, Fascist, ultranationalism, religious mysticism, racial superiority, terrorism, gangster methods, etc.

      With regard to main point in this thread -- that the Passover ceremony expresses an ideological vision of perpetual conflict between "the chosen nation" (Israel, the Jewish people) and "the nations" (all other nations and peoples) -- a historical pattern extending over millennia which Simon Schama documents in The Story of the Jews -- there has been no rebuttal. That is the easily demonstrable truth.

      And this xenophobic attitude towards "the nations" has been rife in many thousands of comments made by pro-Israel activists over the last few decades -- simply consult, for instance, the pages of leading Israeli publications for the evidence.

    • yonah fredman,

      (Again, the Reply button is missing so I will add my comment here.)

      You are not dealing with the reality that antisemitism has been a permanent feature of human history, in all times and places, since the founding of Judaism. Jews have been bogged down in an endless series of culture wars (clashes of civilizations) with dozens of nations and peoples since the era of Moses to the present day. This is the organizing theme, for instance, of Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews.

      Modern European and Christian antisemitism is just one segment of a timeline that extends for thousands of years in many settings -- not just European and Christian.

      The main point is that this narrative of perpetual conflict between "the chosen nation" (Israel) and "the nations" (all non-Jewish peoples) defines the ideological core of Judaism as expressed in the Torah, Passover, Hanukkah, Purim and other elements of the Jewish tradition.

      Most reasonable people might conclude that the core ideological beliefs in this tradition are playing a key role in producing the pattern of historical conflict that they envisioned and enshrined from their original conception.

      What in the world could be more obvious?

      Your thoughts?

      Keith just posted some lucid thoughts on this topic, especially the Albert Einstein quote. One presumes that you don't think that Einstein is antisemitic for having spoken the simple truth on this issue -- or do you?

    • hophmi,

      PBS just broadcast a five-part series, The Story of the Jews, in which Simon Schama depicted thousands of years of Jewish history as one long sequence of conflicts between "the Jews" and "the nations" (more than a dozen of them, from ancient Egypt to 20th century Germany). Are you claiming that Schama got it wrong?

      To come back to my original point: this xenophobic model of the world -- one which posits eternal conflict between a divinely chosen nation and all other nations -- is baked into the founding documents of Judaism. Perhaps this ideology needs to be reworked and revised from the ground up. Enlightenment Jews came to that conclusion and developed Reform Judaism -- but Reform Judaism has since been swallowed whole by Zionism.

      As Robert Cohen noted:

      This [Passover] is our story told as one long pogrom.

      It is a passage that reinforces the sense of the Jews under perennial siege all the way from biblical mythology to modern history. From the tribe of Amalek trying to thwart the slaves’ escape from Egypt, to Haman’s planned genocide of the Jews of Persia in the story of Esther, to Adolf Hitler’s near success in making the European continent ‘Judenrein’

      In every generation there is always another Pharaoh who is out to get the Jews.

      It’s not difficult to understand how this idea repeated each year, at what is still the most widely observed Jewish festival, has profound emotional consequences for the Jewish imagination.

    • hophmi,

      To my remark -- "Israel (the self-described official representative of “the Jewish people”) currently seems to be in a state of serious conflict with nearly everyone" -- you replied -- "Oh please. They're not a state of serious conflict with anyone except the Palestinians."

      Israel isn't in a state of conflict with Europe, the United States (John Kerry), Iran, the United Nations, and on and on? Apparently you haven't been following the news.

      Look at yourself, hophmi -- you are entirely bogged down in political and cultural warfare with your ethnic (and ethnic nationalist) enemies here on Mondoweiss. You are so firmly ensconced inside your ethnocentric and ethnic xenophobic bubble that you are completely unaware of how out of sync you are with most Americans and with most of humanity.

      Most of us are not obsessed with waging endless battles against our ethnic enemies. We do not define ourselves in those terms. We've evolved beyond the ethno-religious nationalist phase of human civilization.

      Have you thought much about the cultural conditioning and programming that has formed your outlook on the world and propelled you on your current confrontational path with so many people over your ethnic identity? That must be a terrible mental burden to carry.

    • There is an interesting discussion of this passage:

      In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.


      [Why Do They Want to Kill Us? link to ]

      And see: [Text of the Passover Haggadah link to ]

      Also: [Google; In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands link to ]

    • hophmi,

      To my point -- "Should supposed universalist ethical and moral values be framed in terms of ethnic nationalism and ethnic conflict?” -- you replied: "Want to parse that question out? If it’s universalist, then it cannot be framed in terms of nationalism or ethnicity, period."

      I agree. If Judaism intends to survive as a universalist religion it will probably need to distance itself from ethnic nationalism (Zionism and Israel). All nations are notoriously defective in respecting and honoring universal ethical and moral values -- it's the way of the world.

    • hophmi,

      To my question -- "Is never-ending conflict with ethnic outsiders baked into the core assumptions of Judaism?" -- you replied, no.

      The Torah is one long series of cultural and military wars against other peoples and nations; Simon Schama's recent five-part series The Story of the Jews extends that narrative through the last few millennia of history to the present; and Israel (the self-described official representative of "the Jewish people") currently seems to be in a state of serious conflict with nearly everyone (especially Europe and the United States lately).

      You are not addressing this issue in satisfactory way, in my opinion.

      There is something interesting going on here that merits close inspection, and it is summed up in this single brief quote:

      In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.

    • yonah fredman,

      In the matter of religious ideologies, we are basically dealing with three groups: creators, leaders/curators and followers. Creators of religions are interesting; leaders and curators (priesthoods) much less so; and followers are of little interest at all -- they are programmed bots, mechanically following a prepared script. They are underwater; sleepwalking; not fully developed individuals.

      Would you agree?

      By the way, what does this statement mean to you? How do you interpret it? Who are "they"? What motivates them? Why does this occur "in each and every generation"?

      In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.

      This was the main theme of Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews -- a few of "the enemies of the Jews" mentioned by Schama:

      1. Arabs
      2. Assyrians
      3. Babylonians
      4. Christians
      5. Egyptians
      6. English
      7. Europeans
      8. French
      9. Germans
      10. Greeks
      11. Iranians
      12. Iraqis
      13. Muslims
      14. Palestinians
      15. pagans
      16. Persians
      17. Poles
      18. Protestants
      19. Roman Catholics
      20. Romans
      21. Russians
      22. Spaniards
      23. Syrians
      24. Ukrainians

      Why so many enemies in every generation and place from ancient Egypt to 2014? Schama made no effort to explain what is propelling this narrative over millennia. One reasonable explanation: the core ideology is the main driver: this is precisely the historical pattern that it imagined from its origins.

    • yonah fredman,

      Does it strike you as a reasonable observation that ideologies which organize their beliefs around perpetual conflict with enemies of a particular type will find themselves embroiled in endless conflicts with those enemies?

      Isn't this one of those "elementary, my dear Watson" insights? Self-evident?

      For instance, Marxists and Communists envisioned themselves as being locked in a messianic long war with capitalists -- and, of course, they remained bogged down in an endless series of conflicts with capitalists -- until they were decisively defeated.

      Your thoughts?

      What is your take on dualist/binary ontologies and belief systems in general -- and on their role in generating self-fulfilling prophecies?

    • American,

      This hits the bull's-eye:

      Self-fulfilling Prophecy

      The term “self-fulfilling prophecy” (SFP) was coined in 1948 by Robert Merton to describe “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true.”

      SFP is a particular type of dynamic process. To count as SFP, a belief must have consequences of a peculiar kind: consequences that make reality conform to the initial belief.

      The actors within the process—or at least some of them—fail to understand how their own belief has helped to construct the resulting reality; because their belief is eventually validated, they assume that it had been true at the outset.

      If you organize your culture around an ideology which posits eternal conflict between yourself and other ethnic groups, peoples and nations ("the nations," collectively), it is safe to say that you will perpetually generate the situations that you imagine.

      What could be more obvious?

      Xenophobic ideologies are powerfully self-reinforcing. Modify the ideology and you will probably succeed in modifying the repeated pattern of negative social interactions.

      Fear of "the other" has traditionally been an effective tool exercised by self-appointed priesthoods for maintaining cult cohesion and keeping followers in line. Xenophobic cults require an endless stream of enemies to survive.

    • “In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.”

      1. Is never-ending conflict with ethnic outsiders baked into the core assumptions of Judaism?

      2. Do many Jews define themselves and their cultural identity in terms of this fundamental dualistic ontology?

      3. Is this never-ending conflict a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy -- propelled by a questionable algorithm?

      4. Does this ideological system need to be retooled or tweaked -- or perhaps discarded altogether?

      5. Should supposed universalist ethical and moral values be framed in terms of ethnic nationalism and ethnic conflict?

      Are these five related questions impolite and politically incorrect? (Certainly I must be Amalek for contemplating them -- but I tend to question everything -- including my own cultural conditioning and programming.)

  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • LeaNder,

      I see now that there was a great deal of substance behind that brief comment of yours that I was unable to parse. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. (I don't see the REPLY button for your comment so I am posting this note here.)

    • libra,

      I've done graduate studies in German literature, know that LeaNder is a native German speaker, and scanned that sentence several times looking for Germanic constructions of compound nouns, but without success. I frequently find it difficult to follow her train of thought. No big deal.

      By the way, I really appreciate the power of German to express complex abstract ideation. I am learning Spanish at the moment, and it really can't compete with German in that regard.

    • LeaNder,

      I noticed recently that Indyk is involved again at one of the my post Trayvon Martin case more rare looks at Pat Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis blogs.

      I often find it difficult or impossible to parse your sentences and thoughts.

    • JeffB,

      If this were a normal situation Kerry wouldn't care how Israel handles its indigenous population. Kerry wouldn't know and wouldn't care where Netanyahu's government decides to build housing, roads, water .... for his population.

      Where are you coming from on Mideast and Israeli politics? Basic datapoints?

  • 'NYT' self-censors, axing headline blaming Israeli settlements
    • Per usual, be sure to scan and analyze the Readers' Picks among the comments.

      Much of the time the New York Times (like the Washington Post) appears to be a propaganda arm of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby -- and a crude one at that. Among thoughtful readers it invites ridicule more than outrage. Sad.

  • Christie will get another crack at not saying 'occupied territories' at NY Adelson fete
    • libra,

      Sean, what does your list for Liberal Zionism look like?

      What is interesting is that arguably the list for liberal Zionism is identical to that toxic list for Likud Zionism -- liberal Zionists like Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and Aaron David Miller have been running interference for Likud Zionism through the hocus-pocus of fooling the world into believing that *any* major faction of the Israeli government and Israel lobby has been seriously interested in pursuing a fair and just solution to the Palestinian issue.

      While liberal Zionists have worked hard to put a pretty face on Zionism, to emote about their good intentions, the Israeli government under both "right" and "left"regimes has continued to create facts on the ground of Greater Israel in the form of ever-expanding settlements.

      An immediate example at hand: one of the self-described liberal Zionist commenters on Mondoweiss for several years now has claimed to express support for the two-state solution on principled and enlightened grounds while unloading torrents of verbal abuse on anyone who has criticized right-wing extremists in the Zionist world.

      Regarding that long list of positive values in the Jewish tradition I referred to -- none of them are dependent on or connected to Zionism. They would include speaking truth to power, social justice, philanthropy, charity, love of learning, visionary risk-taking, intellectual seriousness, moral and ethical gravitas, stringent self-criticism, etc. -- all the good stuff that I have found inspiring in my exposure to the best representatives of that tradition.

      My guess is that the Jewish community is going to wake up with a terrible headache from its bout with Zionism -- it will take decades to undo the damage and get back on a positive track.

      Serious Jewish thinkers like Peter Beinart are trying to turn things around, but their efforts are too little, too late.

      The most urgent mission facing the Jewish community: reminding the world that Judaism and Jewish civilization stand for more than militant ethnic nationalism and the single-minded pursuit of ethnic-self-interest.

    • Champions of Jewish Values?

      Is it wise for the Jewish community to permit Likud Zionists, religious Zionists and Greater Israelists to define the following values as "Jewish values"?

      1. apartheid
      2. assassinations
      3. attacks on American presidents
      4. attacks on Europe
      5. censorship
      6. Christian Zionism
      7. Clash of Civilizations
      8. collective punishment
      9. endless Mideast wars
      10. false flag ops
      11. Global War on Terror
      12. Greater Israel
      13. house demolitions
      14. Iran War
      15. Iraq War
      16. Islamophobia
      17. Jewish-only settlements
      18. Jonathan Pollard
      19. messianic ethnic nationalism
      20. messianic religious nationalism
      21. neoconservatism
      22. Old Testament cultism
      23. olive tree uprootings
      24. passport thefts
      25. police state culture
      26. price tag attacks
      27. racism
      28. radical wealth inequality
      29. segregation
      30. shady billionaires
      31. spitting on Christians
      32. torture
      33. total surveillance state

      Why would Sean Penn want to associate himself with these values?

      Isn't it a matter of considerable historical urgency for leading Jewish organizations and Jews to start reminding the world of the many positive values in the Jewish tradition?

  • Rioting settlers clash with Israeli police at colony deep in West Bank
  • Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op
    • Some synonyms for "hasbara":

      1. propaganda
      2. spin
      3. public relations
      4. pilpul
      5. Talmudic meanderings
      6. ethnic nationalist groupthink
      7. sophistry
      8. casuistry
      9. obfuscation
      10. nonsense
      11. lies
      12. bullshit

      Definition of sophistry: the use of fallacious arguments, esp. with the intention of deceiving.

    • DaBakr:

      whats ‘hasbara central”?


      [Sourcewatch: Hasbara link to ]

      Hasbara refers to the propaganda efforts to improve Israel's image abroad, to justify its actions, and defend it in world opinion. It is a public diplomacy effort undertaken by Israeli government officers, or individuals in target countries (public or private efforts; group or individual efforts). Israel portrays itself as fighting on two fronts: against the Palestinians/Arabs and world opinion. The latter is dealt with hasbara. The premise of hasbara is that Israel's problems are a matter of better propaganda, and not one of an underlying unjust situation.


      Hasbara Campus Manual

      A Hasbara manual for students to use on US university campuses is now available online. A summary of the techniques is provided from page 31 onwards:

      Propaganda is used by those who want to communicate in ways that engage the emotions and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote a certain message.

      The manual goes on to describe seven propaganda techniques:

      1. Name calling: through the careful use of words, then name calling technique links a person or an idea to a negative symbol.

      2. Glittering generality: Simply put, glittering generality is name calling in reverse. Instead of trying to attach negative meanings to ideas or people, glittering generalities use positive phrases, which the audience are attached to, in order to lend positive image to things. Words such as "freedom", "civilization",…

      3. Transfer: Transfer involves taking some of the prestige and authority of one concept and applying it to another. For example, a speaker might decide to speak in front of a United Nations flag, in an attempt to gain legitimacy for himself or his idea.

      4. Testimonial: Testimonial means enlisting the support of somebody admired or famous to endorse and ideal or campaign.

      5. Plain folks: The plain folks technique attempts to convince the listener that the speaker is a 'regular guy', who is trust-worthy because the are like 'you or me'.

      6. Fear: Stressing that ignoring the message will likely lead to war, terrorism

      7. Bandwagon: Suggest that the stated position is mainstream and use polls to suggest this.

  • 'We ask you to show solidarity with the farmers and their families of Gaza': Open letter to Neil Young from Gaza agricultural workers
    • Brian,

      Earlier you remarked "I'm not rude."

      Do you consider any of these direct quotes from you to be rude or abusive?

      1. 2 bit terror-loving busybodies
      2. a pack of lies
      3. blood libel the Joos
      4. crank-filled terror cult
      5. fraud, racism and terrorism
      6. fraud, thuggery and racism
      7. fraudulent blood-libel
      8. fraudulent distortions
      9. fucking idiotic
      10. hate Israel crud
      11. hate Israel fad
      12. hate the existence of Jews
      13. highly synchronized Jew hatred
      14. hormonal drama queens and princes
      15. idiotic article
      16. idiots
      17. in a pig's ass
      18. Israel hate stuff
      19. Israel haters
      20. ivory tower knucklehead
      21. Jamestown Kool Aid cult
      22. Jew haters
      23. Mondonut
      24. MORONS!
      25. PalArabs
      26. poisonous Kool Aid
      27. racist morons
      28. self-hating Jew
      29. Shamnesty International
      30. sheer idiotic hypocrisy of Queers beating Israel
      31. stupid resolutions
      32. suck it up
      33. the goals of eradicating Israel and killing all the Jews
      34. this is silly
      35. this is so stupid
      36. typical piss and moan go nowhere radical whine
      37. you dorks must be kidding

      By the way, I think your posts are enlightening -- I hope Mondoweiss continues to approve your comments.

  • Adelson would install Netanyahu in the White House if he had his druthers -- Avnery
    • Libra,

      With all others in the world there is a set of issues with which one agrees and a set of issues with which one disagrees.

      I've often been highly critical of Thomas Friedman (especially because of his support for the Iraq War). I also notice when he takes positions I agree with (like opposing Likud, Sheldon Adelson, Israeli settlements, etc.).

      Effective politics is all about exploiting every small opportunity and opening -- not about whaling away on everyone in the world whose views don't perfectly align with one's own. Righteous political purists tend to end up as political parties with memberships of precisely one person.

      I strongly disagree with several of Barack Obama's policies, especially concerning civil liberties, privacy rights, drone strikes, torture, etc. But I am still glad I supported Obama over Mitt Romney in the last election. I prefer Thomas Friedman's views on Israeli politics over those of, say, Charles Krauthammer. These distinctions matter.

      Be grateful that Friedman over the years has managed to slip a few insightful and truthful statements about Israel and the Israel lobby into the op-ed page of the New York Times -- it doesn't happen very often.

    • One wonders who dislikes Thomas Friedman more -- you or Israel National News and its commenters:

      In his latest column, the New York Times' Thomas Friedman depicts billionaire Sheldon Adelson in much the same way that anti-Semites have depicted Jews for centuries – a “swaggering oligarch” using huge sums of money to control the US, or more specifically – the Republican party.

      Don't pay too much attention to Thomas Friedman's anti-Conservative and Anti-Likud diatribes. Friedman is a conceited, pseudo-intellectual, loopy and looney Leftist who, like Esav haRasha, has exchanged his Jewish Birthright for a "mess of pottage". He is "Poster Boy" for the NYT shmatta "newspaper" that prides intself as being as anti-Semitic as Nazi Julius Streicher's y"s Der Shturmer, and as anti-Israel as Hussein Obama and the current American Democratic Party. Hag Kosher V'Sameach, Thomas.

      link to

      Liberal Zionists seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    • Thomas Friedman on Sheldon Adelson yesterday:

      [article; Thomas Friedman; Sheldon: Iran’s Best Friend; The New York Times; April 5, 2014 link to ]

      For once, a nearly solid wall of commenters are in agreement with a New York Times article on Mideast politics and Israel.


      Iran could not be happier. The more Israel sinks into the West Bank, the more it is delegitimized and isolated, the more the world focuses on Israel’s colonialism rather than Iran’s nuclear enrichment, the more people call for a single democratic state in all of historic Palestine. And now Iran has an ally: Sheldon Adelson — the foolhardy Las Vegas casino magnate and crude right-wing, pro-Israel extremist."


      Adelson personifies everything that is poisoning our democracy and Israel’s today — swaggering oligarchs, using huge sums of money to try to bend each system to their will.

      Sometimes Friedman hits the nail on the head.

    • Uri Avnery wrote:

      We are told that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and across the globe. In the crazy mental world of the anti-Semites, Jews control the cosmos. And here we have a Jew, straight out of the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, trying to appoint the ruler of the mightiest country on the planet.

      Scenario: Zionism has the potential to trigger the biggest explosion of antisemitism in world history, worldwide, all at once.

      Leading Zionists themselves have been complaining that they see signs of this frightening historical trend all around them.

      Where does one begin to untangle this psychological mess?

      Eric Alterman wrote:

      If a Jew-hater somewhere, inspired perhaps by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, sought to invent an individual who symbolizes almost all the anti-Semitic clichés that have dogged the Jewish people throughout history, he could hardly come up with a character more perfect than Sheldon Adelson.

      J.J. Goldberg wrote:

      Amid mounting alarm that anti-Semitism is on the rise in key spots around the globe — and fears that Israel could be a prime target — a prominent Republican group has come up with a unique approach to fighting back: gather a bunch of Jewish zillionaires at a casino in Las Vegas, announce plans to buy the White House in 2016 and invite leading politicians to come, hat in hand, and beg for permission to be the candidate.

  • 'NYT' readers who objected to calling Abbas 'defiant' have a point, public editor rules
    • yonah fredman,

      Sumud- How can I take a pro Palestinian protest against Zionist racism seriously if that same protester cites racist websites? It works both ways.

      On what grounds can Zionists like you and jon s object to the ethnic or religious nationalism of any non-Jewish group without looking absurd and eventually bringing down the wrath of much of the world on you?

      The truth is, there are no grounds -- other than cult hocus-pocus that any other tribe is free to adopt and exploit.

      Zionists have abandoned any right to complain about ethnic nationalist movements in Europe, the United States and everywhere else in the world. In fact, Israel is providing a model for that kind of narrow and selfish tribal behavior. If Jews can do it, every other ethnic and religious group can say, so can we.

      Compared to Benjamin Netanyahu's and Sheldon Adelson's ethnic nationalism, Kevin MacDonald's ethnic nationalism is rather mild -- and more naturally and organically grounded in European and American history and culture than Zionism.

      Live by ethnic nationalism, die by ethnic nationalism. Don't try to play the ethnic nationalist card in one setting and the liberal universalist card in another setting unless you really want to rile up the world against you.

  • From Portland to Portland, and Amman to Lahore, 'NYT' letter-writers are sharper than 'NYT' writers
    • It's great that James and Phil have noticed this phenomenon -- on Mideast politics, the readers of mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post are in open revolt against the editorial policies of those outlets -- and the commenters are often more articulate, more reasonable, better informed and better educated than the paid pundits for those tired and behind-the-times institutions.

      It will be interesting to watch how the Times and Post try to handle what must be for them a very big problem indeed. If they could get away with heavily editing or censoring the comments of their own readers, they would probably do it. But they understand that they can't afford to alienate their own readership without going out of business.

  • 'NYT' editorial writer savages Republicans for 'pro-Israel, philo-Semitic' curtseys to Adelson
    • This Mondoweiss story currently ranks in the second slot among Twitter search results on the Adelson story (just behind Bill Moyers and ahead of Glenn Greenwald):

      [Twitter; Adelson link to ]

      Make no mistake: Mondoweiss is a high-impact publication among global thought leaders.

    • hophmi,

      What raises so many eyebrows about the Adelson situation is that these controversies are swirling around a *foreign government*. The issue is not that this government is Israel, or that Israel is a Jewish state, or that Adelson is Jewish, but that so much attention is being focused on the activities of any foreign government in American domestic politics. Groveling before the NRA, which is an American organization, has a very different feel about it.

      If Irish-American, Swedish-American or Japanese-American billionaires, Adelson-style, were manipulating the American political system on behalf of Ireland, Sweden or Japan, the intensity of disbelief and outrage from the American public would be the same.

      (I agree with you that the tone of that comment you quoted is antisemitic and think that Phil was wise to delete it.)

      The best advice I could offer the Israel lobby is to lower its profile dramatically and drastically -- to the same level as that of other foreign lobbies in American politics. Be as invisible as possible. But clearly it has chosen to take the opposite course -- let's see how that plays out.

    • More David Firestone:

      The ability of one man and his money to engender so much bootlicking among serious candidates, which ought to be frightening, has now become commonplace. Why talk directly to voters when you can get a billionaire to help you manipulate them with a barrage of false television ads, as the Koch brothers are doing with Republican Senate candidates around the country.

      It’s a cynical calculation that is turning people away from political involvement. Mr. Adelson thinks that’s not only terrific, but hilarious. Politico reported that at a party on Saturday night for the Republican Jewish Coalition, Mr. Adelson said he couldn’t give the group the $50 million it requested because its director didn’t have change for $1 billion.

      The event was closed to the press, but it’s not hard to hear the fawning laughter and applause from here.

      By the way, be sure to browse the comments by New York Times readers on Firestone's post -- and sort them by Readers' Picks. Be prepared to be singed by the outrage.

    • David Frum wrote:

      Jewish donors contributed generously to Clinton’s election campaigns; after he left office, some of those former donors helped him to grow very rich very rapidly.

      This is why American politicians need to worry a great deal not only about what might happen to them during their terms of office regarding their views and policies on Israel -- but about what might happen to them *after* their terms. (And not only to them but to their family members as well.)

      Frum is describing a system of powerful financial and social control exercised by the Israel lobby over American politics. (Actually, Frum is directly referencing the Jewish lobby in that quote -- "Jewish donors." Frum himself is Jewish, was a leading neocon, and was a key ringleader of the Iraq War -- he knows what he is talking about on Jewish issues. Last I checked he wasn't a "Jew-hater.")

      Regarding David Firestone and Jon Stewart -- awesome -- they are truth-tellers.

      Regarding all the Republican politicians who cravenly groveled before Adelson and the RJC at this meeting -- consider them disgraced -- worthy targets of savage parody and satire. They exemplify everything that has gone wrong in the Republican Party and in American politics in general in both parties.

      Chris Christie's apology to Adelson (more groveling) marks him as pathetic -- definitely not the tough guy he pretends to be. But on the left, Samantha Power (to pick one of many examples) has been as conspicuous a groveler as any Republican.

      David Firestone in the New York Times dared to use the words "loathsome" and "bootlicking" to describe these proceedings -- good for him.

  • 'New Yorker' satirist Borowitz won't touch Adelson's Israel agenda with a barge pole
    • GJB,

      Hey, did you pen that? -- you out-Borowitzed Borowitz. Nice riff on the traffic jam theme.

      My guess is that groveling before gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson will probably be the kiss of political death. Rand Paul was smart to steer clear of the demeaning grovel-fest.

    • Rand Paul chose not to grovel, which will further increase his anti-establishment luster and rile up the anxieties of the neocons.

    • Andy Borowitz is such a fearless intellectual gadfly -- not. (But he can sometimes be funny -- I was following him on Twitter before the New Yorker picked him up.)

      Most of the mainstream media are going out their way not to mention the elephant in the room with regard to Adelson -- Israel -- which of course makes them look ridiculous and craven.

  • Wait, did a 'Washington Post' columnist just call Netanyahu a bad guy?
    • Annie,

      Ok, I see that that was a different (and more thorough) article that you mentioned than my link. Thanks for the pointer.

      It looks like Adelson may be planning to target and hassle Rand Paul:

      According to several donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference held in Las Vegas last weekend, the billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is prepared to fund a campaign against Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) if he picks up increased support during his widely anticipated presidential run in 2016.

      I'll bet the scheme backfires -- which personality is more palatable to most Americans -- Rand Paul or Sheldon Adelson? Who is going to come off as the sinister meddler in American politics and the agent of a foreign power?

    • Annie,

      I'm glad you caught the Reason article. I also posted a pointer to it here:

      link to

      I find myself paying more and more attention to the social and political dynamics between commenters and authors regarding Mideast politics on mainstream media outlets. Israel Firsters and Israel "Only"-ers (like Jennifer Rubin) are really feeling the heat -- they must be starting to realize that they are in incredibly exposed positions -- on thin limbs that are about to break.

      The commenters in the mainstream media are often much more knowledgeable about many issues than the paid pundits -- and their fingers are more on the pulse of real grassroots American opinion trends.

    • Btw, how did you establish that Jeff Bezos is a WASP? Is his ethnic and religious background available on the Internet? (Ditto for the Koch brothers -- are the facts about their ethnic and religious background in the public domain?)

    • The article titles tell the tale -- relentless neocon incitement, goading and warmongering:

      # Jackson Diehl: notes
      1. article by: "Jerusalem: The Biography," by Simon Sebag Montefiore
      2. article by: How Obama bungled the Syrian revolution
      3. article by: If we retreat from Iraq, will Iran take over?
      4. article by: In Obama's push for Mideast peace, whose side is he on?
      5. article by: Is Obama to blame for the Arab Spring's failure
      6. article by: John Kerry's departure from reality
      7. article by: John Kerry's Middle East dream world
      8. article by: McCain: U.S. 'making up reasons' to avoid action on Libya
      9. article by: Obama's dangerous passivity on Egypt and Syria on display
      10. article by: Obama's Middle East fallacy
      11. article by: Obama's myopic worldview
      12. article by: Why do Sarkozy and Obama hate Netanyahu?
      13. article by: Why is Obama so tough on Israel and timid on Syria?
      14. article by: Why is the West so sluggish on Syria?
      15. article by: Why the U.S. should arm the Syrian opposition
      16. article by: Why the U.S. should intervene in Syria
      17. article by: Will 2013 see action on Iran's nuclear program?
      18. born in 1956
      19. born in San Antonio, Texas
      20. Iraq War ringleader
      21. Washington Post articles: link to
      22. Washington Post Jerusalem bureau member
      23. Wikipedia: link to
      24. Yale B.A. 1978

    • Regarding the great gulf that has opened up between the Washington Post and its readers regarding Israeli issues:

      Neocon (and Israel Firster) Jennifer Rubin today posted a column attacking Rand Paul with a clearly Likud Zionist agenda:

      link to

      Go to the comments, click on Most Liked, and you will find the three most liked comments:

      1. "There are a lot of things I don't like about Rand Paul and what he stands for, but putting the interests of the United States ahead of those of Israel is not one of them."

      2. "The zio-con propaganda machine is trying very hard to discredit anyone who cares about America first. Adelson picks the next useful idiot tool of the Israel-firsters and the propaganda machine tries to discredit everyone else. How stupid do you really think Americans are?"

      3. "Now that Rubin's columns go unread by most conservatives could WaPo change her out please? I will say upfront I didn't read her column today nor will I. What I will say in Rand Paul's defense is while the rest of the Republicans are out bending knee to the Jewish bankers Rand Paul declined the invitation. That makes Rand Paul the only GOP candidate I'm interested in hearing more about."

      Seriously, it's one massacre after another -- Washington Post commenters eviscerating Washington Post columnists.

      I would love to hear Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl discuss this interesting trend in depth. What are their thoughts?

      One more top comment:

      Without reading the article (I never read Jen's 'work') I can only assume Rand Paul seeks to cut funding to our 51st state.

      Why oh why Jen does not actually move to her beloved Israel is beyond me.

      Houston, we have a problem.

    • Why does Jackson Diehl feel such a passionate attachment to Israel and Zionism? Does anyone know? How about Fred Hiatt?

      Their views on Israel have radically alienated most Washington Post readers who take the trouble to comment on Mideast politics on the Washington Post website.

      I use the word "radically" carefully -- many of the comments express loathing for and outrage at the Washington Post's neoconservative editorial line on Israel and issues connected to Israel.

      Certainly Diehl and Hiatt have noticed what's going on -- how do they feel about it? Are they anxious? Defiant? Digging in their heels? In Alamo/Masada mode?

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • If Mike Konrad is a Christian evangelist, I would be curious to know the religious denomination with which he is affiliated.

      Also -- which Christian theologians have most influenced Mike's thinking about Israeli issues and the world in general?

    • Mike Konrad,

      Are you a Christian evangelical?

    • If one were to go about orchestrating a campaign to stir up antisemitic feelings in America, one would be hard-pressed to dream up a more effective event than the recent Adelson/RJC meeting -- the Elders of Zion meme in flesh and blood all over the mainstream media. The conspicuous groveling of leading Republican politicians before King Adelson will leave an indelible impression in the minds of many Americans.

      The British Jew above has obviously noticed these dangerous trends. The RJC itself is completely oblivious to the consequences of its actions.

  • 'NYT Book Review' gives platform to Radosh to accuse Judis of writing 'what-if' history
    • Advice to Ronald Radosh: regarding the claim -- "the lobby is still casting its pernicious spell over American policy makers" -- take the trouble to dig into the Twittersphere on the RJC/Adelson controversy:

      1. [Twitter; Adelson (Top tweets)
      link to ]

      2. [Twitter; Adelson (All tweets)
      link to ]

      What will Radosh take away from those tweetstreams? Will he detect a theme? Perhaps he will attribute the overwhelming anti-Adelson and anti-RJC sentiment to antisemitism (or "Jew-hating") on the fringes of American culture?

      Radosh needs to reboot.

    • Ronald Radosh wrote:

      Judis intends to show that not only did the Zionist lobby prevent Truman from supporting alternatives (such as a binational one) to a Jewish state, but that the lobby is still casting its pernicious spell over American policy makers.

      One wonders if Radosh has any thoughts about the recent RJC/Adelson meet:

      Under the watchful eyes of a few hundred powerful Jewish donors — none more heavily courted than billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — Christie, Walker and Kasich also emphasized their support for Israel and advocated a muscular foreign policy.

      "Governors Christie, Walker and Kasich woo billionaire Sheldon Adelson at Vegas event" link to

      Radosh should read the comments on this article at the Washington Post, which express a monolithic wall of disgust and outrage directed at the Israel lobby.

      Top comment:

      Nice to see Government for sale on public view, isn't it folks? Sheldon Adelson is ONE (1) American citizen - there are 300 million plus more American citizens that these dolts are NOT sucking up to (and that includes YOU). Should tell you everything you need to know about the state of our government in general and the Republican Party in particular. I'm sure those Governor's are asleep right now, smiling as they dream about savoring the taste of billionaire man-aaaazzz.. This sickens me - I weep for my country.

      Where is Simon Jester when we need him most?

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • The Clash of Civilizations, the Global War on Terror, 9/11, the New Pearl Harbor, the 9/11 anthrax attacks, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, etc. -- it all felt like a crudely crafted neocon script to me that had been developed in the 1980s and 1990s by the Commentary crowd. The whole narrative came across as canned and by the numbers -- right down to the BBC announcing the fall of WTC 7 in advance of its actual fall -- badly timed execution of the script there.

      ( -- just placing "the Clash of Civilizations" in its context as a cheesy propaganda meme coordinated with other inciting memes and designed to whip up maximum hatred of and violence towards Israel's enemies.)

    • Leander,

      I often disagree with Walid, but already the term "culture" raises my temperature.

      When you hear the word "culture" do you reach for your revolver?

    • Walid wrote,

      BTW, I'm an Arab and I know exactly what's going on. As to the other Arabs, including EVERY intellectual one, you're not giving them much credit. Maybe it's because you too subconsciously think they are like cockroaches.

      This strikes me as being paranoid and completely off the wall.

      Krauss wrote:

      I don’t think anyone can hope to completely understand what’s happening in the Arab world, including every Arab intellectual....

      That remark is expressing humility and caution, not prejudice. Most thoughtful American intellectuals wouldn't claim to understand everything that is going on American culture -- they know their limits in getting to the bottom of complex cultural systems.

      Regarding Saudi culture: how would you characterize it? What about contemporary Egyptian culture (and political developments)? How do you think Americans and Europeans should view those cultures?

    • Krauss,

      I think it’s a Pavlovian reaction. Whenever people see the words “culture” and “Arab” bound together, some people just stop thinking and just start to assume things, even if they were never written.

      And if you go through what I wrote, you can’t find a single generalization of Arabs á la “this is how Arabs are”. All I am writing about is the importance of culture to explain the rise of Islamism etc, I don’t define what/how that culture is.

      Good lord -- cultural interactions and conflicts are a *universal* phenomenon in all times and places. All of human history is a cultural dialectical process. All of us are embedded in cultures with particular values, tastes, viewpoints and agendas, some conscious, many unconscious. The challenge is in bringing all of this material to the surface, where it can it be looked at with clear eyes and understood.

      Regarding "the Clash of Civilizations" -- that was a cheesy and manipulative neocon propaganda meme designed to goad the United States and Europe into wars against Muslim nations on behalf of Likud Zionist culture (not Western civilization).

    • Krauss,

      I didn't see anything remotely prejudicial towards Arabs or Arab culture in your words -- that's an odd interpretation.

    • This analytical model -- transnational financial capitalists vs. everyone else -- pretty much the entire world (including organic national cultures) -- has some merit. It's consistent with what we see going on the world around us. But it's interesting that many of the leaders of that elite are Zionist billionaires (like Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban) who are driven by a powerful emotional commitment to the interests of a single small ethnic group and nation. There is a conspicuous cultural factor there.

    • Just the tip of the iceberg: intra-Jewish, intra-Christian, intra-Muslim, intra-European, intra-Slavic and intra-Asian cultural conflicts (dozens or hundreds of them -- and leaving out conflicts *between* combinations of these groups).

      Next up on the Clashes of Civilizations menu: Euro-American vs. Zionist cultures -- Israel probably needs to worry more about that developing situation than about its conflict with Islam.

      Contrary to the wishful thinking of many Zionists, Zionism is not in fact a core and secure component of Western civilization. One can already see the stirrings of a revival of various forms of ethnic nationalism in Europe -- a phenomenon to which Zionists will not be able to object on intellectual or moral grounds.

    • Krauss wrote:

      Remember, Chomsky tried to explain what's happening in I/P through a Marxist/economic model. As if the conflict was all about money!

      Zionism isn't driven by money, there is a deep-rooted cultural driving force.

      This has been one of my main complaints about Chomsky all along -- and about standard issue Marxist analysis in general.

      Historical conflicts are based on a complex mix of factors -- economic, class, ethnic, religious, cultural, etc. -- powerful irrational or non-rational factors drive much of human behavior. One needs to take the trouble to sort all that out.

  • 'I'm reminded of Jackson, MS, closing all public pools rather than integrating them' -- Franke on Barnard's Banner-gate
    • Hostage,

      So don't blame Marx, blame Moses.

      Are you arguing that many Zionist beliefs and policies are grounded in ancient and contemporary Judaism?

    • JeffB,

      Critiquing Israel is going to require sensitivity, fairness and nuance.

      How much sensitivity, fairness and nuance have pro-Israel activists shown towards those who disagree with Israeli policies and Zionist ideology? How many verbal Molotov cocktails do they throw on a daily basis? Who is most responsible for the deterioration of civil dialogue on Israeli issues?

      Browse the comments at leading Israeli and pro-Israel websites and publications to get a handle on this problem.

      One thing is for certain: civil dialogue has had no effect in slowing down the drive of the Israeli government to expand Jewish settlements in pursuit of realizing the dream of building Greater Israel while enforcing apartheid policies in the occupied territories.

  • BDS' big night: Loyola student government passes divestment, U. Mich votes it down
    • yonah fredman,

      Re: "scumbag" -- why do so many pro-Israel activists rely on verbal abuse to try to make their arguments? The comments on Israeli and pro-Israel publications are overflowing with this kind of language.

    • yonah fredman wrote:

      But he [Max Blumenthal] gives the impression of someone who has no use for his Jewishness, but now that he has found this issue, he has some use for his Jewishness to toss into the face of the Zionists.

      What in your mind are the most important defining features of "Jewishness"?

      What about intellectual seriousness and honesty and speaking truth to power? Are they on the list?

      Was Albert Einstein's "Jewishness" inferior or inadequate compared to your own?

  • D.C. scribes party with red wine, vinyl, and image of a terrorist
    • Citizen,

      I read the first page of the discussion on your friend feed site–very interesting. Does one have to join to read more there?

      You can read it without joining -- and feel free to participate or even start new threads with your own original posts:

      [Mondoweiss on Friendfeed link to ]

      Comments appear instantly with no moderation and you are free to edit them at any time in the future.

      In no way is that site intended to compete with the great and illustrious Mondoweiss -- it's available for pursuing discussions that are off-topic for MW.

    • hophmi,

      By the way, if you want to understand my views on core Jewish issues (issues that are much more important in my opinion than the endless Zionist/anti-Zionist squabbles), see this:

      link to

Showing comments 3430 - 3401

Comments are closed.