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Total number of comments: 7462 (since 2009-08-04 05:43:29)

Shmuel

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  • Homes of Palestinians accused of ramming pedestrians to be demolished
    • Since such home demolitions are not effective as deterrents (although they would still be illegal, even if the were), they serve two main purposes:

      1. To brutalise the Palestinians, as part of the ongoing strategy of occupation ('boot-on-neck' method).
      2. To curry favour with an electorate that likes its politicians "tough", when it comes to the Palestinians.

  • In and out of love with Israel: Tzvia Thier's story
  • Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city
    • It enobles and “normalizes” a religion to be part of a State campaign of conquest or colonization!

      Or degrades and drags it into the gutter.

      It shows how religion and politics should be combined.

      Or precisely why they shouldn't.

      Besides, it’s in the Bible.

      So is stoning adulterers. They don't seem to be pushing that one too much (although it's certainly in Hillel Weiss' programme). I don't see the Stoning Adulturers Faithful (or Institute) hand-crafting stones and training executioners.

    • Or where She will be most likely to be, or was last reported, and is more likely to feel and respond to our presence?

      For the biblically fixated, these people are rather thick about where and how to find God and God's favour. The general idea is expressed in all three parts of the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, Writings), but the Psalmist summed it up nicely in chapter 131 (trans. Robert Alter):

      A song of ascents for David.
      Lord, my heart has not been haughty,
      nor have my eyes looked too high,
      nor have I striven for great things,
      nor for things too wondrous for me.

      But I have calmed and contented myself
      like a weaned babe on its mother--
      like a weaned babe I am with myself.
      Wait, O Israel, for the Lord,
      now and forevermore.

    • But then I’m not sure that Uri Ariel is saying ‘we must do this because God wills it’ or ‘we must do this because, even in the absence of religious belief, it’s part of our self-assertion as a nation – and the forms of our self-assertion can’t be up to others to determine’

      I'm pretty sure it's the latter. The movement for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount has far more to do with the idols of sovereignty, domination and national pride than a desire to commune with the divine in the place where Her presence is most felt (a somewhat dodgy theological concept in the first place). As for "God's will", to borrow a phrase from Aaron the Priest: "These are your gods, O Israel" (Ex. 34:4).

  • On Balfour anniversary, Jerusalem boils
    • Kate,

      You're obviously made of stern stuff if you can handle compiling these digests (three times a week!) that are so hard, emotionally, to even read. May you have a speedy and complete recovery.

  • Israel's Knesset upholds longest suspension in state's history against Haneen Zoabi
    • I said: would likely affect settlers and Haredim at least as much as Palestinian citizens of Israel and residents of East Jerusalem

      That's not quite true, because there is a world of difference in enforcement and application, but right-wing law-makers don't usually like to leave such things to chance.

    • wonder if the ‘law’ will apply to settlers as well– (don’t laugh too hard now!)

      That's exactly what makes me doubt the bill will go through (or that its sponsors ever intended it to). It pertains to Israeli civil law and would likely affect settlers and Haredim at least as much as Palestinian citizens of Israel and residents of East Jerusalem (probably the PR target Regev and Azulay were aiming at, in light of the current situation in Jerusalem). West Bank Palestinians are under military law anyway.

    • Knesset just passed law authorizing 20 yr jail term

      No, Regev and Azulay's proposed bill hasn't even had a preliminary reading yet.

  • 'We are in a violent fight with extreme Islam' -- Feiglin leads rightists to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque
    • Good article by Lynette Nusbacher. I would add that the retaining wall fetish presents many of the same problems as that of the Mount itself, characterised by various forms of idolatry -- first and foremost the idolatry of nationalism.

  • Update: Why did Netanyahu respond to chickenshit with 'grassy knoll' remark?
    • Thanks, Annie. Ravid writes in Hebrew and his articles are translated by the English edition staff, but he might take some interest in how his article was translated, especially if the translation gave rise to a misunderstanding -- picked up by other outlets (assuming Haaretz English edition was the source).

    • It would be interesting to see if discussions of the Kennedy assassination, in Hebrew, used the same phrasing.

      The word means lawn, the context was a place in which ME peace treaties are signed. As important as the US is to Israel, the Kennedy assassination is really not a topic of discussion in Israel, and to the extent that it is (say on Hebrew Wiki), the US English expression "grassy knoll" is translated something like "mound of grass" (תלולית דשא, as just pointed out), not lawn (מדשאה/ות).

      I don't know what the translator was thinking (although my money's on an honest mistake), but there is no doubt whatsoever that that is not what Netanyahu said or meant. This entire story is based on nothing but a mistranslation that happened to have made the rounds.

      I don't like to quote Ari Shavit, but he wants to know what they (Netanyahu and his government) are smoking in Jerusalem. So would I.

    • Can someone else who can read Hebrew confirm/deny the translation of the printed Hebrew?

      You mean besides Sol Salbe and myself? Don't you trust us? ;-)

    • Annie,

      Since this is such a weird translation of what Netanyahu said, it obviously all comes from a single source. I don't know whether Guardian Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont speaks Hebrew, but I'm guessing he took the translated quote from Haaretz (I didn't find any official translation or press release) and, not being an American or a JFK conspiracy theory aficionado, paid no attention to the expression (I had never heard of it either).

      As for the translator, it might have been as simple as opening the popular online dictionary Morfix, seeing that one of the translations offered for מדשאה is "grassy area" and deciding that "grassy knoll" sounds more idiomatic.

    • The Hebrew word Netanyahu used was מדשאות - lawn(s) - a clear reference to the White House lawn (called מדשאות הבית הלבן in Hebrew).

      link to haaretz.co.il

  • 'Exalted anti-Zionists' are now driving the conversation
    • What's an "exalted anti-Zionist"? (Could he have meant "exalté", which is not quite the same as "exalted"?)

      Bachman: defending Israel’s borders by fighting in Gaza

      A more precise characterisation would have been 'taking part in a "war" of choice and possibly committing war crimes'. How these soldiers or their parents vote is entirely irrelevant.

      More Bachman: defending their right to live as Jews

      Melodramatic nonsense. That is not what Bib's massacre and the long and short-term events that led up to it were about -- not even close.

      And more: working for peace, on the ground

      I'm not sure what kind of "working for peace on the ground" Bachman is referring to specifically, but it seems rather futile if you are then going to shell civilian neighbourhoods and bomb hospitals and schools sheltering the displaced.

  • Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare
    • We do need to remember the difficult and disputed nature of ancient history but in the end this should remind us that very little in the way of here-and-now right and wrong springs from events way back then.

      Well said. Nor more recent prayers and longings -- whether for the land as a whole or its specific shrines and holy places.

  • Sh*tstirring Jeffrey Goldberg dumps diplomatic sh*tstorm with 'chickensh*t' quote
  • Normalizing occupation, NYT runs whimsical story on time zones
    • But by ignoring that reality this article is an unconscious effort to make injustice seem normal.

      It is also one of those things that gives the mistaken impression that the PA actually exercises some sort of jurisdiction over the areas "ceded" by Israel (hey, they get to decide what time it is!).

  • Blockade continues: Gaza fishing boats are targeted with gunfire inside six-mile zone
  • Rivlin commemorates Kfar Qassem massacre and speaks of 'equality'
    • Quite right, tree. All of these things diminish and even sour Rivlin's gesture, but what gets me most of all is Rivlin's unquestioning support (even at the Kafr Qassem memorial ceremony itself!) for the series of massacres perpetrated by Israel in Gaza this past summer.

      Supposedly the lesson of Kafr Qassem (from a Zionist-Israeli perspective - what I was taught in an Israeli high school) is that illegal orders (orders with a "black flag flying over them", as the court put it, at the time) must not be obeyed, that each and every soldier bears responsibility for his actions, before the law and his conscience. How many illegal orders were given and obeyed during Protective Edge?! How many black flags fly over orders given and obeyed every day in the West Bank and East Jerusalem?!

      As an Israeli citizen I say to President Rivlin, if you cannot stop or even condemn today's massacres, spare Palestinian and Jewish Israelis the shame of empty apologies for past massacres. If you cannot ensure justice for today's victims -- when they are Palestinian and their murderers are Jews, spare us the shame of empty solidarity with Palestinians whose murderers were pardoned within a year or fined 10 prutot, over half a century ago! Spare us your Jabotinskyite "statefullness" (did you really quote Jabotinsky to Palestinian citizens of Israel?!) and spare us your fake Jabotinskyite utopian visions of "the son of Arab, the son of Nazareth and my son".

  • US-Israel relationship is still 'strong and formidable,' says State Dep't
    • Netanyahu's strategy all along has been to treat what he views (or likes to portray) as a hostile administration with disdain, counting on his bipartisan power in Congress and holding out for a "friendlier" White House. The chickenshitting "senior Obama administration officials" who confide in Jeffrey Goldberg merely help to fulfil Netanyahu's prophecies and shore up the settlement-building, tough-guy image he's working so hard on right now. Of course he said that he's being criticised for "looking out for Israel's interests". Thanks, Jeff.

  • Israeli committee to consider plans to build first city for Palestinian citizens in country's history
    • Spot on Walid. Like the "plans" for Palestinian housing in Jerusalem, periodically announced with much fanfare, as a fig leaf for settlement construction -- but which never seem to materialise, for some reason (although the Jews-only settlements do, and how).

      Since actual equality in the allocation of resources (especially land -- stolen from Palestinians in the first place) is the furthest thing from the Israeli policy-makers' minds, such announcements offer all the PR benefits without any of the drawbacks, from the perspective of the Jewish ethnocracy.

      Wake me up when they allow the residents of Iqrit and Bir'am to go home, start returning some of the land stolen from Sakhnin and 'Arraba, remove the housing chokehold on existing Palestinian towns and villages in Israel and stop trying to "Judaise" the Galilee and the Naqab.

  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • Nationwide Agenda ... Student Life

      Whose idea was it to hit 'em with Spooky Capital Letters? Is that the secret part of Poleg's message, Blacked Out, or did Lerner come up with that All By Himself?

  • Shaking the campus from the US to Palestine
    • Annie,

      I wouldn't necessarily take the word "colonisation" in its modern sense. It was used at the time, for the agricultural settlement of impoverished Eastern European Jews in Palestine, South America and even Europe (e.g. in Crimea) -- not always characterised by the types of relationships with the indigenous population we would associate with colonialism.

      A certain kind of settlement in Palestine (and elsewhere) was also supported by those who opposed Herzlian Zionism and Jewish nationalism in general, such as the Protestrabbiner and other religious leaders (see e.g. the Orthodox anti-Zionist anthology Or layeshorim).

      Part of our confusion stems from the fact that Zionist historiography has "Zionised" each and every attempt by Jews to settle in the Holy Land, from Judah Halevi (12th century) to the students of the Gaon of Vilna (early 19th century), to the philanthrophy of Moses Montefiore.

      Modern definitions of settler colonialism would certainly apply to some of the 19th century Jewish settlements in Palestine (as described e.g. by Ahad Ha'am, following his visit to Palestine in 1881), if not in original intention, then in the attitudes and behaviour they eventually adopted. As the nationalist, "self-emancipatory" approach came to dominate such settlement and immigration, a settler-colonialist project clearly emerged -- due to its nature, rather than the use of words such as "colonies" and "colonisation".

  • Israeli president's diagnosis -- 'Israel is a sick society' -- doesn't go viral in the U.S.
    • The article presents the motivation as purely materialistic: to escape the high cost of living in Israel and benefit from the low costs of Berlin. But Max Blumenthal’s Goliath says that many Israelis who go are seeking to escape the sick Israeli society.

      I think the two are connected -- especially since such emigrants must contend with numerous ideological taboos and barriers (both internal and external), just to do what's "normal": seek a better life for yourself and your family.

      "Normality" was the promise Zionism originally held out, but these mostly second and third generation Israelis have rejected the collective psychoses and sense of guilt imposed by the ideology in which they were raised. They just want to be "normal". Perhaps challenging the biggest psychosis/taboo of all -- moving to "the former Nazi capital" -- is the surest way to recovery.

  • The rabbi's fridge
    • Forgive mistakes, edit function, blah blah blah.

    • On the blue and white card in the centre that says "Tel Aviv" in Hebrew* is another card, also in Hebrew, advertising a café: "Café Almah", which, according its website website was "founded in 2004 on the ruins of an abandoned bakery in Jaffa". The site also boasts that the bakery employs "Jewish, Muslim and Christian residents of the Jaffa neighbourhood".

      link to pieceofcake.co.il (Hebrew)

      Does "Free Palestine" also include the tens of thousands of Palestinians ethnically cleansed from the thriving Arab city of Jaffa (including the owners of the "abandoned" bakery) and a condemnation of the faux "co-existence" in the ethnically cleansed and rapidly gentrifying (and further Judaising) city of Jaffa?

      Jaffa: link to electronicintifada.net

      *"Tel Aviv" is printed in biblical font, citing the verse in Ezekiel that inspired the modern name -- as a Hebrew rendition of Herzl's Altneuland and the name of "The First Hebrew City"). The biblical fantasy surrounding Israeli toponyms is part and parcel of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and erasure of Palestinian memory.

  • The ice floe
    • On the day that Phil makes aliyah, he’ll be issued his own ID card and will be able to see for himself.

      How lucky for him he's not a Palestinian like bintbiba, even though she was actually born there.

    • noting that it was issued in 2012

      Mine's from '95, so no help there.

      And this line from Wiki (I know, I know) -- בשנת 2011 הורה השר אלי ישי להחזיר את סעיף הלאום -- didn't help either.

    • I did a little more research, and it seems that Jon is right (I also mistakenly wrote that the nationality article was removed in 2005, but the year was in fact 2002). The amendment proposed by Eli Yishai in 2011 (which may or may not have been approved in the end - all of the articles I found, with the exception of Hebrew Wiki treated it as a proposal), concerned the right of those registered as Jews prior to 2002 to have that information appear on future documents (e.g. in case of loss or theft). T

      This would be more in keeping with Yishai's original motivation for cancelling the article - a 2002 High Court decision requiring the Interior Ministry to list non-Orthodox converts as Jews in the Population Registry and on ID cards. The amendment would thus not have applied to those registered after the High Court decision.

      The nationality article remains in the Population Registry, and thus in the Population Authority database. It also continues to appear even on the new application forms for a new or replacement ID.

    • Oh, and “Jewish” and “Arab” nationality on id cards in Israel is a thing of the past.

      It was never removed from the population registry and, to the best of my knowledge, the nationality article on ID cards was restored by the same Eli Yishai (who had it removed in 2005) in 2011. That would mean that it still appears on all ID cards except those issued between 2005 and 2011.

  • Indian Summer: An Open Letter to Sayed Kashua on the occasion of his piece in the New Yorker
    • Thank you, Dr. I wonder how many Zionist Israelis (and non-Israeli Zionists*) really understand Kashua's writing. If they did, I doubt they'd be quite so fond of him or get shocked every time he tries to drive home a truth in a way that even they can't ignore.

      *I was a little surprised (but not very) to see Kashua's books in translation, in a local institutional Jewish bookshop.

      I was just reading a review of Oz' "Gospel According to Judas" today, and was wondering whether it would be worth reading or not. I am fed up with the man (and the particular kind of danger he poses), but was intrigued by the idea of the "redemptive power of betrayal" specifically in the context of Zionist history.

  • 'Settlement endorsement should be put on a par with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism' --British pol
  • Anti-semitism charge is increasingly being leveled against Israel's mainstream critics
    • Walid,

      First of all, welcome back :-)

      There are real "comrades" ("compagni", as they say in these parts) and there are allies of various kinds -- those with multiple agendas that include your own and those with agendas you wouldn't touch with a barge pole, but who aren't actually harmful to the cause. Then there are those who really couldn't give a damn about Palestinians and actually harm them by espousing (or pretending to espouse) their cause. That goes for all allies and potential allies, not just Jews.

      As for the group I linked to (J-BIG), I know them, and they are the real deal -- real "compagni", whose concern is first and foremost for the Palestinians.

  • Does 'the thief of Jerusalem' deserve US aid? (Update)
    • Thanks, peterfeld. Interesting twitter exchange. I would add the following observations:

      1. Rabbi Jacobs shifts the conversation to Iron Dome – an ostensibly defensive system (although a number of analysts have suggested that Iron Dome may, in itself, be defensive, but allows Israel to take offensive action without fear of repercussions) – which does not account for the bulk of US military aid to Israel.

      2. Rabbi Jacobs asserts that “If you care about human rights [you] have to care abt everyone's human rights”, yet defends US aid to only one side, as if the Palestinians had no “legitimate security needs”. Yes, “Hamas lobs rockets at a civilian population”, but Israel has done far worse, both during its large-scale operations (e.g. imprecise mortar fire at a crowded market, targeting protected areas, unilateral definitions of what constitutes a military target, “consciousness-searing” measures, etc.) and as a matter of routine, even during periods of cease fire (at farmers and others within its self-declared “buffer zone”, at fishermen, in extra-judicial killings that take few if any precautions against harming innocent civilians – see e,g. the case of Saleh Shehade). So where is the massive U.S. aid for the "legitimate security needs" of Palestinians?

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
    • SEE: “Spanish lawmakers reportedly to vote on Palestinian state”

      A motion to recognise the Palestinian state was also submitted to the Italian Senate on Thursday.

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • By the way, the site you linked to (the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism) is an Israeli state forum, and as such, pursues Israeli state interests.

      link to he.wikipedia.org

      As a European Jew, I often feel that I am being held hostage to Israel's political and ideological interests.

    • You may be in a better position than other commenters here to assess the anti-Semitic threat in Europe, as long as you don’t engage in wishful thinking.

      I'm not a wishful thinking type of guy, but how can I take screaming headlines and "statistics" seriously when "Insulting video: On 17th July protesters published a short film on YouTube in which they erased the State of Israel. Four suspects were arrested. The leader of the gang was identified" (from your link) is listed under the heading "Sharp Rise in Jew-Hatred"?

      How can I tell whether there is a rise or not, when anti-Semitism is spotlighted more than ever before (almost certainly for political reasons -- including dismissal of criticism of Israel, and dwindling "aliyah" ), and reporting of incidents is now actively solicited (e.g. I saw an ad for an anti-Semitism hotline in a local Jewish paper -- in a country with one of the lowest incidences of anti-Semitism in Europe)?

      How can I take Jewish leaders seriously when they say things like "Within ten years we will see a return to Auschwitz -- and all Jews in this country must therefore make aliyah as soon as possible" (statement by the president of the Rome Jewish community after the last general election, due to the rise of a "post-political" party with some right-wing tendencies -- although said president has openly supported the actual far right, based on its pro-Israel positions)?

      Yes, I live in Europe (as noted, in a country with a very low incidence of anti-Semitism), and have a feel for wider European trends and issues (particularly within the EU), but there is so much confusion and manipulation of this issue, that I find it very hard to take any of the reports (including an extremely shameful one by the Italian parliament -- chaired by an Italian-Israeli who has declared that she was only in parliament to serve Israel's interests) or statistics at face value.

      Another aspect of the current focus on anti-Semitism that I find particularly disturbing is that it often entails anti-Arab, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim insinuations, fanning the flames of racism and prejudice -- supposedly in the name of fighting racism and prejudice. When I hear French Jews in Israel say that they left France because it was "full of Arabs", with no further explanation or qualification, it really makes me wonder about the source of their unease and fears. Once again, this is not to say that some fears are not justified or that anti-Semitism is not on the rise, but it makes it really hard to get to the bottom of things.

      The first step to understanding and combating the phenomenon is a clear distinction between criticism of Israel and prejudice against Jews. As long as the nonsense about the "new anti-Semitism" continues, real anti-Semitism will go unnoticed and unchecked. It's also high time to start taking European criticism of Israeli policies seriously, instead of just dismissing it as "traditional European" or "Muslim" "anti-Semitism" -- an attitude that is not merely politically self-serving (albeit self-harming, in the long run), but is also, in itself, tainted with racism.

    • The truth ... is almost exactly the opposite of what Mondoweiss reports here.

      So what is the truth about "European anti-Semitism" (implying some sort of equivalence between Dublin and Budapest, Paris and Milan, Copenhagen and Brussels, Prague and Barcelona, Amsterdam and Kiev and so on)? What is the truth about anti-Semitism in Berlin?

      Time Magazine has admitted it exaggerated with its "Exodus" story, the FRA survey is so subjective and confused as to tell us hardly anything, and some of the recent incidents repeatedly cited in the media have been partially or completely misreported (including one in my city).

      Yes, there are places (such as Hungary) in which anti-Semitism -- along with anti-Ziganism and other forms of racism and discrimination -- is a matter of great concern. There have been a few violent incidents against Jews and Jewish institutions in Sweden, Germany, France and Belgium (definitely not to be minimised), and demonstrations against Israel during the Gaza massacre have, in places slid into or legitimised anti-Semitism -- but I very much doubt that the adjectives attached to such incidents ("common", "frequent", "widespread") are accurate. In Italy, strong and vocal positions against anti-Semitism were taken by Palestinian and Palestinian solidarity groups, at the height of the Gaza massacre, declaring zero tolerance for anti-Semitism -- not as a tactic, but as a matter of principle.

      The climate in Europe's weaker economies is not pretty right now, and populists are certainly trying to fan the flames of racism and hatred, but only rarely against Jews. In most European societies, Jews are no longer acceptable or satisfying scapegoats, with so many minority groups to choose from: immigrants in general, E. Europeans, Roma, blacks, Arabs, Muslims, etc. There was a large demonstration in Milano today, uniting neo-Fascist groups such as Forza Nuova and Casa Pound, under the leadership of the Northern League, and Jews were not even mentioned, nor could such a demonstration against Jews have taken place. The target was, of course, immigrants -- particularly Africans, Arabs and Muslims.

      Wearing a kippah may be an issue in some places, but wearing a kippah in public is a relatively recent phenomenon in most parts of Europe -- and mostly where large Jewish communities exist. When I was a child in Canada I was always told to wear a hat rather than a kippah in areas where Jews are few and far between -- partly out of fear of anti-Semitism (more imagined than real at the time, although I did have some unpleasant encounters), but mostly because kippot are strange, out of the ordinary, make you stick out when you have absolutely no desire to so. Try wearing an Islamic head-covering and see what happens.

      So yes, there is anti-Semitism in Europe and it must be taken seriously. There is also a lot of mystification and exploitation of anti-Semitism that has little to do with actually keeping Jews safe.

  • 'Progressive' rabbi ascribes Roger Waters's concern with 500 Palestinian child victims to rocker's alleged drug use
    • Well, it all started like this: link to lowres.jantoo.com

    • I am still anticipating that interview! Hope I get it today.

      You'll love it :-)

    • Did Israelis killed 500 children (recently!), and did Waters say so publicly? Then say he is/was/associated with druggies (or criminals or wife beaters of republicans or democrats — whatever will move your audience). And ignore what he says..

      As Remi Kanazi said in his interview with Katie Miranda, yesterday (in response to the "singling Israel out" argument): "Why do you single Israel out for protection?"

  • Israeli settlers set West Bank mosque aflame in 'price tag' arson attack
    • Why is racist graffiti always full of mistakes?

      Dear thug,

      The top of a script gimel begins on the left, while the top of a script zayin begins on the right. Learn the difference (it's in the first word of your "trademark", for God's sake).

      Meir Kahane was certainly all that you admire and more, but he was also literate. Learn to spell his name correctly -- with a final alef, not a he'.

  • The Center for Jewish Life is stifling free speech at Princeton University
    • Based on the above information, it seems that 2 pro-Israel groups ("CJIL-affiliated", whatever that means) tried to organise an event about Gaza, together with the Princeton Committee on Palestine. Someone proposed Prof. Weiss' name (perhaps the Committee on Palestine). The "CGIL-afiliated" students ran the proposals by CGIL and were told that Weiss is a no-go (red lines, etc.).

      In other words, it was a pro-Israel event that sought an aura of even-handedness through a co-sponsorship with the Committee on Palestine, but would not give up control -- barring someone for supporting a non-violent campaign in favour of Palestinian rights. Presumably, no one was barred for having, in the past, taken any action in support of Israel and its policies.

      Does the Committee on Palestine support BDS (as things stand today, if it doesn't, it's hardly a supporter of Palestinian rights), and if so, why was it OK to co-sponsor events with them, but not to allow Prof. Weiss to speak at one of these events? I would also like to know how the Princeton Committee on Palestine responded to this attempt to veto the participation of someone who represents their point of view at an event they were supposed to be co-sponsoring.

      What Hillel International will not do, Fingerhut wrote, is “partner with organizations that espouse anti-Semitism, apply a double standard to Israel, spout racism or promote Islamophobia.”

      Arguably, Fingerhut's own organisation is guilty of all of those things (most notably applying a double standard to Israel) -- even anti-Semitism, in its insistence that racism, nationalism and crimes against humanity are inherent to Judaism and are supported by all "good" Jews.

  • Clintonite turns on Netanyahu for trying to bend US 'to his will'
    • Those who have settled or are planning on settling in Berlin are, of course, at the centre of the debate -- for obvious reasons. The Shmemel clip ("Berlin, Berlin") featured at MW a little while ago -- link to youtube.com -- is filled with Zionist and religious imagery similar to the "aliyah" idea -- transferred to Berlin ("If I forget thee, O Berlin ..." etc.).

    • You are out of your mind if you think jewish israeli’s are leaving israel due to a lack of liberal democracy.

      Certainly not all, Dan, but more than a few. Ever since Rogel Alpher's piece (and a little before), Haaretz has been running articles on Israelis who have left and are leaving. Initially, The Marker (Haaretz' semi-independent economic supplement) ran a whole series of articles featuring Israelis who had left ( for Europe or the US) focusing solely on economics and self-fulfilment -- to which there have been quite a few responses (most recently this morning), saying it's not about careers or affordable housing or the price of "milky" (a kind of chocolate pudding), but because the racist, illiberal, warmongering air in Israel is unbreathable and denies any hope of change. There have also been numerous responses from the entire range of the mainstream in Israel, accusing such political exiles of defeatism, "anti-Zionism" and unwillingness to come to terms with the fact that their views are simply unpopular in Israel.

      A couple of interesting articles also appeared (before Alpher's) by an Israeli prof. in the UK, by the name of Yossi Nehushtan, explaining why there is no liberal democracy in Israel and why there never will be, and encouraging all Israelis who care about such things to cut their losses and save their kids.

  • Hamas is Nazi Germany and Israel is valiant and desperate England -- explains Canadian Jewish leader
    • It must be extremely frustrating for someone with Frederick Krantz' Churchillian sense of moral clarity to see just how many people don't "get" it. Good and evil, black and white, Nazis and Allies. Why oh why can't the many see how very much they owe to the few?

      CIJR Director Prof. Frederick Krantz, from an Address to the Jewish People, Montreal, August 20, 2014

      Address to the Jewish People? I wasn't there. I didn't even get an invitation.

    • Duncan's talk was really excellent. Mr. Arkush has, apparently, worked himself into the very muddle that Duncan refers to (beginning a little after 27 minutes).

  • British Parliament sends a message to Obama: the people see Israel as a 'bully'
    • I’m hugely surprised that Louise Ellman isn’t on the list of nays!

      She's Labour and it was a whipped vote.

    • I notice Ian Paisley’s son in that list.

      Like father like son: link to jpost.com

      I'll bet the other four are also members/supporters of NIFI.

    • Sir Alan Beith – Liberal Democrat, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

      Bob Blackman – Conservative, Harrow East

      Jonathan Djanogly – Conservative, Huntingdon

      Nigel Dodds – Democratic Unionist, Belfast North

      Mike Freer – Conservative, Finchley and Golders Green

      Dr William McCrea – Democratic Unionist, South Antrim

      Nigel Mills – Conservative, Amber Valley

      Dr Matthew Offord – Conservative, Hendon

      Ian Paisley Jr – Democratic Unionist, North Antrim

      Jim Shannon – Democratic Unionist, Strangford

      David Simpson – Democratic Unionist, Upper Bann

      Robert Syms – Conservative, Pool

      link to ibtimes.co.uk

  • Help break the blockade and clothe Gaza’s children this winter
    • The JPost headline/caption reads: "Truckloads of cement and steal [sic] roll into coastal enclave for the first time in a year."

      If that's what the Israelis are allowing through, the Gazans had better steel themselves.

  • Katie Miranda's 'tele-summit' for Palestinian freedom
  • Deconstructing John Kerry's address to the Gaza Donors Conference
    • I don’t understand why the Israelis signed up to Oslo

      Short list: Yom Kippur, Camp David and return of Sinai, Lebanon, Intifada, Gulf War, botched London initiative, Jordanian detachment from West Bank, growing settler movement -- all with repercussions on multiple levels for Israelis and Palestinians, internally and internationally. Ambiguity was no longer an option.

      Because the minute they signed up to Oslo they created expectations outside Israel and that is why the House of Commons voted against them this week. Diplomacy is serious.

      Exactly. And Netanyahu, along with Israeli society and economy, have been coasting on that credit and even pro forma recognition of the 2ss. Netanyahu's entire career since Oslo has been based on opposing and blocking the accords, while paying some sort of lip service to them. That might be over, and yesterday's vote at Westminster might have a hand in that.

      Why did they internationalise the Palestinian issue ?

      Because they had no choice. Israel of the early 90s was not the Israel of today. Most Israelis don't realise it now, but the peace process is not optional, to the extent that it ever was, and the time to pay the piper may be approaching.

    • From what I have read the Isr peace or rational group has been beat down into a hole by the frothing fanatics.

      What I meant was that if Labour, under Herzog's leadership, can get off its ass and start talking about international isolation directly resulting from the words and deeds of Netanyahu and his government (and Herzog gave us a taste today, following the British vote), instead of the price of cottage cheese and chocolate pudding, it stands a chance of shifting the "floating votes" that were never in the Likud's pocket to begin with. One of the democratic features that the Israeli ethnocracy does possess is the periodic shift of power. That can happen if Labour wakes up and Netanyahu keeps scoring own-goals.

    • That seems to be where the Netanyahu government is headed (he will have to come up with an "appropriate Zionist response" to Palestinian diplomatic moves, and more settlements won't cut it, although he'll certainly do that as well) -- far more likely than the annexation of Area C that Bennett and co. have been yammering about. Such a move would suit both the government's right wing and Netanyahu's nostalgia for the pre-Oslo days when "the whole world was against us" -- except that he probably thinks he can have his cake and eat it too, preserving the international benefits to Israel brought about by the Oslo process, while suspending the process itself indefinitely. Livni might walk out, but who cares?

      Electorally, this might prove to be Netanyahu's worst mistake -- in effect self-BDSing Israel (the ultimate Boycott from Within), thereby causing a shift back to the more diplomatic "centre-left". It is also possible, in such an eventuality, that international opinion, having sobered up a little from Oslo euphoria, would finally start demanding that Israel (with a new, self-declared "pro-peace" government) pursue a real peace process, with real sticks and no more free carrots.

  • British Parliament votes overwhelmingly to recognize Palestinian state
    • MRW,

      I wouldn't overly idolise those Sephardim or demonise their Ashkenazi counterparts. The former certainly did believe in the Other -- like most Americans of their class and skin-colour at the time -- and the latter introduced the ethical universalism of German Reform to American shores (including remarkable spiritual leaders such as Rabbi David Einhorn). Furthermore, the 18th and 19th centuries saw a revolution in Ashkenazi Jewish scholarship itself, including (but not limited to) the rediscovery and embracing of Sephardic philosophical and literary traditions.

      I didn't accuse American of anything. I was just reinforcing a point I believe is often overlooked.

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