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Trying to make the world a better place, by first understanding it

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  • Dispatch from 'the most ****ed up place on Earth,' Hebron's H2 quarter
    • Keith -

      This is an account of life in Persia in the 19th century:
      "They are obliged to live in a separate part of town…; for they are considered as unclean creatures… Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt… For the same reason, they are prohibited to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans… If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him… unmercifully… If a Jew enters a shop for anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods… Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses to ask for them... Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever please them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life... If... a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of the Katel (Muharram)…, he is sure to be murdered"

      This wasn't only about money or power.

      Antisemitism stems from ethnic racial reasons, religious reasons, and yes - also economical reasons.
      But the core of the issue is that Jews were persecuted for being Jews. Many were murdered even though they were not rich or powerful. And being rich and powerful rarely protected them anyway.

      19th century zionists proposed that being a majority in one country would be better than being a minority in all countries. As a majority - you cannot be expelled, as they were from England, Spain, Yemen and elsewhere. As a majority - you cannot be subjected to specific taxes only applicable to your religion. You cannot be forced to wear a certain hat or to work in a certain profession.

      Not sure why that sounds such unreasonable thinking to you.

      Being a minority is not so good even in the 21st century.
      Palestinians living in Haifa, Muslims living in France, Kurds living in Iraq will all agree.

      Mooser - I was under the impression we were talking about Zionism. Happy to discuss Kashmir or Brazil if that is what you wanted to talk about.

    • Mooser: "Yes, racial and religious and ethnic discrimination was legal at that time in America. Although I don’t know why all of it was directed at us"

      - what?

    • Mooser - not sure I understand what you are saying.
      You think Jews in the 19th and early 20th century made a mistake not all moving to the united states?
      In hindsight you might be right, but the world was a different place back then, and the US was not as welcoming and liberal as it was nowadays.
      The entry on wikipedia has a bunch of nice examples.

      A quote: " In the first half of the 20th century, Jews were discriminated against in some employment, not allowed into some social clubs and resort areas, given a quota on enrollment at colleges, and not allowed to buy certain properties"

      Historically jews in the Muslim world were often better off than in the Christian world. Even places like the UK have a bleak history. Jews were forced to wear a yellow star of David many centuries before the Nazis.
      Thinking about, I recall my grandmother always hiding the fact that our family was Jewish, even as late as the 1970s. We had a double door at the entrance to the house and I remember her telling me that the mezuzah was purposely on the inside.

      Anyway... my point is that the decision to come to Palestine seems to me a logical one. I assume many early zionists did not see it as "conquering" Palestine. They were merely migrating. They didn't go through military training. They studied agriculture.

      Don't take this out of context and claim that I am saying that this excuses anything that has happened in the last 150 years. I am simply reiterating my original comment that I am not sure what you disagree with in it.

    • Archaeology and facts are disputed. You can find conflicting "facts" that are "proven" going either way.
      has some links showing that genetically Jews originated from the middle east.

      The point isn't to prove who was there first. Or to prove who "owns" the land exclusively.
      The point is to solve the problem so that future generations don't have to live in the situation described in this article.

      I saw the film "censored voices" yesterday. Highly recommended.
      Someone there said "a tragedy is when both sides are 100% right".

      In my opinion, zionists in the 19th and early 20th centuries had the right idea. Jews had suffered from years of persecution as a minority in basically every country they lived in. Bringing them together en masse and putting them in one place was a sensible choice. It could have happened anywhere in the world, but they chose Palestine, for the historic reasons you dispute.

      With the two people fighting over one land, the only possible end game is to share the land, even if this means to compromise, and even if this is not a just or fair solution.

  • US media fail to report video of soldiers shooting desperate Palestinian girl holding knife overhead
    • "Neither irony or sarcasm is argument"
      - Samuel Butler

    • I think this video shows the sad reality.
      You have a Palestinian girl and 2 Israeli soldiers, probably the same age as her - neither with any idea what they want out of the situation.
      The girl approaches with a knife, insecure, unsure of what to do really - she hasn't trained for the situation. She has most likely never stabbed any one in her life. Whatever preparation she had fell to pieces when confronted with 2 armed soldiers. She won't let herself back down so she just advances forward waiting for them to shoot.
      The 2 soldiers have been taught to shoot guns at cardboard targets, but by the look of them this is the first combat situation they have ever been in. And this is not what they imagined. No one trained them to disarm a knifed attacker. No one gave them equipment to do so. They want to run away, but if they do so could she then go and stab someone else? Do they try and tackle her and risk being stabbed?They're not policemen. They haven't been trained to do that. They back away not knowing what to do, but she keeps advancing. And one of them shoots. Thankfully this time it ends with no lives lost.

      This is what happens when an occupying army is thrust into an occupied civilian population.
      I don't blame the girl. I don't blame the soldiers. I blame the leaders who are unable to put an end to this tragic reality.
      The saddest part of the story is that the outcome of the incident will be both sides treating the participants as heroes. Instead of trying to prevent these things from happening - the status quo will be preserved and glorified.

  • The end of apartheid in Israel will not destroy the country, it can only improve it
    • Antidote:"Does it make sense to advocate post Apartheid SA as a positive model for Israel, and hope for any resonance among the majority of Israelis, be they on the left or the right?"

      Is there any choice? the majority of Israelis don't want to compromise and don't want to find a solution that will benefit Palestinians. You won't be able to resolve the conflict without giving right of return to Palestinians - and practically no zionist will accept the right of return - yet. The 2SS can be a temporary solution but in the long run the Israeli public view will have to be swayed by a global community united in its call for right of return.

      Annie: "what does matter is if the apartheid meets the definition".

      I feel that the use of the analogy to apartheid is counter productive whether it meets the definition or whether it doesn't. There are so many zionist rebufs to the term aparthied (look at the rights of Israeli arabs... bla bla... it's not aparthied because the west bank isn't part of Israel... bla bla... these aren't anti racial laws - they're security measures...bla bla)
      The overwhelming majority of people worldwide will define the situation as "occupation" while only a minority of people will define it as "apartheid" because of those question marks raised.
      Occupation is a stronger word anyway (the term "brutal occupation" can also be used).
      Much easier to sway public opinion worldwide by using terminology that is easier for everyone to agree upon (just my personal opinion).

  • Thousands of Israelis fill Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in support for soldier who executed Palestinian
    • echin:
      -"have the right to one or two, etc. citizenships based on their parents’ (real) birthright"

      I did not say that their origin cannot be traced. I said 3rd generation Israeli jews have no ties whatsoever to Poland, Romania, Iraq, Morroco, etc. They don't speak the language, they don't fit in. They're not wanted back. This makes the solution impractical. Shipping all Israeli jews to easter island would make more sense.

      -"the US guarantee of accepting all the rest"

      I have had a vision of the future: "Senator Netanyahu has announced that he is running for president!"

      -"that they are not implementing the irrational solution that they are in fact implementing"

      I didn't understand what you meant by this.
      In my opinion it's hard to really understand what the end game is for Mr. prime minister for life. At times it seems he doesn't want an end game but rather to keep the status quo endlessly. But mostly I feel that his plan is and always has been to annex the west bank without giving right of return and to spin off the gaza strip to Egypt.

    • "I spent 20 years in the US military, being taught concepts such as when and when not to use deadly force"..."we as American service members are held to a higher standard"

      In no way am I defending the despicable murderer - but to anyone who has been exposed to US conduct in its "war on terror" - your statement is out of place.
      Read up on the Haditha massacre and see what the US high standard has brought to the middle east.

    • "Stop and think that your hero and martyr was an attempted murderer, and the enemy you seek to vilify nuetralized him. Realize that you defend evil"

      Max - stop and think that your hero (the soldier) is a murderer. Realize that you, and the people that went to that rally, defend evil.

    • Dan Cohen didn't say the number was downplayed from 5k to 2k.
      He complained that Israeli media was trying to marginalize the rally by claiming that ONLY 2000 showed up (while in fact 2000 lunatics is quite a large number of lunatics)

      The war over the "facts" is interesting.

      The number I saw throughout most of the media (Israeli and international) was mostly 2000.

      However here and there you can find the number 5000 (mostly in Israeli right wing media).

      I wonder if there is a trustworthy source for these sort of things.

    • “are you making the assumption that the Jewish fad for Zionism will not pass? I think it will"

      -The international Jewish support for zionism is sure to fade in the future at the rate Israel is alienating itself, but not Israeli zionism. I think supporting an Algeria type solution is just as extreme as supporting recolonization of Palestinians in the countries that host them in refugee camps (Lebanon, Jordan, etc).
      From its earliest days, Zionism used the tactic of creating a nationalism separate from the historical roots in the countries of origin from which jews migrated to Palestine. Unlike the Algerians who were immersed in French culture and spoke French, zionism created a new culture - reinvented a historic language, and even altered the religion to support the zionist cause (for example "In modern Israel, early Zionists redefined Lag BaOmer from a rabbinic-oriented celebration to a commemoration of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire").
      Over 4.5 million Israeli jews were born in Israel. These new generations of zionists are growing up with no ties whatsoever to their countries of origin.
      This situation makes the expulsion of the current jewish Israeli zionist population from Palestine and repopulation elsewhere worlds away from the resolution of the conflict in Algeria.
      Resolution of the conflict by bloodshed is not only undesirable but is also impractical even in the distant future.

      "I don’t think what’s happening now bodes well for the feasibility of a 1SS"

      - hard to say. In a way increased settlement in the west bank undermines the 2SS causing more support worldwide for the 1SS. I think it would be an interesting tactic by Palestinian leadership to "demand" that Israel annex the west bank and Gaza. Then the excuses that the
      Israeli government use would fall through - bringing the apartheid out into the open.

      "there is no “2-state solution” as long as there is Zionism"
      - on the contrary. I would say that zionism has the most interest in reaching a 2SS. It is the most practical way of preserving the Jewish majority. I would say that the 1SS requires zionist nationalism to make more compromises than the 2SS.

      "some people (even palestinians) simply think a 2SS is more desirable, more practical or more likely and may not see that, at this juncture, as defeat"

      - Important to add that many see the 2SS as a temporary solution (the fact that both sides insist on the 2SS completely resolving all issues might be one of the reasons an agreement has not been reached). A temporary 2SS will allow peacful coexistence while gradually normalizing relationships between the peoples. Eventually the 2 state solution would most likely evolve into a 1SS (mostly due to the geographical divide between Gaza and the west bank, but also due to the historical connection both people feel to the land on both sides of the 1967 border).
      There are of course 2SS solutions that sidestep nationalism such as - could these be the base for a temporary solution leading up to 1SS?

  • PA under renewed criticism for security coordination with Israel
    • Kay:"The Palestinian people have no hope of ever having peace until their own groups get their act together, and must stop this sick association with Israel"

      - this is so true, but with the ideological differences between Hamas and the PA - can they get their act together?

      The article:"The PA ultimately finds itself pitted between a necessity to appease the Israeli authorities through security coordination and the mass upheaval such coordination brings among political rivals and the wider public"

      - missing out on the main motivation behind the security coordination. SELF PRESERVATION!
      Both Hamas and the PA are fighting for their existence. Looking in from the outside it seems to me the people of Palestine want neither and the factions probably know and fear this.

      It seems "the only democracy in the middle east" has been unable to export its superior system of government to the areas in between the settlements. (or perhaps it has?)

      In my opinion, the new generation of leaders is already here. Hard to miss the amount of Palestinian online activity (and this is leadership in the modern world). At the moment most of their effort is online - but I am sure we will see power in their hands soon enough.

  • A 50-year-old Palestinian is killed in alleged attack, while two 12-year-olds are arrested
    • "Religion is now part of the problem. It has to be part of the solution"

      A religious west bank settler who believes in a one state solution and the right of Palestinians to return. These are the voices that should be amplified.

  • Against Balance: Thoughts on teaching Israel/Palestine
    • sibiriac - "even that is highly disputed".
      You gave proof to the exact point I was trying to make.
      the fact is that there is a verse in the bible that says:"bla bla bla jews...bla bla bla... promised land" (forgive me - can't be bothered to look it up)
      that is a fact.
      You gave super examples as to how that fact can be interpreted.
      A similar example could be the ethnic cleansing of palestinian arabs during 1948. It is an undisputed fact that many were expelled from their villages. What is disputed is the importance of this and the interpretation of the events.
      2 teachers can each tell their students about these expulsions and describe the historically indisputed events that took place. A zionist teacher might downplay the importance of those events and focus on other events that happened during 1948.
      Others might focus on these as being a crucial part of the negative aspects of zionism.

      I personally think that history teachers should be very clear on what are the indisputed facts, what are opinions and what the opposing opinions are. I agree with the article that teachers should not hide their own personal opinions.

    • I might be missing the history you all have together here as I'm not as active as you, but Jon's comment was complimenting the article and agreeing with the major points.
      What's all the comment-bickering about?

      I don't think there's a dispute about most historic facts. I think the narratives on both sides simply emphasize different facts and differ on the interpretation or importance of those facts.
      (for example, there is no dispute that the bible says that the Israel was promised to the jews - some will claim this gives zionists a right to live in the land. others will claim this does not).

      Mooser \ amigo - I have the feeling you and Jon agree on the same historic facts.

  • For first time, Hamas publishes photographs of captive Israelis
    • - "what is wrong with them?"

      I don't think it is fair to judge the families.
      None of us can even begin to imagine how they feel and what they are told.
      If your loved ones were abducted and the expert responsible for retrieving them explained that the best way to get them back is to keep silent and warned you that making a big deal out of it publicly will mean that your loved ones will be held for much longer, would it be an easy call for you to go against the expert? Even if your gut feeling would say otherwise, going against the person that is supposed to be the expert (and who controls the effort to bring them back) would be a very tough decision.

  • Video: Israel demolishes every home in West Bank Bedouin village
  • Wit, Conflict and other Entanglements: A discussion with Palestinian filmmaker Muayad Alayan
  • Israelis don't exist
    • "Jewish is a religion-based identity. People who wish to be Jewish are free to self-determine as Jewish. That self-determination does not entitled them to a colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state"
      eljay - well put. The article and comments are all going into pointless philosophical discussions while you summed it up beautifully.

    • "unfamiliar in the contemporary West"

      Not sure why you say that. There are so many examples of "persons" or "peoples" that define themselves as having a different nationality than citizenship. A Syrian refugee living in the UK and granted citizenship would no longer be of Syrian nationality? What about the many in Quebec that consider themselves a separate nationality? Are Scottish people Scottish or British? What if you are English and live in Scotland?

      Nationalism is a complex and ambiguous term (you would get different answers to the above questions from different people).

      The definition of the Jewish people (I personally think it's less confusing to use the term hebrew people - even though the terms are identical) and of the Palestinian people is more or less clear to both sides (despite attempts of delegitimization from both sides).

  • Iran's kumbaya video: let's cut the deal and turn to 'existential battle' against extremists
    • "If one opposes the Iranian regime does that make one automatically a neoconservative?"

      Yonah - if one does not oppose the nuclear deal does that make one automatically a supporter of the Iranian regime?

      I do not think anyone claims the Iranian regime to be democratic or a role model for human rights.
      I have friends within Iran that oppose the regime but are obviously very hopeful that a deal will pull through.

      The question is whether the deal is a good one or not. Is this deal the best way to prevent Iran from creating a nuclear arsenal (assuming they might want one)?

      I think what the article tried to present was that we are being fear-mongered into opposing the deal without being given enough information to judge for ourselves.
      As the article states:"...the media are misrepresenting the debate..."

      I will criticize the article for doing the exact opposite by feeding us sentences like:
      "Nuclear experts overwhelmingly agree the deal is a good one;There is an overwhelming consensus among experts that a negotiated accord is the best, and likely the only, way to ensure that Iran never builds a nuclear weapon."
      There is a big difference between saying that "a deal is good" and saying "the deal is good".

      I completely believe that reaching a good deal is the right way forward.
      Is the deal currently being negotiated a good deal?
      I don't know - I can't find straight-forward facts to let me judge for myself...

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • If I understand correctly, the Israeli cbs responsible for statistics only collects information about the origin of a person's parents (so many today are simply categorized as Israeli). Since the 90s the rate of marriage between jews of European descent and those of African-Asian descent has been over 30%, so the statistics would be complicated anyway. (Judy Moses herself is married to Silvan Shalom, the interior minister, who was born in Tunisia)

  • Journey through a fractured landscape
    • "Whatever we call it, it is separate and unequal"
      So true.
      Hebron is the prime example of the ugliness of the occupation.
      And one of the most frustrating obstacles to peace.
      I consider myself an extreme optimist. But somehow imagining the settlers of Hebron and the Palestinians of Al-Khalil accepting, forgiving and forgetting - is beyond me.

  • Israel's race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy
    • Shingo\talknic -
      Arms Industry will be immune to BDS, so BDS is focused at the grass roots level where the the consumer participates by boycotting Israel’s consumer exports as well as applying pressure companies with investments in Israel."

      Not important, but someone else must have said that about the arm's industry, not my opinion.
      I generally see BDS as a weak strategy because:
      A) it would take a lot of international coordination and solidarity to make it really hurt Israel (when you get a company like Intel, Ford or Samsung you're on the right track - and I can't see that happening in the near future)
      B) Even if you have phenomenal success - I don't see Israel saying: "oh, this is hurting - let's withdraw our troops". More likely in my opinion that Israel would withdraw into a state like North Korea - having less to lose and doing worse things (is that possible?). Alternatively, Israel will find new trade partners such as Russia and China - switching sides in cold war #2.
      I might be wrong about this - but basically when you have people with nothing left to lose and with their back to the wall, they don't go seeking peace (as in Gaza Strip blockade).
      C) And what I see as most likely - at any moment in time if Israel decides the 1000 paper cuts are adding up, it will simply create and then remove a couple of settlements and start "negotiations" with whatever puppet government is around at the time. After a year or so the negotiations fail, but in the mean time the boycott subsides (a.k.a Iran nuclear boycott strategy)

      You make valid points about the examples I gave (especially the parts about performers and companies more interested in money than in politics - which is fair enough).

      Frustrating as it might seem, I am still positive that they way forward lies in cracking the narrative bubbles.
      Getting Israelis to acknowledge the toll of Zionism and occupation on Palestine and take responsibility for the suffering, while getting Palestinians to realize that disunity and violence play into the hands of the Israeli narrative.

      As I said before, the only thing I see is a war of words, and there are better things to do with words...
      There are pro-Israel sites focused on convincing Americans and Europeans.
      There are pro-Palestine sites focused on convincing Americans and Europeans.
      Where are the Israel-Palestine sites focused on bridging the gap and talking to one another?

    • Thank you oldgeezer for your support.

      I tend to agree with you that the military solution would be a more viable solution than BDS. It would be hard to do without Israeli cooperation but if it starts out confined to gaza and then spreads to the west bank and Israel it might be harder for Israel to object - after all, the gaza strip is not occupied - it is disputed, right?

      Wishing us all good luck...

    • talknic/shingo - again, you're misunderstanding what I'm suggesting.
      I'm not talking about letting the status quo remain. I'm not talking about asking Israel to be nice and then hoping for Israeli cooperation.
      I'm talking about international pressure and worldwide campaigning. All I'm saying is direct the pressure at the weak points in Israels barricade.
      International pressure on Israel to allow an entertainer to perform in the west bank is different than international pressure on the entertainer not to perform at all. The performer can even cancel the performance altogether if not allowed to perform in the west bank - again - this is different than just cancelling outright because more people in the international community and the Israeli public will place blame on the Israeli government for the cancellation, not the performer.
      International pressure on Israel to allow companies to create offices in Ramallah is harder to sidestep than those companies refusing to do business with Israel.

      Another example of positive action being active rather than passive is the case of flotillas to gaza. This is the sort of pressure I personally see as effective. Have land caravans into the west bank doing the same.
      Cameras brought into the west bank by B'tselem are another good example. It's harder for the Israeli public or world supporters to call that an antisemitic anti-Israel act. So Israel has to squirm and make up excuses. I see these as cracks in Israel's armour.

      You're both suggesting that there are 2 ways of dealing with Israel - BDS or do nothing. I think what I suggest is a valid alternative (and as I said it doesn't necessarily contradict BDS)

    • Shingo -
      "You liberal Zionist types are so obvious and leave so little to the imagination that it’s pretty hard to miss."

      - you're not listening, are you?

      "But more to the point, you offered the weazle argument that your opposition to BDS is that it would be too slow and ineffective to bring justice to the Palestinians. It’s pretty obvious to everyone here that you didn’t offer an alternative strategy because you don’t have one. Your agenda is to maintain the status quo, while hoping to get away with maintaining the facade that you want peace."

      -I offered a strategy. You must haved missed my comments below. Rather than focusing on negative action, I think the world should focus on positive action - instead of convincing companies to stop doing business with Israel - demand that they do business with Palestine. Instead of demanding that academics or entertainers cancel their visits to Israel - demand that they visit the west bank and Israel but convey messages of outrage regarding Israeli war crimes/human rights abuse while there.
      I'm not saying BDS or military action against Israel would be wrong or evil, I am not saying Israel doesn't deserve isolation/world intervention - I'm saying that to me it seems impractical, time consuming and possibly counterproductive. Zionism is extreme nationalism and I don't see how economic or military pressure could change public opinion in Israel in a way that would cause Israelis to be less extreme. The opposite seems more true.
      Positive action on the other hand, in my opinion - has a stronger impact on public opinion in Israel. Imagine pictures of Robbie Williams taking a tour of Hebron and interviewed stating hoiw horrified he is. Wouldn't that have more influence than him simply cancelling? Imagine an HP distribution center opened in Ramallah and Israeli businesses forced to purchase hardware there. This isn't about letting the status quo stick. It's about strengthening Palestine and the Palestinian perspective rather than weakening Israel.

      If the end goal is 1 truly democratic state (or 2 states living in peace - take your pick), Israelis and Palestinians have to learn to live together.
      BDS or D day TLV won't do that...
      In my opinion, focusing on the positive will take less time and as a movement will find it easier to gain more worldwide support than BDS.
      p.s. my suggestion doesn't contradict BDS - so you could actually do both

    • kris -
      "tod77, to Shingo: “I doubt you want the occupation to end – what would you troll about then?”

      This is the kind of nasty comment that calls into question anything reasonable you may have written here, tod77."
      Kris - I was insulted by what Shingo wrote before:
      "Darling Tod is so eager for justice and peace for the Palestinians"..."Does this clown have any idea how bloody obvious he is".
      "the actual facts are slowly surfacing, and the likes of Tod don’t like it one bit"

      I guess I need thicker skin for mondoweiss... :)
      This happened the last time I was here, a few years ago.
      Mooser started jabbing at me so I simply stopped commenting...

      shingo - I apologize.

    • Kris - for example, have you ever seen at work?

    • shingo -
      "Because you know, an exchange of ideas doesn’t make Israel look so bad, but rather an unsuspecting participant in a series of unfortunate events"

      Are you saying you don't want Israelis to listen to what Palestinians have to say so they will look bad? or are you saying I want Israelis to listen because it will make them look good? - that sounds a lot like someone saying you are anti Israel because deep down you are antisemitic.
      Read what I wrote, think about what I wrote and if you want to go deeper and discuss my views - let me know.

      "The world has been inundated with Israel’s perspective for 65 years and now the other perspective (the actual facts) are slowly surfacing"

      You might be right that Israelis see less of the Palestinian perspective than Palestinians see of the Israeli perspective - I think that also came across in one of my previous posts, but that doesn't contradict my suggestions (or make them rubbish - in your words).

      facts are not perspectives - if you disagree with a religious person that his god exists, I argue that you should still try to understand his perspective and seek common ground rather than ignore or ridicule him.

      "The likes of Tod don’t like it one bit." - the likes of Tod seem to be disgusting beasts with horns and an appetite for smurfs. Wouldn't want to hear anything they have to say...

    • Shingo -
      Trying to fit people (especially clowns) into templates will make you miss - a lot.
      If you disagree with my ideas - explain what you disagree with and why.
      If you want to know more about my opinions - feel free to ask and I'll be happy to explain.

      I doubt you want the occupation to end - what would you troll about then?

    • Mooser - I don't think BDS is about changing public opinion in Israel. To me it seems more aimed at changing world opinion and forcing Israel to fall in line or face economic collapse (and personally I think it will fail or take too long to do either, which is why I don't support it).

    • Mooser - knowing the facts doesn't mean understanding them.

      There are so many "facts" that each side determines and the other disputes.
      Look at the comments above to see excellent examples.
      Is Israel an apartheid state because Palestinians in the west bank and gaza are deprived basic human rights or a democratic state because Israeli arabs have the right to vote?
      Who started the last round of violence? - Palestinians or Israelis?
      Is zionism and having a homeland for the jews a good idea or a bad idea?
      Is it practical and a good idea to rollback history 100 years? Is it practical and a good idea to rollback history 2000 years?

      These aren't questions of knowing the facts - they are questions of perspective.
      Each side sees it's own perspective/narrative as the truth and is ignorant or lacks understanding of the other side's perspective..

      Ironically, in many cases both sides base their perspective on true facts.
      All I am saying is that I would prefer to see an exchange of ideas rather than a war of ideas in the middle east...

    • a blah chick - my suggestion was just one example of what can be done positively - rather than negatively - what you wrote made me interested in finding out whether examples of what I wrote had actually happened.
      I found a few examples - but this youtube video gave a good example of what I meant.
      I know that it is Madonna, and she is extremely pro-Israel and pro-Zionism. And I know that she was very delicate and abstract in what she said.
      But still - not one voice in the crowd chanted "death to arabs" or booed.
      It makes me think - if she had taken it a step further and said something more "one sided" about the occupation and its toll -
      wouldn't that have had a better impact than her cancelling her tour?

    • Kris -
      "How long do you think this kind of strategy would have taken in apartheid South Africa, Algeria, or Nazi Germany?"
      I read a quote by De Klerk of South Africa a while back that claimed that the boycotting of South Africa delayed peace rather than promoted it. He said the only thing that brought peace in South Africa was direct negotiations. I admit to being ignorant on South Africa - but at least that seems to me an indication of a dispute regarding the true effect of boycott.
      As for Nazi Germany - you ask " how long must the Palestinians...?" - do you honestly see allied forces landing on the shores of Tel Aviv in the D day of Palestine as imminent? To me it seems a very very distant and unlikely future.
      The same seems to me to be true for economical pressure as I wrote above.
      You write "It is past time to send in armed European-led peace forces to protect the Palestinians and remove the Zionist thieves and squatters from Palestinian lands".
      I understand that you see my post as "wishful thinking". I will counter and say the alternatives you suggest are no less "wishful".
      We often focus on the negative, but the reality is that so many positive signs point to the fact that Jews and Muslims, Palestinans and Zionists - can live together peacfully and get along fine personally.
      All I am saying is let's strengthen that.

    • Citizen - I didn't mean pressure from within as in let the Israelis and Palestinians settle it for themselves! We've seen how hopeless that is!
      I meant create an environment that makes the Israeli public put pressure on the government. Work to change the public opinion in Israel - explode the bubble of denial Israelis live in and let them understand the Palestinian (and the rest of the world's) narrative.
      The are many ways to do this...
      I'll give a few examples of what I mean - instead of convincing popular rock stars to cancel their visit to Israel - convince them to go to Israel but spend the 1st 10 minutes of their performance talking about Palestine - or better yet - bring a Palestinian on stage to talk about their experiences under occupation.
      An example from social media - searching youtube for videos about Palestine gives hundred of links to videos trying to convince the world to emphasize with Palestine (or to hate Israel) - instead of doing that, create a video aimed at causing the Israeli youth to emphasize with Palestine and to understand the reality of the occupation.
      Instead of boycotting companies that do business or have offices in Israel (such as HP or Siemens) - convince those companies to open offices in Ramallah - and have those offices collaborate.

    • Eva - you state yourself - "Not sure if it all come to pass before or after massacre of Palestinians."
      See my comment below for my complete view on this - even if BDS could theoretically bring about the financial decline of Israel - how does this help the Palestinian cause?

    • Jonathan Cook reaches some correct conclusions, but puts together a very weak article to bring his point across. Presents few facts and supplements with his own unproven ideas (such as "Many are former soldiers who realised the occupied territories..." and "...economic elite...whose prestige, power and wealth depends on the occupation").
      To me, it seems hard to see how any drastic change could come from economic pressure. Iran, North Korea and Cuba are examples of how bringing a country to its knees economically has very little political impact. I'm not sure what "sticks" Mr. Cook refers to, but BDS or military action against Israel would, in my opinion, serve to rally the Israeli public opinion around the already strong nationalistic ideas (such as "the world is against us" and "we can only count on ourselves", etc.) gradually creating a more extreme Israeli public opinion, and weakening the chance for a peaceful solution in the holy land.
      Ironically, the same notion exists in the Israeli public with regards to the Gaza strip - "we will suffocate them financially and militarily, until they want to "live in peace" with us".
      Wouldn't a better long term strategy aim to create a rift between the Israeli people and the current leadership? Wouldn't it be better to invest money and effort in positive action - such as educating the people of Israel\Palestine on the other side and its narrative, promoting Israeli-Palestinian industrial collaboration or maintaining cultural exchanges between the two peoples.
      Regardless of whether you support the one-state or two-state solution - in the end, Palestinians and Israelis will have to learn to live with each other between the Jordan river and the Sea. I find it hard to see how BDS or military action will help do that.
      (To clarify in case it isn't obvious - I'm not saying that any of Israel's actions be ignored or accepted - merely that a different kind of pressure be exerted - from within)

  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
    • It might be hysteria, and it might be that a few of the people on the bus were unsettled by the "tense" situation in Israel, and would not have reacted in hysteria otherwise - but that's just a lame excuse for the wrong misdeed. The really unsettling (disgusting) thing about the video is the fact that the guy in uniform has a sense of entitlement. A feeling that in uniform he can do whatever he wants to non-jews.
      I really hated the title of this article, because I don't like taking singular instances of one person committing a crime as proof of misdoings of a society as a whole, (I'm not saying Israel isn't drowning in racism, I'm saying this video doesn't reveal that), but you do get a sense of what arab citizens of Israel have to go through at the innumerable checkpoints, security checks, airports and the like. This guy might represent 10% of Israeli population or he might represent 90% - but take a @$#(profanity self-censored) guy like this and put him in the wrong place, with a uniform and gun, and you make the life of a whole population living hell.
      In Israel, it is very easy for any Israeli jew to get a uniform, a gun and a job in the wrong place.

  • Israel has three years to end the occupation -- Abbas
    • A time limit lets the US say to Israel "time is running out for peace in the middle east".


    • Do you get more points by dying? - and then when you reach a certain number of points you get freedom?
      If the west bank loses $ will that give them freedom?
      I think the situation is more complicated by that.

      Abbas should be replaced. That is obvious - but by who?

    • He is corrupt, but to say he is a traitor is harsh, in my opinion.
      He has acted against Hamas, just as Hamas have acted against Fatah. He has simply been more successful at doing so because of his Israeli backing.
      In the end, corruption aside I believe he has acted in the interests of the Palestinian people, just as Hamas - but with a different strategy. You can argue with that strategy, but the fact is that neither the strategy of Hamas or the strategy of Fatah have been very successful against Israel and its European and American military and political backing.
      In the end, unity should be the most important goal of both sides at the moment. Doing otherwise will only help the long term Ariel Sharon disengagment plan.

    • Well written

  • 'Provocative political symbol' -- UEFA fines clubs when fans fly Palestinian flags
    • Completely agree with what you wrote about the flag Annie.
      Regarding the chanting, all I'm saying is that I don't think it is a matter of freedom of speech, because it is legitimate to disallow political protest in football fields.

      I couldn't find anywhere that mentioned what they were chanting, but I did find this:

      Again - as a football supporter, attending premier league games every now and then, I don't think political chanting should be allowed. Whether its against Israel, Palestine, protestants, or tories.

      Are Palestine supporters being singled out? - probably...

      I did have a quick search for "fine", "chanting" and came up with this :

      so to be fair to UEFA, not only pro palestine supporters are being signalled out, but I suppose pro- IRA chanting is also an easy target...
      It's pretty obvious that pro Israel supporters would not be fined, because international law doesn't apply if you're zionist.

      Again, to make sure what I'm saying is clear - I think the chanting is something that might warrant a fine.
      Fining the club, because of people proudly raising the Palestine flag, is something that is outrageous beyond words.
      What you said about the Palestine flag being considered
      A "political symbol" is utter lunacy and will never stand in court.

    • According to:

      St. Johnston said the fine is for raising the flag and chanting.

      The chanting changes the picture slightly so I retract what I wrote above.
      If they were chanting political messages, that would be against the regulations and would make sense.

      I wouldn't want to go to a sports game and see two sets of audiences chanting "death to Israel" and "death to arabs" at each other (or "down with Obama" for that matter). I would expect this to be discouraged.

    • No way this will stand.
      Palestine is recognized as a state in the UN.
      They have a national football team that plays in tournaments.
      Not enough to cancel the fine. Someone in UEFA should be sacked for ignorance and stupidity (or worse).

  • Israel's right wing Zionists, Palestine's militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter
    • Hi W,

      I still do not see why left nationalists could not intervene for the Palestinians, disregarding the "historical right to the land" as a compromise to secure the jewish state set as a goal. The Israeli left, as I read it, would mostly like to see a Palestinian state in the west bank and Gaza, and an Israeli state in the rest of historic Palestine
      This includes dismantling many, most or all of the settlements currently in the west bank.
      This could be realistically implemented. The biggest flaw, as I mentioned, would not be internal, but rather that this plan does not allow the just return of Palestinians to all of historic Palestine, pre-nakba.
      The expectation thus is for the Palestinians to compromise on this right.
      Why would the Israeli left drive hard for a Palestinian state in the west bank and Gaza? - to give the Palestinians something that will tempt them to compromise the right of return.

      You wrote that the left could not implement their ideology because it contradicts itself.
      With this I disagree. I do not think this contradiction makes the ideology unrealistic.
      If anything, the ideology is unrealistic because it falls short of satisfying Palestinian rights and wishes, however in my opinion, 1SS seems even more far-fetched with the current state of things.
      By the way, another solution I found very interesting, suggested by the Israeli left, comprises of a temporary 2SS, with gradual transition to 1SS over a few generations.

    • If anything, I would say the collonial influences of Europe were more significant in the creation of Zionism as we now know it.
      The big flaw in zionism that is haunting us until today - late 19th century europeans didn't treat non-europeans as equals (a visit to the british museum in london is a great illustration of this).
      American influence came much later, after the seeds of anger, hate and violence had already been sown.

    • He supports one state solution - democratic non jewish state and bds on Israel until that happens. You can't get much further left within Israel - you won't have a lot of Israeli's saying:"hey, I guess it's time to return to Poland where we belong"

    • Some of what you wrote rings true, but I disagree with most of your conclusions.

      You over simplify the behaviour of the Israeli left, treating ideology as something that cannot be compromised.
      Even if the Israeli left sees the land as historically theirs, that does not mean they believe settlers should be allowed to move in at will. Land in Jordan is also part of the historic Israelite kingdom, yet the Israeli left lays no claim to it.
      If, say Meretz, had 70% of the vote, would settlement expansion continue - I think not.
      Would anyone in the Israeli left agree that Israel is in the conquest phase? - not likely.
      The Israeli left is content with the colony already established pre 1967, and mostly sees the extension of Gaza and the west bank as an inconvenience to be rid of.

      You are also disregarding the extreme left (Gideon Levy as an example), post-zionists, etc...

      There is a lot to criticize the Israeli left about (such as its view on the Palestinian right of return), but what you wrote does not accurately represent left wing Israeli opinions.

      To recap, The Israeli left is willing to "compromise" on the specific points you raised.
      However, this still places its opinions short of a just solution for the Palestinians.

  • Ian McEwan says Israel was 'disproportionately violent' in Gaza and practices 'ethnic cleansing' in Jerusalem
    • Michelle and Mooser - you're completely right about the carrot and that was part of my point. The US has been feeding carrots and probably even other vegetables. That should not have happened.
      On a side note, Michelle - if Israel would have less $ support, sadly it might mean more oppression and more violence. Look at syria - you can oppress and murder with very little means...

      Mooser - my point about the social media, was that instead of trying to convince the Israeli government by carrots and sticks which have proved ineffective, attack the weakest links - the people - who I personally have not given up hope for (and I know you have). I don't see why it should be harder to convince a zionist in Haifa than to convince a zionist in Miami.
      There is so much information in mondoweiss and other sites that is not reaching the Israeli public. I wonder what would happen if it did...

    • You mock his words, but think about what he is really saying.

      The European and American attitude towards the rest of the world has been arrogant and condescending. In Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Korea, China (and the list goes on), we have been trying to force our wills upon other countries with the carrot and stick strategy.
      Has that led to any success whatsoever?

      Ideas and words are stronger than rockets.
      The Israeli public is heavily influenced by Israeli media. But nowadays social media engages better than anything else. I say that is the weak spot of Israeli denial.

  • In Gaza, Palestinians celebrate resistance and credit it with 'victory'
    • Thanks Annie,

      Excuse the naivety, but does that mean that pew fabricate data? I couldn't find any criticism about them online... how can I know who to trust????

    • Hmmm...

      just posted.

      Support for Hamas is spiking...

      I stand by what I wrote, but the facts don't ;)

    • I don't agree with what Yonah said about only Hamas celebrating.
      It's obvious that all Gazans are celebrating. Wouldn't you, after being through what they've just been through and staying alive?

      It's also clear that Palestinians are unified. But they are united behind an idea and not a political party or leader.

      Whether support for Hamas will grow or decline is still unclear, but I expect will depend on their next actions.
      Over the last few years, support for them has definitely been declining.
      Found this link on the Hamas wikipedia:
      I found it interesting that opinions on Hamas are worse in Gaza than in the west bank.
      (probably also a useful link to counter remarks of: "the Palestinians deserve what happened. They voted for Hamas and support them)"

      Perhaps it would be in Hamas's best interests to strengthen Mahmoud Abbas, despite his many shortcomings?
      As the saying goes, keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer...

    • Both sides claim victory. How surprising...
      Interesting that both Hamas and the Israeli government mention how the victory has paved the path for a better future, but neither lay down any hint of a strategy to reach that future, and neither take concrete steps down that path.

      The only people who deserve to be commended are the Palestinian people, who despite living through hell time after time, keep calm and carry on.
      Hamas have lost their way. They look more like Islamic Jihad than a social and political organization aiming to replace Fatah.
      The military wing gains power, while the social welfare and political wings weaken, drawn to react rather than act.
      I hope they use the cease fire for reform rather than for victory celebrations.
      As for the Israeli government - not much hope for reform there...

    • - Abu Obida, the spokesman of Al-Qassam brigades, said that the conflict had shown the need to completely revise the methods of national struggle. “Negotiations are not enough with these occupiers.”

      Too many in Israel\Palestine miss that what ended this was negotiations, rather than combat.

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • Am I the only one reading this and thinking that it stretches a bit too far...
      Jeff Halper gives a nice historical recount of a few of the milestones of the conflict, but then somehow reaches conclusions that seem wishful thinking more than anything else.

      "More than 2000 killed in Gaza, another 12,000 injured. Some 20,000 homes destroyed, 475,000 people displaced. Six billion dollars in damage to buildings and infrastructure. And for what? Israel may have finally discovered the limits of force and violence."

      Israel have discovered the limits of force? Israel??? - right... I can see Netanyahu calling up a press conference to convey that message to the masses... oops, sorry- he announced the expansion of settlements instead...

      "Israel itself will never know security and normal life for all the “blows” it administers the Palestinians, as long as it maintains its Occupation"

      This sentence hides a nice little Hasbara motto. That the Palestinians are depriving Israel of its security and normal life. I hate to break the news, but pretty much most of Israel lived through the war with barely a dent to their lifestyle. Most of Israel lives in a bubble, in calm suburbia, watching the war on high tech TV's while ordering in pizza or sushi. The war in Gaza is as distant as the war in Iraq. The war was an inconvenience to them (excluding those that live near Gaza), nothing more. And now that the war in Gaza is over, people in Israel can continue to worry about IS, or Iran, or the rising price of housing.

      "At least Abbas seems to have gotten the message"

      Again, nice idea, but does not fit in with the real world. If Netanyahu and Obama beckon, Abbas will come.

      "Israel will either have to deal justly with the Palestinians or, indeed, disappear"

      "disappear" sounds cool, but in the end doesn't really add up to anything tangible.
      It would take tens of years for the Israeli lobby in the US and Europe to lose its power, BDS will take even longer to be effective and even then Israel would have the option of taking the Iran strategy (Buying time and giving little concessions to shut up world wide criticism). At worst, Israel can always pull off another disengagement...

      Bottom line, I don't see how there will be "justice" and "accountability" the way things are going.
      A realistic and effective Palestinian (+ rest of world) strategy is needed. And now.

  • In Photos: Thousands pack Rafah streets for funeral of top Hamas commanders
    • jpb - First read the ICC wikipedia. The ICC is a tool that is very useful if you plan to prosecute an African state.
      There was a link a while back about Israeli lawfare too, but I can't find it, if someone has it, please post it here.
      Also see:
      In a nutshell, going to the ICC is as significant as being declared a state by the UN general assembly.

    • Not sure if you were going for ironic, sarcastic or apathetic, but - what?!
      Are you attacking Israel for bombing Gaza in an attempt to find everlasting peace?
      Are you attacking the Palestinians for holding funerals?
      Are you saying that if the Palestinians had gone to the ICC a couple of weeks ago, this whole mess would have been ancient history, with all Gazans living happily ever after?

  • Air strikes and rocket fire resume as Gaza negotiations collapse
    • On the contrary, people in Gaza are NOT prepared to die.

    • Eljay: :-)

    • Talknic - The question of legality is not one that matters to Israel, Hamas or to the 2000 dead in Gaza.
      Hamas are not under legal obligation to compromise anything, but practically the only way to end conflicts is by one side winning or by both losing.
      Both sides have to compromise, which in a way is probably the reason Hamas brought up the matter of the ports, just as Israel is calling for disarming Hamas.
      None of these demands are ridiculous, but they are impractical. Mayhem - it may be convenient for you to believe that Hamas are solely responsible for the breakdown of talks - but in the end both sides cannot afford not to appear the winner at the end of the negotiations. A compromise should allow both sides to claim victory, while compromising to allow the other side a victory too.
      Eljay - your analogy of a rapist is simplistic, but even so, strengthens the importance of practicality. Do you honestly expect the rapist to find moral enlightment and admit himself to an asylum?
      Do you honestly expect the victim to thank the rapist for the freedom bestowed, and not go and buy a shotgun?

  • Fraternizing with minorities in Israel
    • Also - Yesterday the state of Israel transferred the land around the grave of Jethro, (holy to the druze) to the religious leader of the druze community.

      See :'ayb
      "After Israel's establishment in 1948, and the total depopulation of Hittin which had been a predominantly Muslim village, the Druze were granted full custodianship over the tomb, and an additional 100 dunams surrounding it"


      “Even if I have to walk there, I will go back to Gaza. The division is currently continuing in its main mission: to uncover the tunnels and destroy as many terrorists as possiible. We killed many terrorists, and that’s what needs to be done. There were skirmishes in which we killed 10 and 15 terrorists."

      Druze fought with Israel against the palestinians in 1947, and have higher rates of recruitment than Israeli jews.

  • Hamas equals ISIS in 'grisly creeds and grisly deeds,' Netanyahu tells a nodding Cuomo
  • Have I failed to acknowledge Palestinian violence?
    • Can't see it being implemented either.
      It also states that it should take 15 years, and that's AFTER the world decides it to be the best solution.

      What I found interesting was that the idea is based on an idea raised by Israeli extremist, Moshe Feiglin. I would laugh if it wasn't so sad...

    • I completely agree.
      Despite MANY wrong-doings and a barrel of criticism, the PA have embraced non-violence as best they could. I feel that this gained them much more in terms of international support than violence could ever have achieved.

      A small note: Palestinians and Israelis didn't get along well (at a national level, not personal - which is always there) before 1947. Zionism began in the 19th century, and it was clear pretty early on that Zionism doesn't fit in well with the existence of Palestine as a Palestinian entity.

    • At the risk of opening a thread that will shut down all internet traffic on the east coast - how do you see the resolution of the conflict if not by a two-state solution (and ensuing civil war).
      Looking at the one state solution it seems to me that it is even more hopeless than the pit of despair that is the two state solution.

      The best case scenario I can see when considering the one state is this:
      1) Israel and Palestinian are offered the one state solution - Israel says no
      2) The Israeli lobby worldwide fights the notion, causing governments to stall pressure on Israel.
      3) A couple more wars later, grassroots campaigns and BDS campaigns cause the world opinion to overpower the Israeli lobby - this realistically will take (I'm guessing) 10 years.
      4) World governments begin the gradual process of sanctioning Israel and forcing Israel to comply with the one-state solution. At the rate that has worked with Iran, and taking into account many other conflicts that will sideline the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (such as cold war #2), this might take another 10 years.
      5) Israel either:
      a) is bombed by NATO into submission
      b) Sidesteps to the two state solution (sans refugees), removing all settlements from the west bank and gaza, thus defusing the world pressure
      c) Finds alternative allies (as Iran has done) in Russia or China?
      d) Understands the error of its ways, and decides that its xenophobic practices have been flawed, and that the existential threat it feels was PTSD, and welcomes the 1 state solution.

      So, at best we are saying that we can have the one state solution in 20 years?
      Is that the best we can hope for?

      Take into account that I oversimplified because I want to hear your opinion, not my own.
      I'm not talking about which solution is more just and fair, I'm talking about which solution is more realistic and can end the suffering ASAP.
      I know the two state solution seems impossible, but isn't the one state solution even less possible realistically?
      How do you see the conflict resolved? (how long would it take and what needs to be done?)

  • Imagine you are a Palestinian academic or a student
    • I find it invigorating, that the first of the questions is:
      "How long do we have to suffer to lead a normal academic life like other academics and students in other countries?"

      Never cease to ask ALL these questions. The madness will end. Life will prevail.

  • Watch: Young Israeli Jew at Western Wall calls for 'another war and another war and another war and another war'
    • Weiss - well said.
      I used to consider myself center 20 years ago. My views haven't changed yet I find myself in the extreme left.
      You say "this jew will not be silent".
      What can be done?
      How do you stop brown shirts?

    • Haven't we been asking enough?
      What's the answer mooser?

    • @mooser:
      If the world didn't suck, we'd fall off.
      Was that what you were criticizing?

    • Completely agree with you Bilal.
      "Naive Americans"????
      That's going easy on America.
      Western civilization is anti-muslim, anti-arab, anti-anything not western.
      People are people.
      Children worldwide are growing up learning otherwise.

    • Hophmi is wrong in what he says, but your answers to his post have been so full of hatred and incitement you sound a little like the people in the video.

      Hophmi - you are right that many similar videos exist showing palestinians saying the same about Israelis, but that does not make it acceptable.
      Many children growing up in on both sides of a conflict will grow up to be with views similar to those expressed in the video, but that is the exact reason why the occupation must end.

      To those commenting on hophmi - had the video depicted palestinians would you have said they are disgusting, bloodthirty, cruel, immoral and inhumane criminals?
      No - and that is the point hophmi was raising.
      You can and should say to this that the conflict is not balanced, because one side is a conqueror and the other conquered, but your attacks on hophmi say other things.

      Philip - IMHO your line "When Herzl heard the anti-Semites saying Death to the Jews outside the Dreyfus trial, he did not say, Oh it’s only a few Parisians." really hits the nail. The occupation must end. Because it's not getting any prettier.

  • A month of solidarity in London -- does the BBC get the message?
    • I personally followed the media very closely during the current war in Gaza.
      I followed Ynet, Haaretz, Alarabiya, Aljazeera, Daily Star, CNN and BBC.
      In my honest opinion, the BBC were the fairest of the lot.
      The real upsetting truth is that none of the above, and probably none of the other international media is really concerned with journalistic truth. Each presents the truth as they want it to be told.
      Thank god for the internet...

  • Is the firing of Steven Salaita the beginning of a new Blacklist?
    • The analogy of what I'm saying is that you can boycott a company that experiments on animals and not buy their soap.
      Say that company has a salesman who is giving a lecture on the products.
      You can call upon people to avoid going to that lecture because he is trying to sell the products that you would like to boycott.
      If that salesman then tries to sell his car, and you call upon people not to buy his car, you've moved to a personal boycott and IMHO gone too far.

    • You can do whatever you want, but its a slippery slope.
      Wouldn't it be better to educate those hollywood producers, and explain to them the error of their ways?
      A lot of people in the states, and elsewhere in the world like to express their opinions, despite not having really gone too deep into the details.
      They read a headline or two, form an opinion and start spewing rhetoric wherever they can.
      It's true for both sides of the palestine conflict, and for many other conflicts worldwide.
      The situation in the middle east is very complex and you don't become an expert simply by speaking out loud.
      Look at Iraq - it was easy to speak out against Saddam Hussein and call for american intervention. Was it really that simple?
      I say - people need to understand this. Understand that if you really want to contribute, you need to understand the whole picture, and you don't get that from your local media...

      Shouting down and boycotting IMHO doesn't educate - it causes alienation.
      (again - I'm not referring to BDS against Israel, I'm referring to BDS against citizens of your own country)

    • There's a difference between boycotting an institution and boycotting an individual.
      BDS is very careful only to target institutions.
      Blacklisting an individual because of his views is one step away from behaving like North Korea.
      Always respect others' opinions, even if they are the complete opposite of your own, and fight for your opponents rights to express those opinions.

  • Daily News publisher, Gov. Cuomo, Yankees president, and NE Patriots' owner are latest to rush to Israel's side
    • Hi Eva,

      I'll explain my comment.
      Bilal wrote : "Bloomberg and Cuomo are partners in an organized crime venture" and then went on about "Jewish gangsters in America" and "Murder Incorporated killed over 1000 people across the nation".

      It seemed to me (perhaps I am mistaken), that Bilal is saying that Bloomberg and Cuomo are partners in organized crime, and are similar to jewish gangsters that murdered 1000 people.

      The only connection I see between Murder Inc and Bloomberg and Cuomo is the fact that Murder Inc were jews.

      It would equally bother me if Bilal connected between Cuomo and the Italian mafia based only on him being of Italian origin.

      I might be missing something, so would be glad if you or Bilal could explain.

    • This comment about Murder Inc is in very bad taste.
      Philip Weiss is fairly criticizing Cuomo and Bloomberg because of their political views on Israel.
      You are making a connection between them and Jewish organized crime, based on a single fact: they are jews.
      That's not political rhetoric - that's antisemitism.

  • Serving Israel's aim of lowering civilian deaths, 'New York Times' Gaza tally says 15- to 17-year-old's aren't children
    • ????????

      No - I was actually thinking that the situation in Syria and the ebola virus are because of these comments...


    • The Meir Amit center gives a very detailed list of the names of the dead according to the palestinian health ministry, but looking through their site, they make no distinction between children and adults - they list each death individually stating the precise age.
      Nothing on that site gave the NYTimes an excuse for representing 15-17 year olds as adults.
      I went over the list of names (currently the first 300 deaths).
      2 17-year olds, 1 18-year old and 3 19-year olds.
      Out of 300!
      I hardly see the statistical significance of counting these 2 17-year olds as children or as combatants.
      I agree with the notion that the percentage of civilians\ millitants is disputable, but what the NYTimes did here is inexcusable propaganda.
      They simplified and manipulated the data to the point that it served their agenda.
      That makes them no better than media that presents pictures of the dead from Syria as being from Gaza.
      The ethics code journalists should follow ( for an example) has become a joke.

    • This whole thread is taking this issue the wrong way.
      The fact that the NYTimes report placed 15-17 year olds in the wrong category, is not an excuse to joke about the three 17-19 year olds that were murdered.
      (allegedly by Hamas - means that they might have been murdered by Hamas - not that they might be alive)
      Most Palestinian children died as non-combatants. Those 15-19 year old teenagers that died as combatants do not ease the blame from the Israeli or Palestinian leadership for this senseless bloodshed, and we have the right to mourn and honor their deaths, but that does not make it ok to justify the deaths of Israeli non-combatants.
      By demonizing Israeli citizens and undervaluing their deaths, you place yourself on the moral ground of an Israeli determining that a Palestinian 5 year old whose father works in the Hamas traffic police deserves to die.

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