Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 336 (since 2009-08-03 06:09:51)

The Hasbara Buster

Linguist from Rosario, Argentina. Amateur musician. Committed anti-zionist.


Showing comments 336 - 301

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

      Israeli governments have had non-Jewish cabinet members for years now.

      Just to clarify your ambiguous phrase, not a single non-Jew serves in the current Israeli government.

      Salim Joubran has sat on Israel’s Supreme Court since 2003. Ayoub Kara was deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Nawaf Massalha was a deputy speaker as well. Salah Tarif was a deputy speaker and a cabinet minister. Majalli Wahabi was a deputy speaker and briefly as Acting President of Israel. Raleb Maladeje held cabinet positions in two successive government when Labor was in the coalition.

      Exactly, and the question posed to you was “How many non-Jews — especially Christians and Muslims — have been high-level members of the Israeli government from its founding to the present day? ” From the hundreds and hundreds of cabinet members that Israel has had in its 33 governments, you can come up with just 2 non-Jewish ones -- neither of which high-level. From the hundreds of Supreme Court justices, just one has been non-Jewish.

      To put things in perspective, 3000 Jews openly lived as Jews in Berlin through WWII -- they were not killed, they were not harmed, they were not jailed, and everyone knew they were Jewish. The existence of those Jews does not disprove the Holocaust, and the existence of a couple of Arab former low-level ministers does not disprove the ethnocratic character of Israel. It is shameful that you use Holocaust-denial-like techniques to argue your points.

  • Israeli embassy pressured Amnesty to cancel launch of 'apartheid' book -- Ben White
    • In other Apartheid-related news, RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects, has passed a motion proposing a boycott of IAUA, the Israeli Association of United Architects, over their role in the construction of illegal settlements. RIBA is calling for IAUA to be excluded from the International Union of Architects.

      link to

  • Johansson sees greater wrong in Oxfam than Israeli settlement
    • @hophmi

      As usual, she’s absolutely correct.

      She claimed, without evidence, that Oxfam funded a BDS movement. She also claimed that the illegality of the settlements is "easily debatable." These two claims are not correct.

      Cults never recognize nuance, and Scarlett’s opinion is nuanced.

      The UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice and the US Government have all asserted, without nuance, that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal. Would you call all of these organizations "cults"?

      Johansson's opinions are "nuanced" to the same extent that a Holocaust denier's are. However, contrary to the Holocaust deniers, who act out of ideology, Johansson simply acts out of cluelessness.

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • @JeffB

      Jews mostly live in Israel and the United States. But even the modern record shows that if the Jews didn’t have their own state their status would return to the horrors of the past.

      Although this has been frequently stated, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the assertion. More to the point, it's a ludicrous one.

      I can remember a time in the not too distant past when Jews were unofficially barred from serving in my country's (Argentina) foreign service. You had Jewish academics, lawmakers, cops, but not ambassadors or consuls. This has radically changed in the last few years and now not only do we have Jewish diplomats, but the country's Foreign Minister himself is Jewish.

      Are you seriously claiming this is somehow connected with the existence of Israel, and that if the Jewish state disappeared Jews would again be discriminated against in Argentina? The notion doesn't pass the Occam razor test. It is much simpler to posit that the world has changed for the better, which is supported by the fact that other traditionally ostracized groups have also been vindicated (for instance, gays are now allowed to marry in many places, including my country).

      Regrettably, this positive change has not affected the whole world. For instance, I can't fathom a Muslim being appointed as Israel's foreign minister. Can you?

  • Anti-Defamation League exploits fear of Muslims to undermine anti-gay bill
    • @hophmi

      Why? Why is it any fairer than arguing that conservative Christians could deny services to women who have had abortions, even if that’s never happened?

      The outrage here is not the assertion that Muslim cabbies would refuse to drive passangers based on religious reasons. The outrage is the suggestion that obstructing someone from attending a non-Muslim temple could be one of those reasons.

      Concretely, the ADL stated that, based on his beliefs, a Muslim would not drive a Hindu to his temple. This, unlike the ban on alcohol, is not part of Islamic teachings, so that, essentially, the ADL is lying. The "example" they so casually provided has absolutely no base in the Muslim religion.

      By diverting attention to the refusal to drive people carrying alcoholic beverages, you're trying to establish an analogy between intolerance of an intoxicating substance (which does exist) and intolerance of all religions other than one's own (which the ADL argued but does not exist). That is a stupid comparison that could only be made in bad faith.

  • Breaking: Students rise up against NY Jewish school's 'prohibition' of Rashid Khalidi
    • @hophmi

      I don't understand your chastising the MW community over its advocacy. This is not a newspaper; it's a blog that has taken a position. Basically, that position is that a state shouldn't separate its citizens into categories with different theoretical and practical rights. This is not to discount the Israeli narrative; it's just to support a principle that collides with that narrative.

      Your high opinion of yourself notwithstanding, the reality is that you don't come here to learn anything, but to confront an opinion you don't like. Your well-mannered tone only thinly disguises your use of tired talking points and diversions (e.g. "Most seem relatively uninterested in human rights elsewhere in the world," as though not speaking about something were the same as not being interested, and as though there were something wrong in picking one's fights). True, you keep phlegmatic most of the time, but you revert to crude hasbara when pressured. There's nothing wrong with that; many of us do something similar on Zionist sites. But it's amusing that you portray yourself as holding the moral high ground before an intolerant and simplistic community when you're doing exactly the same as us: one-sided (however polite) advocacy.

      Some shriek on and on about the media, finding bias where none exists

      I recall a very good example given the other day on this site: when newspapers report "the wall is considered by many to be illegal. Israel disputes this," thus equating a finding of the International Court of Justice to the opinion of an interested party in the conflict. Whether the reporter is aware of their bias, that's debatable; but bias it is.

  • NYT obit of rabbi left out his urging Sharon: 'Very simply, wipe them out'
    • The sadistic blockade of Gaza, in which shoes or clothes have been blocked from the Strip for up to 3 years, is also cruel, and the Gazans' powerlessness in the face of it also found expression in speech against Israel or, in many cases, the Jews. I don't see the New York Times understanding the complex psychology of it all. I see the NYT understanding rabbi Hartman, but depicting the occasional antisemitic outbursts of individual Gazans as the product of hate and indoctrination, rather than of Israel's actions.

  • 'NYT' highlights AIPAC's first failure in 30 years, as de Blasio and Hillary jump on Iran bandwagon
    • The US Congress refuses to impose further sanctions on a country that was already being subjected to sanctions for doing nothing illegal in the first place; meanwhile, that very same Congress allocates $3.1 bn to another country that is clearly violating international law. If that's AIPAC's defeat, it's a pyrrhic one, if the term applies.

      If my 15-yr-old son asks for a car and an apartment and I buy him a car but not an apartment, has he failed?

  • American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative 'bazaaris'
    • It gets to the point where we would need to know Zarif's version of the events. It's quite unlikely that a diplomat would treat a kosher-keeping Jew to dinner without seeing to it that appropriate food is served. Since Jews overwhelmingly do not follow the religion's dietary rules, it's quite probable that Zarif was not aware that Hoenlein did.

      Another possibility is that Zarif ran into Hoenlein in the street and improvised the invitation, in which case he served the food he had planned to eat, which Hoenlein politely turned down because it was not kosher.

      In any event, I don't see the point in Hoenlein's recalling that he refused to eat. It's irrelevant and it may be construed as painting Zarif in a bad light when it's plain obvious that the embarrassment was unintended.

  • Deconstructing Scarlett Johansson’s statement on SodaStream
    • @MahaneYehude1

      I believe Aloni doesn’t deserve post in MW since it is hard to write about Israeli politician which her CV doesn’t contain any event that can be used to attack Israel.

      I assume you're aware that Aloni was among the first to compare Israel's behavior in the West Bank to Apartheid. I'm glad to see that you're comfortable enough with that analogy to demand that homage be paid to her in MW.

  • At MLA, boycott opponents paper chairs
    • I don't see these unidentified boycott opponents' point. The Mufti's claims about suicide bombing and Jew-killing are truly hateful, but he was not a speaker at the event, nor is he endorsed by BDS supporters. As for Barghouti's statements, I don't see how they can be construed as an objectionable use of language. Zionism is an ideology of racial discrimination that needs to be done away with, and Barghouti says exactly that in an eloquent way. He talks about the death of a stance, not of people. Nothing to object to.

      On the other hand, we have state-appointed and -paid Israeli rabbis stating that Gentiles were born to serve Jews, or that it is permissible to kill babies in war, or that Jews shouldn't rent out houses to non-Jews. But these statements seem to somehow have escaped the boycott opponents' commendable concern for words.

  • Chilean soccer team puts Palestine front and center
  • 'Haaretz' says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as 'not quite human'
    • @OlegR

      I wonder if it’s important that Satmars are virulent anti Zionists.

      "Gentile sperm leads to barbaric offspring," said rabbi Dov Lior in a ruling against artificial insemination of Jewish women with semen from non-Jewish men. Lior is a senior authority on Jewish law in the Religious Zionism movement.

      So that no, it's not an anti-Zionist thing. It's an ultra-Orthodox Jewish thing.

      Unfortunately, those Jews who could fight these horrible teachings don't, and Lior gets paid a salary by the State of Israel. My conclusion is that these monsters are useful to Zionism.

  • The importance of Susan Abulhawa's poetry
    • To be honest, I prefer, for example, the forceful anger in Gihad Ali's Eye to eye to Abulhawa's mixture of poetry and pamphlet, which is too explicit to be the first, and too weak to qualify as the second.

  • Cyndi Lauper, the country you are planning to entertain imposes violent segregation, not equality
    • @JeffB, Mahane Yehude1

      That was a good retort.

      No, I'm afraid it's not. We were discussing the rights enjoyed by Arabs in Israel. I pointed out that the Israeli Arab citizens from Iqrit and Bir'im were expelled from their villages, given a written promise that they would be allowed back, and then denied the right to return to their houses, which were demolished. Keep in mind that we're talking about Israeli citizens, now living as internally displaced people.

      Mahane Yehude1 retorts that his family left property in Iraq. This is a non-sequitur, since we're discussing Israel, not Iraq. The right of a group of Israeli Arabs to return to the villages they were expelled from, which was set forth in writing, was not respected, and these families don't enjoy the freedom to live where they wish. Of course, there's no analogous case of Jewish citizens being internally displaced in Israel.

      You are mistaken. There is no law against intermarriage in Israel

      I am not mistaken. Marriage in Israel is left to the different religions, since the country does not allow civil marriage in its territory. The Muslims perform some Muslim-Jewish marriages. The Jews don't perform any marriage between people of different religions at all. Therefore, if there exists some intermarriage it's thanks to the Muslims, not to the Jews.

      Just to respect them, we don’t eat bread in Passover in the street in Jewish towns.

      Again, you claimed that there's no religious coertion in Israel and I cited a case of religious coertion. Whether such coertion stems from respect or not is irrelevant.

      That’s makes all the difference. We are not speaking on a small fraction in the population.

      The 3,000 Jews who survived in Berlin alone were more than 1% of all Jews living in Germany when WWII began. That is a far larger proportion than that of, say, Arabs among Israeli ambassadors since 1948. In other words, Jews who survived Nazism were marginal, but Israeli ambassadors who are Arab are even more marginal. The same holds true for Cabinet ministers, university lecturers and even Israel Electric Company employees.

      I hope that when our neighbors accept us as an integral part in the ME, many problems will be solved.

      The Arab league has repeatedly offered to recognize Israel if the country retreats to its 1967 borders. That was 97% of what Israel wanted. In the most recent offer, they even accepted that Israel could keep its largest settlements through territorial swaps. That's 100% of Israel's aspirations. But Israel has somehow managed to ignore this incredibly generous offer.

    • @MahaneYehude1

      a country that provides freedom to its citizens, regardless race or gender

      The Israeli citizens from Iqrit and Birim, who were forcibly expelled by the Jews in 1948, don't enjoy the freedom to return to their villages, despite the written promises that were made to them at the time of their expulsion.

      My country withdrew from Gaza strip completely. After the withdrawal, instead of building their piece of land, they attack our civilians in the Negev by long range missiles which they build by themselves or smuggle from Arab countries to the strip.

      Israel withdrew from Gaza out of necessity, not under a peace agreement. While I reject any attack on civilians, this is not a case of a peace gesture paid back with war.

      As for romantic relationships between Palestinians and Israelis Jews, I don’t think that your show will be visited by even not one couple consists of Muslim woman and Jewish man since the Arab society doesn’t allow such romantic relationships to exist.

      Well, at least the Muslims allow Muslim man-Jewish woman couples. The Jews don't allow any kind of intermarriage.

      Secular people also free to live their lives in their way and no one forces them to follow the religious laws.

      Showcasing leavened products in Jewish-majority towns is forbidden in Pesach even if the baker is secular.

      Indeed, the wall saves lives and the level of the attacks was decreased, but, unfortunately, this wall also causes injustice to innocent Palestinians. My country makes all efforts to minimize these damages.

      Correlation is not causality. Security experts agree that the fundamental cause for the decrease in the attacks is that the Palestinians renounced terror.

      Also, Israel didn't do the most elementary effort to minimize damages, i.e. building the wall along the Green Line.

      The Palestinians, who are citizens of the state of Israel, enjoy excellent medical treatment, education in high level colleges and universities and high standards of living the same as the Jewish citizens.

      Not true. Israeli Arabs live a full 4 years less than Israeli Jews.

      They enjoy freedom and democracy like all other citizens, many of them serving in senior positions in Israel like members of parliament, judges, journalists, scientists, police and army officers, business men etc.

      Did you know that up to 3,000 Jews openly lived in Berlin unharmed through WWII? Any Arab serving in a senior position is an exception that does not revert the general trend of a ferocious discrimination against Arabs. Denying this discrimination because of the exceptions is akin to denying the Holocaust because of those Jews.

  • Israeli rap warns vulnerable Jewish women about seductive, dangerous Arab men
    • @JeffB

      That’s not anti-miscagination that’s objection to intermarriage.

      That's why I said Whatever name you give to it. Did you miss it?

      But Tzipi Hotovely does not just object to intermarriage. She calls for girls to be taught not to intermarry, and she does so in her capacity as a Member of Knesset and using taxpayer-funded facilities. We anti-Zionists, using a single standard, denounce the only country considered a democracy where such an outrage takes place, i.e. Israel.

      To pick an example of a national hero, though not a lawmaker

      Muhammad Ali's clownish reflections about God having made us different and bluebirds not mating with red birds were statements made on a personal level several decades ago. Nothing to do with an official endorsement of "anti-intermarrying."

    • @JeffB

      Mixture of races came before the “esp”. That part is absolute.

      Yep. That's why I clarified for you that The word “race” means –among other things– “a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group.” Did you miss it?

      Still not true. The ethnicity of Palestinian Jews is the same as the ethnicity of Palestinians Muslims.

      Allow me to ask for your source for this extraordinary statement.

      In any event, a mainstream Israeli lawmaker from the ruling party asked for more education "to prevent Jewish women from forging life connections with non-Jews." Whatever name you give to it, there's no analogous statement from any lawmaker from the ruling party of any other developed country.

    • This was a discussion about the meaning of the word “miscegenation”.

      Along with the authors of the OED dictionary who define it as: “Mixture of races; esp. the sexual union of whites with Negroes.”

      Oh, the old line that Jews can't be racist because Judaism isn't a race. The same logic by which Arabs can't be antisemites because they're Semites themselves.

      The short form "esp." stands for "especially," which doesn't preclude other meanings. The word "race" means --among other things-- "a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group." Finally, we have standard journalistic usage, in which "anti-miscegenation" is commonly applied to Israeli efforts to keep Arabs from mixing with Jews. Here you have an example.

      But since words, not concepts, are all that matters to you, I have no trouble rephrasing the sentence that sparked this little debate: Israel is the only developed nation where efforts to prevent one ethnic group from marrying another ethnic group enjoy official support.

    • @JeffB

      To sanction means, among other things, to endorse, to approve of, to give one's blessing to.

      A prominent Jewish lawmaker in Israel hosted a conference against Jew/non-Jew relationships. She then declared "more education is needed to combat intermarriage." If that's not endorsing anti-miscegenation, what is?

    • @Newclench

      But no, this is not representative of a stream of Israeli popular culture.

      No, it's representative of a very mainstream view in Israel, according to which there's an Arab conspiracy to dissolve the Jewish people through intermarriage.

      In fact it's so mainstream that Tzipi Hotovely, a hihgly respected lawmaker from Likud, the largest party in Israel, hosted a Knesset hearing on how to prevent Jewish girls from entering relationships with non-Jews. Mississipi 1950? No, Israel 2011.

      Israel is the only developed country where anti-miscegenation is officially sanctioned.

  • Yet another Dershowitz fabrication
    • I had heard the "yes, but we're talking about Jews" story ascribed to an unnamed antisemitic professor at the University of Buenos Aires.

      The resurfacing of the same exact story in an American context in Dershowitz' fantasy makes it clear it has nothing to do with any actual antisemitism, and everything to do with Jewish victimism and the need to create myths to support it.

      On another note, Dershowitz makes another false analogy when he claims, "China occupies Tibet, Russia occupies Chechnya and several other countries occupy Kurdish lands." China doesn't occupy Tibet; it has annexed the region, and its inhabitants have full Chinese citizenship and even some privileges the Han don't enjoy, such as the right to have more than one child. This contrasts with the situation in the West Bank where the Palestinians are not Israeli citizens. Also, China has built for the Tibet the highest railroad in the world, which can be used by everyone. In contrast, Israel builds roads on expropriated Palestinian property where the very owners of those lands can't drive.

  • 'An Arab & A Jew' debate BDS and the future of Israel/Palestine
    • @Seth Edenbaum

      In Germany until 2000, when they finally changed the laws, even third generation descendants of Turkish immigrants could not become full citizens. They were not “German” citizens because they were not ethnic Germans.

      Correction: descendants of Turkish immigrants could and did become full citizens, only the process was not automatic. In this Germany was indeed similar to Israel, where descendants of non-Jewish immigrants can at least theoretically apply for citizenship.

      But there was a fundamental difference between the German system and the Israeli one. Once those immigrants, having overcome all the hurdles, became German citizens, they were undistinguishable from ethnic Germans. They became part of the German people.

      In Israel, on the other hand, non-Jewish immigrants who become citizens do not become part of the Israeli people, because Israel doesn't recognize such a people in the first place; and, critically, because they don't acquire the Right of Return Jewish Israelis enjoy. The two groups have legally different statuses even if non-Jewish citizens travel on an Israeli passport.

  • 'It's hard to see why Israel won't follow white South Africa's road to extinction,' says 'Forward' writer
    • @JeffB

      It then became the typical normal diplomatic relations i.e. peace+embassies and “attain a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees”. Which was an insult not a peace offer. It is a return to the same nonsense that people had been talking about for decades.

      Absolute nonsense. For decades, the famous three "no's" implied an absolute rejection of Israel. Consequently, and contrary to your claim, the Arabs had never proposed full diplomatic ties between Israel and all the Arab nations. In 2002 they did. That was a watershed.

      Also, the language about refugees was carefully crafted not to mention the concept of a full return. There was room for negotiation, but the Israelis missed the opportunity.

      Ariel Sharon thought it was such a good offer he immediately called for direct or indirect negotiations to tighten the offer up. Sort of a “I’ll meet King Faud anywhere to discuss this”.

      A few weeks later that offer got pulled.


      Sharon rejected the initial initiative, the one you claim was pulled, even before the formal offer was made.

      Indeed, the initiative was formally presented at an Arab League summit on 28 March 2002. However, Sharon had rejected the initial Saudi plan at a Cabinet meeting on 3 March 2002. See here.

      I think the point of that little episode shows that Israel is willing to have peace providing it is to their advantage.

      Yes -- that's why the Israeli peace plans come with caveats that render them unacceptable. Can the Palestinians be faulted for not accepting them?

    • NormanF above is…Norman Finkelstein?

      No, NormanF is just another Zionist internet warrior who doesn't care much for consistency. It's interesting to follow these guys and see how they can say one thing and its exact opposite; how they can defend an action (if performed by Israel) and attack that very same action (if performed by the Arabs).

      For instance, when Israel denied entry to a Palestinian American because of her ethnicity, he claimed "A sovereign state is entitled under international law to refuse admission of a foreign national and does not have to give a reason for its denial. Israel did nothing here the world’s other 192 states don’t do."

      But when Dubai refused a visa to the Israeli representative at the FIAT/IFTA conference earlier this year, he moaned "In other words, FIAT/IFTA has decreed “no dogs or Jews allowed.”" No mention of a country's right to refuse admissions here.

      I find these contradictions quite amusing.

    • That is a grinding one but the Arabs are the ones who bear most of the cost – not from Israeli policies but from the decision of their leaders to hold out for victory over the Jewish State than to accept a compromise peace.

      If you live in 2013, why do you use the rhetoric of 1990?

      "The Arabs" have long accepted a compromise peace. In 2002, the Arab states, under the auspices of the Saudi king, offered recognition of Israel and full diplomatic ties in exchange for the State's retreat to the Green Line. Unlike Israel's offers, which are always secret and temporary and never set forth in writing, the Arab peace proposal can be found on the Internet and has not been retracted.

      The Israelis have never responded to this incredibly generous offer, which gives them 97% of what they are asking for.

  • Jewish establishment stays silent on Israeli plan to forcibly displace Bedouins
  • Richard Cohen's racist ABC's: Arab culture, biracial children, Chirlane McCray's sexuality
    • Phil,

      I don’t question that Jews have had a remarkable culture, historically, in this stage of capitalism.

      Well, I do have a problem with this assertion. The accurate statement would be that Jews have been great producers of the cultures they have lived in.

      There's little Jewish, if anything at all, in the cultural output of Ashkenazi Jews. It's not like they developed the concerto for piano and orchestra, the modern short story or oil-on-canvas painting. It's not like they founded a physics school that eventually led to the Relativity Theory. They are all European creations that were taken up by Jews on an individual basis. Of course there's a Jewish tradition of providing their offspring with an education, but that alone does not constitute a culture, nor can it be construed as the source of Jewish achievement, which would have been nonexistent outside of a European cultural context (no Einstein from Morocco).

      The ultimate reason for the Ashekanzi Jews' (and Israel's) success is that Europe made them the gift of Enlightment, freeing them from the yoke of religion. Left to their own forces, they would have probably ended up like the Haredi community in Israel, whose culture is uniquely Jewish.

  • Truth hurts: 25 Palestinian social media activists detained for 'incitement'
    • @MahaneYehude1

      In general, Amigo, there are racists in Israel. But I don’t think more than any European country and no more than among the Palestinians.

      This statement is inaccurate.

      There are racists in all countries, but only in Israel (among all democratic industrialized countries) do they get a free pass and even the State's support.

      Just to cite an example, in 2010 some 39 rabbis signed an edict calling on their followers not to rent houses to Arabs. These racists haven't been prosecuted. Not only that; they even get paid by the State. I challenge you to cite a single European country where a similar outrage takes place.

  • Stop the demolitions in Jerusalem!
    • Shmuel, NormanF's phrase "Ramat Shlomo is in north Jerusalem west of the so-called Green Line" yields no results in a Google search. At least commend him for, for once, making up lies of his own rather than regurgitating someone else's.

  • A lynching by another name would be a political murder
    • Denis:

      If one is going to justify the Ramallah incident by providing counter-examples of i-Jews doing the same, one would need to cite an instance where crowds of i-Jews lynched a Palestinian or two and then desecrated the bodies.

      I'm afraid the asymmetry of the situation makes that impossible. Israeli Jews can --and do-- rejoice in the deaths of Palestinians without having to resort to killing them themselves, because they have an army that does it for them. For instance, during operation Cast Lead Jews flocked into Sderot to watch the destruction of Gaza live. There are several videos and stories on the web describing how casually they helped themselves to coffee from espresso machines as they witnessed the Israeli planes bomb the strip. When interviewed, they expressed genocidal wishes.

      On another note, you gotta love these Zionists. They claim to be morally superior, but when someone tries to ascertain whether that's true or not, they ask them why they expect from Israel what they don't expect from any other country on earth.

    • Lozowick claims:

      “[The] need to account for their actions in a way that shows a decent respect for the opinions of mankind is one of the things that distinguishes the Jews from their enemies, who observe no morality at all in waging war and show no compunction in twisting the truth to their ends.”

      In the Ramallah incident, the Palestinians killed soldiers who were occupying them. That they washed their hands in their blood is completely irrelevant; the sacralization of dead bodies is simply a superstition.

      (In a similar incident, in the Bus 300 affair Israeli soldiers killed two captive Palestinian fighters, crushing their heads with large stones, against the general opinion of mankind that prisoners should not be killed. The murderers were pardoned by the the President of Israel, and thus were not accountable for their action.)

      In the Zion Square lynching, on the other hand, the Jews almost killed an Arab who had done nothing to them. There was no rational motivation for the attack. Unlike the lyinching in Ramallah, where resistance to the occupation was the driving force, in the Zion Square case the driving force was hate.

  • Israeli gov't upholds denying entry to American teacher in Ramallah
    • NormanF:

      She has to deal with Israeli border control. And they have the right to decide if she can get in. If not – as in this case, tough luck.

      When Dubai banned the Israeli representative at the FIAT/IFTA conference earlier this year, this is what you had to say:

      • 2 months ago

      In other words, FIAT/IFTA has decreed "no dogs or Jews allowed."

      And the Jew-hating Arabs of Dubai are happy!

      "Jew-hating Arabs?" Sorry, no! It was just a case of "tough luck"!

    • NormanF,

      Under the agreement, both sides can still refuse to admit each other’s nationals.

      No sir. Under the agreement, Israel can refuse to admit American nationals without giving any reason verifiable by the US. The US is not explicitly granted such an option.

      I simply pointed out this is customary international law. There is a reason the US is mum.

      Agreements between countries are meant to supersede international law. What is being questioned here is that the US is on the verge of entering an agreement with a country that has a record of refusing entry to Americans based on ethnicity.

      And you haven't answered my question -- as an American, you don't seem to be much outraged that a fellow American was deported for no apparent reason. Why is that? (I do recall, however, that a few years back you were outraged that an Israeli tennis player was not allowed to enter Dubai to participate in a tournament -- you didn't cite the fact that such refusal was legal under international law.)

    • Except that Israel is neogotiating a visa waiver with the US. In such an agreement, you get free entry and you grant free entry.

      By the way, you don't seem to be showing any solidarity with your fellow American. Or is it that you don't feel any "fellowness" towards her? If so, why?

  • Why does Uri Avnery know so little about Palestinian citizens of Israel?
    • Which European states systematically separate majority and minority citizens at the airports, subjecting the latter to longer and often humiliating searches?

      Which European states confer on majority citizens the ability to pass their citizenship on to both their children and their grandchildren, while minority citizens can only pass it on to their children?

      Which European states have unofficial policies that block minority citizens from employment at the state electric company?

      Which European states allow state-paid religious figures to call on their followers not to rent houses to minority citizens?

      Which European states cooperate with institutions devoted to prevent miscegenation, "rescuing" women in the "wrong" marriages without a judge's warrant?

      In which European state would a leading religious figure be allowed to claim that the minority exists to serve the majority?

      Avnery's analogy is the height of bad faith.

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  • Rabbi Boteach defends Adelson's 'glib' nuking comment, PR firm calls it 'innocuous'
    • In 2005 when former Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, suggested that Israel must be wiped off the map, with the murder of the six million Jews who live there being the precondition of such erasure, he somehow managed to get invited to speak at Columbia University[.]

      Maybe he was invited because he never said that Israel should be wiped off the map. But Boteach takes the lie to a new extreme when he adds that Ahmadinejad explicitly called for the murder of six million Jews.

      This is the same man, however, who opposed the building of a mosque near Ground Zero, thus implying that over 1 billion Muslims were somehow responsible for the 9/11 attacks. That such a clown should be taken seriously and granted ample space in the media is yet another proof of the Lobby's power.

    • They would be fine as long as the bomb is dropped on a Bedouin unrecognized village.

  • Netanyahu says Palestinians must recognize 'the Jewish state' for peace (and then says even that isn't enough)
    • A very graphic way of showing the discrimination against Arabs in Israel is to point out that while only the foreign-born children of an Israeli Arab can claim Israeli citizenship, in the case of an Israeli Jew both their foreign-born children and grandchildren can do so. That's what you call second-rate and first-rate citizenships.

    • Right or wrong, Israel will never accept a Palestinian Right of Return and commit national suicide. Never!

      See, soon after the fall of the Berlin wall, Francis Fukuyama decreed the end of history. Less than 12 years later, the Twin Towers were turned into rubble.

      Predictions about the future can be very inaccurate. Israel has the upper hand now, but the tables might turn. If and when that happens, it will have been very wise for the Palestinians not to have renounced their right of return.

  • The media's double standard on child victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    • This article is more about Robbins’ double standards than anything else.
      Robbins can’t tell the difference between a deliberate attack on a child and an incident in which a child is inadvertently injured.

      The attack on the Jewish girl was the act of a private citizen representing no one but themselves. That on the Palestinian boy was carried out by a soldier representing the State of Israel.

      But was the Palestinian boy "inadvertently injured"? Evidence shows that Israeli soldiers shoot completely innocent Palestinians carelessly. This was highlighted in November 2011, when Dan Mertzbach, a West Bank rabbi, was mistaken for a Palestinian while driving his car through a checkpoint and shot dead by an Israeli soldier. Instead of shooting at the vehicle wheels, as the rules require, the soldier shot Mertzbach in the neck and head; a subsequent investigation revealed that "the road block was set up in a faulty way that made it difficult for oncoming cars to see it in time."

      The car where the Palestinian boy was travelling was fired at under a Draconian policy of shooting anything that moves just in case and without taking any care to ensure that live fire is necessary--a policy illustrated by the case of rabbi Mertzbach's car. This is a long way from being "inadvertently injured."

  • Young New York City Muslims speak out on how Islamophobia impacts daily life
    • Shimon Gapso has stated that he wants Nazareth Illit to be a Jewish city. As far as I know, Mayor Bloomberg has not stated that he wants New York city to be a Judeo-Christian city or any other kind of city that would exclude Muslims. And while many New Yorkers have opposed the Park 51 Islamic Center, which is indeed racist and reprehensible, the Mayor has welcomed the idea and supported its building.

      That being said, there's no doubt that a lot of Islamophobia is in place in NYC coming from the political authorities -- the NYPD's surveillance program being a paradigmatic example. But it has not gotten to the point of the authorities overtly and explicitly displaying their hate, as in the case of Gapso.

  • 'NYT' never mentions military occupation in piece calling Palestinian stonethrowing a cultural practice
    • Where do you discover the right to violent resistance? In the same place under International Law where the occupiers have an obligation to ensure public order?

      Except that Jewish settler kids throw rocks at civilians and are not arrested by the Israeli soldiers.

      As for the occupier's obligations under international law, they are required not to transfer civilians into the occupied territory. Both the Security Council and the International Court of Justice have declared Israel's settlement building illegal. I hope you'll enlighten us as to exactly what the Palestinians are expected to do in the face of such violations of international law.

  • Jews are smarter, and funnier too
    • Nonsense. Look at Israel. How many Israeli Nobel laureates are Mizrahi? How many great musicians or writers are of Sephardi descent? Yet Middle East Jews have exactly the same Jewish traditions as European Jews. Their children also go to Talmudic schools, but they don't thrive to the same extent as their Ashkenazic counterparts.

      So the key to the success of European Jews can't be Jewish traditions themselves. It must be something else.

      In fact, I'm tempted to state that European Jews thrived in spite of Talmudic schools, where they learned useless stuff: the Bible instead of Newton's Principia; superstition instead of mathematics. It's only thanks to the gift of Enlightment they received from the Europeans that Jews became scientists and artists and chessplayers.

      The comparison with the Catholic Church is BS. The Church funded composers, writers, physicists, mathematicians and chemists. The Jewish religion never funded scientific research or the arts (the "scholars" hophmi brings up were Talmud scholars, not thermodynamics experts). There's no native Hebrew word for "university."

      So let's not romaticize things. Let's not try and find easy explanations for what appears to be a highly complex phenomenon.

  • 'I'm anti-Zionist,' Helen Thomas declared, in twilight of long career
    • Second, while the Israel lobby has power, it’s power is limited to Israel.

      I'm afraid it's a bit more complicated than that. The Lobby has power not only over US policy toward Israel, but also over a host of internal affairs in the US where Israel might be involved.

      For instance, when Norman Finkelstein applied for tenure at DePaul, he was supported by two advisory faculty committees, and the final decision rested with the university president. Then Alan Dershowitz wrote a letter against the appointment of Finkelstein and the DePaul president gave him a thumbs-down.

      It's widely speculated that wealthy Jewish donors threatened to withdraw financial support from DePaul if Finkelstein was granted tenure. I.e., a combination of pressure from a widely known Jewish public figure and anonymous rich people managed to twist a university's arm into denying tenure to a professor who deserved it under any academic standard.

      Similar witch hunts have ended the careers of lesser-known Israel critics. That's a stunning display of power, and it is not antisemitic to point it out.

    • Can Helen Thomas or those that support her statement in this interview honestly say that AIPAC has any influence on health care policy?

      No, they can't -- and they haven't!

      Actually, it's not Thomas who claims Zionists control everything and everyone; her remarks were always made in reference to US policy regarding the ME conflict. It's the interviewer who asks "Then how do you make the claim that Jews are running the country?", and Thomas doesn't object. Now this may simply mean that Thomas thought that the interviewer was also talking about running the country as regards things related to the ME, not about running the country in general.

      Most of Thomas' outrageous "statements" are content provided by the interviewer (in the form of tricky questions) that is not commented on by Thomas. But she herself never made any reference to any other Zionist control than that over US ME policy. Did Thomas say the word "conspiracy," or was it the interviewer?

      Now with regard to her generalization about Jews as solidly Zionist, it is of course wrong, but hardly antisemitic. It is true that Phil Weiss and Adam Horowitz exist, but Jeffrey Goldberg and Charles Krauthammer exist much more -- they enjoy huge audiences and get the seal of approval of the official Jewish community, which Mondoweiss doesn't. It is very much correct to state that anti-Zionist Jews, however vociferous, not only don't represent the Jewish community; they are in most cases not recognized as Jews by the latter. You can't ostracize an anti-Zionist Jew as a self-hater but then bring him up when someone generalizes about Jews as intrinsically Zionist. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    • Why is that in itself a relevant question? Did those 139 people game the system in some way different than other financiers and luck-sperm club inheritors?

      The question about how rich the Jews are is relevant because the interviewer insists that Jews make up less than 2% of the American population and, hence, can't be that influential. Thomas retorts that, the population figures notwithstanding, the Israel lobby controls Congress and the White House, for instance through funding.

      This is not about whether such control is legal or whether it has been hard-earned by the overwhelmingly Zionist Jewish community through their valuable commitment to study and business. It as about whether such control exists, and it does.

    • We've witnessed the sad spectacle of Joe Biden stating that if he were an American Jew he wouldn't feel safe in his own country and that only Israel can guarantee the Jewish people's security.

      The VP of the most powerful nation in history is brought to his knees by the Lobby and forced to make bizarrely servile statements that shame his own country -- yet Helen Thomas was stripped of many honors awarded to her for stating that Zionists own Congress.

  • Helen Thomas dies
    • @tokyobk

      The interview was clearly a setup with the interviewer freely and misleadingly interchanging "Israel" and "the Jews" and providing the words that he expected to hear, which is far different from the interviewee herself uttering those words on her own initiative. A few days after the incident Thomas was interviewed by Playboy and had this to say:

      Well, that immediately evoked the concentration camps. What I meant was they should stay where they are because they’re not being persecuted—not since World War II, not since 1945. If they were, we sure would hear about it.

      This is a far cry from advocating the expulsion of Israel-born Israelis. It's clear from her words that she is advocating that fresh Jewish immigration to Israel be halted, which is a completely acceptable position. So that while her ambiguous remarks in the first interview are regrettable, her nonambiguous statements in the Playboy interview seem to satisfactorily set the record straight.

      Also, it is quite disingenuous for you to claim that people like Thomas scare Jews into believing they need an army. Thomas was no Middle East expert, had no political weight and was not representative of any anti-Zionist or pro-Palesitnian movement. This contrasts with the very real power enjoyed by Jewish groups in Israel who advocate the transfer of Palestinians or even Israeli Arabs.

  • Noted Arab expert Martin Peretz is back, spouting racist generalizations, at the 'Daily Beast'
    • @Mayhem:

      In the first place, the fact that Egypt airs an antisemitic serial has nothing to do with the Palestinian people's right not to have their land stolen by Israelis.

      In the second place, scary as this program may be, it is much less so than the Israeli officials, rabbis and Members of Knesset's outrageous statements about Arabs, Palestinians and other non-Jews. For instance, rabbi David Batzri, who is state-paid, claimed that Christianity has a concept of "pass[ing] a child over a fiery oven so he will burn." He was never reprimanded, despite his monstrous blood libel.

      This was manifest recently in the talks that Kerry was trying to get going between Israelis and Palestinians, where the Palestinian side continued in its well-worn obstructionist fashion – the Palestinians were insisting on no Jews being involved – read link to

      Unfortunately, your source does not back your statement. The article you quote does not say that the Palestinians made any request to Kerry that no Jews be present -- it only speculates that they might. Kerry proceeded to meet Abbas as planned, and I hope you don't believe he would have done so if he had been asked to leave Jews out of the meeting.

      You see, the Internet is a huge headache for you Hasbaristas. All you claim can be checked now, and most turns out to be a pack of lies.

  • Hamas and Iran have vowed 'to wipe out the Jews' just as Nazis did, AIPAC says
    • Of course, there is a Jewish community alive and well in Teheran, a Jewish lawmaker serves in the Majlis and Hamas has hosted Jews like Norman Finkelstein.

      Also, Ayatollah Khamenei never vowed to wipe out the Jews; it was a fabrication of Britain's Daily Mail based on a misleading MEMRI article. See my complete rebuttal of this nonsense here.

  • Obama succumbs to rightwing 'fearmongering' -- of Israel's 'delegitimization'
  • New commuter station ad seeks to immunize Israel from racism charge
    • Let me see if I follow hophmi's reasoning: because other countries are even more racist, one can't criticize a state where lawmakers call African immigrants a "cancer" and pogroms are carried out against that population, but which blackwashes its image by choosing an Ethiopian Jewish beauty queen.

  • The 'double standards' issue and moral judgment of Israeli policies
    • I would add a couple of thoughts to Slater's generally consistent article.

      In the first place, it makes sense for an individual not to boycott Iran because Iran is already subjected to international sanctions. There's no need for the rank-and-file citizen to act because the whole world is acting against the country (even if, contrary to Israel, Iran is not accused of violating international law). In the case of Israel, a concerted effort by individuals is required because the institutions aren't acting.

      In the second place, even if we admitted, for the sake of argument, that a boycott of Israel is based on a double standard, that wouldn't be a reason not to implement it, because by the same yardstick the boycott against South Africa was also based on a double standard (China or Mozambique were worse human-rights violators), yet it ended Apartheid.

  • Behind the story: A beating caught by settlers' camera exposes violent encroachment on a village's land
    • In the information war, this video is an instance of friendly fire. The settler rejoicing in the beating of the Palestinian youth provided close ups that proved invaluable to document the war crime. But how long until some Zio declares it an example of Pallywood?

  • Reluctantly taking down monstrous orientalist video, college union in Israel protests that it got '1000s of positive reactions'
    • You don't seem to get it.

      A few years back, a cartoon in a Spanish newspaper featured a bearded, hat-wearing Jew representing an Israeli official. A journalist asks him, "But how can Israel violate human and internationa laws with total impunity?," to which the Jew answers with a bored look in his face "It costs us a good deal of money." This is quite funny, especially in Spanish, where the word order stresses the concept of money. The point is that the political groups putting up the Arab-disrespecting video were the same ones who decried the Spanish cartoon as monstrous antisemitism.

      Either coffee for all or coffee for none. You can't accept racism as disrespect in some cases while denouncing disrespect as racism in others.

  • The power of Stephen Hawking
    • Simple. Scientists who do attend won't even be noticed. Hawking is far more famous than all of them combined.

      Not that I like the opinions of someone not an expert in Middle Eastern history to carry so much weight, mind you. But it's the rules of the game. The Zionists started it when they alleged that Martin Luther king equated anti-Zionism to antisemitism. Now it's boomeranging.

    • I sometimes pity the Zionists. They have no right to independent opinion on any living or deceased person; all people must be judged in relation to their stance on Israel, not on their merits.

      In the case of Hawking, Zionists made an egregious U-turn from lavishing praise on him just a few weeks back ("The "most famous" living scientist in the world [who] greatly enlarged our understanding of the origin and possible fate of the Universe [and] has a flourishing scientific career") to calling him a cripple who hasn't got a clue.

  • Latest Geller ad seeks to mute criticism of Israeli apartheid
    • GELLER: “Stop US aid to Islamic states.”

      Well, on this one I support Geller. Indeed -- stop US aid to the Islamic state of Egypt. Without the US's cash gifts, Egypt would have no incentive to keep diplomatic ties with Israel, and in a short time it might go to war with it.

  • Legal fight continues against NYPD spying on Muslims: an interview with civil rights lawyer Jethro Eisenstein
    • @ivri

      Would you still rationally expect the authorities to spend the same efforts (and in our times, a much restricted budget) on both groups?

      As any person with the ability to read English can understand, Eisenstein says nothing about the percentage of the budget allocated to spying on each group. He says that blanket spying on Muslims should be done away with.

  • 'NYT' runs another piece warning people not to intermarry during delusory secular interval of 30s and 40s
    • Remarkably, less than half of the interfaith couples in my survey said they’d discussed, before marrying, what faith they planned to raise their kids in...

      One of the most puzzling aspects of American society, as compared to other Western countries, is the social pressure to have a religion. Why on earth are kids expected to be raised in a faith?

      Even in my country, where the new Pope comes from, the people are nominally Catholic but essentially secular, going to church maybe two or three times a year and, in a large and growing number of cases, completely skipping a religious wedding. Despite my funny-sounding Middle Eastern last name, I don't recall ever being asked what my religion is except in connection with my views on abortion.

      My children were raised without any religious training, but with many books on different faiths in the house. The result is that my daughter is completely indifferent to all religion, while my son is virulently atheist. That brainwashing from the crib, in the form of an imposed religion, should be advocated and even expected is simply unacceptable in an enlightened society.

  • Israelis flock to Berlin-- some for 'multicultural vibe'
    • While the superficial reason for the exile of so many Israelis may be the country's high cost of living, the ultimate cause is the conflict. It is thanks to the conflict that a circle of some 20 families can dominate the real estate, utility and retail sectors, charging exorbitant prices for goods and services with little protest from the society.

      Since most of the political debate is focused on security and the gaining of ever more territory, little attention is paid to issues of wealth distribution and regulatory measures to stop the concentration of economic power in a very few hands.

      Seeing as there is little chance of changing that from within, many prefer to emigrate. That would not be the case in a normalized situation, in which the citizenry would prioritize their well-being and act --and vote-- accordingly.

  • Israeli drumbeat grows for Pollard's release ahead of Obama visit
  • Biden says Jews can't be safe in the U.S. without a Jewish state
  • Netanyahu's agenda for Obama leaves out Palestinian state-- 'especially in this Middle East'
    • And that is the Israel that will never stop standing shoulder to shoulder with the country that has been the greatest force for good that the world has ever known - the United States of America.

      Interesting that Netanyahu seems to hold America in greater esteem than its own Vice President, John Biden.

      But then Netanyahu doesn't need the Lobby to get elected.

  • Dershowitz unveils new hasbara claim: IDF has lowest rape rate
    • David:

      Around 2002 Israel's apologists were claiming that the IDF was the most moral army in the world because instead of bombing refugee camps from the air they conducted house-to-house searches. Dershowitz himself claimed as much in The Case for Israel:

      Not only was Jenin not a massacre or an unparalleled catastrophe but it is regarded by many as a model of how to conduct urban warfare against terrorists hiding among civilians. (...) Instead of bombing the terrorists' camp from the air, as the United States did in Afghanistan and as Russia did in Chechnya, with little risk to their own soldiers but much to civilians, Israeli infantrymen entered the camp, going house to house in search of terrorists and bomb-making equipment, which they found. Twenty-three Israeli soldiers and fifty-two Palestinians, many of whom were combatants, were killed.

      Then in 2006 Israel conducted the Lebanon war almost exclusively from the air, "with little risk to their own soldiers but much to civilians." The Zionists had to find some new excuse, and what they came up with was the claim that because "the terrorists" hid among civilians, a large number of civilian casualties was to be expected. The previous line about the morality of house-to-house urban warfare vs. the immorality of carpet-bombing was completely dropped, now that Israel itself was carpet-bombing.

      That's why you began to hear the "they hide among civilians" argument more around that date.

  • AIPAC won't let us report on its policy conference
  • 'An Arab is the son of a prostitute, a Jew is a (blessed) soul' -- Jerusalem mob chants
  • Cruz's McCarthyite accusation: Hagel got money from 'radical and extreme... anti-Israel groups'
  • 'New York Daily News' distorts why student Israel advocates were tossed from Brooklyn College event (updated)
    • In one of the comments to Melanie Goldberg's Facebook account, Ari Ziegler, another of the students kicked out of the event, states:

      I fail to see how my behavior, sitting, listening, and taking notes, or even my brother's whispering to me about an aspect of the info sheet he didn't understand, can be construed as behavior that would make someone feel "incredibly uncomfortable."

      Here he recognizes they were whispering things to each other. While he may not feel uncomfortable if other people do that, the average person attending and event where you've got to pay a lot of attention, be it a play or a BDS conference, is very much distracted by whispering. So that what Emma Snyders claims --"I was directly in front of you and had to ask you to be quiet numerous times before you were asked to leave"-- appears to be quite probably true.

  • 'Daily News' jumps on 'Jews tossed from Brooklyn College' claim (updated)
    • Let's see, Judith Butler is a Jew, and not only was she allowed into the event, she was one of the speakers. So that while the Post's report is technically correct -- four Jews were escorted out of the event --, it would have been just as accurate to report that four whites were booted from the hall. The suggestion that they were removed because they're Jewish is grotesque, ridiculous and preposterous.

      That leaves the Zios with the charge that they were expelled because they opposed the event, turning the issue into one of freedom of expression. But they heckled the speakers. An argument can be made that heckling is acceptable when the speaker says too offensive things and has a history of denying the audience the right of reply (and even then the heckler must accept to be peacefully removed by the security personnel, although not by other members of the public). But in this case, both Butler and Barghouti are open to dialog and always politely answer questions, so that the disruption of these "four Jews" was totally uncalled-for.

      Turning these four young people into some sort of pogrom victims or freedom martyrs will no doubt backfire. The public is not mentally-retarded.

  • The latest existential threat to Israel? Those Russians the world was implored to free
    • @JeffB:

      I may disagree with Haredi on conversion standards, that doesn’t mean I want to see their flesh ripped off their bones using shrapnel laced with anticoagulants to help them bleed to death if the original would doesn’t kill them. And the Haredi feel the same way about secularists.

      You need to update a bit your Hasbara. You see, since the Jews also blew up people in markets when they didn't have a state (and even named a moshav, Ramat Raziel, after their most notorious mass murderer), they had to make up this story about the anticoagulants to prove that the Palestinians are more demonic. But it's a lie. Bad news for Hasbarists: the Internet now exists, and canards and fabrications are not easy to peddle anymore.

      If you've been duped on this, on how many other things may you have been brainwashed? Think about it.

      Oh, and as for the Haredim and secularists, the Rabin murder exempts me from any further comment.

  • Terror lurking in a Christmas tree? Israel tries to ban non-Jewish celebrations
    • A couple of years ago I was waiting for my brother outside the Catholic church in my neighborhood, were a Mozart concert was scheduled after the evening mass. Also waiting was an elderly Jewish couple.

      "It's getting cold," the wife said. "Do we get in?" "But -- they're saying Mass in there!," the husband objected. "So what's the problem?," was the wife's reasonable answer, and she dragged the man inside the temple.

      Many Jews are raised in deep contempt of Christianity, whose ceremonies are portrayed as some sort of pagan rituals to be avoided like the pest. The spitting on Armenian priests in Jerusalem and this ban on Christmas trees in Upper Nazareth seem to reflect this hateful upbringing.

  • Washington Post defends picture of dead Gaza child after complaints from 'Jews in large numbers'
    • In fairness, once sharing Pexton's generalization, I used to do posts saying that there are too many Jews on the Israel beat in our newspapers and too many Jews at the Council on Foreign Relations. I dropped that line because it was imprecise and because I came to believe, based on all the anti-Zionists I was meeting, that there is actual diversity inside the Jewish community.

      Actually, it is regrettable that you dropped that line. I once asked the question "Can one say 'the Jews'?". I concluded that one can. The Jews, as a collective, can be held accountable for what their elected leaders overwhelmingly do, notably supporting Israel. Also, when journalists like Charles Krauthammer disseminate pro-Israel crap from their privileged tribunes, that has everything to do with their Jewishness, which is where their Zionism stems from in the first place. As the world currently stands, the default for a Jew is being a Zionist, at least until the marginally few ones who defy that norm become a sizable minority, which is a long way down the road.

  • West's lecture on free speech would go down better if Islamophobia was not 'acceptable bigotry'
    • It’s sobering to note that the likes of Jesse Helms, scoundrel that he was, was *extremely* civilized compared to the “democracy activists” of the Muslim/Arab world.

      Unfortunately, other reactions in the West are not as civilized. Ernst Zündel and David Irving have been repeatedly jailed simply for exercising their freedom of speech, namely by denying the Holocaust. Dissident rabbi Ahron Cohen had his house pelted with thousands of eggs and his windows smashed with bricks for attending Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial conference. Israeli ambassador to Sweden Zvi Mazel destroyed an artwork he didn't like, in which a picture of a Palestinian suicide bomber floated on a pool of red liquid resembling blood.

      Even more outrageously, a host of notable rabbis and politicians, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have actively worked to deny the Muslims of New York the right to build a 13-storey Islamic center on their own property near Ground Zero, on the grounds that it would offend the WTC victims. All Muslims were thus made responsible for what just 19 of them did, and the sensitivity of a group of people became more important than freedom of assembly -- which would have made the West go ballistic if the sensitive group had been the Muslims.

  • Netanyahu arrives in NY with his public image in smithereens
    • Or simply trying to defend the citizens of his country from the threat of an actual crazy messianic regime that has threaten Israel time and again and armed its enemies.

      Except that Iran's threats are purely rhetorical and the country has never initiated war against any other nation.

      On another note, the only messianic leader I can think of is Netanyahu himself, who has increasingly cited the Bible to reaffirm the Jews' right to the land of Israel. Israel is currently the only democratic country basing its claim to a territory on religious grounds. Iran is making no such claims.

      As regards Iran's support of anti-Israel groups: big deal! Israel maintains an extensive network of anti-Palestinian informers, and in the past gave full support to Lebanon's Phalangists who committed mass murder. Should Israel be nuked?

  • Moses and Mohammed are not equivalent figures in Jewish and Islamic faiths
    • Hophmi:

      But the equivalent of what is going on in the Middle East is like the people in Meah Shearim rioting because some girl walked down the street with a short skirt in New York.

      The Israeli ambassador to Sweden destroyed an artwork in Sweden because he felt offended by it, and his government stood behind him.

      Jewish vandals feel free to attack free speech, and they enjoy the full support of their authorities.

    • Hophmi said:


      Again, your comparison is nonsense. No one attacked Muslim embassies or killed Muslim diplomats after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust.

      Stop apologizing for extremism.

      I was responding to Goldberg's sanctimonious statement that "my faith doesn't allow me to hurt a person because another person has offended my sensibilities."

      Goldberg's faith is the Jewish faith and British Jews attacked a dissident rabbi because Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and the rabbi attended that conference. From AP:

      When Cohen returned from Iran, he needed police protection. His house was barraged by hundreds of eggs, his window smashed by a brick and a billiard ball and he continues to be pelted with pebbles, eggs and insults in the street, he said.

      Last week, two tires on his Volvo were slashed, he said, and his synagogue has closed its doors to him.

      Essentially, this rabbi was attacked for blasphemy. And those who attacked him are incredibly well-to-do Jews who have a lot to lose if they're caught, unlike the impoverished Muslims who demonstrate when their faith is intentionally ridiculed in the West.

    • I refuse to accept that it’s OK for anyone to kill or hurt another person or to engage in wanton destruction of property simply because a man – a human being who died centuries ago – was disrespected.

      Myself, I refuse to see any difference between disrespecting Mohammed and disrespecting the memory of the Shoah.

      When a Birmingham dissident Jew attended Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial conference, he was shunned from the Jewish community, his house was pelted with thousands of eggs, his car was destroyed, etc. This didn't happen in an impoverished society; it happened in a city of very well-to-do Jews. All of which Goldberg had nothing to say about.

      Goldberg's message is, essentially, that there are acceptable and unacceptable irrational behaviors. The acceptable one is the Jews'.

  • You say Jucheck, I say CHKJEW, let's call the whole thing off
  • Sarah Schulman takes on pinkwashing at OUT Magazine
    • Priority in employment is given to veterans, and Palestinians are prohibited from serving in the army, and so are legally discriminated against in employment.

      Be careful!!!

      It is not true that Palestinians are prohibited from serving in the army. Certain groups, like the Druze and the Bedouin, are customarily drafted. Also, individual Arabs may apply to join the IDF, and some are indeed inducted. Zionists will seize any opportunity you give them to debunk you, and a factual inaccuracy plays heavily into their hands.

      How to demonstrate, then, the discrimination Arabs face in employment? A good starting point is a statement Ehud Olmert made when he was Prime Minister of Israel:

      It is terrible that there is not even one Arab employee at the Bank of Israel (out of 900 employees) and that in the Israel Electric Company Arabs constitute fewer than 1% of all workers.

      The issue of integrating Arab employees into the public service has been occupying me greatly. The gap between their ratio in the population and their integration into the public service arouses concern and unease.

  • Clockwork hasbara
  • Confronting anti-semitic discourses head on: How to avoid self-silencing
    • Some who oppose the occupation, which goes against international law, also oppose the legitimacy of the state of Israel – and no other nation. They thereby cast the Israeli state as uniquely sinister. First, it isn’t true. Many states engage in violent suppression of minorities, neighboring communities, or inhabitants of distant nations. There are many nations whose origins entailed the displacement of populations, including our own. Second, depicting Israel as a uniquely evil state that has no right to exist aligns too neatly with the centuries-old depiction of Jews as a uniquely evil people who have no right to exist.

      Ms. Satter, is this as deep as your analysis can get? The almost servile transcription of tired Hasbara points?

      Too many fallacies in a single paragraph:

      1) We don't oppose the legitimacy of the State of Israel. We oppose the legitimacy of the Zionist regime. The day Israel gives the vote to all the population it controls and removes legislation favoring Jews, we won't oppose it at all.

      2) We don't have any obligation, moral or otherwise, to oppose other regimes than Israel's. This is not expected of critics of the Cuban or the Iranian regimes, and it shouldn't be expected of us either.

      3) We don't cast Israel as uniquely sinister. We criticize Israel without comparing it to other countries.

      4) Any comparison between the displacement of Native Americans and the Nakba is disingenuous, since the latter is an extant problem, and was done in the name of moral justice.

      The problem is not that we focus uniquely on Israel; the problem is that of all the people in the world who focus uniquely on a country, you focus uniquely on us.

  • Sheldon Adelson's daughter rams 'Democracy Now' crew as it questions her dad
  • Israeli court rejects Corrie family lawsuit; calls Rachel Corrie's death 'regrettable accident'
    • "She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done."

      "Any thinking person" would have "distanced themselves" from Tian An Men square once it was declared a closed military zone. The judge should not engage in cheap psichology but instead determine if killing a person is admissible in the context of a non-combat military operation where the Israeli soldiers were not facing any risk or armed opposition to their objective of demolishing houses.

      Shame on a justice system that has just convalidated any State massacre so long as the victims are warned not to stay in a closed zone.

  • Israeli Settler: 'If I see her coming, no matter what age she is 3, 4, 7, I'll f*ck her over'. Israeli Soldier: 'No problem'
    • I am not doubting the sincerity of emotions of the participants just the sincerity of the situation.

      LOL, OlegR, I recall participating in a debate a few years ago in which a Zionist claimed that the IDF would never deliberately expose Palestinian children to harm. By that time, fortunately, an insincere photographer in the Occupied Territories published a picture of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who had been bound to the windshield of an Isreali jeep to prevent the vehicle from being pelted with stones. Soon, other pictures and videos began to arise showing teenagers used as human shields, and talk about IDF kindness towards children accordingly vanished.

      We need to insincerily go with cameras and record the IDF's behavior because otherwise you'll deny what's going on.

  • Guardian fires Treviño
  • A Lynching in Jerusalem: Anatomy of Jewish racism
    • I don’t believe that hundreds of people cheered

      As I documented above, in 2008 some 60 Jews were caught on camera beating an Arab to a pulp, and chasing and stabbing another. So that the report that hundreds of people cheered in the Zion square incident gains some credibility.

    • Let's see. Prominent state-paid rabbis incite against the Arabs and don't get fired. Same goes for prominent politicians. As a result, dozens of nationalist-driven anti-Arab attacks, from mosque burnings to murder by stabbing, have taken place. The perpetrators are either not caught or given very lenient prison terms. A similar lynching was caught on video in 2008, a firebomb was thrown against a Palestinian taxi in the same week as the Zion square incident, a young gang was convicted in 2010 of luring Arabs to parks and beating them...

      What we've got here is a pattern of violence instigated by state-paid actors, and which enjoys a large measure of impunity from the justice system. That's the decisive difference with the French case, in which the violence is isolated and not encouraged by the institutions.

    • Actually, there's hardly anything new about this lynching. Four years ago, a similar Jewish mob attack against two Arabs, which resulted in one stabbed in the back and the other beaten to a pulp, was caught on camera in Jerusalem. See it:

      link to

      Notice how ominously the Jews converge on one of the defenseless Arabs, after which they savagely beat him and leave him lying on the ground in the middle of a boulevard. I don't know what the perpetrators' eventual fate was, but I would be very surprised to learn they're serving prison terms.

  • My grandfather sparked my interest in debate over Zionism
    • In 1978 I began hearing the land question discussed and for the first time I came across the argument that most of the land bought by the Zionists was sold by absentee feudal landlords, whose "tenants" were then run off by the purchasers. In my view of property this was illegitimate.

      This is the kind of moral argument that won't pass the Zionist test, in which plausible deniability is all that counts. If the Jews have a piece of paper granting them rights to a territory, then it's Jewish territory, whatever the wishes of the people actually living and working there.

      A stronger rebuttal to the "the Jews bought the land" argument, however, is that they didn't. They bought some of the land -- about 1,800 sq km out of Israel's current land area of 22,000 sq km. If ownership automatically translates into sovereignty (itself a very dubious claim), then the Zionist Jews only had the right to establish a state on less than 10% of the territory they currently control.

  • B'nai B'rith and World Jewish Congress defend settlements as 'Israel'
    • The subtext of these recommendations is that Jews cannot legitimately establish working communities in Biblical Israel

      No, the subtext is that they cannot illegitimately establish such communities. Israeli settlements on the West Bank have no legal validity according to a binding UN Security Council resolution.

      What next, B'nai B'rith? A declaration that jailing a Jewish thief is antisemitic?

  • Geller's 'savage' bus ad meets strong resistance from the Bay Area
    • @Fredblogs:

      What anti-Muslim language is there in the ad?

      Well, any reasonable person would conclude that calling the Muslims savage is anti-Muslim language. The judge said as much in his ruling.

    • The Munich Olympic massacre was savage.

      In the process of assassinating the perpetrators of the massacre, the Israelis killed a waiter in Norway and four passersby in Lebanon, none of them related with the incident.

      Prioritizing vengeance over the life of innocents, now that's savage.

  • 'NYT' publishes op-ed saying there are 'too many Palestinians and Arabs' in Israel
    • Black and Whites are not at war in Alabama

      Jews and Israeli Arabs are not at war in Israel either, yet the article says there are too many Israeli Arabs.

      American politicians make constant cause out of the number of Hispanics from Latin America

      Hispanics are immigrants to the US. Israeli Arabs are the descendants of people who were already there before the grandparents of 90% of Israeli Jews set foot in Israel. After having expelled a majority of Arabs from Israel in 1949, claiming that there are two many of them today adds insult to injury.

      Israel’s demographic case has little to do with racism.

      When a prominent state-paid rabbi says that Gentile sperm shouldn't be used to impregnate Jewish women because it passes on barbaric traits, one cannot be faulted for believing that racism plays an important role in Israel's "demographic case."

  • Why Israel is 'singled out'
    • Oh please. That’s nonsense. Egypt has gotten billions in aid from the US for years.

      The aid the US gives to Egypt is a bribe so that the country won't make war on Israel. So that it must be counted as aid to Israel, too.

  • Savage Geller bus ad hits San Francisco Muni
    • It's curious how the Zionists who pushed for the removal of the Seattle ads (which contained no racial slurs), claiming that it was hate speech, not free speech, are now supporting these racist Geller ads on the grounds that they're free speech. Cake, having, eating.

    • OK, here's what I'll do.

      I'll place an ad in the NYC subway reading:

      Between the civilized man and the one who kills little children to drink from their blood, support the civilized man.


      Yeah I know, it's the f*cking old blood libel, but I think Judge Engelmayer will have no problem with it. After all, it's "core political speech" advocating "a pro-Palestinian perspective in the Israel-Palestine conflict", and implicitly calling for "a change in US policy regarding that conflict;" and, as such, it “is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.” No objection to make.

      DISCLAIMER (heeding David Samel's advice): I don't plan to run such an ad; it's a reductio ad absurdum argument, for God's sake.

      Seriously now, how can a man with such a large piece of sh*t in the brain become a NY judge?

  • Traveling through the occupied West Bank on an Israelis-only road
    • @dimadok: The small detail you fail to mention is that a large section of the road was built on private Palestinian property. As usual, the aggression (in this case, land-stealing) came from the Israeli Jews in the first place, and the Palestinians only reacted to that abuse. What do you suggest they do to get their land back?

    • It is an Israelis-only road, so it is not racist against non-Jews, just against the non-Jews who live in the territory it is built on. Zionists are very fond of making an accurate distinction between "Israeli" and "Jew" as regards these roads. Sadly, they don't make the same distinction regarding the Palestinian laws that impose the death penalty on those who sell land to Israelis, which the Zionists irresponsibly describe as antisemitic.

  • Stand With Us to run counter-ads to maps showing loss of Palestinian land
    • Six different posters include messages about Israel’s history and contributions to technology.

      And again the Zionists will be using one of their favorite rhetorical devices -- the straw man.

      Israel makes valuable contributions to technology. So did the Nazis. Indeed, jet airplanes and guided missiles, two weapons widely used by Israel, were largely developed by Nazi Germany. This didn't prevent them from committing genocide. And what about apartheid South Africa -- they performed the first heart transplant at the same time that blacks were denied the vote and banned from beaches.

      In contemporary times, China has undergone awesome change to become the world's largest provider of consumer goods, even as it crushes individual freedoms and represses its minorities.

      So that yes, Israel may produce high technology, but that it isn't incompatible with its having stolen Palestinian land. The SWU posters will be addressing a completely different issue than the signs they purport to rebutt.

  • How many of you are uncomfortable with the phrase 'oppression of Palestinians'? In the packed room, just a few heads nodded
    • there was little, if not none at all, collective identity as a people called Palestinians. This really started in the 60′s

      A fairly large contingent of Palestinian Arabs immigrated into Chile in the first two decades of the 20th century, and on 20 August 1920 they founded a soccer club.

      Do you know how it was called?

      Club Deportivo Palestino.

  • The (what about) China syndrome
    • So when people wonder why you can draw from a bottomless well of exclusive hate for Israel while remaining indifferent to any other conflict with much higher body counts either near or far to Israel, they’re not trying to excuse whatever wrongs Israel has committed, they’re trying to understand why your hatred is so focused and bottomless.

      This isn’t about Israel, it’s about you.

      You know, Apartheid was a far more benign regime than those in China, Mozambique or Saudi Arabia, but only South Africa was subjected to sanctions. Would you describe that as "focused and bottomless" hate against South Africa's whites? Would you be happy with a situation in which Apartheid had not been eradicated, because other nondemocratic systems were even worse? Answer that. Would you be happy with such a situation?

      Thank you. You now understand why choosing to focus on one conflict and not others has nothing to do with hate and can have a very positive outcome.

  • Defining 'occupation' with Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor
    • And here's my exchange with Akiva Tor.

      THB: So you say Israel does not occupy the West Bank.
      AT: That's what I said.
      THB: But are you aware that it is the UN that makes the call?
      AT: Wa, wa, wa...
      THB: As a member state, Israel is bound by the UNSC's resolution that the settlements are illegal, and by the ICJ's finding that Israel is an occupying power.
      AT: Wait a minute...
      THB: So that your opinions and wishes notwithstanding, Israel does occupy the West Bank.
      AT: Wait a minute. We must carefully distinguish between the State of Israel occupying the West Bank and the Patriarch Israel doing as much. So what I'm saying, and you will concur, is that the Patriarch Israel is definitely not occupying the West Bank.
      THB: But it is the State of Israel that is normally meant by...
      AT: I think I have adequately answered your question.

  • Israeli gov't study declares West Bank not occupied, Earth flat
    • This paper is also a very good read on the subject of Jewish legal rights under international law to settle and rule over mandate Palestine.

      The paper you link to is a piece of scholarship. Now ownership rights are not granted by scholars (or by commenters on blogs), but by the relevant legal bodies.

      In the case of the West Bank, the UN's Security Council has declared the Jewish settlements to be legally invalid, and the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel is an occupier in that territory. Thus, and contrary to your claim, the Jews have no right under international law to settle and rule over that part of Mandate Palestine.

  • Deep political differences became the elephant in my therapist's office
    • Had a similar experience with my eye doctor. After participating in an e-mail debate in which I presented pro-Palestinian arguments ane he and other people defended the Zionist viewpoint, he refused to see me for a while. When I needed new eyeglasses he was always busy and could not see me, even when he did have time for new patients; he finally referred me to a young female doctor who had started to practice at his clinic.

      A few years later, when I again needed new eyeglasses, he agreed to see me again, but of course we didn't talk about that issue. Our relationship has been correct since.

  • The country with the fourth largest Jewish population in the world isn't even a country
  • Evelyn Garcia welcomes a debate on US Middle East policy -- not smears and misrepresentation and hate mail
    • The Jewish State of Israel is a legitimate, sovereign nation that I have long admired for its self-determination and generosity to others, including the recent victims of the Haiti earthquake.

      I think you may not be completely unaware that Israel's "generosity to others" mostly consists of sending aid to disaster sites for clearly PR reasons. The giant prison for African asylum-seekers being built inside Israel gives us a more accurate picture of what the country's generosity looks like.

  • Norman Finkelstein's disinformation about BDS
    • The words Finkelstein once directed at Cristopher Hitchens now apply to himself:

      If apostasy weren't conditioned by power considerations, one would anticipate roughly equal movements in both directions. But that's never been the case. The would-be apostate almost always pulls towards power's magnetic field, rarely away. However elaborate the testimonials on how one came to "see the light," the impetus behind political apostasy is - pardon my cynicism - a fairly straightforward, uncomplicated affair: to cash in, or keep cashing in, on earthly pleasures.

  • State Dep't says it is 'not consistent' on human rights violations involving Israel and neighbors
    • It is clear that there is far too much focus on Israel, based also on the abuse of the freedoms they enjoy in Israel fed by their historic stereotypical views of Jews .

      During the Apartheid era, there was "far too much focus" on South Africa, when other countries had much worse human-rights records. Black people could travel abroad (unlike in China); black women could drive (unlike in Saudi Arabia). Do you believe that excessive focus reflected the media's prejucie against Afrikaners?

      But that aside, your comment does not address the issue: the Department of State has one standard for eyewitnesses in Syiria (whom it always believes) and for those in the West Bank (whom it always dismisses).

  • The therapist blurts
    • We anti-Zionists need to stop being defensive and apologetic when someone asks us why Israel and not Saudi Arabia.

      First of all, there's a concept called freedom of thought. I choose the issues I care about, there's nothing intrinsically wrong about that, and it isn't unfair to criticize any one country in particular.

      In the second place, it is absolutely reasonable to become involved in hotly disputed issues, rather than in those everyone agrees about. Why should I criticize Saudi Arabia when there are no pundits, bloggers or think-tankers defending that country's record? It would be a waste of time; we all know the kingdom sucks. It is much more logical to blast Israel, a country about which egregious lies ("the IDF's purity of arms requires soldiers to put their own lives at risk to avoid harming civilians"; "Jewish terrorists did not target civilians "; "the territories are disputed, not occupied, and the settlements are not illegal"; "Arab leaders incite the people against the Jews, but there's no Jewish incitement against the Arabs"; ...) are being told -- and believed -- all the time.

  • Et tu Elena-- Justice Kagan's in Israel, celebrating 'deep commitment to the rule of law'
  • Head's up Mr. President-- Romney's going to Israel
    • "Israel is our home for any eventuality.”
      I have to admit that I have a problem with such an attitude.

      I recall my one and only visit to the Hebrew school in my city. I went there to invite the school to the city's Poetry Festival, where I organized the kids' sessions. As I walked along the corridors, I saw Israeli flags hanging from everywhere, which gave me an eery feeling of foreignness. Maps of Israel and pictures of Israeli cities and places decorated the walls. Only when I got to the principal's office did I see the required Argentinian flag on one side of her desk -- alongside yet another Israeli one.

      Of course there's nothing illegal in their prioritizing one of their identities -- the one related to a distant country -- over the other -- the one related to the country where they live and which pays their teachers' salaries. What I don't understand, however, is why you're an antisemite if you say that they care more about Israel than about Argentina.

  • Soccer's tragic flaw made a farce of Euro Cup final
    • Phil, as a citizen of a soccer-mad country I can assure you that a team being left with 10 men because it has already made all 3 substitutions and another player got injured is an extremely rare event in professional play.

      If anything needs to be changed in the rules, it is the equal weight given to behavioral offenses, like cursing or arguing with the referee, and personal fouls, which sees many players sent off after two yellow cards without having engaged in violent play.

      Other than that, the game is OK as it is. The scarcity of goals is no problem, because it's the tension that makes the game interesting. What's more, the fact that so few goals are scored introduces an element of unexpectedness, because a team that its dominating is rival, but leading by a meager 1-0, can suddenly allow two goals and lose the game.

      Also, the variety of situations in which goals can be scored, and their beauty, are unrivalled in any other sport. Not to get too nationalistic, but if you had the chance to watch the Argentina-Brazil friendly recently played in NJ, you'll have to agree that there's no way a touchdown in football can compare to Lionel Messi's third goal in that classic game.

      Your advice on how to make Americans like soccer more is welcome -- but face it, we're doing just fine without you.

  • 24 Hours in Israeli Custody: The arrest of an American activist in Palestine
    • The area is disputed – if it wasn’t there would be no conflict. You just happen to think you’re right. Others disagree.

      Unfortunately, whether the area is disputed or illegally occupied is not for you to decide. It's the United Nations, through its Security Council and the International Court of Justice, that makes the call. And both UNSC resolutions and ICJ advisory rulings are unequivocal that Israel illegally occupies the West Bank, and that its settlements there have no legal validity and are an obstacle to peace.

      You may "disagree" with international law, but it's still the law. If you don't like it, you're free to ask Israel to leave the UN, or to go to live in the alternative universe where your ideas prevail.

  • Controversy boils over 'New Yorker' fiction parody contest!
    • You mean like in Deir Yassin and the King David Hotel? Oops sorry – they weren’t Jews who were killed

      You're wrong, straightline -- 17 Jews were killed in the King David bombing, alongside with 28 Britons and 41 Arab civilians. In a drive to embellish the attack, the plaque that today commemorates the terror act reads: "To the Irgun's regret, 92 persons were killed." This is a lie. The Jewish terrorists issued a communiqué regretting the Jewish deaths only, which is further proof, if any is needed, of Zionism's intrinsic racism.

  • Israel's education minister leads $13 trip to settlement for 'advanced' Anglos
    • You antisemite! There are no Jews-only roads in the West Bank. They're Israeli-only. The fact that all Israelis in the West Bank are Jewish doesn't matter, because if an Arab from Haifa wants to drive on those roads, he can.

      Now. If a foreign university, NGO, whatever, boycotts goods made in the West Bank, then you're authorized to confuse Israeli with Jew, and to call the move antisemitic, even if your boycott covers the production of Israeli Arabs who have moved to the West Bank. And if a Palestinian law prescribes death for those who sell land to Israelis, you're also authorized to conflate Israeli and Jew and decry the antisemitism of the Palestinian authority.

      So my advice to you is that you read the rules before saying "Israeli" or "Jewish."

  • Peretz says, 'Only Jews will have Israel's back'
    • Nothing about modern Israel suggests that Israel doesn’t understand interdependence. Its economy is global, much of its population is cosmopolitan and its values are largely Western values.

      To the extent that Israel has values, these are not Western. While the West cherishes integration, Israel's housing minister is on record saying that Jews and Arabs are "populations that should not mix" -- something unthinkable in a Western country. While Western nations strive to achieve equality among all citizens, Israel values its Jewish citizens more than it does its Arab citizens. While the West tends to abolish religious interference in civil affairs, Israel leaves key aspects of a person's life, such as marriage, inheritance and burial, in the hands of religious authorities. While in the West anti-gay discourse is increasingly taboo, Israel's minister of the interior calls gays sick people without hardly an eyebrow being raised. While in the West no religious leader would survive after delivering a hateful sermon, in Israel 300+ religious figures have called on their followers not to rent houses to Arabs, and the State keeps paying their salaries. While in the West any form of segregation is anathema, Israel has gender-segregated buses.

      Of course, an overwhelming majority of Israelis reject all these things. But the minority that lobbies for them (i.e. the ultra-Orthodox) enjoy the status of guardians of the nation's identity, and impose its Arab-, woman- and gay-hating values on the rest of the population. This is abnormal and quite non-Western.

  • Sam Harris, uncovered
    • Regarding the glorifying of terrorists, I've found interesting stuff on what appears to be the Irgun's official page:

      On July 26, 1938, Yaakov Raz was sent to the Old City of Jerusalem disguised as an Arab and carrying a basket of vegetables in which a mine was concealed. His commanding officers, who had planned the operation far in advance, did not heed the fact that the Arabs had proclaimed a general strike that day in protest against the Irgun's incessant attacks. When Raz placed the basket beside one of the stores whose doors were barred, he aroused the suspicion of the Arab bystanders. His basket was overturned and when the mine was found, Raz was repeatedly stabbed. The Arabs then fled, leaving him for dead. Yaakov Raz was severely injured, and was taken by the police to the government hospital. Despite his serious condition, he was interrogated by the British Intelligence, the CID (Criminal Investigation Department), throughout his hospital stay. For two weeks he fought for his life. When he felt his strength waning, and feared he would not be able to withstand further interrogation and was liable to betray secret information, he tore off his bandages and died of blood loss.

      Yaakov Raz was the first member of the Irgun to die as a result of an operation. The heroism he displayed, and particularly the manner of his death, made him a symbol and inspiration for generations of young Irgun members.

      In summary, a Jew who planned to blow up an Arab store was hailed as a hero by the group that later became what is currently Israel's ruling party. Can Harris offer any thoughts on that? Something along the lines of "it was our barbarianism, and since it was ours, it must have been necessary", perhaps?

    • A neat exposé of this charlatan. I'll just add that, concerning Tibet, Harris gets everything wrong. China does not occupy Tibet; it has annexed the region -- which is a quite different thing. Tibetans are Chinese citizens and enjoy exactly the same rights as the majority Han population. In a dictatorship like China these may not seem to amount to much, but they include the right to use the same roads as the Han, as well as the highest railroad in the world that was built by China for the region. By contrast, Palestinians in the West Bank not only can't choose the authorities that will build roads on their expropriated lands; they also can't drive on those roads.

      On another note, during the 2008 riots the Tibetans burnt alive at least 10 people, including five girls in a store. This shatters the image of a peace-loving people that contrasts with irrationally violent Palestinians.

      Not to mention, of course, that the Jewish terrorist David Raziel, who killed hundreds of Arab civilians, including 39 at a Haifa market on 25 July 1938, is revered by the state of Israel, to the point that the town of Ramat Raziel has been named after him.

  • Circumcision deaths are a legalized non-scandal
    • Will be overturned, but encouraging nonetheless.

    • I doubt you can substantiate that claim.

      You may want to check this article.

      But atheism is not the province of intelligent people only. It is, arguably, the belief system the human mind drifts towards if not coerced or brainwashed. My two teenage kids got no religious training whatsoever and are both staunch atheists, and as far as I know this is the case with an overwhelming percentage of those not exposed to religious doctrine.

    • I still have not heard a rejoinder to why a ban on circumcision because children cannot consent should not be grounds for a ban on other, much more harmful practices of child-rearing that children cannot consent to either.

      When my parents chose to raise me in Spanish, not in English or French which they also spoke fluently, they made a decision that may have hurt me.

      When they sent me to a secular school, not to any of the religious schools in the neighborhood which were far better, they also made a decision that may have hurt me.

      When they fed me mostly beef, not fish or soybeans, they made a 3rd decision that may have hurt me.

      What do these decisions have in common? They're unavoidable choices. All people must speak a language, get an education and eat food. So I can't blame my parents for making those decisions even if they were wrong.

      However, having a religion is not essential or even necessary for leading a meaningful life -- 93% of Nobel laureates are atheists. And if joining one particular religion involves mutilation, that choice should be left to the interested or uninterested person, not to their parents.

    • But Phil, I think you've ignored the key argument we've been making. If female genital mutilation is demonized but circumcision "is not considered a crime by society," that's bigotry, plain and simple. The American society, and the West in general, is monstruously bigoted against any barbaric practice not Christian or Jewish, and that is part of the I/P conflict, because Muslims are depicted as primitive, and Jews as sophisticated and, thus, more deserving of the land.

      It is part of a general worldview. Thus, primitive Muslims wear headscarves; primitive African women go around bare-breasted; only we Westerners wear the exact amount of clothing needed to be civilized. My sense in my years reading Mondoweiss is that this site fights such views.

      One last thing -- your argument that society does not object the clearly abusive practice of circumcision, and criticizing it won't win us any friends, reminds me strongly of Finkelstein's argument that society does not accept BDS or the 1ss and so it's not convenient to propound them.

    • Sorry -- I overgeneralized. My son's two Muslim friends were circumcized when they turned 13, but after some Googling I see that the timing varies from country to country and from rite to rite.

    • For one thing, Muslim boys are circumcized at age 13, when they can object to it and refuse to undergo the procedure. Hardly the same thing as abusing a newborn.

      For another thing, this has to do with the I/P conflict in that Muslims are consistently demonized for practicing female genital mutilation (which, by the way, is far from common to the whole religious group), while Jews get away with male genital mutilation without the media saying a word. It is true that they also don't say a word about Muslim MGM, but the procedure is accepted because it's practiced by Jews, and it would be disingenuous to claim otherwise. This confirms the theory that America overtly favors Jews over Muslims, which is very relevant to the conflict.

      On another note, are some people here crazy or what? From a rational point of view it is unfathomable to allow adults to deform a baby's body, be it by sticking a piece of carved bone through their nose or by painfully removing their foreskin. The fact that it is our disgusting procedure should not blind us to its barbaric nature.

  • Race, class, religion-- an American wedding
    • OK, this thread has been drifting from subject to subject; I'll tackle but two.

      @Annie Robbins: as a 5 ft 4 in man, I for one am thankful to have been born and raised in Argentina, not the US or Sweden. You went to the dancing clubs and half the girls were shorter than that. In my next life, however, I'll move to the US and marry you.

      @Americans commenting here: although your professed reason for occupying yourselves with Israel, rather than Saudi Arabia or China, is valid (it's your tax dollars that are killing and maiming kids), that reason doesn't apply to those of us whose countries don't donate to the Zionist cause. My reason is more powerful in that it can apply to anybody: I am more concerned with Israel because its human rights violations (evidently far milder than China's) are a) vehemently denied and b) committed in the name of morality. It makes no sense to repeat time and again what everyone agrees about. It makes much more sense to devote time to disputed issues, especially one in which the victim is consistently blamed by politicians and the media.

  • Alice Walker refuses to publish 'The Color Purple' in Israel due to 'apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people'
    • Alice Walker unwittingly spares the Israeli populace from having to read her shitty books

      It is always amusing to see how Zionists forfeit the right to all independent thinking, and judge human creations, be it a book, an invention or a recipee for a cake, not on their intrinsic merit, but on their author's attitude towards Israel.

      The world must be wrong and Walker's long-lasting success must be the result of antisemitic lobbying. No writer can be good that calls for a boycott of Israel.

  • Tourism in Israeli settlements: Practice shooting Palestinians
  • Doublethink in the 'LA Times'
    • There is no liberty where it is denied to half of the population.

      Interesting how the same phrase Peres uses to describe the situation of women under Islam also accurately depicts the situation of Palestinians under Israeli apartheid.

  • Israeli army OK's attack dogs as 'non-lethal weapons'
    • Figures, giladg... can you provide figures? Indeed, how many people have actually died from rock-throwing?

      But even if rocks were that lethal, you're begging the question in that you're suggesting that dogs are the response to rocks. Not so. Israeli soldiers fire both rubber-coated and live ammunition, as well as tear-gas canisters, and have tanks with which to grab Palestinian land (which is the reason Palestinians fight back in the first place). In that context, the dogs are a minor weapon, but an especially cruel one in view of the pain they can and do inflict. This has a powerful symbolic value, since unleashing dogs to attack defenseless people has been typical of tyrannical regimes over the centuries.

      Also, are you aware that the mista'aravim (Jewish soldiers masquerading as Arabs) frequently mix into the Palestinian crowds and start throwing rocks so that other Israeli soldiers will have an excuse to tear-gas the demonstrators?

    • He was then pepper-sprayed and arrested as well.

      If the Israeli soldiers had pepper-sprayed the dog instead of the member of the village's popular committee, it would probably have opened its mouth and released Ahmad Shtawi's arm. But the soldiers prioritized the animal's welfare over that of the human beings in the village.

      A frequent Zionist complaint is that Palestinians chant "the Jews are our dogs." The reality in the field, however, is that in the eyes of Israelis Palestinians are worse than dogs.

  • How do we make Zionism 101 an everyday reality? Yeah, how?
    • One problem is that the Zionists who come here to "discuss" are not actually interested in an exchange of ideas, but in repeating tired Hasbara talking points and canards (e.g. "Israel was attacked in 1967") and deploying convoluted justifications for clearly indefensible Israeli behavior. When said Zionists are confronted with well-documented refutations, they suddenly vanish, only to return a few days later, in another thread, to continue the cycle of disruption.

      So that yes, the whole process is rather monotonous, but I can't see how the blog authors can be blamed for it. Zionists are given ample freedom to say whatever they wish. It is up to them to say something interesting.

  • Israeli school exam warns Jewish girls not to 'hang around with' Arabs
    • This is not a part of an official exam sanctioned by the State of Israel

      Except that State-funded schools in Israel do have programs to teach Jewish girls not to date Arabs. See the following video:

      link to

      Also, the State of Israel pays the salaries of the about 50 rabbis who have called on their followers not to rent houses to Arabs.

      Israel is a racist state and the school primers accurately reflect that reality.

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