Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 876 (since 2010-07-08 12:35:09)


Showing comments 876 - 801

  • Did the BBC cover up the anti-Semitism of Gaza's children?
    • As much as possible I think the second of those.

    • I think of course you are right that someone would have said something like that but we shouldn't cater to those who will make extreme interpretations in the name of their politics.

      To give avery neutral example of my point:

      An early translator of the Tale of Genji thought to put chairs into the story in translation.

      Why chairs?

      Because he did not think any Westerner would believe that aristocrats anywhere would sit directly on the floor as Heian era (and later) nobles did.

      Fortunately, this did not become a trend.

      So, should translators change things for the context of the reader/listener or express the worldview of the speaker/writer? As much as possible I think not.

    • I defer humbly to your specific experience but in general, with translation, I think its a mistake to translate inaccurately in the name of trying to be more accurate. "al-yahood" does not mean Zionist or Israeli.

      Related, documentaries about the Pacific Theatre started in about the 90's to edit out or even overdub the word "Jap" used by American soldiers recalling their experience of 50 years prior because in the American political context this would have not only caused angry phone calls and letters but (similar to what I think you are saying) would have made the soldiers less sympathetic. I thought that was a mistake as much as I hate that word. "Japs" too may have only meant the hated enemy not every Japanese person.

    • The emotional and political consequences and implications for every group are important but only secondarily.


      1) the truth matters and should be presented.
      2) If violence is done to Palestinians in the name of Jews than Jews will have to accept that it is reasonable for Palestinian children to conclude Jews are bad people.
      3) If Palestinian rhetoric has elements of anti-semitism that needs to be out front as well.

      Finally, I do believe strongly that the lives of any people are more important than the feelings of others, so it would not matter to me if the kids were quoting Hitler, it makes their lives and property no less valuable. (after peace an justice I will debate them about anti-semitism).

    • When Palestinians say "Yahud" it should be translated as "Jew" full stop.

      The emotional and political consequences and implications for every group are important but only secondarily.

      Meanwhile, the "special victimhood" claim is an old canard, stretching from a time where Jews were indeed experiencing discrimination and violence. If the Jews would just stop being Jews and claiming to be discriminated against it would all go away. Old argument predating Israel by centuries. Anti-semtiism doesn't need Israel.

      There is no comparison between prejudice experienced by African Americans and by Jews in America, however saying that "anti-Semitism" is a superfluous or special term (itself aggressive) is not only the above described ancient tactic, but exactly like the lame #alllivesmatter retort to #blacklivesmatter. What its claiming (beyond these Jews and their constant kvetching) is -- your particular is already covered by our definition of universal.

      Thats not true for any minority group, not just Jews. Each has its own particular relationship with the world and the majority, and the majority tends to like to blame minority for not properly assimilating.

  • The extremism of the center in Israel
    • Which is worse, being completely cynical, not giving a crap about the lives and property of the people being disrupted by occupation and then condemning this horrible act with feigned shock, mostly politically/PR motivated?

      Or, being genuinely shocked, and yet unable to see the connection between "genteel" occupation in the "suburbs" of Jerusalem etc... and the inevitability of this type of crime, committed by the advanced guard that escorts colonial settlement every single time, everywhere, in all of history?

      I vote the second and I believe its the case of the majority of Israelis and US supporters.

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • א חסרון: די כלה איז צו שיין

      Its Yiddish. The problem: The bride is too pretty. Used when someone finds a problem in anything.

      But who knows what point Mooser was trying to make other than he knows some Yiddish and that all stories here are, finally, about him and his humorous monologue.

  • In wake of January attacks, French Muslims have been demonized in manufactured 'clash of civilizations'
    • Actually, DoubleStandard, Islam was in Europe before many now Christian places were Christian, especially in the East of the continent. So, Islam is indigenous to Europe. Not at all a foreign religion, by the way, the exact thing motherf*kers did to us Jews, even though we resided in, for example, Germany for a thousand years So, shame on you! Moreover, if a Muslim is born in Europe s/he is an indigenous European Muslim.

      I do suspect, however, that some here who parse, contextualise and deny antisemitism, even that it should have its own name, will nonetheless find much worthy utility in Islamophobia.

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • Ok sure you have a point Mooser which I concede. "we," the Jews who bought the story.

      If you never did, good on you (no sarcasm).

    • Congrats on your moral purity and forwardness.

      The article is about Israel hoodwinking American Jews.

      The "we" refers to American Jews.


    • Without a doubt. A many decades seduction.
      But, Israel as it is, not as we learned it, can't stay behind the curtain.

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • Donald July 24, 2015, 2:50 pm
      Annie–I agree with all that. Interesting how several of us had similar reactions.

      Annie Robbins July 24, 2015, 4:18 pm
      yes, very interesting donald.

      Totally predictable. My first thought when I read this. No way its getting a pass even if its criticising Zionists. Because, here, "anti-Semitism" is largely a Jewish tactic, and disappears in historical context anyway.

    • This is a case of an author not understanding his audience.

      Norton obviously thinks that there is such a thing as anti-semtisim (that can have its own label).
      He thinks anti-Semitism is ipso-facto a bad thing.
      He thinks that by calling Zionists "bad" people here, and pinning the tail on the Christian Zionists he will earn support and praise here.

      But, if he stuck around the comment section he would "learn" from the scholars and historians and human rights activists here that:

      Anti-semitism was not endemic to pre-war Europe.
      Anti-semitism in fact does not even need to be a term because its just another bigotry. In fact its anti-gentile to use the term anti-semitic.
      Where it did exist (if) it has a rational context and explanation and by the way, everybody was hated by everybody anyway.
      Where it does exist (Jewish schools getting shot up or Jews murdered in grocery stores) its not a priority.

    • Giles--


      Goldenhagen's thesis is that the German people in specific and much of pre-war Europe generally had within it enough animosity towards Jews that they served as "willing executioners" rather than gullible dupes of Hitler and his regime.

      The people that talk the most about "pre-truamatic syndrome" etc... are mostly Jew-hobbiests, not any serious or informed people, Jewish and not-Jewish.

      Antisemitism, like any other idea, should be studied as much as possible in light of history not to suit the needs of Zionists or anti-Zionisists. Its impossible to remove presentism and politics form any history but we should, I think, try.

    • Joe --

      Do you believe that Jews believing (in various ways) that they are God's Chosen just represents another religious choice (theirs is the right one) or is that somehow distinct, and a form of prejudice against non-Jews?

  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • Giles-

      "communists" that is Leninists, Stalinists, Maoists and Kim Juche-ists etc... have done there fair share in fact more than to conflate communism with totalitarianism and to vilify the system they purported to represent.

  • There are 326,000 children near Tel Aviv who won't be hearing Caetano Veloso
    • Jon S,

      Shmuel is exactly right.

      Remember the old "if only the Palestinians had a Gandhi..?"

      Well now they do have a Gandhi strategy as Gandhi was the original BDS man.

      You can oppose it but mocking it is beyond crass and highly revealing.

  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
    • But unverified is not just saying Jews where Zionists would do all the work needed.

      Unverified is making claims about -THE Jews- which especially given that he is doing so on Mondoweiss about Max Blumenthal is incoherent and seems indeed like “a rant from a questionable person.”

  • 'We should seize it' -- Obama announces Iran deal as 'new direction' for the Middle East
    • That would be my exact math.

      Included in there in the "doing the right thing" category probably for Obama is rebalancing the historic power centres of the Islamic world and -- somehow trying to squeeze Israel as a permanent player. Quite the opposite of helping the Iranian regime wipe Israel off the map etc...

    • ... that a -stable- larger ME...

    • Obama, imo, along with other Democrats, is actually trying to reshape Israel into a country that can be supported (and protected) in this new millennium. Supported without the wrath of more progressive Democrats, and which (at least superficially) conforms more generally to American ideals, and increased expectations for the Middle East.

      I am not saying this is realistic or possible but I am sure that it is why Obama is generally confused and more than mildly p.o'd that people think he is trying to harm Israel. He does see himself as the tough intervener, the good friend who sticks with his buddy when when he's acting up but lays down firm rules of engagement.

      The deal itself was constructed (brilliantly or naively we will see) with Israel (and Saudi) stability in mind, with the idea that a larger ME (including Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan) is good for everyone, especially our two most important allies.

      Hillary, btw, is perfectly happy with 20th century whatever, whenever.

    • The current Israeli government is like a drug addict relative refusing an intervention (because everything is not just ok but great, in fact never been better.).

      Obama intervened.

      And/but this deal does not harm Israel, it helps Israel become a more legitimate state with more normalised relations.

      I think that may not have dawned on some celebrants here and widely.

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • Lastly, unless you want to continue, I actually find your original statement (which I did not read right away) about the distinguishing between, say, you and a woman suffering in a society where FGM is the norm and then you and a man in your own society, to be well phrased and imo correct.

      White Jews in the US in the 1970's compared to other white Americans, especially otherEuropean immigrants, no great difference.

      My conversation with Keith has been way beyond that delimitation.

    • tree-- do you think I need to tell Hophmi and other Zionists that I think Zionism is a moral disaster in order to have more leverage to tell MW comment section Jew hobbyists that I think they are hypocrites and double-standard bearers.

      I dont think so.

      Bornajoo has never come close to Keith in terms of denying the reality of anti-Semitism in Europe before the war, or minimising it so that it has no meaning. I have never seen bornajoo with Jew lists or rants about Jewish power. When he or she does, if I am around and have time, I would say something.

      That said, I don't doubt I treat a person who identifies themselves as a woman or Chinese or Muslim on issues which relate to those groups differently than someone who identifies themselves and not a woman, Chinese or Muslim. I know from what he has written that bornajoo has many experiences, positive and negative, with Jews and Judaism and that he (I think he mentioned a kippah once so he) has actually studied Judaism. I assume from the way he writes that Keith with his Shahak and Jew lists is like the Islamophobe who knows a couple of weak hadith, has read ibn Ishak, knows the word "taqquia" and yet styles themselves an expert on Islam.

      PS I brought up my relatives and the ensatzgruppen to point out that one can indeed talk about past wrongs without kvetching or implying they are worse than other crimes. I am genuinely sorry about your great-great grandmother and I would be offended anyone who made a statement like "people who descended from people who starved to death are really hungry for sympathy" which I find the very rude formulation of Jews "kvetching" about antisemitism to be akin. At best rude. Especially if I styled myself a "human rights activist."

    • No comparison between blacks and Jews in American history. The suffering of African Americans could only be compared to Natives certainly not any European group.
      Keith has stated repeatedly that Jewish identity is warped because it focuses on oppression. I am pointing out that other groups too incorporate a history of oppression into their identity and it does nit have to be a unhealthy thing in general. I suggested that in groups he might be more sympathetic with this could be seen as an element of strength. More importantly I am pointing out that the kind of calls for context on this thread are decried when used to minimize the suffering of sympathetic victims.

    • No need for straw. Keith made a few statement, Annie agreed with one, and I replied to both.

    • I hope you are right. I think it is definitely the majority but I was talking to someone who argues that anti-semitism, in the larger context was not such a big deal.

    • To a very small extent and nothing in comparison to African Americans.

      I am talking to Keith who consistently denies antisemitism, even in Europe, and who contextualises it in a way that is exactly how people who want to diminish Palestinian suffering do it.

      My point is that overcoming oppression does not have to be a negative identity trait as Keith implies in the case of Jews, a group he is clearly not sympathetic with.

      Annie is very deservedly slammed here as someone would be if they said feminists are always "bitching" about sexism etc...

      I disagree with just about everything Hopmi writes so no chance of that.

    • Talk to Keith.

    • Keith --

      When people compare the total deaths of Palestinians in the entire conflict to the deaths of Syrians in the last few years, when people say passing through a checkpoint is nothing compared to being hanged for being gay in Iran or thrown off of a building by ISIS, they are contextualising for the purpose of minimising.

      This is exactly the way you think reasonable people should do with claims of so-called antisemtisim (which you barely admit ever existed anywhere, even in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Reformation).

      My relatives were shot in a town square for the crime of being Jewish. That makes me really sad and to relate that as a fact of history in no way minimises the crimes committed by Japan against Asian civilians or by the Nazis against others. Its not kvetching to know and relate and even in some senses take past oppression into ones identity.

      Overcoming oppression is the tradition of African Americans and the sumud tradition of Palestinians. If you admire the group its "We Shall Overcome" and if you don't as in the case of you and Annie, its kvetching.

      Zionism might have been the worst possible solution but the problem of antisemitism was real.

    • Mooser--

      Not you in specific. I have very little problem with anything you write and with most of what you seem (though cryptic moments) to believe.

      My only beef with you is when you used to (much less now thanks) purposely misread what I was clearly saying so that you could launch some silly zinger. I also find it annoying when you carry your jokes over threads and expect even authors above the byline to be in on your inside humour, as if that is the main purpose of the comment section.

      Otherwise, were good.

    • Keith -- I wonder how many Jews you know or have talked to or what books you have read from within the Jewish tradition. My guess is very few and very few.

    • Really Keith and Annie --

      So when people contextualise Israeli oppression of Palestinians by citing the context of the Middle East, what do you call that?

      I think you call it Hasbara.

      Annie I find the use of kvetching and anti-Semitism to be despicable (and yes there is much exaggerated anti-semitism in Zionist rhetoric. I don't expect much from Keith but from you I find that respectfully disappointing.

    • Bornajoo, I actually don't disagree with anything you have written here.

      But, I stand by the observation that generally this comment section champions with anti-semitism the very kind of contextualisation, mitigation and rationalisation that would be spotted on a hair trigger were it aimed at reducing concern about Islamophibia or anti-Palestinian behaviour and attitudes.

    • Not sure why my edit function does not work so I'll amend here:

      Being a white, Jew, especially male, especially on the East Coast, by the 1970's was a category more of privilege than disadvantage...

    • I think its fairly clear that by the 1970's being Jewish in America was more an advantage than a disadvantage and most Jews of the time were living lives like Phils, not what Oren claims.

      But seriously, those who are not Jewish commenting on how the never noticed any anti-semitism (and therefore in conclusion, there was none) this is very much like men not noticing sexism and #alllivesmatter because whats all this droning on about racism.

      Secondly, I'm amazed at how when it comes to Jews here, context and mitigation become so important.

      Every act of prejudice and discrimination (and occupation and expulsion) has a context and in some way can be seen as rational in a historical context. So what.

  • I believe I can make a difference in my lifetime
    • RoHa is right DS.

      Not all of what you say is untrue but its a giant smoke-screen with little application to the real world as-it-is.

      Israel (especially the current government) has no intentions of giving an inch. There have been multiple opportunities to create safety with a cynical nod towards justice. No nod.

  • Activists call on Oprah Winfrey to distance herself from Leviev over human rights abuses
  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • Native Americans could not vote regularly and wearily until The Snyder Act of --- 1924.

      Oklahoma and Indiana, and other "Indian Territories" were precisely Bantu-stans until those lands were desired by new influxes of Europeans.

      You say you read American history (and academic books not websites no less) but then you say that the US enfranchised and did not push out the native or kill Natives but this is exactly what the US did. I think you should add a biography of Andrew Jackson to your reading list.

      Australia repopulated natives to Aboriginal only reserves from the outset. You're simply wrong on British policy which was explicitly white-only for almost all of its history and
      independent Australia as well.

      I agree with your statement that Australians now are far more reflective of their history than Israelis and imo United States Americans, but in fact your country had white-only and boarding school/white adoption reservation policies until the 19-70s and still has restrictions on Aboriginal communities on reservations.

      You say with great authority:

      "I do understand the American use of reservations, but as an Australian, I assure you, the English had no such policy from 1788 until 1901 and when an Australian Government existed from 1901, neither did they."

      But in fact, here is how you could not be more wrong (In your governments own words on NSW). The pushing of natives off their land started at first contact and became formalised in the British period and sustained from 1901. Just look at the timeline:

      link to

      And what you say about then and now is true. Israel is trying to make colonial moves in a post-colonial time. Very true indeed.

    • US- Native history is precisely the history of disenfranchising and pushing natives into bantu-stans and killing where they resisted. and not to know that means not really knowing anything about the subject frankly.

    • Wait, what??
      You say below you have read American history but your post could not be more riddled with errors.

      Yes, the US disenfranchised Natives repeatedly both as individuals and as nations, from the 17th Century.

      Your distinction between intentions and results is irrelevant and from Bacons Rebellion, King Phillips War on the intentions were actually to drive them out and subdue them.

      When were Indians a minority? By what century did Indians become a minority? After how long after contact did indians become a minority?

      Finally WHAT?? Which American history did you read? Trail of Tears mean anything to you?
      Here is a hint The Cherokee, famous in Western movies, were a South Eastern tribe originally.

      "Neither did the US, or for that matter, other colonisers like Australia, Canada, New Zealand push their indigenous into concentration camps and bantustans and kill them if they resisted, as Israel does. "

      The US pioneered the reservation system. And yes Australia and Canada and New Zealand did the same.

      Spend some time here for all of this including essays about how Nazi's admired the US job on Natives.

      link to

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • echi--

      In my experience most white American Jews have the same range of ideas about race as non-Jews -- if not slightly more liberal (at least since the 1960's), but whatever the thinking privately would never say such a stupid thing on Twitter. The general (polite and public society) American environment is far advanced from this kind of thing and I think the point of the reaction is to show again the difference between the US and Israel however much there is assumed to be no daylight.

      Now, are American Jews more liberal on Palestinians? Of course not, Pogressive Except Palestine is a real thing.

    • Israel is indeed diverse and the divide is not black and white its Jewish and not-Jewish.
      But its clear which Jews are in charge politically and socially: white Jews from Europe and the US. There is a thought bubble out of which this kind of "innocent" banter comes and the point being made, correctly, is there is much daylight between white American Jews and white Israelis in attitudes about race.

  • Charleston: Do Black and Palestinian lives matter?
    • Keith--

      I disagree that whether Ellis should make clear he is talking about white Jews and black relations hinges on whether black Jews have any power in the American Jewish community. In fact, that black Jews are indeed marginalised (out of existence even here) and a small minority within American Jews is precisely why someone who is anti-racist should not engage in a conceptually racist statement which leads to actual racist events -- such as being mistaken for the help (because after all Jews are white, right?) If Marc Ellis is going to speak as an informed anti-racist about Jewish issues, he should know this.

      Keith -- I don't think victim and privilege is relevant here either. This is clearly your issue not mine. I have stated elsewhere repeatedly that I know as well as you (if not better) how privileged American Jews are, though there was some discrimination towards Jews up until about the late 1950s in some areas such as education and housing, summer resorts etc... This is not surprising because while anti-Semitism was endemic to Europe from the Middle Ages through the Enlightenment - it was not innate or essential to European culture.

      I was privileged, my relatives who were shot by the einsatzgruppen in the ravine outside Stari-Sambor, not so privileged. My African American relatives were both victims and over-coming of victimhood. All told, they did comparatively well having left the South earlier than the great migrations. But I don't want to bore people here with my life story.

    • .... and all he has to do is write "white American Jews" one time at the beginning of his essay.

    • Mock away Mooser, its what your good at and the return you want on your investment of what 20 - 30 hours per week here? (for humanity's benefit of course).

      Ellis, on the other hand, is actually trying to make a positive and informed statement about something other than his own ego chatter, so I thought he would be receptive to something pretty much every Jew of color thinks when they hear someone talk about black Jewish relations as if they are separate and distinct categories.

      It actually does matter that someone writing from an anti-racist point of view not write something that is conceptually racist. Jews = white is both untrue (black lives certainly matter to black Jews and who exist in the US, in Nigeria, South Africa, Israel). Moreover, using Jew as a synonym for white is the reason why these really annoying things happen to those of us who share African American identity and the Jewish religion/culture/heritage.

      link to

    • Thanks, its important work you do generally and here in specific.

      One request is not to use black and Jewish as necessarily distinct.

      You mean white Jews and/or ashkenazic Jews and African-Americans, but you should say so, at least once at the outset, since we Jews do come in other colours.

  • 'NYT's public editor slams anti-Irish bigotry in news story on Berkeley balcony deaths
    • I think Adelson will spin anything into his agenda but how does saying Irish kids beat him up mean being anti-Irish.

      Irish kids threw stones at my dad and called him a Christ-killer in 1950's Philadelphia.

      He never raised me to dislike Irish people as a category which would have never taken anyway since there were so many kind Irish people in our lives growing up.

      I do remember Irish jokes among some of my cousins, but I don't think Irish are a particular target of Jewish anti-goyish feeling. Not at least like Eastern Europeans.

    • You think there were no Jewish American war heroes?

  • Rivlin to announce 'joint Israeli society' -- and try to curb Palestinian house demolitions
    • "Something that the founders of zionism should have focussed on from the outset, which is protecting the rights of Jews as a viable and vibrant minority in any country they happen to be living in."

      Amen. That should have been the goal and, I believe, still can and should be the goal for all people of good will.

  • In the propaganda war, Israel will stop at nothing
    • ckg --

      Thanks. Here is an argument against either.
      link to
      I think you make a good point above, intent matters a lot, especially with terms like Oriental or Colored that become dated.

    • Annie --

      link to

      In part because that term rather than the proper transgendered is associated with a variety of porn, a fetish, a kink rather than an identity. Also, as other with some other contractions it connotes derision.

      It is used like "the n-word" or queer by some inside the community, supposedly in endearment, but I am pretty sure thats not the place Scott is coming from.

    • "trannys" is a derogatory slur and your hope is a weird one if you are a critic of Israel as promoting the areas where it is comparatively tolerant and like the US does help cover up the ways it is discriminatory and nothing like the US.

  • What I Was Told: Arabs hate Jews
    • RoHa,

      Yes -if- it is in the interest of the truth. All history writing to some extent is revisionism.

      No, I don't believe The Jews are the authors of Jewish misery. Why don't I believe that is not something I can answer briefly, because I do think it is a fair historical question however obnoxious and similar to Golda Meir's belief that Palestinian mothers murder their own children because they hate the Jews so much.

      I do believe this happens to be the preferred claim of all racists about the group they most dislike. (which of course does not invalidate it in itself).

      How about you?

    • Keith --

      You quote the wiki page on Shahak. I read that too, as well as the negative quotes.

      He is not considered an unblemished scholar among scholars of Judaism. He is a popular source for people who have qualms with Judaism. He is a hero to people like you much as ex-Mulsims are to those who need an essentially bad Islam.

      The Jews of America are extraordinarily privileged.

      Things changed because there is nothing essential about anti-Semitism. Not among Europeans nor among Arabs. I have never argued that, despite your insistence that I am arguing that.

      However, unfortunately, Jews in Europe experienced experienced segregation, lynching and irrational accusations for most of their history there. If you want to dispute that, fine but its you that is making myths.

      As for me being tribal or Zionist. No. I am a humanist above any of my ethnic or religious associations and I completely reject all aspects of the conquest of Palestine by a Jewish State. In fact, Jewish nationalism appals me probably mores because I identify as Jewish.

      But I also dislike Jew-hobbiests and historical revisionists who seek to minimise the suffering of people, and Jews did suffer terribly in Europe because they were Jews, culminating in the Shoah.

      The racism that ruled it was in good measure irrational, not because Europeans are innately racist anymore than they are sexist or Islamophobic though those are also endemic in European history.

      Me being a scholar or not hardly depends on me footnoting my observations about what you are up to. And if you want to be a scholar of Judaism and Jewish culture, you're going to need more than Shahak.

    • Mooser -

      "wouldn’t “outward signs of being Jewish” almost inevitably be taken as outward signs of being Zionist, and extremely so, and therefore, provocative to a lot of people? So yes, you might have trouble walking around in a kippah sneering at the natives, yes. "

      No one said anything about sneering at the natives.

      I mean walking around with a kippah or star of David. Or for that matter a hijab. I assume you agree that someone who attacks a Muslim woman with a headscarf doesn't get afforded mitigating context because of horrible things some Muslims have down elsewhere in the name of Islam, under flags with Muslim symbols.

    • eljay, nice to see you as always.

      RoHa, in this case of course there is some truth to what Shahak says about Jewish perceptions of non-Jews (though he also outright lied about a Jew's responsibility to break the sabbath in order to save Jew or non-Jew - It is the responsibility to save a life above all other commandments). I admire the young Sikh man who recently used his turban to stop the bleeding of a young boy. What a beautiful act of humanity.

      And revisionism does not have to be bad even when about touchy subjects.
      I do want to know the accurate numbers of Jews murdered in the Shoah or the number of Africans transported in the Trade . As a matter of history, not as ammo with which to fight for one's politics. So, first the facts as best they can be determined and then its important to ask what is the intent of the revisionist?

      The kind of revisionism Keith is partial to, seems to me akin to writing a history of America in which one showed all the terrible things that black people have said about whites from David Walker to Nat Turner through to Malcom X and then casting slavery and Jim Crow as the logical consequence of all that hate. It would be possible to throw in the brutality of the various slave revolts to show that Black Codes were rational, and even the cases where blacks owned whites and other blacks to make th point that it really wasn't about race and that racism is overstated. Or, at least race relations in the US was a struggle between two equal forces each trying to harm the other (that phrasing remind you of anything?). Jewish communities in Europe were ghettoised, forbidden from trades, brought up on witchcraft charges, lynched and assaulted repeatedly. I imagine in that climate the ancient texts about Jews and non-Jews began to fuel some hostile interpretations of the contemporary situation. Other rabbis throughout, even in those times, have argued that one cannot update the ancient texts to contemporary gentiles.

    • The Farrakhan reference is not a cheap shot. Im not saying you even know his speaches or agree with him. I actually do agree with him on some issues. (not this one).

      If you read his speeches about Jews you will see he does, as I suggest, what I perceive you as doing, saying that suspicion of Jews is in fact historically quite rational, the Jews are not victims and in fact instigators of their own misfortunes. That people criticise the Germans for what they did to the Jews but no one criticises the Jews for what they (in his allegation) did to Germany.

      This is 101 revisionism and the purpose goes way beyond muting the exaggerations of Zionists.

      By the way the phrase "you Zionists" towards me is simply incorrect. I don't believe or support any kind of political Zionism. The only kind of Zionism I find acceptable morally or intellectually is cultural Zionism, meaning if Jews want to speak Hebrew, live in (a democratic) Israel/Palestine. I also don't object to concepts of transhistorical and cross board nationhood. Not for the Muslim Ummah not for PanAfricans and not for Jews who want to think of themselves that way.

    • Keith,

      “Two central dogmas underpin the Holocaust framework: (1) The Holocaust marks a categorically unique historical event; (2) The Holocaust marks the climax of an irrational, eternal Gentile hatred of Jews.” (p41, “The Holocaust Industry,” Norman Finkelstein)

      About NF's quote. The slaughter of European Jewry is, like every historical event, unique with a specific set of variables. Genocide is not unique and WWII and its aftermath saw several. The conquest of the New Wold, the Belgian Congo, the Armenians before that. All with unique variables. Congo could never have happened without several hundred years of diminishing the humanity of black Africans. The ling pervasive, endemic (but not necessarily essential) denigration of black people allowed it not only to happen but to be largely ignored by history. More Chinese civilians died in WWII than Jews so not unique in that sense. However, part of the variables of the Jewish Holocaust were a long, long and irrational hatred of Jews.

    • Keith, do you have other sources about Judaism other than Shahak?
      You remind me of people with out any Arabic or training in Islam who can quote every scary hadith and have their wahhabi and ex-Muslim experts to back them up.

      Of course Zionists use antisemitism, real and imagined, to justify Jewish nationalism and a whatever-means-necessary approach. What does that have to do with trying to measure the extent to which it existed or not. It did exist, with some interruptions, as a pervasive trend in European history. Yes, Mooser is right that there is a context of religious wars that cannot be ignored. Brutality towards and hatred for Jews is exceptional even in that context.

      "TOKYOBK- “It does not surprise me at all that your source on Judaism is Israel Shahak. His purpose is precisely what I said you were doing as well as to collapse Judaism and Zionism into one essential identity.”

      KEITH: Wrong! He maintains that Zionism is essentially a throwback to Classical Judaism, an attempt to nullify the enlightenment. Remember, Shahak was an Israeli writing about the Orthodox Judaism of Israel, not American Reform Judaism."

      I don't see any useful distinction here. He sees them as a continuous expression of an essential Judaism.

      You have a beef with the organised Jewish community. I share some of that beef. Where we part ways is that I don't think Zionist exaggerations need a counterweight of minimisation.

    • airman -- endemic is an appropriate word to describe the pervasive trend of anti-semitism in Europe. It is not genetic and I made no such implication.

      Keith, I do not believe that Europeans or anyone else is intrinsically anything. I think the evidence is quite clear that irrational beliefs about super/sub human Jews were a normal part of European thought for much of its history.

      Classical Judaism believes, like classical Christianity and Islam, that the world can be divided into groups and each groups has its virtues and defaults in a hierarchy with (surprise) that group as the most righteous and worthy.

      I believe in the power dynamic of Europe was such for most of its history that what Muslims and Jews (when they weren't simply expelled) believed about the dominant society was of less political and social consequence than what society thought of them.

      Keith "My purpose is to point out that much of the Jewish version of never ending anti-Semitism is myth-history, not grounded in UNBIASED historical reality. "

      So, who has argued that there was unending antisemitism? Every educated person nows that there were periods of tolerance and acceptance. Even before Europe the Exodus and Purim stories are predicated on Jews sometimes rising to great heights of power.

      It does not surprise me at all that your source on Judaism is Israel Shahak. His purpose is precisely what I said you were doing as well as to collapse Judaism and Zionism into one essential identity.

      Sure the power dynamic you describe often happened and stoked anti-Jewish resentment. Jews as a group were not elites in Europe but individual Jews did wield great power at times.

      Farrakhan also said that the Holocaust was a crime and I never implied you don't think so as well. But what he further said is what you tend to imply (imo). That the Jews gave as good as they got, and were all told no victims, that antisemitism is in fact an anti-Gentile canard more than a historical occurrence and that this anti-Gentile bigotry explains "antisemitism"

      Is this not what you believe?

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the video, Bornajoo.

    • Bornajoo,

      Its amazing to think that Baghdad was once as "Jewish" as Manhattan, except mores in that the Jews of Iraq had been there for a thousand years not a few hundred.

      I respect everything you are saying.

      But, do you/would you wear a Kippah on the streets of any European city? Do your cousins have any outward signs of being Jewish? Perhaps that is why they experience something you may not.

    • My "True" was for Annie's Comment.

    • Keith,

      So do you believe that pogroms and lynchings of Jews endemic in European history (including for supposedly baking goyish blood in to Matzah) were rational?

      Of course the Holocaust is the result of history. All such events are.

      It seems your purpose is to reduce all anti-semitism to the logical result of separation and anti-Goyish bias.

      This is the Farrakhan thesis: No one ever asks what the Jews did to Germany.

    • I thought RobertHeneyEller's comments were especially thoughtful too.

      But Bornajoo, do you think Zionists exploit or invent anti-semitism? I think most people here assume mostly the second.

    • Annie-

      Why sad?

      Is on national TV exposing, not promoting, the kind of closed group think that keeps people inside, when there are no actual walls holding them in.

  • Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism
    • India always comes to my mind when talking about a massive and tolerant Islamic community as well but, in fact, there have been Indian Muslims who support and have fought for ISIS.

      It does not negate the larger critique of Harris, New Atheism or that everything is ultimately political (I tend to agree with that) but a simple google will show you support for ISIS in Tamil and also stories of lone Indian fighters, as well as fundraising from India. India has a recent attraction among younger people to Wahhabi led by preachers such as Zaik Nakir and others.

      What is certainly true is that Harris et al excuse and endorse all kinds of irrationality within the sanctioned ideas of modern secularism whom also basically accept and prefer the current geo-political situation which they see as best for smashing religion (especially the supposedly most scary one).

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