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Total number of comments: 766 (since 2010-07-08 12:35:09)

tokyobk

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  • One week in Jerusalem and -- it's not complicated
    • (like whether the meat from a defiled animal remans Halal).

    • According to Rabbi David Duke and others who because they want to show the evilness of Jews and Judaism, take a debate format about many subjects (including creepy ones) and make it into a proto-Protocols of Zion rule book, yes.

      A similar thing is done to Islamic scholarship on unsavoury subjects (like whether the meat from a defiled animal that has been defiled) etc.. Its fodder for quote cutting ignoramuses and bigot.

      And, why John do you find this funny? And why would this be an acceptable comment here, especially in light of Phil's recent post on Maher's religious slander of Muslims?

  • A visit to Auschwitz
    • "So, now, why is this “horse manure”?”

      Don’t worry about it, tokyobk. In order to understand why he says that, you would have to know what words are for and how they work in communicating ideas. You don’t want to bother with that. It’s a big hassle."

      Ha, totally gratuitous, and not answering my question as to the assertion that death by disease and starvation was one of the strategies of the Nazis (and most genocides) but kind of funny.

    • So, now, why is this “horse manure”?”

      Don’t worry about it, tokyobk. In order to understand why he says that, you would have to know what words are for and how they work in communicating ideas. You don’t want to bother with that. It’s a big hassle.

      Ha, totally gratuitous, and not answering my question as to why the assertion that death by disease and starvation was one of the strategies of the Nazis (and most genocides) but kind of funny.

    • some holocaust deniers hitch their denial on..

    • How so?
      Do you understand what I meant?

      The death camps were intended to kill people.

      Some Holocaust hitch there denial on the existence of gas chambers and crematoria.

      My point is that even without them, when you see Birkenau you understand this was a point of no return either by disease, starvation or murder.

      So, now, why is this "horse manure"?

    • Ok, got it.

    • Hi Mooser,

      Not sure what you mean by Biorabbi, but yes "there were no crematoria at Auschwitz" (in quotes to offset it as a theme) is a very common type of holocaust denial.

      My point here is when you see how people were packed into the huts at the camp its fairly obvious that when you were moved to Birkenau you were supposed to die.

      I brought it up because its part of my memory of that day, inspired by Scott's post.

    • I was struck by how normal Auschwitz (I) looked. Just like the barracks it was built as. Could have been any kind of camp, not just the work/death camp it was. Auschwitz II Birkenau on the other and leaves so many horrors in the mind. The housing that looks like a stable. The tiny cement cubicles prisoners were locked into. I scraped my foot on the ground near a dingy pond and found a human tooth. It was clearly a place to temporarily house the dying. The "no crematorium" line of holocaust-denial goes irrelevant when you see how this was built for typhus to finish the job that gas might not.

      And also the town of Oświęcim which resents the German name that has been indelible along with the history of what happened nearby.

      It was summer and kids were swimming in the stream nearby the town which also runs along a road to the camp.

  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
    • Several points work but in fact Hamas uses the term itself for example in 2008:

      "Khaled Mashaal told The Associated Press that he made the offer to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in talks on Saturday. "We have offered a truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, a truce of 10 years as a proof of recognition," Mashaal said. In his comments Monday, Mashaal used the Arabic word "hudna," meaning truce, which is more concrete than "tahdiya" — a period of calm — which Hamas often uses to describe a simple cease-fire. "Hudna" implies a recognition of the other party's existence."

      And why not? Why would not an Islamic party model itself after the prophet of Islam when after all he is held up rightfully as a successful strategist?

      The problem is the double standard, though I think when Israelis or American leaders like George Bush refer to God and the bible as part of their motivation it is picked up on, at least by critics. References to Amalek etc...

  • Is the firing of Steven Salaita the beginning of a new Blacklist?
    • tbk;“but I do think the paper that HR undoubtedly gave him will be brought up at some point.”

      moos: Undoubtedly. But not yet? They wanna let the pot boild for a while before the present the thing that will get them right off the hook? Okay. Yup, undoubtedly, he signed something."

      You are not understanding Phillip Munger's point that there is total silence now because he is lawyering up. And so is the university. This will be an issue in a court case, which is where its going.

      btw Mooser, would you join me in making a pledge to Salaita's legal effort should there be an online campaign, or are your golden words enough?

    • Mooser: "I thought we are dealing with a University, not a profit-making corporation, but never mind. If you want to convince yourself that it was a go reason to rescind the job offer, go ahead.

      Um, except I don't think it was a good reason to rescind the offer. In fact I think the rescinding was cruel, politically motivated and probably illegal. But, the university policy on private social media use will matter and every university HR department has it in the stack of papers you sign.

      University's are corporations and while many are state owned and nonprofit structures there is no difference in the case of the urge to protect the brand and the bottom line. You did attend a university, right. My guess was you ran one, or at least chaired a department, right? Department if UNiversal Knowledge Studies would be my guess.

      "'perhaps the form I signed was stricter.'
      Did you read it?"

      Yes, I read the form I signed. It said in short, don't say violent, intimidating, libelous or denigrating things. I did not read the form Salaita signed or was going to sign (see lysias' good point). That is the meaning of 'perhaps.'

      But I think professors should be especially careful to maintain a decorum and public profile, to the extent they want one, that does not indirectly intimidate students.

      I support Salaita's complaint because its a free speech issue (and because it is cruel and political) but I prefer the style of other professors, many of them staunch critics of Israel, who have a gravitas that imo is healthier and more productive to the classroom environment and the learning process.

    • lysias,

      Its a good question and as I said I suspect it will be a relevant question.
      It would be in the HR packet with harassment and privacy etc... Of course if he did sign then that would be an indication that he was fired not had an offer revoked, which would make it much harder for the university to do this.

    • I think corporations can and do create contracts so they can get rid of people who they feel are damaging their brand. People get fired for personal comments or attitudes.

      It's private and laws and speech is not protected in the same way in Japan so perhaps the form I signed was stricter. That would not surprise me.

      I think Salaita has a strong case and I would like to see him given his job back, but I do think the paper that HR undoubtedly gave him will be brought up at some point.

    • Yes, I and every other person employed by the university signed it.

      None of us has an aversion to gainful and useful employment, Mooser. This may be offensive to the luftmensch-American community but you can't please everyone.

      In fact every university has a social media policy now so he did sign something. My question is what does the one he signed looked like and I suspect it will be brought up. I agree that a lot is not being said right now on legal advice.

    • I interpret his silence that way too.

      But does anyone know what the personal social media policy is for the University? I had to sign one recently before teaching one class at a (Western affiliated) college here in Japan and it was pretty strict.

      Several of Salaita's tweets would have been violations of this particular list.

      It seems his case is strong unless he did sign something of that nature. I wonder also if there had been conversations or warnings before the offer revocation/firing.

      PS Shout out to Bill Mullen for his excellent work: _Afro-Orientalism_, which he co-edited.

  • Three dissident Jewish orgs to hold silent vigil during 50 Jewish orgs' memorial to Israeli dead
    • "Take these people seriously when they lead a public movement against the Jewish establishment."

      You mean other than the public movement they are leading by standing in public against the Jewish establishment which is meeting as the official Jewish establishment detailed above?

  • Professor Salaita was fired for disagreeing too vehemently with Professor Nelson
    • Jim, Salaita's "un-hiring" is unfair, perhaps illegal. And as I mentioned before I once asked him about a tweet he made and on reflection he amended it, so he is obviously is a reasonable person who does care how he sounds and what he says. Moreover, the speed of his dismissal reflects political power, and I also don't doubt Nelson's hypocrisy.

      But you are dreaming if you think anyone who is reacting this way to Salaita would similarly act on behalf of your hypothetical pro-Israel tweeter. In fact someone who tweeted something like "9/11 making Islamophobia honourable since 2001" would be rightfully pilloried here.

      Would that person have their job offer yanked? That seems to be a better way to examine a double standard.

  • 'We are all Palestinian'
    • Sarcasm, I think. Other Bilal:

      "The Gaza-ans should change their religion to devil worship if they want any goodies parachuted in from Obama"

      [though is that true that Yazidi are "devil worshippers"? and should they not be helped?]

      "The dead in Gaza , low IQ people who don't even own a pencil, deserve to be dead, just like the kids in Hiroshima (leading celebrity Joan Rivers)"

  • Six arrested in civil disobedience at Federation offices in Philly
    • Ps lectures about sex sure but about sexuality almost never heard a general historical lecture without mention of Freud and Margaret Mead. Study of sexuality in the West begins with study of tribal attitudes I agree with some of what you write though.

    • Pretty sure she meant customs and mores which along with dietary laws are the most powerful non physical tribal markers. Islam and Judaism in particular being legal systems have libraries on just this subject what is halal and what is haram within sexual relations. But a lecture on Christian or Tahitian sexuality makes perfect sense as a subject.

  • Looking for the Palestinian Kirk Douglas
    • Yes, and its on Youtube in full length. I do think Ellis should explain the point further as many people reading were not even born in '58.

  • 'Cooking is my politics': Rawia Bishara's Middle Eastern food is all about spreading culture
    • Yup Mooser, good advice which everyone should take. Write clearly (though I think we all write more loosely here and on social media than we do in formal situations).

      And listen to others, right?

      Both eljay and can of worms made good points. I realise I am a sucker for universalist talk and also for food culture. But, yes food can be exoticizing as well and the point both make is it does not change the immediate reality.

    • Fair enough eljay.

    • Yes I know what I said: that fetishizing cultures as only oppositional denies them the full human range and makes it easier to colonize and bomb them (while calling them the terrorists). Then I said that humanized images from Palestine rather than dehumanizing images as per usual is part of why Gaza has resonated more than before. How you heard this or misheard this willfully or otherwise. I have no clue. But, you always find a way.

    • I think her point is that sharing Palestinian culture as a human event not as a narrowly defined episode, within a specific context or conflict is significant, which I think is true. It does not, however, solve the problems you mention which need immediate solving. De-exoticizing is not everything but its something.

      For example the increasing number of things like Bourdain in Palestine made the recent images from Gaza more readable as a human event not, instead and as per usual, another far away Middle Eastern conflict.

    • "But I don’t let them. It doesn’t interest me at all. I think cooking is politics. What I’m trying to do here—I wish everybody practiced politics like that. It’s spreading the culture. It’s showing the real face of us and who we are and what we are all about. And I think this is politics. My politics. I think when you speak politics, talk politics directly, you always create a challenge and other opinions. It’s different from accepting the other. Food is taste. They taste, they accept, and it goes from there. It’s as simple as that. I think this is the best way."

      Amen. There is no better way to getting down to the business of being human than food. And food tells us our human story is interchange of everything, especially culture.

      Though I forewent my book w/my MW donation, I will get a copy and I look forward to visiting when next Stateside.

      Recently prime Minister Abe tried to wink at the rightwing of Japan by saying something about how he regrets Japanese people don't eat enough Japanese food. Only problem for him and any other purist (because it works in almost every cuisine) is that every Japanese food item in the pantheon has its, often quite recent, origins somewhere else. And Restaurants in Japan serving Japanese food are disproportionately run by people of recent Chinese and Korean heritage.

  • Steven Salaita case recalls blacklisting of Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson
    • Professor Salaita's un-hiring (which is worse than firing) is unfair and perhaps illegal. I hope he takes them to court because his speech should be protected legally even if he should, imo, watch his tone out of respect for his role as a teacher. Frankly, employers even at public corporations do get some say in how their employees comport with their brand. There are some professors who are just as anti-war and even anti-Israel as him who maintain a dignity in their public dealings that Salaita may have fallen short of. Academics has rules, maybe unfair, but no one gets to break out completely until after tenure and even then you will find professors moderate their public thoughts.

      The comparison to Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson is a stretch, to be kind. Specious really. Both men were absolute masters of calm, poise and dignity in the face of a horribly racist society that subjected them both, especially Paul Robeson, to countless indignities as they marched, spoke and sang for absolute equality.

      Both were blacklisted for speaking out for the dignity of all humans not for edgy talk. Their blacklistings were purely political. The speed and severity of Salaita's sacking is with out a doubt political, but also a predictable response to his own behaviour. Neither Seeger nor Robeson, two of the greatest and most magnanimous Americans would ever jestingly fantasise that a reporter they did not like should meet “the point of a shiv" as did Salaita.

      "Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948″ might be run of the mill here in comment sections but its not the kind of comment a professor can make without administrators worrying.

      "Islamists: transforming ‘Islamophiobia’ from something horrible into something honorable since 2001.″ does not hunt either, and if it does that is a hypocrisy that should be addressed.

      As I said while the Professor probably should have been spoken to about the problems his twittering might raise for his employers and as a university representative and someone with the responsibility to manage an open classroom dialogue, I believe the un-hiring is wrong and probably illegal. I think someone should start a kickstarter campaign for his fund which I would gladly give a few dollars.

  • Jodi Rudoren and Abe Foxman mull over 'the Arabs' owning New York hotel
    • I think they intended the video to be private but it leaked through their Facebook. But, yeah, this video in weird ways gives of an apartheid stink as much even as a video of a little boy ordering an old woman off the sidewalk. And some notes of ugly American abroad wafting around as well.

  • Gaza war gives rise to new Jewish group targeting Jewish institutions that support occupation
    • That is actually a good snark.

      I give it 5/5 on my Mooser scale:

      1 point) germane to what I actually said 2) clever spin -key to wit which you are hit miss these days. The old Mooser was wittier. 3) pithy 4) Jewish absurd (you know what I mean) 5) good timing --did not take you all day to retort.

    • Hi Dan, I did not mean you personally. I have seen hostility towards any self-conscious Jewish organizing from people who nonetheless consider the Jewish community a culpable monolith.

    • Good for them. And I hope they don't listen to hazers who want to protect their own vaunted Jew-whisperer status and haters who don't to anything but grouse in comment sections. And most of all not listen to those who while insisting Judaism is a Zionist monolith are nonetheless hostile to any Jew who wants to say "not in my name" or "never again means never again for everyone" in an organised fashion. And really its rich for people to complain about Jews who want to speak as Jews on a website inspired by Jews wanting to speak as Jews.
      Kol ha Kavod, good on you, INN.
      I will make a donation in honour of the haterz.

  • I'm waiting for Roger Cohen to say that Zionism is 'often' racism
    • Yup that too, Mooser.

      That you think this is some kind of insult is interesting to me. Never figured you for a prude, though I did frankly imagine you as someone who needs some outlets badly and your tendency here is onanism.

      Dating is a great example actually of intercourse between people who still might have some bigotry (it may even fuel their desire to date "interracially").

      And Japan is an especially good example of my point, where people tend to have creepy ideas about race generally and yet manage to be rather thoughtful to the people in front of them.

      Of course I have dated women who had nutty ideas about "gaijin," Jews, blacks Koreans - if you want to witness the crazy, just mention Korea here. A person with a purity test on race idea will have no friends here.

    • Sean,

      Certainly you are right that the establishment claims to speak for the whole community. Saudi does the same thing, so does the Vatican. And it is as you say logical that some will buy into that as a result.

      The thing is, antisemitism did not need Israel to exist, even thrive the world for centuries and peak in the most horrible way. What is your response to that? "Jew go back to Palestine" was a rally cry last century.

      An anti-semite is someone for whom there has to be a Jew or rather The Jew at the bottom of the problem and Jews have been active enough after the Enlightenment that you get your pick of communism and capitalism, Socialism and banking etc...

      Among people who actively comment on I/P it is fairly easy to see (though only roughly) where an agenda might more than just against the policy of Israel or even against Zionism. People that write more about Jewish power than Palestinian rights probably have that as their primary issue. People who are actually -disappointed- by Jews speaking out as Jews (to try to counteract what you say above about the establishment -- what other way is there in your model?) may have an agenda that goes beyond justice in I and P. Probably not letting the Jew get away with other of his crimes.

      Lastly, and I suspect you will agree with me. One problem with this discussion is that, though for very understandable historical reasons, calling someone a racist is akin to saying they beat their spouse and drown puppies for kicks. We all know from life experience that this is not true. There are all kinds of people who have bigoted beliefs about others and their own "kind" and narrow ideas in general who yet manage to be generally polite and have other redeeming features. Its the crazy uncle who still gets invited to thanksgiving because he is your uncle and because as long as he is not frothing he is a fairly nice person.

      As perhaps others with regard to race, religion or ethnicity, I have known and had good relationships with people who did not like Jews as a category, and while we avoided certain topics it did not interfere with other healthy and pleasurable interactions.

      I mention this because saying anti-semite! is often (frankly like saying "Zionist!") used to shut down a conversation not to start it.

      It should be quite permissible to call someone on anti-Semitism without meaning they should be banished to Siberia or from the I/P conversation.

      PS Have you read HItler's Willing Executioners? I wonder what you think of the thesis of that book that the average, "good" German was in fact completely culpable for not just Hitler but the Shoah.

  • What Jim Fallows and I saw
    • In fact if you read this and many other things you have written, the main purpose of your advice is strategy for denuding the anti-semitism charge so that one might better attack, ahem, them. Not, mind you removing the anti-Semitism charge by removing the anti-semitism, so that the movement can flourish as a non-racist one rooted universal ideals, as for example, Ali Abunimah and others counsel. No, this is but proxy for the real struggle like, naturally Bolshevism, last century's stand in word for the gd world meddling Jew.

    • I don't disagree with taking out the tribal and religious elements at all, I agree completely.

      But I am going to make a speculation that "the jews problem" for you is not going to go away with Israel. People who want to solve "jews problems" have had them for a long time, including when people used to say, "Jews- go back- to Palestine."

      In fact an unhappy resolution for people who have "jews problems" is that they are headed off the polite people stage with Zionism, back to the "social leper-like colony and removed from any influence," to quote.

  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
    • You might be right about all this. It is certainly true that an observant Jew is not supposed to pray in a church because of the monotheism issue you mentioned but is permitted to pray in a mosque.

    • no reason -not- to assume. History provides clear examples that in fact Islam is as or more tolerant of Jews than Christianity.

    • Ha, the US virtues may outweigh our vices-- I believe that but non-violent? Hardly. From the very beginning until the present. And 70 years ago is just one (american male) lifespan.
      roughly 70 years ago we burned Dresden to the ground with 25,000 people. And we made the canals in Tokyo boil with gasoline jelly: 100,000 civilians dead. And Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      I don't think the Jewish communities you mention provide a very good example of your point that Jews could then and could again live comfortable in the Arab or Muslim world. They are the remnants of migrations, coerced, regretted, enticed (by Israel), and they are cowed. Baghdad once had more Jews by % than Manhattan.
      But you are quite right that there is no reason to assume that Jew hatred would be the same swamp hobby in the ME as it generally is and would be in the West w/o Israel shelling Gaza. For Harris, Islam is a permanent counter enlightenment and Muslims are essentially hostile and retrograde. He may have fancier presentation than other bigots but he is a bigot to be sure.

    • Non-religious Jewish mother, Quaker father.

  • 'Continuance of state of Israel' is in crisis, Booker says-- and Congress OKs another $225 million
    • I actually have a different read on Obama (who I don't know at all) than Cory (who I do know). I think that Obama is a but more pressured and probably would be more like the guy Ali Abunimah knew in Chicago if he could. I also think Obama cares really about 2 things. 1) his family. 2) winning if he is in a competition. That is about it. Obama is no Bill Clinton when it comes to being deeply invested in an issue or working late into the night on it (i.e. living breathing policy 24/7). But, again that is just speculation. In the case of CB, again, he is very much his own man on this issue to the core of it.

    • Ned is a great guy and would have been a good senator or governor which he also lost (I won though because I met my wife at a fundraiser I held for NL) but that is not why he lost and in fact there is no real daylight between him and other US politicians on Israel:

      "At this critical time in the Middle East, I believe that when Israel's security is threatened, the United States must unambiguously stand with our ally to be sure that it is safe and secure. On this principle, Americans are united." Ned Lamont 2006

      Cory Booker is not a shill for AIPAC, he is AIPAC. (I swear some of the white liberals who run around bleating as fierce anti-racists can never actually imagine black people with their own minds-or is this an MJ disparagement of "goyim" agency in general? ).

      Cory believes in his heart everything that AIPAC people believe and acts accordingly. Deal with him on that level, not as if he is just carrying water. That is the telegram from reality for those who want it.

  • Will 'Protective Edge' galvanize the US mainstream, as 'Cast Lead' galvanized the left?
    • Yes, I took it that way.

    • Strangely everything you wrote, word for word, could have been in an AIPAC fundraising letter, and is literally the justification given for the wall.

      I also don't think Hamas can be crushed and I don't think Israel wants to because next would be a one of the two regional groups. I think the plan of this government is to try to pound the sumud out of the Palestinians, also impossible. And to break up Hamas/PA alliances which I think they have done.

  • Peter Beinart demolishes Gaza hasbara
    • Though Peter said that about liberal Zionism because he as always tried to keep his beliefs reality based. Others have simply said "What? What occupation, what discrimination? Where?" and the ignored contradictions between enshrining ethnic nationalism in the state versus democracy.

      He and others who have the understanding that what they believe must conform to and be explained by what actually is, will reformulate and some will stop calling themselves Zionist. He can't and won't ignore the consequences of Gaza. Why now and not 2009? A few reasons why this is different. Mainly, the lead up and motivations for this are not deniable and so the rationalization is not believable. 2009 was mostly discussed among those interested and partisan. This time the twitter feed and the horrific imagery has broken into the mainstream. People who have had no personal or ideological attachment to I/P are believing their own eyes and what it looks like to them is a massacre. That can't really be contextualized.

      Israel is simply behind the curve of a narrative it used to completely own and is flailing.

      In terms of PR abilities, Dermer is no Oren either. No where near the former ambassador to the US in talking skills.

  • To my Jewish friend (you know who you are)
    • A pre-emptive and prognosticated boycott of Jews (ex. Phil and Adam, thankfully!) Unless you meant that after 2009 you started your BDS of your Jewish friends, but I think you wrote from your heart, and strangely in support of an argument often made against BDS that it is indiscriminate and antisemitic.

      Though, you are completely right in closing. The lack of self-awareness of many Jews is terrifying. Despicable, really. It seems to me that many Jews I know and online either don't know or don't care about what has been said about and done to our people for centuries.

      Seafoid is not entirely wrong I must admit. In some ways we are seeing an end of the Judaism we thought we knew.

      It frankly is indeed well time for anyone who identifies as Jewish to answer the questions: Do you accept this in your name? and, how many Palestinian lives claimed, especially children's lives, is an ethnically supremacist Jewish State worth?

      Any answer over 0 is troubling.

  • Video: Celebrities, artists and activists call for Palestinian freedom in #GazaNames project
    • My guess, Citizen is that as soon as you say Israel your friends and family stop listening because they know its a 1/2 step from "Israel" to "the Jews" with you, and (as you have said here before) how we don't give David Duke's ideas enough of a chance, etc... They probably see that kind of discussion as a fixed cost not worth paying.

      I actually have come to suspect you are probably a nice person in real life in the ways that matter. My guess is that if my car broke down in front of your house and I rang your bell you would help me get to a mechanic.

      The thinking you display here though is bigoted and essentialist (permanently innocent and authentic but slightly dopey non Jewish Americans- Dick and Jane you call them, manipulated by an eternal carpetbagging cosmopolite i.e. The Jews).

      You once, for example, asked which side of Obama's ancestry you should blame for his ineptness on I/P, the black side or white, when of course the answer is neither, since ethnicity does influence choices but from politics not genetics.

      Fortunately for the rights movement in I/P more and more Jews are going to get in the game publicly and privately. And more and more non-Jews who cannot be construed as anti-Jewish bigots in any way, who don't have a racist bone in their bodies, are seeing Gaza in human terms. Since, despite your ideas, American non-Jews have been zionist for their own reasons since the creation of Israel. You may even come to disregard your own thesis.

  • As in Vietnam and South Africa, Gazan masses are willing to pay high price for freedom -- Kasrils
    • The tunnel networks in Vietnam were presented at the time as proof of the rodent barbarity of the VC, yet now in retrospectives the willingness to live in caves for months under severe bombing by the most advanced technology is depicted as nothing less than iron and moreover super-human will.

      The tunnels are even on the tour maps of Western visitors to rebuilt Vietnam. They are proud of them because they provided the brain network of an invisible army who could coordinate the downing of a brand new million dollar plane with WWII and Korean era equipment.

      I understand why the tunnels are frightful to Israelis as a problem of an advancing army but what it says to me is that they need to come to there realization that a people willing to tunnel is basically never going to be conquered. Ever. The goal of finally and forever subduing the Palestinians is impossible.

      Therefore the only option is peace and reconciliation based on equality.

  • Which crowded cities can you fire into?
    • NCINA,

      "I couldn’t give a hoot about the world or public opinion."

      But the world gives a hoot about the actions of your government whether you think that scrutiny is fair or unfair, increasingly.

      Look at the numbers, especially among the young. I am interested in the numbers among American Jews over the next years. My guess is they will remain higher but skew with the young and non-white (I assume they did not poll non white Jews separately though we exist) which are plummeting.

      Israel cannot last as an island or a fortress for very many decades. Do you think it can?

      And the case "we don't target civilians" is incoherent given the human landscape in Gaza. That is how most normal people will see it, especially with images not just brought into their living room like TV did in Viet Nam but into their electronic scrapbooks which is where pictures of other humans we know and like go.

  • U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza
    • Keith I don't disagree with you at all on your grim prognosis or that this war is about destroying Hamas. That goal is obviously shared by the US and makes my point that they have their own reasons for being involved there besides "Jewish money."

      Yes, of course the US wants strips of land and in fact stakes its empire on them.

      You guys do know that the war in the Pacific was fought over strips of land, right, and won by their steady capturing? You have seen a picture of Midway? Do you think they fought to the death at Iwo Jima over sulfur? And the US prescience now in Asia, which it considered is new pivot, is mostly strips, small airfields. The Suez is a (giant) strip of land as well. etc...

      The US has its own reasons for wanting to control Israel. Its a dialogue, dysfunctional as it is and perhaps scrapped in the future. If not Israel than the PA which is why it has seduced Abbas.

    • Donald, I was thinking of the most recent Pew which depicts as you say the republican aspect but I think among Christian democrats it is still above 50% pro Israel though that may change. Someone insistent on the Jewish element will say the Jews own all the media so that is why Christians are Zionist but I don't think that is true and I also don't think that explains US foreign policy interests which as of now are perceived as overlapping. I think if anyone can convince the US that Israel is not worth it, it is Bibi though and he sure seems to be trying.

    • Do tell Amigo, what are those exceptions?

      Seafoid, "Jewish" money may buy senators but it does not buy Christian zionism and does not fully explain why the US wants that strip of land for its own empire purposes.

    • I think the general Japanese sentiment leans towards Palestinians. This comes from not having any predisposed dislike of Arabs, Muslims and most of all a reflexive dislike of (and embarrassment regarding) nationalism, especially armed and dangerous nationalism. So when things flare up there mostly what I hear is what is wrong with Israel that they are doing this? The average government bureaucrat is "Arabist" in outlook because of the above but also because Japan needs oil (has always needed to import 100% of its oil which was a big reason for WWII). Japanese academics who deal with the subject tend to be very critical of Israel at the least and more often than not actively pro-Palestinian.
      I still keep a subscription to the high school paper I used to first decipher written Japanese, because it tells me what Japan want to tell its children. The coverage on I/P carries the same sentiment, I think.
      But, Japan has an issue much more important to it than any other, certainly than any far away conflagration, and that is looming, rising China and for this reason it always keeps America closest, whether it feels friendly or unfriendly, in agreement or disagreement.
      I read "Abstain" in this way.

  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
    • I actually never had a problem with Mooser, why would I? He seems like a funny old guy. And I understand he is popular here, and I understand why he is popular here but for whatever reason he has come at me unrelentingly and most annoyingly he reinterprets everything I say pretty much with the exact opposite meaning and tells me its what I really mean. I find that to be dishonest and bullying and, why should I take that. No one here likes a bully.

      Yes the details and the nuances matter which is why I would rather not be turned into Mooser's 2d image of me especially when he has to misrepresent my words and intentions to do so. Can you understand that?

      I just have no idea why the guy has such a hard on for me.

    • Wow, I have you spooked Mooser. You are now referring to our conversions even when we aren't having them. And your bizarro (literally, remember that character form superman) interpretations astound me.

      Actually the term historic Palestine is useful for exactly the opposite reason you insinuate (imagine that). I use that term to mean the river to the sea, everywhere precisely to make clear I am not just talking about 1948 boarders but the entire county, because while a liberal Zionist wants to make a big deal about separation between Israel proper and the OT's and Golan and Gaza, I think that in a one state situation you have to include all of the relevant lands of historic Palestine.

      But, you know everything so there is no telling you anything, even the truth.

    • Mooser: "Okay, than we both agree, all settlements should be removed, every Israeli who has served in the government or IDF should be investigated for criminal activities and war crimes, Israel brought before the ICC, full compensation should be paid to all Palestinians affected by the Zionists
      and any Israeli (non-criminal, of course, if there’s any left) who wishes to remain can stay, as a Palestinian citizen, if, and only if, they get permission from the Palestinians, and after the Palestinians have received full compensation and justice. To be paid by Israel, not the US, damn it.
      I’m glad we agree on these things. I’m sure you agree it’s the only possible and just solution. And I’d like to see a program exposing all Jewish kids to the crimes of the Zionists as part of their religious education.
      That lucid enough for ya?"

      You are talking about a truth and reconciliation process similar to South Africa ending Apartheid and yes something like that would have to happen in a future state based on equality, otherwise it would not be equality. Hell yes on the settlements. I don't know if we share thoughts all the details but certainly, material compensation and right of return has to happen. In short, all forms of defacto and dejure inequality must be ended and redressed. I should say my standard would be international law also considering the rights of Jewish citizens to remain safely, not what Mooser things is fair (no offence to your mighty ego since you believe yourself to be the paragon of justice and its emissary here) but I am sure we are close, and more importently to this bizarre conversation, closer-- far closer than anyone who really thinks the things you insist I think. Again do you not see the monstrously inflated sense of self you have (probably covering up a not so monstrous sense of self) that you hold you and you alone to be the model for fairness and justice? If anyone falls short they are not only wrong but bad. There are DSM notes on that my friend.

      Since you have a problem with interior and exterior minds:
      Your fawning and bullying on behalf of your position as the mashgiach in charge of kashering the comment section of MW -is visible to me- so not an example at all of reading a soul. I just need to read the comment sections and see how you treat me and others who you feel challenge your primacy (which by the way were not). On the other hand you telling me consistently that I believe something -other than what I make visible- is an example of soul reading. Do you understand the difference? Probably not

      Also, and by way of example, you say I was making a homophobic slur but I did not know for sure your gender (of course I suspected based on your alpha gorilla behaviour that you were male) so assuming everything inside your head is known to others is also a form of narcissism consistent with your belief that know what other's think, even more than they do. Ok, off to cook dinner. Its been real and you have gotten me to think more clearly about how I approach this huge problem in our world. So thanks for that and see you again, probably gumming my ankle alas.

    • “That said, I can’t really see much difference between philosophically me and other people who reject the idea of a Jewish national state in historical Palestine and who wand there to be one state where all have equal rights.”

      "Which is just a really sleazy way of saying you want the Zionist to keep what they have stolen, and not be called to account for their actions. And how the hell can a state be a “Jewish national state” and have equal rights for all. If it’s got “equal rights for all” than it is not a Jewish national State is it?"

      Yes, Mooser that is just what it means. It means no Jewish national state, doesn't it? Now, someone who writes that kind of sentence is A) Zionist or B) Not Zionist ? Pick one and please remember the definition of Zionist is someone who believes in a Jewish state in historic Palestine, not someone who believes that Mooser is a tad paranoid and a bit of a narcissist because he thinks he knows a person really means "not X" when they say "X."

      "You are just a Zionist who won’t admit it, or thinks he can hide it. And all that subterfuge, misdirection (Jewish social group? WTF?) and most of all your cowardice."

      Again, you should be worried (as in talk to a professional) that you actually believe you can see into another person's heart and know them better than they know themselves. It is also a sign of narcissism to think that people who don't live up to your standards are cowards. I don't think passing Mooser's purity test makes me brave. I am quite happy in the company of the many people who are actively (meaning not just on websites) engaged in this issue in an ethical way, who reject Jewish nationalism but don't call themselves anti-Zionist.

    • “That said, I can’t really see much difference between philosophically me and other people who reject the idea of a Jewish national state in historical Palestine and who wand there to be one state where all have equal rights.”

      "Which is just a really sleazy way of saying you want the Zionist to keep what they have stolen, and not be called to account for their actions. And how the hell can a state be a “Jewish national state” and have equal rights for all. If it’s got “equal rights for all” than it is not a Jewish national State is it?

      Uhm no, Mooser its a way of saying that I reject the idea of a Jewish state in historic Palestine just as anti-Zionists do and I believe that there should be one single state where every person has one vote just as anti-Zionists do, because there is no daylight between my ideas and an anti-Zionists ideas though I don't give myself the label. How, Mooser, how area you going to spin that into the exact opposite of what it transparently means? I know you can because you always do but wow. Just read what I say Mooser. Its pretty plain. I reject all aspects of the Jewish state. Reject without any reservation. Reject Jewish supremacy in any form especially as the claim behind a state in historic Palestine. I reject this as clearly as Ali Abunimah in his book One State which I regard as the only ethical solution in Israel/Palestine. Got it? Or is your need to be right and to kasher the MW kitchen more important than allowing someone to mean what they say, repeatedly.

      "Aww how nice, you finish up with a nice homophobic slur. You never disappoint."

      Wait, what's homophobic about that? Nothing wrong with same sex love of any kind and clearly you have a crush on Phil (I kind of do too though I suspect he likes you better) and want to be the number one in the comment section, deciding who is fit and who is not. I think that is the root of your problem with me and others who clearly are not Zionist who comment here that you flash your teeth at (sorry feline phobic reference)

      “Non-Zionism is actually an important ethical tradition which includes a lot of people that are admired here at MW. “

      "So now you are just making up stuff. “An important ethical tradition”? Going back 15 minutes?"

      No I go back to the beginning of Zionism and I am referring to Finkelstein and others who have called themselves things other than anti-Zionist. The Mooser test of Purity.

      Unfortunately this crisis is going to continue. Fortunately more and more people like me, including Jews are going to speak up and say that the price is not worth it and that nationalism must be denuded in every form including Jewish nationalism.

    • Non-Zionism is actually an important ethical tradition which includes a lot of people that are admired here at MW. In fact, the last time I spoke personally to Phil Weiss he said to me he was a non-Zionist, so I guess you have to kick him out of your special club for the Holy and Pure of mind and spirit. He may have changed what he calls himself and I would understand why but frankly Mooser, your snarking at MW is not really much of a contribution to the cause however important you feel being the crossing guard here is. I am happy to be in the company of people who feel committed to equal rights in Israel and Palestine and don't pass th much vaunted Mooser sniff test of "anti-Zionist."

    • Obviously I don't think Zionism makes us stronger. I think Nationalism is seductive. My point. I was going to add that I don't call myself an anti-Zionist because of the other people who do who tend to be self-righteous, but you kind of put that on display perfectly. You are one perfect being with the gift of insight into human souls, Mooser.

      That said, I can't really see much difference between philosophically me and other people who reject the idea of a Jewish national state in historical Palestine and who wand there to be one state where all have equal rights. That is the substance.

      Sure I have pointed out time to time things to Phil about the comments and his Facebook page. Ask him. Its not really my place to control either but I can have my opinions just as you.

      About Israel, I thought from one of your posts that you mentioned being in Israel but I do apologise for the incorrect assumption.

      My opinion of you is that you want to be king Jew-splainer here and that is more important to you than anything on this issue. For some reason I set you off and I still can't figure out what is its but I don't really think its about Israel or Zionism.
      The upcoming MW prom? Don't worry, Phil is definitely asking you not me. I am not his type either.

      Anyway, I am sure you agree there are many more important things to talk about, and we should end this. Just stop lying about what I say. Thanks.

    • Yes, Mooser, you are mistaken as I keep telling you. You are misreading me. How many times have I not said it. And don't have to apologize but if you care about honesty you should indeed stop reversing what I say or as above asking me questions as if what I say is only some Jewish Hudna so that Zionism can come back and win. In this moment especially, where a father in Gaza had to go to two different morgues to pick up each half of his blown up daughter, your and my shpilkes is really irrelevant but because I think there are larger points I will try again to tell you that I would never waste my time pulling a trick on the MW comment section. These issues matter to me greatly and I am being serious.

      I keep telling you and have been for a while I am not a Jewish nationalist of any kind and you keep telling me I am. You keep purposely, or insanely or stupidly reading back to me the exact opposite of what I mean.

      I am also being 100% genuine when I say that when you take off the clown mask and write lucidly about Zionism and Israel (and Judaism/Zionism) I agree with you almost to the letter. I am amazed at your refusal to believe this even though I keep telling you. What is it? What about you makes you able to see into the hearts of men and what about me makes you insist I am not being genuine.

      Liberal Zionism has always been contradictory and there are no circumstances under which those contractions would not exist. There have been however circumstances in which those contradictions were hidden or disregarded. The internet, cellphones, many other factors especially the recent Gaza incursion make it impossible to hide them. Also the formal state engagement with the West Bank blurs the green line and this is terrible news for people like Peter Beinart who want to make those distinctions rigid.

      Now, I don't call myself and anti-Zionist for reasons we can discuss (please, please, please Mosser don't run around the end zone with the nerf football on this, trust me its a label. please stay focused for a moment. Mooser! put it down. put.down. the. nerf.) ok thanks...) I consider myself non-Zionist in substance, I cannot see any distinction between what I believe and what you seem to believe in your lucid moments. I am a non Zionist. I used to be a 2 state solution person because I thought it was a good stop of war and start of humans living together. I am now in light of undeniable reality as much as a one stater as Ali Abuminah.

      You made Aliyah, right? I think one of your posts indicated that. Or, that you spent serious time there. So why would you feel in the position to judge anyone. Because you know I am involved in a Jewish social group? My involvement was precisely because I am interested in real dialogue not in group think. Or because I call our antisemtiism where I see it here. Yes, I think a few regular commenters here are anti-Semites or close to it. And, btw, in fact I have had many opportunities to take money from Israel and I don't mean a birthright trip. I probably could have finagled myself onto an air force jet back when they still let non IAF take that ride. But I never have. I never let myself get hooked that way realizing the power of tribe, the power of nationalism. Hatikva does give me goosebumps, the though of Jews being powerful is alluring to me. That is exactly why I fear nationalism, anybody's and ours first of all. I don't judge you Mr. Moose, in fact I also laugh at your jibes sometimes, but I just don't understand why you think you can judge me on this issue.

      So, quit ankle gumming me and let's both focus on what's important which is in our own ways letting other people Jewish and not that the issues in I/P are human rights issues not tribal issues and the only solutions are those already figured out in the last 300 years of ever unfolding rights. If someone does come here who indeed was questioning the issues, as you have thought incorrectly of me, how about lending them a hand instead of a jeer?

    • "I got as far as “Wiessworld”. What the hell is he, 12 yrs. old?"

      I completely agree with you, Mooser. That kind of snark is usually a sign of immaturity and a serious inferiority complex which at least in Avishai's case is odd because he is an accomplished writer.

      Find it kind of odd its -you- saying it, though.

      And, btw, I also agree with your well made point on saving Judaism from rather than for Jewish nationalism. Seriously well put. Liberal Zionism cannot sustain its moral and intellectual contradictions in light of a Gaza assault that everyone can see with their own eyes. And the blurring green line is too obvious now as well.

      I would say "Ditto" but you give snarky names to people who say ditto!

  • On ‘Death to Arabs’ in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv
    • Horton Hears a Who is fitting in another way to the story of changing perspectives -- and I believe the US in general is undergoing a mind shift on I/P.

      The children's book was of course written of course by Dr. Seuss who shared much of America's fear and suspicion of Japanese people, including Japanese Americans. If you look at the propaganda cartoons he made they are no less stereotypically drawn than other contemporaneous images.

      After the war Dr. Seuss visited occupied Japan and met Japanese people and completely changed his views. HHaW is in part a parable for conquest and occupation and also a reminder to himself, it seems, and to others to make sure to listen to other voices even if they are hard to hear.

      Its not a complete parallel because the Japanese Empire was indeed a belligerent against the US and gave as good as it got in terms of radicalized propaganda (Japanese Americans living on the West coast is closer), but the transition of not seeing/hearing to seeing/hearing others seems apt at the moment because there is no doubt the imagery of Gaza is in the American mind and heart as never before.

  • 'Heartbreaking' is U.S. government's talking point for Gaza massacre
    • I like JJ Goldberg as a person and I think he is less contradictory and parsing than other liberal zionists. He has acknowledged many of Israel's flaws for a long time. Watch him to write even more critically after this round in Gaza. But he did come off tired and weak in the face of Ali's unrelenting charge and refusal to give an inch, including on the claim that JJ "would be shot" were he to go to Gaza.

    • Ali Abunimah called it a pogrom in his debate with JJ Goldberg at Democracy Now and I imagine there is less mental resistance to that kind of description than before.
      He was as intense as ever, even more so, and I wondered if in part because of the rapid death toll and horrific scope of the current attacks but also because he is aware of a growing audience reception to what he has been saying and writing for years.

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