Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 76 (since 2009-08-03 06:09:51)

The Hasbara Buster

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


Showing comments 76 - 1

  • The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies
    • The World Conspiracy against the Jews is so wicked it has now managed to get an Israeli Cabinet minister to tell antisemitic blood libels.

      Clearly this means more apartments for Jews need to be built in the settlements.

  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
    • Wiesel equivocated too much, too often and too conspicuously on the topic of genocide. He couldn't bring himself to condemn any instance of mass murder without making the caveat that the Holocaust was worse. He construed "never again" as meaning "never again to the Jews." His offensive and patronizing comments on the Armenian genocide, his inability to confront the Israeli government over its denial of that massacre, his next to nonexistent reaction to the Rwandan genocide, all make me wonder why on earth he has been considered as an ambassador for the victims of planned extermination.

  • Media accusations of blood libels -- against Abbas and Sanders -- amplify a Jewish tribal fantasy
    • @Yitzgood

      Sorry for misusing the term "blood libel." I understood it to encompass all gruesome crimes falsely attributed to the Jews.

      Your argument seems to be that Abbas gives credence to such unbelievable lies about the Jews that he must be an antisemite. But as I pointed out above, on at least one occasion the Israeli police thought that Jewish settlers were behind the poisoning of a well in the West Bank. Therefore, the idea that a settler rabbi can call on his followers to poison wells is not in and of itself antisemitic. It didn't happen -- but believing it might is not an instance of antisemitism.

    • It was stupid, agreed. But, as this article accurately asserts, it was not a blood libel, which is what really matters here.

    • On at least one occasion the Israeli police suspected that Israeli settlers had poisoned water wells, as you can see here. Is the Israeli police antisemitic? Journalists and NGOs have also occasionally issued reports of Israeli well poisoning; see e.g. here. Other forms of poisoning have been reported; in 2005, for instance, the Israeli human rights organization Btselem reported that Jewish settlers had scattered poison on Palestinian fields to kill their sheep. See here.

      Also, after WWII the Jewish organization Nakam (revenge) sought to kill a large number of innocent German citizens by poisoning the water supplies of Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, and Nuremberg. The plan failed after Nakam's leader, Abba Kovner, was caught with the poison by the British. But a second plan, to massively kill German POWs by feeding them poisoned loaves, was executed by Nakam's Arye Distel, and did succeed. At the time, the New York Times reported that over 1,900 prisoners had been poisoned, of whom several hundred are thought to have died. See here.

      The fact that the Jews were falsely accused of poisoning wells in the Middle Ages doesn't mean that they are not capable of ever poisoning people they see as their enemies. Abbas may be a complete fool for using unconfirmed reports (instead of, for instance, citing the book "The King's Torah" in which a rabbi says murdering babies is permissible). But he is not antisemitic for thinking (along with the Israeli police, serious newspapers and respected organizations) that extremist Jews can resort to poisoning.

  • 'Washington Post' publishes article by Jewish leader urging boycott of Israel
    • I basically agree with what you say in your letter, jd65.

      I would add that so-called liberal Zionists often bring up Jewish critics of Israel as proof that Judaism can produce its own antibodies against extremism, so it doesn't need assistance from outside, thank you very much.

      I recall a Zionist pundit here in my country commenting on an incident a few years ago in which an Israeli soldier had shot a blindfolded and shackled prisoner in the foot with a rubber-coated bullet. He stressed that the story had been broken by B'Tselem, an Israeli Jewish organization: if Jews behaved bad, it was the Jews themselves who saw to it that the wrong was redressed, unlike what the Arabs did. Actually, it was a Palestinian girl who had filmed the incident and provided B'Tselem with the recording; she had her house repeatedly shot at by Israeli soldiers after that, while the B'Tselem staff slept safely in their Tel Aviv apartments. That did not deter the commentator from turning the cruel treatment of a prisoner into one more instance of Israeli moral superiority.

    • @jd65

      Please do post the link to your letter, I'm truly interested.

    • For some reason, I'm not comfortable with the idea that people should even mention their Jewishness to criticize Israeli policy. Although it is true that the criticism will be more credible in the eyes of laypeople, one should not support such a racist approach on the part of the general public.

  • The naked racism of 'Save Jewish Jerusalem'
    • @hophmi

      Actually, all Avi did was point out that there were serious mistranslations in the video.

      That's not all Avi did. Avi also explicitly called Mondoweiss "a hate site." Do you agree with that description, hophmi? Do you think Mondoweiss is a hate site?

      As for the mistranslations, do you think they fundamentally change the picture? OK, it's not fair to claim that a member of "Save Jewish Jerusalem" stated that Arabs will have no autonomy or rights when he didn't mention rights. However, the group's platform states that 200,000 Arabs will be stripped of their Israeli Resident Cards... does that not amount to a denial of rights? Just asking.

  • To the Holocaust survivor I interviewed, in regards to Palestine
    • While xanadou is clearly wrong to doubt the authenticity Anne Frank's diary, the conclusions they draw are not of an outrageous enough nature to warrant censorship. In the ensuing reply jon s sets the record straight, and the exchange may be useful for some readers.

      As for your question, not all comments Mondoweiss publishes are anti-Zionist. Some are, some others are pro-Zionist, still some others have nothing to do with Zionism.

  • 'NY Times' publishes op-ed writer's blatant falsehood about Palestinians without blinking an eye
    • The Hasbara Buster to the rescue: see here.

    • Excellent article, David.

      Blood libels such as Gladstone's used to be peddled by Zionists far more frequently than they are nowadays. The reason is the Internet. When Google searches were not available, we had to rely on the writer's word, and Zionists freely distorted the truth, knowing that anti-Zionists who dared confront them would have a very hard time finding a venue to publish their rebuttals.

      The web changed all that. Not only are we able to catch the liars with a click of the mouse; we also learn truths that had been carefully hidden from the larger public, such as the marketplace bombings perpetrated by Jews in Mandate Palestine. Yes -- that's how ungratefully we anti-Zionists use the Internet that an Israeli Jew created in Haifa.

  • BDS has arrived
  • No Escaping the 'Cohen': Nick Cohen is becoming a Jew (again)
    • If Cohen lived in Israel he would have fingers pointed at him all the time for not being Jewish, since, no matter his innermost feelings, his mother wasn't. Then perhaps he would realize what Judaism actually is, and that, unfortunately, he hasn't made it into the tribe.

  • Trump's Jewish mirror
    • For Reform Jews to staunchly support Israel is an instance of the Stockholm syndrome. Reform Judaism is despised in Israel, its conversions are not recognized, and their few synagogues (such as the one in Ra'anana) have been time and again defaced by Orthodox Jews. Only last February, the Chief Rabbinate accused Reform Jews of "uprooting Judaism."

      That a group so targeted with hate should adore its haters is simply mind boggling.

  • Barriers to love in Israel and Palestine
    • A small caveat. Interreligious marriage can be performed in Israel, since certain religions admit it. Thus, the tolerant Catholic Church marries a Catholic with whomever they choose, provided that the couple is heterosexual; the non-Catholic partner is not required to relinquish their religion. The less tolerant Islamic faith allows intermarriage only between a Muslim man and a Jewish or Christian woman. And the most intolerant religon of all three, Orthodox Judaism, refuses to perform any marriage between people of different faiths.

  • Israel arrests human rights campaigner Ezra Nawi and puts gag order on case as part of growing 'witch hunt' against activists
    • @Jon66

      I guess what struck me about the quote was the structure of the prohibition. It did not limit ownership to citizens, but rather prohibited “Jews”. Maybe the use of “Jews” was a substitute for any foreigner.

      There's absolutely no prohibition on the sale of land to Jews. The PA has a prohibition on the sale of land to Israel or its agents, which makes an enormous amount of sense. Of course, on a practical level there will be a lot of Jewish American billionaires who will try to buy land to turn it over to Israeli settlers. Such a sale is forbidden not because they're Jewish, but because they intend to use the land to further Israel's colonizing enterprise.

      On the other hand, if a Jewish person who intends to live in the PA-controlled territory as a Palestinian citizen (such as Uri Davis) wants to buy land, they can do so.

  • Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
    • The Russian empire, while instigating pogroms, prosecuted their perpetrators after the fact, sentencing them to short prison terms. Israel does the same: it incites against the Arabs and provides the settlers with all the means to commit acts of terror against them, only reacting when the violence is too gruesome, and then handing the perpetrators light sentences.

    • From the Irish in the British Isles to the Basques in Spain on to the Tamils in Sri Lanka, peoples subjected to national oppression have frequently resorted to terrorism. Israel is unique in that it is members of the oppressor people who are committing acts of terror against the ethnicity they subjugate.

  • Novel featuring Palestinian-Jewish romance threatens 'Jewish identity,' Israeli gov't rules
    • @Mayhem

      This kind of thing occurs in countries all over the world and whenever it does it barely raises a whimper

      While book banning does occur, it doesn´t occur in any democratic, developed country that a book is banned because it promotes the mixing of ethnicities. The news here is that one of the most economically advanced states in the world adheres to Middle-Age standards when it comes to education.

      Also, this is hardly an isolated fact, but part of a process ignited in 2011 by Tzipi Hotovely, who hosted a hearing in the Knesset on how to educate Jews so that they won't intermarry; Bentzi Gopstein (of "Christians are vampires" fame) was one of the speakers invited. The conclusions of that hearing are now being implemented. I can't imagine such an atrociously racist meeting taking place in any other parliament in the democratic world, but if I'm wrong feel free to illuminate me, by all means.

    • In 2011 Tzipi Hotovely, a rising star among Likud lawmakers, hosted a hearing in the Knesset on the subject of how to educate Jews so that they won't marry Arabs. Bentzi Gopstein, an avowed racist who has called Christians "vampires," was invited to speak at that hearing.

      So I guess this book ban should come as no surprise. Of course, under the advice of their PR people the Israeli government is careful not to officially adopt the anti-miscegenation and exclusivist policies they encourage or advocate through other means. But when you scratch under the veneer you find unadulterated racism.

  • Israel's ambassador taunts the White House (again) with holiday gift of settlement goods
    • Says Dermer:

      In a Middle East where women are treated as chattel, gays are hanged, minorities are decimated and Christians are decapitated, Israel is proud to have female fighter pilots, Arab Supreme Court Justices, gay pride parades and a thriving Christian community

      Where to begin. In that woman- and dhimmi-hating Middle East, a Jewish woman was appointed as an Arab country's ambassador to the US, while never, ever, will a Muslim be appointed as the Israeli ambassador in Washington so long as Israel is a Jewish state.

      To speak of Arab High Court justices is an overstatement, as there has been just one (compared to 3,000 Jews who lived openly as Jews and untouched in Berlin during the Holocaust, to speak of other exceptions that prove rules). The fact that not every last Arab is discriminated against in Israel doesn't mean Israel doesn't promote hate against Arabs, just like the fact that not every last Jew was killed by the Nazis doesn't mean that the Nazis didn't hate Jews.

      As for gay pride parades, they do indeed take place in Israel -- but it is the only country where people get stabbed and killed (by religious Jewish, not Muslim, fanatics) in such parades. Also, Israel is the only democracy where an interior minister, Eli Yishai, stated a few years back that gays are sick people whom he wished a speedy recovery.

      As for the Christian community, they thrive because of their hard work, not because they're in any way loved by Israeli Jews. In fact spitting on Christian clergy is something of a local sport in Jerusalem, as is breaking their crosses or shattering their cars' windows.

      In other words, Dermer repeats long-debunked lies and false analogies. If the world is incurably antisemitic as he maintains, one wonders why he even bothers to write such screeds.

  • Video of brutal and wrongful arrest
    • Well, great to see that the quality of Pallywood productions has improved to the point that they now dupe the Israeli police. Fortunately MEMRI, CAMERA and Daniel Pipes are still there to take apart Palestinian lies.

  • The 'Pallywood' smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy's brutalization brings backlash
  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
    • @Laurent Weppe

      Since the two synagogues are only 600 meters away from one another, these two incidents tend to be conflated with one another, but they were distinct events: one was a street brawl, the other a bona-fide antisemitic attack

      There is no conflation. The horrifying international headlines, such as "In riot outside synagogue, French Jews were left to protect themselves," all refer to the alleged attack on worshippers gathered at the Rue des Roquettes synagogue, which happened to be false. The Rue des Tournelles attack was barely mentioned in the news, and there is scarce information about what really happened there, although carification will be welcome.

      The point here is that while antisemitic incidents do take place in France on an individual scale, the image of defenseless French Jews attacked by mobs for being Jewish is a complete fabrication.

  • Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack
    • In other times, Israel and its supporters would have claimed that the family burned their own house down to collect insurance money. Or, that the baby was murdered in an honor killing after it was discovered that he carried homosexual genes. So I think some progress is finally being made.

  • Time Warner executive moonlights as speechwriter for Netanyahu
  • Michael Oren cannot hide his disrespect for Jewish Americans
  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • More to the point, Beinart is wrong. The right of return was implemented as part of conflict resolution in many parts of the world, such as Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, East Timor, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cyprus, Georgia and Rwanda. Kosovo is perhaps the best-known case, and one that any intellectual should be aware of.

    • Just two small points about Beinart's arguments. While Czechoslovakia did get caught up in the splitting euphoria of the 90s, the move has since been regretted by both Czechs and Slovaks, and there is a lot of talk of reunification. I believe the same would happen with Scotland and England and Catalonia and Spain should they also part ways. It's simply not true that any two peoples are inherently unable to live together.

      As for the double standard argument, before the current thaw the issue of the American embargo of Cuba was routinely raised at the UN. All countries voted against, with only four voting for: the US itself, Palau, Micronesia and -- Israel. Surely there were worse human-rights offenders more deserving of sanctions? Why should Israel be immune to a selective approach to sanctions it itself applies?

  • Gunter Grass became 'persona non grata' for 2012 poem exposing Israeli nuclear hypocrisy
    • To dissect Netanyahu's response:

      Günter Grass’s shameful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran, a regime that denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel

      Israel denies the Armenian genocide, so I'd say there's an equivalence there. And Iran only threatens to annihilate Israel in response to an Israeli attack. Using strong language to make your enemy think twice before attacking you is perfectly acceptable.

      For six decades, Mr. Grass hid the fact that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS

      That's called an ad-hominem attack -- instead of tackling Mr. Grass's statements, he tackles his personality.

      THAT BEING SAID, I must also add that this is not a poem, this is a pamphlet. Maybe it had to be presented as a literary work so that people around the world would pay attention to it. But poetry it is not, and I think any literary critic would concur.

  • Finkelstein on God and Dershowitz
  • When occupation becomes apartheid
    • @JeffB

      Lest you continue to shift the goalposts, let's recall that your claim was, "The people of East Jerusalem are full citizens of Israel with full voting and civil rights if they so choose." That has been proved completely false by your own sources, since at least one third of those who "choose" to become Israeli citizens have their applications denied. Also, as you yourself admit, Arabs born in East Jerusalem can't become citizens if they don't prove that Jerusalem is the center of their life. On the other hand, Jews born there are granted automatic citizenship without need to prove anything. Different rights for different groups is apartheid, plain and simple.

      Your other arguments are flawed. You don't provide the slightest evidence for your claim that Jerusalem Arabs who ask for Israeli citizenship and whose applications are deferred "are likely going to get it." Your wife's experience in the US is irrelevant because it's another country with different rules and procedures.

    • @JeffB

      1-This article talks about countries occupied by America. The regrettable expulsions you bring up didn't take place in those countries. By the way, it takes some conceit to believe we didn't know about that ethnic cleansing until you opened our eyes to it.

      2-Just because the UN was complicit in the deportation of Germans doesn't mean it should be complicit in other expulsions.

      3-Jews born in Jerusalem have the automatic right to Israeli citizenship. Arabs born in Jerusalem have the right to apply for citizenship, not the right to citizenship itself; and as you know, applications can be turned down. Different rights for different groups -- that's what Apartheid is about.

      4-Gaza is not officially part of Israel, agreed. But Ciskei, Transkei, Vendha and Bophuthatswana were not officially part of South Africa either, and even so the situation in those four "countries" was described by the international community as Apartheid. Are you sure you're familiarized with the meaning of the word?

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • Says Prof. Pessin: "Gaza is in the cage because of its repeated efforts to destroy Israel and Jews."

      Maybe he needs to be shown the videos of Israeli skunk trucks sadistically spraying putrid liquid on houses and schools while not being under any destruction attempt at all from the people living and studying in those buildings.

  • 'NYT' reports 'surge of hostile sentiment against Jews' nationwide -- on what basis?

      In the 2005 Senate hearings on the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, Senator Dianne Feinstein asked the nominee whether he would put his Roman Catholic beliefs aside as Chief Justice, like John Kennedy had done as President.

      During the same hearings, Senator Arlen Specter asked Roberts if his faith would affect his opinions on the bench.

      Neither Senator was called a bigot for asking those questions, and not one commentator described the hearings as an instance of pure and raw anti-Catholicism.

      In the case of the UCLA Jewish student, and in a University where BDS is an issue, it was thoroughly appropriate to ask her if her affiliations with Jewish groups would influence her decisions on the judicial board. Too bad the scared students who asked the question rushed to apologize before informing themselves about the standard practices in hearings across the United States.

  • Palestinian flag is an 'enemy' flag-- Netanyahu's latest crackdown
    • Not sure what exactly your point is, dimadok, but Allison is providing an example of Israeli racism, i.e. a policy that punishes Arabs, but not Jews, for stone throwing and acts of terrorism. The house of an Israeli Arab who runs over someone with a truck will be demolished. That of an Israeli Jew who douses gasoline on a teenager and sets him alight will not. That is Apartheid, plain and simple, independently of what goes on in Lebanon.

  • Ads Against Apartheid comes to Chicago's south side
    • The Zionist ad takes advantage of Western racism against Arabs (they all have thick eyebrows and hooked noses, they act like a swarm, they have no independent thinking, they don't give a damn for their own kids...). Otherwise, the very idea that you must give up your home just because other people who speak the same language as you also have homes would be scorned by the media as the idiocy it is.

  • Palestinian-American teen denied access to Israel’s airport
    • @Mikhael

      False analogy. You're a citizen of Israel and you have duties toward that state. If you dodge the draft or evade taxes you're breaking the law and can be denied an exit visa because of those offenses.

      Dina Shehadeh, on the other hand, is not an Israeli citizen, does not live in Israel or the West Bank and hasn't committed any punishable offense. You retort that Israel has the legal right to stop her from boarding a plane all the same. That is true, but it's not the issue. The issue is whether such right is being applied arbitrarily and whether racism plays a role in applying it. All indications suggest it does.

      I don't recall Israelis adopting such a legalistic approach when an Israeli tennis player was denied entry into Dubai a few years back. On the contrary, they went ballistic -- even when the United Arab Emirates had the legal right to deny her the visa.

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • Lozowick is not an intellectual in the highest level. (Tip: guys who flaunt their PhD's in your face usually aren't.) I recall debating him and he didn't know the difference between colonies of exploitation and colonies of settlement -- a striking unawareness coming from a historian. He also wasn't aware that the UNSC had declared Israel's settlements legally invalid.

      Also, Lozowick is a dishonest person. Back in 2002, when Israel conducted Operation Defensive shield, he maintained that Israel is especially moral because it launched a ground offensive instead of bombing Jenin from the air. But in 2008, when Israel bombed Gaza using planes and missiles, Lozowick changed his tune and found nothing wrong with such an aerial attack.

      In sum, and despite his abilities as a fluent and articulate writer, I don't think we need to take him (or Asa Kasher, or any of the other "historians," "philosophers" and "intellectuals" who seek to justify Israel via plausible deniability) particularly seriously.

  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • For long years, IDF graduation ceremonies took place in Masada, where, as the narrative has it, 900 Jews committed suicide (including the killing of their own children) rather than being captured by the Romans. That doesn't strike me as a rejection of child sacrifice.

      Also, during Israel's war of independence the Jews used children as young as 10 for military purposes; and they stored weapons in synagogues and nurseries.

      But then, a well-known Zionist argument consists of 2 steps:

      1) Claim that Israel meets extraordinarily high moral standards, far superior to those of any other country.

      2) When someone provides counterexamples, ask him why he expects Israel to meet higher standards than other countries.

  • Arrests without charge of American beating victim's relatives in Jerusalem leave State Dep't 'deeply concerned'
  • Israeli police ransack Tariq Abu Khdeir family home and arrest relatives in apparent revenge raid
    • Business as usual for the Israeli army and police. When Salam Amira, then 16, filmed an Israeli soldier shooting a blindfolded and handcuffed detainee in the foot with a rubber bullet, and sent the video to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, the IDF began to shoot at her home. See this brave girl standing by her window, which has a hole with cracks spreading in all directions, here. Now it's the turn of Tariq's relatives for daring to film his brutal beating.

      It is terrifying to think that if this boy had not been American, his "confession" would already be in the hands of the Israeli police and he might spend months in prison. Shared values?

  • Hasbarapocalyse: Naftali Bennett says Hamas committing 'massive self-genocide'
    • Bennett's initial claim is that the death of these 4 kids is Hamas' fault for placing them next to missile launchers. When Blitzer retorts that the 4 died on a beach with no missile launcher in sight, Bennett asserts that Israel never intentionally kills civilians.

      Too bad an experienced journalist like Wolf Blitzer didn't identify the goalpost-shifting and counter, "But you asserted it was Hamas' fault -- do you accept that that claim is inaccurate?". Zionists need to be pressed when they subreptitiously change their lines.

  • Ben Gurion detention guard tells humanitarian worker she is being deported for 'trying to change Israel and make it free of racism'
  • Israeli police and media collude to marginalize coverage of Muhammad Abu Khudair's murder
  • Child's beating in Jerusalem brings unprecedented coverage of Palestinian experience to U.S.
    • @hophmi

      For God's sake, what's wrong with you? For the first time ever, the bruised face of a boy of Palestinian ethnicity beaten up by Israeli security forces is the largest image on the New York Times' cover page. If that's not unprecedented coverage, what is?

      The whole point of this article is that because this particular boy has American citizenship his story is getting phenomenal attention, unlike the many beatings of Palestinians that have been caught on camera in the last few years. I can't see why you are so worked up by Weiss making such a clear point.

  • After brutal police beating, Palestinian-American Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, sentenced to home arrest without charge
  • Photo Essay: Israeli soliders destroy Qawasmeh and Aisha family homes in retribution attack
    • @DaBakr

      Expressing sexuality through language, dress and behavior is freedom of expression and fully legal. Living in a settlement in occupied land is not legal.

      The correct analogy would be a woman who breaks into a man's house to steal stuff and is caught and raped by him. Nothing can justify rape, but at the same time the woman is to a large extent responsible for her fate.

  • What's your politically-correct World Cup bracket?
  • Israeli officials threaten return to Intifada-era policy of demolishing suspects' homes
    • @Alex

      In 1999, the Israeli High Court outlawed the torture regime the Shin Bet used for years, though human rights groups have said Israel has continued to torture some detainees. The court decision also allowed for abusive means–”moderate physical pressure” (MPP) in the court’s words–to be used on “ticking time bombs,” which refers to detainees who had information on imminent threats to Israel life.

      I don't believe it makes much sense to give any credibility to the High Court's "outlawing" of torture in as much as it came with a caveat that rendered it meaningless. After 1999, all the Shin Bet has to do is label its prisoners as ticking time bombs et voilà, business as usual.

      I'm not saying other countries don't use torture. But at least they don't pompously claim to have outlawed the repugnant practice while employing it whenever they see it fit.

  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • @hophmi

      Exactly what sanctions are on the current regimes in Iraq and Egypt? Egypt receives a couple billion in military aid every year.

      The only reason the US gives $2 bn to Egypt is so that the African nation won't make war on Israel. Actually, that money should be counted as part of the aid given to Israel: the US is bribing dictators on behalf of the Zionist state.

  • Teju Cole explains (and shows) that one side has been dispossessed in Israel and Palestine
    • Except that the Bir'im Maronite Palestinians did not lose any war. They were (and are) Israeli citizens whose village was destroyed by the Jews in 1953, while no war was being fought. Their land was expropriated for Jewish-only use.

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • Honoring one's parents is a long standing tradition in most of the world's cultures. Tracing it to the Bible is simply a hilarious act of arrogance.

      Unfortunately, in recent times that tradition has begun to be lost, among other places in Israel itself, where elderly Holocaust survivors suffer deprivation even as their government collects the reparations that were meant for them.

  • New video shows Palestinian youths killed by Israeli army on Nakba Day posed no threat to soldiers
    • @Zach S

      Maybe he was shot and killed in that video, maybe he wasn’t. But this video doesn’t prove that he was, or that he was shot by an Israeli.

      You don't seem to get the point of this post, which is that the video proves that the youth was not threatening the Israeli soldiers in any way. The Israeli government suggested he did, but the only video released up to now shows that he didn't. The post does not purport to prove that the boy was killed by the soldiers because that has not been disputed by anyone.

      Now you come here to present the minoritarian view that the boy may have been killed by others or that no boy at all may have been killed. The place to publish your concern is the websites of the primary sources (news agencies) that reported the story in the first place, all of which disagree with your view.

  • What’s wrong with the ADL survey and how it could be improved
    • @Palikari

      Some Jews think they are better than other people of course, but to generalize saying that “Jews think they are better than other people” is anti-Semitic, just like to generalize saying that “Americans think they are better than other people” is anti-American. Do you get the difference?

      Groups are usually judged by what their leadership, their media and their intellectuals say and do. Jewish leaders and media make frequent references to the high numbers of Jewish Nobel laureates, violinists, judges, businessmen, writers, senators and other achievers, often making favorable comparisons with the figures for other ethnic or religious groups. Celebrated Jewish authors like Scholem Aleichem or Leon Uris paint the Jews as good, smart and superior and the Others (e.g. Russians, Arabs) as evil, dumb, brutal and inferior.

      I mean, you can't boast of being better than other people and then feign outrage when someone tells you that you think you're better than other people. Of course, this behavior from the Jewish leadership does not extend to all and any Jews, but making generalizations from what the people who claim to represent a group say and do is an instance of bad sociology, not of prejudice.

  • Blumenthal in Brooklyn
    • @yonah

      I agree with you that citing Lieberman's dubious credentials is uncalled for. I personally favor a more aseptic approach that mainly takes into account his actions during his tenure as the foreign minister of the State of Israel.

      That being said, it can't be denied that a) Lieberman is the second most popular politician in Israel in terms of votes received, and b) he treats Israeli Arabs as dhimmis whose citizenship can be revoked, and continually threatens to leave them out of the State (for instance through land swaps that would transfer major Arab towns to the projected Palestinian state) if they don't behave. Whether he'll eventually achieve his goals or the country's High Court will stop him, we don't know; but the fact that such a rhetoric can be openly displayed without anyone raising an eyebrow is very telling of the racist nature of the State of Israel.

  • 'NYT' terms Islamic Jihad's 4 percent support-- 'new traction in Gaza'
    • @hophmi

      You seem like most radical movements – very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized.

      We're not marginalized in as much as you come here to tell us we are. Remember Gandhi's aphorism? "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." At present, you're in the stage of fighting us. If we were marginalized, you would just ignore us.

  • Defending Apartheid – From 1968 to the present
    • Instant messaging was not an Israeli innovation. In its modern form it was first developed by Quantum Link (later America On Line) for use with Commodore 64 computers; but noncommercial IM services, such as the Zephyr Notification Service (developed by MIT) were already in use in the early 80s.

      Israeli can't really boast of any revolutionary innovation; the country's scale is simply not enough for that. At most it can boast of first commercially launching certain products (but not instant messaging or cherry tomatoes) that would have anyway been developed somewhere else a few months later.

  • Racism in service of a pro-Israel agenda-- two 'NYT' editors reveal a bias
    • @Ira

      The modifier "some or many" is misplaced in the phrase "the racist, libelous and outrageous claim that Palestinians want to kill all (some or many) Jews will be a statement that other departments at your newspaper will be confronting shortly." It should come before "Palestinians," not before "Jews," to accurately reflect the editors' proposal.

      Also, you could make the point that Schimmerling says "by word and action," which implies he's not merely citing the obscure reference to a hadith in the Hamas charter, but talking about real efforts made by the Palestinians to try and kill all Jews.

  • A Jew who visited Palestine responds to 'NYT' assertion that Palestinians want to kill all Jews
    • @yonah

      The testimony of Ted Auerbach is irrelevant. I’m sure (23/29ths sure) that he was not staying with Hamas Palestinians. That is the demographic of the Palestinian people that might harbor attitudes formed by the Hadith that I referred to yesterday.

      I see what you mean: while Fatah Palestinians don't want to kill all Jews, Hamas ones do.

      Small problem, a Jew called Norman Finkelstein has been the guest of Hamas Palestinians in Gaza, and they didn't kill him.

      So, while this may be 32/29ths off kilter, we're still left with not a single example of Palestinians who have avowed to kill all Jews.

      I must add I can't fathom why you would consider that calling out a deranged editorial policy is not relevant in a blog largely devoted to media bias.

    • @Citizen

      How about, “Israeli Jews have avowed as their goal the transfer/exodus of all Palestinians.”

      Actually, that would be an accurate statement. Israelis are represented by their elected politicians, and the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Liberman, has put forward the idea of transferring Israeli Arabs, for instance by swapping Israeli Arab towns for uninhabitted Palestinian land.

      Liberman has avowed to get rid of the Arabs frequently and unambiguously. For instance, on Sunday he addressed Israeli Arab politicians in a Facebook posting, stating “I can promise these inciters that we will do everything so that in any future accord, they will find themselves in the place they belong and Umm el-Fahm [a major Israeli Arab town] shall be part of the Palestinian state and not part of the state of Israel.”

      This is not an obscure sentence in a charter, or a vague statement misrepresented by the press. It's a repeatedly stated commitment to a policy of ethnic cleansing.

  • 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.

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