Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 7095 (since 2009-08-04 05:43:29)


Showing comments 7095 - 7001

  • Israel stops US-led peace talks citing Palestinian unity (Updated)
    • A reminder that even if one takes the Israeli peace charade at face value, all Israeli "offers" since June 2006 (including Olmert's "napkin" gambit) have been contingent on regime change in Gaza. In other words, Abbas could have signed anything (assuming the Israelis had let him -- see e.g. the Palestine Papers) and it would still not have amounted to a deal. To paraphrase, the talks that Netanyahu has suspended have in fact been nothing more than vanity, wrapped in pointlessness, inside futility.

  • Registration of Jews and other human beings
    • Do you disagree that Israel has a registry of who is not Jewish?

      The Interior Ministry's population registry has never stopped keeping a record of the respective "nationalities" of Israel's citizens, and even the fuss over the IDs had to do with public recognition of non-Orthodox conversions, rather than any sudden democratic compunctions.

    • They do not. You are wrong. There has been no ethnic category on the ID cards since 2005. Everybody’s card includes the Hebrew birth date, not just those of Jews.

      As long as we're citing Wiki, according to Hebrew Wiki the "nationality" article in IDs was restored by then Interior Minister Eli Yishai in 2011 (and appears, of course, in older IDs [like mine], issued before 2002) , and the Hebrew date indeed only appears in the IDs of Jews.

      link to

      link to

    • The second difference is that the Ukraine hoax has ignited an international furor, while Israel’s longstanding policy of differentiating between its citizens barely draws a yawn.

      It gets much weirder than that. Somehow, discriminating against Jewish Ukrainians is actually equated with not discriminating against non-Jewish Israelis. The very idea of equality in Israel is treated as "hatred", seeking Israel's "destruction" and denying its "right to exist".

  • Palestinian youth fulfill their 'right of return' to the destroyed village of Iqrit
    • The government does strenuously remove unauthorized Jewish “hilltop youth” outposts, though.

      By giving them tacit approval (to the point that Edmund Levy found it hard to consider them "unauthorised"), funding (see e.g. Chaim Levinson's exposé in Haaretz earlier this year) and a posteriori permits (while playing cat and mouse with a couple of them every once in a while, so that everyone's happy)?

      "Strenuously" indeed.

  • Passover Auto-Pilot
    • The Holocaust is a direct negation of Passover and of all the other Judaic holidays that commemorate how God saved the Jews from their persecutors.

      Passover is a dialectic. If anything, it is the pat, "redemptive" narrative of post-Holocaust Zionism (which purports to have "the answer") that empties the holiday of meaning.

  • Max Blumenthal's guilt by association – with Jewish ethics
    • At tonight’s Seder read the Passover story. But before the Seder dip into Goliath. You can start at the end with the Exodus party. Then see what you think of Israel’s ancient leave-taking and the one taking place today. It makes for an interesting contrast. Is today’s leave-taking a logical unfolding of a Zionist dream turned into a nightmare?

      And our parents, once moved by Zionist ideals to immigrate to Israel, say to us: "But you are retracing our steps, returning to the 'Land of Egypt', reversing our ideals, going 'from freedom to slavery'. What does that say about our lives, beliefs and sacrifices?" Some are pleased that at least we are getting out, saving ourselves and their grandchildren, while others merely feel humiliated, rejected and angry.

  • 'Israel is the home of all Jews,' declares a right-wing official
    • Reading the story of Tobi [Cohen] from Nigeria, it is once again clear for all to see: Israel is the home of all Jews

      Not really. Tobi Cohen may or may not be Jewish. She is an Israeli citizen because her father is one, but I guess something like "Israel is the home of all Israelis" just doesn't do it for Ayalon.

      Jewish people across the world are privileged this Passover, as they have been for the past 65 years, to celebrate the rebirth of a free, sovereign Jewish people in our ancestral homeland.

      Or embittered (yet another reason to eat bitter herbs) that so many of their fellow Jews have forgotten what it feels like to be a slave and how precious freedom is to all who are oppressed. Becoming Pharaoh is not freedom.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • Israel is not in any way an ethnically exclusive state. It is multiethnic and multiracial. Its representative body is not exclusively Jewish. Its Supreme Court is not exclusively Jewish. Its universities are not exclusively Jewish.

      Apartheid South Africa was also multi-ethnic and multiracial. It all depends on how the "multis" are treated. The granting of significant political and civil rights -- including representation -- to some of the non-Jews under its jurisdiction, is what makes Israel within the Green Line an ethnocracy (with a charter ethnic group), rather than a Herrenvolk regime. The other side of the Green Line is, of course, another story.

  • Updated: Remote-control gun installed atop wall near Bethlehem -- Ma'an
    • Israel does not ethnically cleanse Palestinians.

      Nakba, prevention of return, Nationality Law, “present absentees”, Land Day, revocation of Jerusalem residence, revocation of West Bank residence, land theft, denial of access to education, second-class citizenship, occupation, siege, closure, arrest, torture, non-Jewish Israelis may not regain citizenship once renounced (e.g. for acquisition of foreign citizenship), etc.

      20% of Israel’s population are Arab citizens

      Ethnic cleansing need not be 100% “successful” to be considered ethnic cleansing.

      all of whom have exactly the same rights as Israel’s Jewish citizens

      Nonsense. See the websites of Adalah [ Discriminatory Law Database link to ] , ACRI, and any number of other organisations that have documented the systematic and institutionalised discrimination against non-Jewish and especially Palestinian Israelis. The last couple of Knessets have excelled at discriminatory legislation.

      I have no idea what you mean by “ethno-religious charter group”

      Jewish state, established Jewish privilege. See e.g. the work of Oren Yiftachel.

      Poke around the MW archives a little. These subjects have been discussed thousands of times here.

    • Israel, like any other country, is entitled to its own immigration criteria

      Israel does not have "immigration criteria". It ethnically cleanses Palestinians and "repatriates" members of its ethno-religious charter group.

    • You have a point, DaBakr. We are shocked by remote-control weapons, although they may sometimes actually be less lethal (the name Katlanit ["lethal"] notwithstanding) than their manned counterparts. On the other hand, threats to the "equipment" (e.g. the Gaza perimeter or WB wall) may sometimes be treated like threats to personnel, and then there is the detachment factor much discussed with regard to drone pilots.

      It reminds me a little of the shock elicited by suicide bombings -- as if the bomber's trying to come out of it alive really changes anything.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • US is ‘absolutely adamant’ that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process — Power

      What else is the US 'absolutely adamant' about? Not undermining North Korean democracy? Not flooding the market with leprechaun gold?

  • Israel hears Palestinian objections to archaeological project in Jerusalem and -- approves it!
    • If you really want peace, you wouldn’t take what’s mine

      When a "settlement freeze" is no longer viewed by Israel (and the US) as a "concession", but as a sine qua non for honest negotiations, there may actually be some point to talks.

  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • As far as your comment implying anti-Shmuelism ...

      Thanks, Frankie. I knew you weren't an anti-Shmuelite. And to Rabbis Hecht and Boteach: "Not in my name" ;-)

  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
  • Kerry tries to get out of Jewish-state trap set by Netanyahu and the lobby
    • I always found that title a bit puzzling. Was there some serenity competition among Italian States?

      Superlative, not comparative. In other words, other republics may out-serene us, but we're so extremely serene that we really couldn't care less.

    • Yesterday, Kerry told a Senate panel that Israel and the Palestinians had less trust in one another than at any point in over nine months of negotiations.

      And less respect for the US role than ever before. The US not only accepted a preposterous and obviously unacceptable (to the Palestinians) condition, but a preposterous and unacceptable condition intended from the very beginning merely as a ploy in the blame game, with no real intention (on Israel's part) of reaching an agreement.

      Accepting this "condition" is probably the furthest the US has ever gone in placating the Israelis and disregarding the Palestinians. All pretence of being an "honest broker" has been abandoned, making it absolutely clear (for anyone who still had any doubts) that the Palestinians cannot possibly trust US mediation, and the Israelis cannot possibly take any intimations of US pressure seriously.

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • This concession made it ridiculous for anyone to argue that the core of the problem was Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel. But now, hey presto, it is once again possible to present Palestinian recognition of Israel as a major issue, because it wasn’t recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.”

      If all else fails, Netanyahu could always demand that Abbas change the PLO Charter again. Eco-negotiations: Reuse and recycle.

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • The benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant as multi-faceted as they are promised to both the Jewish people and the nations through Abraham, yet the physical land is ONLY promised to the Jewish people, ethnic descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

      I guess that's that then. It says so in the Bible. Same goes for the "curse of Ham" too, I suppose.

  • 'Daily Beast' labels Abbas 'stubborn' for refusing to recognize Israel as Jewish state
    • Abbas can still point out that he had nothing to do with the plight of Jews who were expelled.

      He can also point out that neither Egypt nor Jordan were required to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and that both he and Arafat have already recognised Israeli sovereignty within the '49 armistice lines.

      As long as the US continues to pretend that Israeli smoke and mirrors are serious and reasonable negotiating positions that the Palestinians must take into consideration (or bear responsibility for the "failure" of the talks), Abbas can point out that the sun rises in the east and Kerry will put "except when it rises in the west" (if Bibi says so) in his framework.

    • Citizen,

      The issue of the Mizrahi exodus from Arab countries is a thorny one. Many Mizrahim claim that they were Zionists and went willingly to Israel as idealists, and entirely reject the label of "refugees", which implies passivity and a secondary role in building the Zionist state. On the other hand, the reality is that many (most?) actually were refugees, actively brought to Israel by its socialist/Ashkenazi leadership, and the consequences of their dislocation (exacerbated by discrimination and exploitation) have been devastating.

      For Netanyahu's propaganda purposes, however, implying that the part represents the whole (as explained e.g. in Benjamin Katz-Nussbaum's recent post on "the Soda Stream saga") is more than sufficient.

    • Shingo,

      Like the demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel "as the nation state of the Jewish people", the issue of compensation for Jews from Arab countries is not a real negotiating position, but an ostensibly reasonable claim intended to force Palestinian interests off the table (Israel as a state of all its citizens, RoR) and/or sabotage negotiations while establishing the Palestinians (or Arabs in general -- remember Shamir and Madrid: no independent Palestinian delegation) as the intransigent party.

      Netanyahu is not seriously demanding compensation for Jews from Arab countries (like he cares), but bringing the proverbial goat* into the room, so that he can then agree to take it out, if the Palestinians renounce their right to return/compensation. If, as in the case of the "state of the Jewish people" demand, the "honest broker" accepts this position, the Palestinians will once again (still) be between a rock and a hard place. The added "bonus" is that such a claim indirectly addresses the Arab peace initiative, neutralising the thorny article "a just solution to the refugee problem", as no Arab government is likely to agree to compensating its former Jewish citizens or to creating any sort of linkage/equivalence between the Palestinian refugees and the Mizrahim.

      It's as false as they come but, considering the farce of US mediation, it's actually pretty clever.


    • But semi-seriously, what would/could Israel’s next precondition be?

      There's still a lot of mileage left on this one, but the next one (directly related to the refugee issue) seems to be compensation for Jews from Arab countries.

  • Netanyahu mentions 'BDS' 18 times in denouncing movement and its 'gullible fellow travelers'
    • Chemi Shalev, in today's Haaretz, has an interesting theory about the prominence Netanyahu gave to BDS. According to Shalev, it's not the Israelis but the "US Jewish establishment" that needs to hype up the battle against BDS, because it's one of the few remaining uncontroversial rallying points it has, with growing internal conflict over Iran and the Palestinians. Altogether, Shalev believes that the traditional roles were reversed, with Netanyahu supporting AIPAC rather than AIPAC supporting Netanyahu.

    • If he writes it a hundred times ... (Somehow reminiscent of his cartoon bomb…………he’s so transparently crude.)

      If I were Miss Krabappel, I'd have him write out the parts of the passage he never seems to get, like the bits about loving and obeying God ("life" as defined by Scripture -- nothing in there about villas in Caesarea or luxury ice cream at the taxpayers' expense), and what happens to those who engage in idolatry.

    • I don't know whether the scribbling (in very large letters) was actually for the speech, or just set up for the camera, but what appears on the page is part of a verse from Deuteronomy (30:19) that encapsulates the central messages of his speech to AIPAC (as described e.g. by Chemi Shalev in Haaretz) and, in fact, just about every speech he gives: the land is ours (both promised and earned), we value life (as opposed to the other guys) and everything we do is a matter of life (i.e. survival).

  • Scarlett Johansson is featured at AIPAC, to applause
    • Camero, displayed radar technology it has developed with the Israeli military to visualize human beings

      Sounds like a step in the right direction.

  • AIPAC reaches out to Christians with morphing Star of David
  • 'NYT' says East Jerusalem isn't occupied, and Israel lobby takes credit
    • I think several west Bank’s Palestinians also read L. Ben Ze’ev.

      Why is that?

    • And how did you say “Carry out the neighbor procedure on that Palestinian house over there and use the teenager as the human shield” in biblical Hebrew ?

      If you ask David Wilder, I'm sure he'll come up with something appropriate.

    • How did they say “you have a fine rack on you ” in Biblical Hebrew ?

      In the Bible itself, it went something like this:
      שני שדיך כשני עפרים, תאומי צביה, הרועים בשושנים

      In the 18th century, J. L. Ben-Ze'ev put it this way (in good biblical Hebrew):
      והנה בנות החשק גבעות התאווה
      כהרים גבנונים ענקתמו גאווה

  • Ramaz says, Jewish high schoolers can handle Beinart, but Khalidi would overpower them
  • ‘Safe Hillel’ Exposed: Undermining open dialogue in the Jewish community
    • Keep Hillel safe for Jews of all backgrounds to practice Judaism and a safe place for those that support Israel

      I believe in ethical Judaism. How would I be free to practise Judaism in a setting where the most serious ethical challenge facing Jews today cannot be addressed, for fear of making those who share the Hillel leadership's political views feel "unsafe"? Isn't feeling "safe" the antithesis of ethical inquiry and action?

  • Israel lobby group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers
    • I want to know what do you think about this comment ... Do you think it contains stereotype of the Mizrahi Jews?

      Yes, the idea of Mizrahi Jews as basically good but passive and manipulated by Ashkenazi Zionists does play into a few stereotypes (of the kind discussed at length e.g. by Sami Chetrit), but it doesn't come anywhere near the depictions of Arabs (perfidious, lecherous, violent, terrorist, vermin) with which you don't seem to have any problem.

    • MY1,

      The guardian of Israel never slumbers or sleeps. Your beat is now not only defending Israel, but any organisation remotely associated with your "side"? First it was Learn and Live, and now it's Stand With Us.

      As for the links, I didn't expect you to understand (or admit to understanding) why a kefiyah-clad man with scary eyes, labelled "terrorist", or the depiction of Palestinians as vermin might be stereotypes. The classic substitution exercise (Jews would work very nicely here) would thus be lost on you as well.

    • I try to search after good research about “Arab’s stereotypes among SWU members around the world” but couldn’t find

      A couple of examples:

      link to

      link to

      The broken link in the Muzzlewatch article: link to

    • In other words, In my stereotype of the Israeli-Jew, Israeli-Jews have “Arab stereotype”.

      Stand With Us is not "the Israeli-Jew", but if you would like to continue this game, perhaps it is in my (MY's) stereotype of your stereotype of the Israeli Jew.

    • “When Ali Abunimah comes to your campus, be prepared for a sophisticated, smooth advocate of radical Palestinian positions”

      In other words, expect to see someone who does not fit your stereotype of an Arab. Sneaky bastard.

    • “In order to have peace, there must be mutual understanding and even respect for each other’s narratives and history. Which aspects of Israel’s history and situation do you and other Palestinians find most persuasive and legitimate?”

      Here too, the premise is flawed. In order to have peace (of the realistic variety), there is no need for "mutual understanding and even respect for each other's narratives and history". What is actually required is an accord capable of meeting the basic minimum needs of both sides. Mutual understanding or respect (necessarily mutual, which is what makes such a question posed to a Palestinian by an organisation like SWU so slimy), may or may not develop in the wake of a viable compromise.

      A smartass answer (as befits a smartass question) might be: I prefer the Talmudic approach: “Without justice there can be no peace” (Tractate Derekh Eretz Zuta, Chapter on Peace).

  • 'When I go into the class, I am preparing tomorrow's citizens for the next war'
    • Obsidian,

      Palestinian municipalities and local councils certainly bear some of the responsibility, but funding for public shelters (mandatory until 1993 - but never implemented in the Arab sector) is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, planning and construction of the Home Front Command (MoD) and only maintenance of the local authority. The installation, maintenance and operation of sirens is entirely the responsibility of the Home Front Command. Analogous situations exist with regard to other emergency services.

      Apparently there has been some improvement in recent years (particularly where the Home Front Command is concerned), but in this as in all areas of life, Palestinian localities are severely underfunded. The long-standing perception that Palestinian citizens of Israel are in less danger of attack by Arab forces (shared by the central authorities as well as the Palestinians themselves) has made the situation even worse in the area of civil defence.

    • We also give our Arab citizens gas masks.

      Shelters and sirens not so much.

  • Do Americans want to know that Israel is waging war on Africans?
  • 'Price-tag' attacks on Palestinians are as Israeli and common as matkot on a Tel Aviv beach
    • Reminds me of Naftali Bennett's remark on Martin Schulz' speech before the Knesset: "and in German".

      In a blog post the other day (hosted by Haaretz), Avrum Burg addressed the ugly and the beautiful things that can and have been expressed in German (his parents' native language) and in Hebrew (his own native language), concluding that the problem lies not with the language (German or Hebrew), but with some of its speakers.

      Just curious, how fluent are you in Modern Hebrew that you are able to judge it "offensive to eye and ear"? As for "mongrel" languages, you probably speak a couple yourself -- not least that wonderful bastard's bastard, English.

  • 144 Irish educators pledge boycott-- as Karmi says, We gave up waiting on governments for help
  • 'Can you tell who is an Arab?' appeal is tax-deductible
    • Congratulations, MY1, you have discovered domestic violence in Tulkarm. I have met women in similar situations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Rome, abused by Jewish, Christian, Muslim or atheist husbands/boyfriends. No one put their stories on TV -- with or without scary oud music, keffiyehs and masbahas in the background.

      Fortunately for this woman (after years of suffering), she found a way out and the strength to take it. I wish her and her children (including those she was forced to leave behind) all the best. Sadly, such options are not available to her Palestinian sisters suffering similar abuse in Tulkarm and elsewhere, living under a double occupation.

    • Wow, that’s amazing. A Zionist stooge who is not a Palestinian is going to give me an education about “what is going on in Palestine” even though I am a Palestinian in Palestine and have been living on the receiving end of this conflict since the day I was born.

      Colonialism in a nutshell. Even your experiences and knowledge are not your own, but must be "explained" to you by your colonial master.

      A fitting conclusion to this surreal discussion.

    • Accentitude: as a Palestinian living in the West Bank

      MY1:As well as you failed completely to understand what is going in Palestine... you have not even a clue about the West Bank. I can help you to figure out.

      Please, MY1, enlighten our poor, ignorant Palestinian friend. Perhaps you can cite some vaguely remembered reports from "Israeli official TV channels and newspapers" about Arab perfidy.

    • Any one that speak about this problem (women that were cheated by Palestinians) automatically is tagged as right-winged extremist and a racist. The subject became a taboo ...

      OK, unlike "[us] all", you are an impartial champion of human rights and feminist extraordinaire. You do not dismiss solid evidence, simply because it reflects badly on "the Palestinians". You are a student of Maimonides, and "accept truth whatever the source". So what are your sources (the ones you say "[we] all" would reject, and how do you (as opposed to "[us] all") know that the information they provide is accurate?

      You gave the example of B'tselem. Great. B'tselem has trained investigators, who interview thousands of people annually, cross-check the testimonies with each other and with other sources of information, Palestinian and Israeli -- hospitals, the Civil Administration, the IDF, etc. It knows that its work is not welcome by the authorities it criticises, politicians, etc. and is thus doubly and triply cautious. It has earned a reputation for thoroughness and accuracy and is grudgingly respected even by those it criticises, who would sincerely have liked to prove its unreliability but have failed to do so. That is why the information provided by B'tselem should be taken seriously, not because they heard something from someone, took his word for it and published it, or because they confirm someone's preconceived notions.

      Can you provide similarly reliable sources (reliable for their methodology, regardless of their ideological convictions) for the "serious problem" you describe? Some good investigative journalism will also do. If not, you are simply spreading rumours and lies.

      I'm done chasing you around in circles. If and when you have any reliable information to give "[us] all", I will be happy to read/watch it. I have zero interest in defending violent, abusive men of any nationality, ethnicity or creed.

    • The problem exists!!! Many women telling their story can’t be liars. Why should they? why they call to rescue them?

      I thought you said something about "last words". Never mind. How do you know the problem exists? Where have you heard their stories? How do you know they call to be rescued? You must be getting your information from somewhere? Yet you have been unable to cite a single source.

      how many cases of Jewish men abused Muslim women do you remember from your volunteering?

      The statistics we had were based on the identity of the abused women, as there were three separate hotlines, two in Hebrew (general and Haredi) and one in Arabic. To the best of my recollection, no separate data was collected on the identity of the abusers. Some Arab women may have been abused by Jews and some Jewish women may have been abused by Arabs, but the only thing that mattered to these women and to the women who offered them support was to stop the abuse. The tools that were used were the police, courts, shelters, social services, education, legislation, etc.

      No need for self-aggrandising descriptions of commando-style raids "to rescue Jewish girls from Arabs", but assistance to all abused women, regardless of their ethnicity/religion or that of their abuser -- real women, suffering real abuse, not vague generalisations and stereotypes.

    • Even if ten different organizations will do research and documentation, you all will reject them as racist organizations.

      1. You have not cited any research or documentation. If and when you do, I will be happy to evaluate it with an open mind. This is a subject (violence against women) I care deeply about.
      2. Are you suggesting that "Learn and Live" is not a racist organisation?!
      3. As I mentioned, when I lived in Israel, I was active in the struggle against violence against women (and even taught the subject to students and other volunteers). We used data. We didn't make stuff up and claim that 'we don't need statistics' or 'it's been in the papers, don't you know'.

      That is my problem in this web site: organizations that collect evidences against us are welcomed, the opposite are rejected.

      You think "Learn and Live" is on your "side", and that its "information" is rejected here because it somehow "defends" Jewish Israelis? You really can't think of any other reason why someone might reject unsourced, racist hype?

      Thanks for the opportunity to bring the story of those abused women.

      You have brought no story. Keyboard warrior that you are, you have merely tried to defend your "side" and, for some odd reason, you have decided that your country needs you to stick up for "Learn and Live". Live and learn, I guess.

    • Don’t tell me that you didn’t hear the many testimonies of women that were escaped from their husbands, don’t say you didn’t see the many programs in the Israeli TV including the famous report in Uvda by Orly Vilnai-Federbush (Arutz 2).

      I haven't read anything not linked to one of these racist organisations and/or their political/religious patrons.

      I don't watch "Uvdah", but from the few minutes available on line, the report is on Palestinian ("Bedouin but not only") guys hitting on Jewish girls in the Israeli south. The "incriminating" snippet up on the "Yad L'Achim" Youtube channel ends with a couple of girls saying yeah we took the drinks, but we're not going to give the guy what he wants, and Vilnay-Federbush saying "It's not clear who are the exploiters and who are the exploited."

      Is that it? Or is there something about the scenario you (and "Learn and Live") have been describing: kidnapping, imprisonment, physical and sexual abuse, etc.?

      The detailed testimonies of IDF soldiers are collected recorded, cross-checked and published by a reliable organisation, and they are consistent with very numerous testimonies and documented evidence (collected and published by other reliable organisations). They also coincide with things I have seen and heard from people I know personally, and my own military experience during the first intifada.

      To compare this to "Learn and Live" or "Yad L'Achim" anti-miscegenation fundraising tales about tens of thousands of Saras held captive against their will by "countless Omars and Abduls and Muhammads" who all behave in exactly the same fashion, is simply nonsense.

      If you care about human rights and human dignity, you have to be with my side and support those women that were cheated and were forced to live against their will. It don’t say that you have to support racist organizations, No, only little sympathy to those abused women.

      Unlike you, I make no excuses for violence and abuse, nor do I make vague and racist generalisations and then hide behind things like "women's rights". If you have facts, cite them. If you don't, you are merely perpetuating stereotypes and exploiting the real suffering of women in Israel/Palestine at the hands of Jewish and non-Jewish men. Violence against women is rife in Israel -- among Jews and Palestinians, Haredim, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Ashkenazim, Mizrahim, you name it. Unless you have some reason to single out this particular form of violence by this particular group (Palestinian men) against that particular group (Jewish women), you are no better than "Learn and Live".

    • Interestingly Mehane here alludes to Not without my daughter.

      Further indication that MY's "information" is based on nothing more than a racist stereotype. I asked for evidence of his claims regarding Jewish women and Palestinian men, and the best he could do was a fictionalised account regarding an Iranian man and an American woman, that is supposed to have occurred decades ago. They have "Omars and Abduls and Muhammads" in Iran too, don't they?

    • We don’t need statistics, each person is a whole world.

      Got it. You have no evidence beyond the stereotype of the perfidious, lascivious, violent, misogynistic Arab.

      On the word you say you left out, see my comment here: link to

    • "I never closed her in the house and forced her to convert and to go shopping with my brothers while her face is covered, for instance.”

      Who has? Real names and sources please. "Sara" and one of the "Omars and Abduls and Muhammads" don't count.

    • here in Israel there are many stories in newspapers and in TV about such girls that were cheated by Palestinian men that promised them the Sun and the Moon but after they married they were forced to change their way of life, something that most of them didn’t accept but had to obey.

      Any sources that don't ultimately lead back to one of these racist and self-serving organisations (who do indeed make a great deal of fuss in the media)? Any indictments? Convictions? Statistics? Without these things, you are simply engaging in racist generalisations.

      I used to volunteer at the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Centre. The level of abuse and deception by Jewish and non-Jewish men in Israeli society (and sadly, most societies) is astounding. So why focus on the way some Arab men have reportedly treated their Jewish spouses, unless (on some level) one shares the agenda of "Learn and Live"?

    • Apparently all we had to do to make our point was quote from “Learn and Live” about the “tens of thousands” of Jewish girls trapped in Arab villages. Mahane seems to accept their garbage without hesitation.

      It all depends on what aspect of Israeli policy or society he happens to be defending at a given moment. When it's settlement apartheid, there are no Jews in Arab towns. When it's marriage laws, there are thousands of Jewish women who have married Muslim men (a figure for which he has no source other than the racist propaganda of organisations like "Learn and Live"). When it's anti-miscegenation campaigns, it must be all about misrepresentation.

    • I started trying to figure out what all of this says about L&L's attitude to Arab women, but felt sick and had to get out of that poisonous mindset as soon as possible.

    • which assumes that every Arab boy/man is an abuser

      "Learn and Live" says so explicitly in their brochure (the title of which is "learn and live Rescues 250 Girls from Arabs", not "from abusive relationships" or even "from abusive relationships with Arabs"):

      The numbers are staggering. Tens of thousands of Jewish
      girls have fallen into the trap, caught in the clutches of countless Omars and Abduls and Muhammads. We hear many of their horrific firsthand accounts. Unfortunately, once an Arab lures his Jewish “catch” into his village, their stories don’t offer all that much variety. ...

      For some reason, MY1 feels it's part of his defend Israel brief to stand up for these racist thugs.

    • Just want to get my "Learn and Live" stereotypes straight:

      1) Arab men are sexy, conniving rapists.
      2) Jewish girls are idiots.
      3) Jewish men/boys are entirely unappealing.

  • Effort to remove Jews from West Bank is akin to Nazi slaughter -- settler spokesman
    • When Baruch Goldstein went postal, the first reaction from many Israelis was that he had to be an American immigrant.

      The better to avoid taking responsibility. He was religious, an immigrant, an American. Nothing to do with us.

  • Israel to build museum of Jewish history in occupied Jerusalem
    • I still remember our home in Upper Bak’aa … on the way to Bethlehem we passed Talpiot. I was 12 when we had to leave Jerusalem.

      It's still a beautiful area, bintbiba. I hope you live to see it again -- in peace and justice.

    • Talpiot is certainly not in East Jerusalem hence not a settlement.

      Talpiot (unlike East Talpiot) is indeed in West Jerusalem. According to Arutz 7, which seems to be the source of this report, the project is to be built in the vicinity of Bethlehem Road -- definitely west of the Green Line.

  • Transcript: Netanyahu calls on U.S. Jews to fight BDS-- 'eerie' anti-Semites 'on the soil of Europe'
    • What Jewish businesses in Europe are being boycotted ?

      I was referring to European BDS of Israel, of course -- the subject of Netanyahu's rant and Hophmi's defence.

    • He’s correct, of course. Antisemitism is a serious problem in Europe. link to

      Circular logic. BDS in Europe is a product of anti-Semitism because a survey of European Jews says that anti-Semitism is rife on the continent. A look at the survey shows, however, that 72% of respondents (self-selected), believe that "a non-Jewish person [is] antisemitic if he or she supports boycotts of Israeli goods/products". So round and round we go.

    • the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing ... talking about the boycott of Jews

      So Jews are boycott proof? Is there a patented process involved?

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • And you’re boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants.

      You've got it backwards, hophmi. You (and Netanyahu) are suggesting that Israel, of all the countries in the world, should be immune to boycott -- simply because of the religion of most of its inhabitants.

  • Krista Tippett puts occupied East Jerusalem in Israel
    • If all the arabs wanted was “East” Jerusalem, the Golan, Judea and Samaria, Israel wouldn’t have had to fight for its survival in 1967.

      Full marks for realising that the territories occupied in '67 are not the only source of the conflict. I wish the Israeli "left" were half as perspicacious. As for possible paths to resolution (including '48) today, see e.g. the Arab Peace Initiative.

  • 10,000 Israeli teens follow mother-hen of extremist settler movement in anti-Kerry protest
    • how could you not understand the immense sacrifice that israeli,s have made to ensure that these children grow up in a state that Jews can call there own

      How could you not understand that "girls just wanna have fun" (as my teenage daughter never tires of telling me)?

      I'll bet a few of my younger relatives were at this event and, believe me, politics are the furthest thing from their minds. Not that they necessarily disagree with the messages conveyed by the organisers, but that's not why they were there.

    • What I found at the demonstration, was many young people on a school field trip who are very proud of their religion and culture. But they were led in a march by a violent extremist who is exacting political leverage.

      When I was in high school (national religious, Jerusalem), we were bussed in to all sorts of demonstrations, including ultra-nationalist ones ("stop the withdrawal from Sinai" was the cause of the day). Not going to those demonstrations required a conscious act of resistance (my first).

    • wait until that black girl’s brother tries to date one of those tow-headed lasses, then we’ll see the bat-guano hit the fan

      Settler racism doesn't quite work that way. The attitude toward Beta Yisrael (Ethiopian Jews) on settlements is probably better than in Israeli society in general. The acceptance of the Beta Yisrael for many on the far right is ideological -- part of the "ingathering of the exiles", settlement of the land, etc. Colour is far less of an issue.

    • But if the only quote is when he says, “God should cause the Palestinians to perish”, this is not pro genocide.

      How about (in reference to Arabs in general): "It is forbidden to show them mercy, they should be given some terrific missiles (tilim al hakef kefak), wiped out (lehashmid otam), these cursed, wicked [people]."

      link to

  • Hell freezes over (NYT publishes glowing profiles of anti-Zionists)
    • “rarity”….”rare” key words.

      Almost as important as "better late than never".

    • I think I have met and talked with Alissa Weiss. Not totally sure but remember the Rabbi at Hillel in Athens, Ohio 12 or so years ago was from Cinci and looked like Alissa.

      I doubt it. She was only ordained in 2009 (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Philadelphia).

  • 'Jews For Palestinian Right of Return' endorse American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions
    • Again why I asked what the purpose of “Jewish only” petitions are all about.

      Maybe to avoid insinuations a few years down the road that Jews as a group were not involved in the struggle, because some people seem to put stock in such things.

    • to my mind, such an attitude ought to be pointed out and criticized whenever it does crop up — universally speaking


    • Butler (Parting Ways, p. 117):

      [G]iven that Israel acts in the name of the Jewish people, casts itself as the legitimate representative of the Jewish people, there is a struggle over what is done in the name of the Jewish people and so all the more reason to reclaim that tradition and ethics in favor of a politics that prizes social and political justice above a nationalism that depends fundamentally on military violence to sustain itself. The effort to establish the presence of progresive Jews runs the risk of remaining within certain identitarian and communitarian presumptions; one opposes any and all expressions of anti-Jewish anti-Semitism and one reclaims Jewishness for a project that seeks to dismantle Israeli state violence and the institutionalization of racism. This particular form of the solution is challenged, however, if we consider that there are several ethical and political frameworks in which such a critique is obligatory.

    • Regarding the ASA specifically, the line "Contrary to baseless charges of 'anti-Semitism'" says it all.

      The responses within the pro-Palestinian community to our local Jewish anti-Zionist group are overwhelmingly positive precisely for this reason. The accusation of anti-Semitism is both damaging to the cause and offensive in the extreme to a movement defined by its uncompromising anti-racism (and anti-fascism).

    • tree,

      I think you've got the reasons for such a petition about right, but there is a further dimension that pertains specifically to Jews, and that is the reclaiming of our much-sullied and co-opted tradition. I have never joined or signed a "Jews for" or "Jews against" group or petition for any other cause than Palestine, and even on Palestine, I have never limited my activities to Jewish groups.

      Internally, the yrns aren't our audience, and their reactions are predictable. As for the implication of "moral superiority", I don't see citing a Jewish heritage of resistance to oppression and injustice as intimating that Jews are somehow better, but rather that we also draw upon our own traditions in expressing universal values. This is particularly significant as a response to those who present oppression and injustice as Jewish "values" (certainly not implying Jewish inferiority).

      The idea of opposing Zionism from within Judaism or Jewishness -- including the inherent contradiction in identitary anti-identitarianism -- is the underlying theme of Judith Butler's Parting Ways, particularly the chapter "Is Judaism Zionism".

    • Now as I have pointed out over and over again that it is wonderful that the Phil Weiss’s, Peter Beinart’s, Medea Benjaman of the world have taken this critical issue on the last 10 years (less time for Peter)

      How about the Tikva Honig-Parnases and Roland Rances and Stanley Hellers (to name 3 of the signatories)? Do you know how long they have been involved? My guess is about 50, 40 and 30 years, respectively.

  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
    • I’m aware of all that.


      I think you are misconstruing the term "colonisation". It merely refers to the establishment of agricultural communities. Some of these "colonies" were established in Europe itself (Ukraine, Bessarabia, Podolia, Crimea, etc,) and some overseas, such as Moisés Ville (Argentina) or the colonies in Palestine (which had the added advantage of helping the largely impoverished, charity-dependent, pre-existing Jewish population of Palestine).

      The German rabbis merely wished to make it clear that their opposition was specifically to the nationalist, political project of Zionism and not to the philanthropic efforts underway in the Holy Land.

      Were there rabbis who criticised what we would call colonialism, in the late 19th century? I don't know, but that was not the subject of this particular decision/statment by the Rabbinerverbandes in Deutschland.

    • I was shocked by point 3, where they say that they fully approve the “noble endeavor” of colonization by Jews in Palestine ... These being Jewish religious rabbis, one could be excused for expecting a minimum of anticolonial feeling among them… nada.

      Don't let the word "colonisation" (which didn't have quite the same connotations at the time) fool you. This was a period of extreme poverty and persecution of Jews in the Pale of Settlement (which also gave rise to the mass flow of immigration, particularly to the US). One of the solutions proposed and funded by West-European Jews (not necessarily Zionists - see e.g. Sand on Moses Montefiore) was productive settlement in Palestine (and elsewhere, e.g. Argentina) -- definitely not as a political project and with no intention whatsoever of displacing the local population. Many staunch opponents of Zionism supported this very limited form of settlement (by no means a comprehensive solution to the problem), and in fact criticised Herzl's movement for putting this project at risk with their political designs -- causing the Turkish authorities to impose restrictions on Jewish immigration from outside the Ottoman Empire.

    • blocked by a group of rabbis who hated Zionists and thought they were dangerous.

      The Association of German Rabbis (Orthodox and Reform) with only one dissenting voice (Rabbi Selig Gronemann of Strasbourg). Herzl naturally treated them with disdain (including a critique of their German), but theirs was a principled stand on religious and patriotic grounds, which cannot merely be dismissed as "hatred and [fear]" (Herzl also added "pandering").

      Here's the announcement they published against the planned congress, in a number of newspapers (German, bottom right): link to

      And Herzl's critique (Hebrew): link to

      They have Nordau to thank for the epithet Protestrabbiner, although theirs was certainly the majority view among religious leaders of all streams.

  • EU Prez Martin Schulz wreaks havoc during speech at Knesset
    • it’s pure folly to let them lead

      I'll repeat my original comment: Anyone who thinks that Zionists are all the same and there’s no such thing as a liberal Zionist should try listening to Zahava Gal-On some time.

      How you got from that to "them" leading whatever it is they're supposed to be leading beats me.

    • One excommunicates talk of boycott, the other one takes over the boycott movement and makes preventing “Antisemitism” and exorcism of serious boycott its main objective.

      Zahava Gal-On does neither. She acted in Knesset against the anti-Boycott law, supports boycott of settlements (and has advocated labelling of settlement products), and warns that Israel has brought broader boycott (which she does not support) on itself.

      One defends the right of conquest, the other does as if the green line were god-given. Both are in the occupatiomn business, one admits it while the other calls for an end to what she is actively doing

      I don't want to portray Meretz as something that it's not, and I left the party around the time of the second intifada, but they are often excellent allies, on both sides of the green line. Ask Haneen Zoabi or Michael Warschawski. Ideological purity is nice, but ultimately self-defeating, and Zahava Gal-On is not Orit Struk or even Sheli Yachimovitch.

    • Shmuel, did you decide to Mistalbet on me?

      Stalbet? What ever gave you that idea?

    • mehane, you seem determined to complain and distract about the focus here. it is occurring to me, that you don’t really care if palestinians have water or not since you keep wanting to change the subject. ... then tell me, on a scale from 1 to 10, how much you care. thanks.

      If they had only accepted the partition plan, they would have had plenty of water, and when there is peace, they will have as much as they want, so why should Mahane care? You're forgetting who the "main victims" (Mahane's term) here are, annie.

    • btw, i listened to her speech for jstreet last night, it was actually really good. she kept repeating ‘end the occupation’!

      Anyone who thinks that Zionists are all the same and there's no such thing as a liberal Zionist should try listening to Zahava Gal-On some time.

    • shmuel and mehane, b’tselem issued a press release this morning “Undeniable discrimination in the amount of water allocated to Israelis and Palestinians

      Netanyahu never denied the discrimination. He just said it wasn't nearly as bad as Schulz had implied, and feigned outrage at the water libel.

      The Bayit Hayehudi crowd were just looking for an excuse "to stand up for Jewish honour" (as Orit Struk and others put it) against "the German", representing that hostile, anti-Semitic entity, the EU.

      And Mahane is only here to defend Israel's image anyway. I wouldn't take him too seriously.

    • Zahava Gal-On compared the performance by Bennett and the other members of his party to Menashe Noy's stock character Feldermaus (Hahamishia Hakamerit satire), with his signature line "Hasn't the Jewish people suffered enough?!"

      Here's the sketch Gal-On was referring to (in heavily-accented English with a few gag lines in Hebrew):

    • “A Palestinian youth asked me why an Israeli can use 70 cubic liters of water and a Palestinian just 17,” he said. “I haven’t checked the data. I’m asking you if this is correct.”

      Not a very bright way of putting it, even if water per se wasn't the point (which I presume was feeble criticism of Israeli policies, citing Palestinian feelings and perceptions rather than presenting the brutal facts).

    • Here is the article about the “water problem” (Hebrew):
      link to

      A brilliant piece of investigative journalism stenography for the Israeli Water Authority and Civil Admnistration/Judea and Samaria Water Authority, that doesn't miss a talking point (Israel improved Palestinian standard of living, Palestinians are the ones stealing water, etc.). The only Palestinian figure cited (and just a figure) relates, for some reason, only to Palestinian "urban water consumption".

    • Here is the article about the “water problem” (Hebrew)

      And here's another one (part of a series, actually) that gets behind all the crocodile tears (English):
      link to

      And for greater detail:
      link to

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