Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 246 (since 2009-08-03 06:09:51)

The Hasbara Buster

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


Showing comments 246 - 201

  • 'We may no longer be permitted—nor permit ourselves—to enter Israel,' 172 scholars write
    • I recall asking a South African businessman in 1988: "How's the political situation over there?". "It's OK," he replied. "It's immoral, but it's okay. This year, in spite of the boycotts, our economy is growing by 4%, and immigrants are pouring in from all neighboring countries." That was less than 5 years before the end of Apartheid.

      To paraphrase Bill Clinton: It's not the economy, stupid.

  • Israeli supermarket chain glorifies army killer on grocery bag
    • Jonathan, I notice that in your long list of streets named after Jewish terrorists, you fail to mention the most cruel terrorist of them all -- David Raziel. Hundreds of Israeli streets and even a town, Ramat Raziel, are named after this terrorist who placed bombs in street markets killing more than one hundred Arab civilians.

  • Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
  • 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.

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  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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.

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