Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 621 (since 2010-07-08 12:35:09)


Showing comments 621 - 601

  • 'NYT' photo feature on women in Gaza ignores Israel and Palestine
    • Every single one of the quotes shows the article is doing what the author says its not doing. (I understand the online version was edited down as is always the case.

      Depicting the full range of humanity of Palestinians weakens any attempt to make them more easily caged and bombed. But, it seems it is also threatening to a kind of Western activist who also needs his representative victims simply defined.

  • Long ago, Bill Buckley and Woody Allen agreed on occupation
    • He gave me the creeps too, the way he chewed on his pencil, though he did pick an important fight with the John Birch racists telling them they had no place in his conservatism. And he did have really controversial left and radical figures on his show and took their ideas seriously enough to debate them.

      Also Buckley was very much not a WASP but a WASC.

  • Passover for Palestine
    • Its a good point that is also relevant in the celebration of revenge during the Purim holiday.

      But, terrible retribution by God (directly or through men) is present in all three texts of all three major monothiesms.

      The Christian Testament of course has the strongest wording against revenge by man to man, but no Christian denomination (that I know of) argues that the God of the Torah is not the same God of the Gospels, so the problem of God's brutal (and seemingly eye-for-eye) punishment is a problem for any literal minded person (with a modern conscious) not just Jews.

      Do you believe that the new revelation or the self-sacrifice of Jesus (which cleanses some of man's debts) also reset the nature of God, meaning do you think as a Christian you are exempt from this same problem?

  • Alleged K.C. killer: 'If Jews can have a state of their own, why can't we have a White Christian state?'
    • The vast majority of people who comment at MW are in no way anti-semites. Anti-semitism is both a real thing and also an overused shorthand for "I don't want to listen and you don't have a right to say it."

      Max Blumenthal and Mondoweiss will be vilified by some in the pro-Israel community no matter how many times they condemn anti-Semitism .

      BUT, the same kind argument has been made here by a few posters, the same complaint as this alleged killer, if thinly veiled. That the GD Jews get away with things the white man (as a supposed contrast) can't. I have no idea why Phil et all don't just drain the swamp, even just out of strategy since the safer American Jews feel the more the middle, especially young and progressive, will break towards non ethnic justice.

      The brighter the red line between pro human rights that are critical of Israel and Zionism, and calumny of the "eternal" Jew, the better for everyone.

  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
    • This is a telegram from your soul not an analysis of what holocaust education programs are teaching (or are not teaching). I hope you can tell the difference. Sometimes people for whom the Jews are the center of their explanatory narrative cannot distinguish between the Jews inside and outside of their heads.

      Most Holocaust education programs are cast in global and universal terms, as they should be, though I certainly don't doubt the propensity for groups to be self centered and superlative and for groups who want to talk about their own histories to present that history as representative of humanity.

      And of course you are right that the Nazi war against the Jews (even in the context of WWII) is just one genocide, unfortunately, of several major mass killings and far too many on a smaller scale, including the horrific types of executions such as at Deir Yassin (or of my father's relatives at a river bank near Stari Sambor by the Einsatzgruppen)

      Imo, the first modern purposeful, "racial" and highly technical genocide was in the Belgian Congo, which fits your example of neglecting global horrors.

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • What is not to understand?

      This is a defense of liberal Zionism, trying to push all of the threats to 2 States (as an achievable goal and as a moral stance) into one category, however strangely shaped.

  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • Thank you tree, that is correct (though I kind of like the name Tokyo Ben King and certainly Ben E. King).

      I would be very happy to try to set up an open, taped, discussion between Boteach and Weiss if both parties are interested. Would have to be Fall, 2014 at earliest though and in New Haven.

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • ...Your veil is thin and transparent.

      Why would it be surprising that Christian founded WASP organizations are Zionist when the majority of Christians and WASPs are still pro-Israel. (I agree this is changing, btw)?

      No, what you are saying is surprising is how these institutions are (supposedly) Jew to the core and you lament the passing of a great race and the end of quotas which maintained a tolerable number of aliens.

    • Everything you write is about a Clash of Civilizations, between the Jew and the Goy. Its equally boring. Not to mention its all about the white man finally rising up and taking back his place. Yawn there too.

      PS, its "2 Jews 3 opinions" not "3 Jews in a room" though I doubt the latter seems already to you problematic.

  • Obama doesn't talk to Jimmy Carter -- because of Israel
    • Its not an accepted fact that Israel runs US policy, though I realize screen name American that is -your- take away. Its not even really the Walt and Mearsheimer thesis though that is how people who would dismiss them as antisemitic, and at the same time people with your instincts, would like to frame it.
      A fifth column that runs US policy, who see the lobby in everything from China policy to whose novel gets published, ZOG etc... remains the thesis of anti-Semites,

      The inordinate influence of the lobby on Mid-east policy, on the "peace" process, the pretense of being a US domestic lobby group rather than foreign lobby, these things have been accepted by a growing part of mainstream people and those without your particular interest in the Jews.

  • Israel is now attempting to 'de-Arabize' Palestinian Christians, but in the 1950s it was Jews from the Middle East
    • Read and understand a post before you use fancy or foreign words or accuse someone else of being daft. Free Advice.

      Yes, it cannot be real multi-culti if it excludes Arabs and the Israel ID excludes Arabs, however diverse Jews have become there. It can be seen as a strategy that is a kind of "brown-washing" that is used to reinforce the wall between Arab and Jew, which is what I said the first time.

    • Actually the Jews and whiteness story is as old as that racial category itself, about 500 years, Jews (both Ashkenazic and Sephardic) having been granted access to the identity in the New World (whatever religious prejudices may have endured).

      Just as the larger societies notion of race is n flux in an unprecedented way, the sense that Jewish = Ashkenazic is also loosening.

      I see Israel as adopting (at least officially) a multi-cultural Western ID (exclusive to, to say the least, Arab and Muslim) since that is the "liberal" norm or at least ideal in the West. Though as I said it reflects a changing consciousness within Judaism as well both in Israel, it seems, and surely in the US.

      In fact, demographically Israeli Jews are diverse, witness Ms. Israel and the current IDF pr campaign highlighting the color spectrum of the Jewish State.

      Cynically, this can be seen as a kind of "brown washing" in that the diversity angle is meant to harden the only category that really matters in I/P. Jewish or Palestinian.

  • Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate
  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • Sobran's comments on Jews, about whom he wrote generally with suspicion, hostility and resentment, went way beyond Israel.

      Buchanan is more careful, but it would not be over-reach to assume that he is no fan of the Jews either.

  • Florida Jewish leader quits a Hillel board to protest bar on free speech
    • There is no question the direction of the leadership and general sentiment of the Jewish American community in the last 60 years but as I have said before, non and anti-Zionism -began- in the Jewish community when Zionism itself was still a nascent idea not widely discussed, or even taken seriously as a real possibility. (There have been multiple attempts at mass aliyah in the past, but as an organised philosophy drawing on European nationalism and (world be) religious justification.)

      The kind of principled anti-Zionism on humanist grounds that most people here would claim, post-dates Jewish anti-zionism. But, better late than never!

      This -return- to the time when the majority of Jews opposed a secular state on both/either religious or dual loyalty grounds is something being discovered by liberal Jews all over, often independent of the structures. I know as sure as I know anything that this is preparation for when the two state solution fails for good. At that point the costs will be too high and the contradictions too great to maintain an uncritical Zionism or necessary conflation with Judaism and Israel.

      Young religious Jews at a (non Hasiddish) orthodox school wanted to invite Prof. Khalidi to hear his point of view. This kind of inquiry would have been an impossible thought ten or 20 or 40years ago, but not 70 or 80 years ago.

      Robust, Pro-Jewish, non and anti-Zionism will be a story within the Jewish community in the next few years, without a doubt (and to the disappointment of those who have a psychological need for the Jews to be a nefarious monolith)

  • Meet the Jewish students who are taking on the Jewish establishment
    • I admire Annie for debating in earnest but the opening, in fact return, of the Jewish community to diverse opinions on Israel is threatening not only to a narrow minded Zionism but to people who come to this issue by way of a general interest (to be kind) in the Jews. Jews here, there, under the bed etc...

      People interested primarily in achieving rights and justice will welcome any opening of the impasse.

      And by the way, these kids were in high school a few years ago. So what are they late for?

  • Effort to remove Jews from West Bank is akin to Nazi slaughter -- settler spokesman
    • Shingo,

      I find NormanF's arguments equally despicable and by the way not just in a general way but in a way which I think is a particular abuse of Jewish history, meaning not giving a shred of empathy to other people when we have often been denied that. And its semantics. The Palestinians were the people living in Palestine. Period.

      But your not quite getting the Sand thesis. Its not that the Jewish people were invented in the 19th century its that a people with a contiguous kingdom to nation state lineage who conceived of themselves as nation like other modern nations was invented. The Jewish people has been a diverse and self consciously united religion throughout the ages.

      B'nei Yisrael is a biblical term used throughout and Am Yisrael "The Jewish People" is a very old term as well.

      His title is less sensational in French and Hebrew.

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • W. Absolutely. The political Zionist narrative on Palestine is the essence of revision and using history to score points for one's side.

      I think there were cultural Zionist narratives that had a moment of life and will be revived. I think the recent NYT article by Mark Oppenheim is part of creating a new (or re-primed) conceptual well for liberal American Jews to draw from.

    • uh huh. just as I said. So you either did not read or did not understand.

    • I chose a particularly heinous example where people try to excuse someone because he may not have known all the details of an event. Same is true of, for example, Emperor Hirohito.

      So, its not a sneaky reference as you say, in fact the opposite chosen specifically because the example would be glaring to people here who might yet be willing to contextualize the Tzar or Russian government.

      I don't have any interest in vindicating Sharon but people who do find parsing to be useful which was my point.

    • Jewish legal and de facto segregation and violent victimization was a universal symbol.

      For example, in a letter written by black American business and political leaders to the Japanese delegation at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, part of the appeal they made for universal minority rights (which the Japanese intended to address in a Racial Equality Clause) was cast in terms of the detestable situation of Russian Jews.

      The job of historian is to disrupt and its always good to have more and better information as defined by sources and less transparent agendas (hindsight though is always political). I have no doubt there were varied experiences for Jews in Russia and attitudes about Jews among Russians from the Tsar to the serf. Even Cossacks have been stereotyped into a monolith.

      But that often degenerates into parsing, especially by those whose interest is not really history but stacking up points for their side. Parsing is a hobby among Japanese nationalists, and the revisionist impulse. Recently the Asahi Shinbun published an article which showed summer-camp like pictures of German POW's captured by Japan in WWI which were offered as proof that the Japanese were not really such bad captors, even by extension in WWII.

      Would such parsing occur on MW about, say, Ariel Sharon and Sabra and Shatila? Or contextualizing the flow chart from leadership on down of Israeli racism towards Arabs or African immigrants? It wouldn't.

      The perception is because Zionism went too far there needs to be a revision. But revision is not necessarily good history either, certainly not agenda free.

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  • Praising Judis, Heer says Jews who abandoned liberalism for Israel are coming home
    • German Americans were urged exactly that way and there was active support for, if not Hitler, at least non-Intervension and German extraction from Versailles. Some of the important early financial supporters of Hitler were German Americans. The probably equally organized and funded and vocal Jewish and German communities were in great tension at the time.
      Not all German groups were specifically Nazi supporters, like the German American Bund, but generally German nationalist and old-country nostalgic/patriotic.

      It was ultimately the bombing of Pearl Harbor which brought America to war with Germany, though obviously many had been already advocating for that.

  • 'Jews For Palestinian Right of Return' endorse American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions
    • Anti-zionism was a pretty Jewish engagement at the beginning of Zionism. Its Western non-Jews who are late to the party! But, better late than never, I suppose. Assuming you are not Jewish, Kathleen. Welcome. If you are, thanks for re-engaging an old Jewish tradition of dissent and anti and no-Zionism.

      Like many white Southerners (even northerners, even famous presidents) regarding blacks and the back-to-Africa movement, the most hostile forces towards Jews often welcomed the idea of Jews leaving Europe for their "own" country. "Go Back to Palestine!" was a refrain of anti-semites, not of assimilating European Jews (deeply intermarried btw, in Germany and France). Most Rabbis rejected Zionism including the earlier patriarchs of still existing rabbinical schools, some of which have become fiercely Zionist, some not. (Witness recent riots among rabbinical draft refusers in Israel today).

      Jews only petitions are about the fact that Israel claims to speak in the name of the Jews. Some Jews want to oppose this in Jewish terms.

      If you have a general problem with Jews identifying as Jews, well you are going to have to learn to deal with your intolerance, mostly in silence or in marginal circles.

      It amazes me how similar some comments here are to the way Islamophobia works.

      "Where are the Muslims protesting X?"
      "Here I am"
      "Oh you don't count because you are a small minority, not the authentic voice (as determined by the Islamophobe's most hated Muslim Group) and too late. And that it happens on Mondoweiss, a site create by Jews wanting to engage this issue precisely because of Israel's universalist and unchecked claims, is an additional chuckle.

      I wonder if the operators of this site notice that these threads get far less comments and the comments are often snarking on the Jews who feel they are operating with a Jewish consciousness.

      About Atzmon: If you thing asking Jews why they keep bringing on holocausts (which btw is not only incoherent but not even true -- meaning Jews were not everywhere and always hated even in Europe) is not abhorrent, or you think the quenelle, which now Atzmon is fond of doing himself, is just an anti-establishment gesture and not one which also has an anti-Jewish meaning, then Atzmon is your man. But please don't spend too much time wondering why he has been outcast by both Jews and non-Jews interested in keeping the focus on Palestinian rights.

      And its not Just Blumenthal that responds to Atzmon viscerally its also Abuminah and others at the forefront of BDS and Palestinian rights, who see him as a potentially dangerous sideshow to their main cause. Btw, he is also a sideshow to Jewish identity issues. Not much of what he talks about is new to internal Jewish discussions, about chosen-ness, about what it means to be a secular Jew. But he prefers a more rowdy and hostile and frankly (about Judaism and Jewishness) ignorant audience.

      You do realize btw there was a "Arab only" list signed about Atzmon's flirtation (to be generous) with anti-semitism. You need to write them a letter about being exclusionary!

  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
    • Sarcasm is possible when there are extremes to ridicule.
      When you live at an extreme sarcasm is not possible.
      Hence, what is obviously a cartoonish representation for humorous effect is taken by you as reality. Btw every ATM transaction in the world automatically sends one penny to the Elders.

    • Well, sure, sorry for the shorthand. More specifically, I should say literal readings of the holy texts as history are a problem for the major religions, most of which opt for reinterpretations of words and intent as science progresses. Of course each text has its own stories and claims.

      That said, a challenge to the historicity of Abraham, is indeed as much of a challenge to Islam as it is Judaism.

      Haman in Judaism does not appear in the five books of the Torah but in the Book of Esther which is in the "Writings," the third collection of texts.

      If you take the texts and the oral traditions there are not only inconstancies (or exciting problems to resolve if you believe the overall picture) across the religions but inside them as well.

    • Ira,

      Other countries outside of the limited definition of Europe have participated as well. Apparently, anyone within reach of broadcast can participate.

      link to

      I can understand why people committed to this issue feel that the Truth is stifled and that if people only knew they would join the cause exactly like activists here want them too.

      That can cause a kind of over-reach and pile-on, which I think this thread may be an example of, though there is no question that "Europe" is a designation that many in Israel have since its founding aspired to, for cultural and political reasons. I believe Herzl thought that the language of Israel should be a European one.

    • No, but that is the reality American lives in, for serious.

    • Its not a relevant land deed, of course.

      Are the holy books history? Sort of. Sometimes. Not perfectly. We learn a lot about the time they were written. To me, that is the most interesting things. Camels were important at the time the Torah was written or the first stories from it told. Greek science was available to 7th century Arabs as we know from its appearance in the Qur'an. The book of Mormon was written in the English of King James since that is what sounded biblical to 19th century Americans.
      Zionism was a secular movement rejected at the time by most rabbis.

      Shlomo Sand observed that Herzl's first choice was not Basel but Munich but he was blocked by a group of rabbis who hated Zionists and thought they were dangerous.

    • Pretty funny pile-on fail. The discovery by -Israeli- scientists shows how confused Israel is.

      And its not a problem for Zionism, whose problems are apparent and don't need carbon-dating, its a problem for Judaism and Islam and Christianity all of which take the OT narrative as history.

      "The archaeologists, Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen, used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the earliest known domesticated camels in Israel to the last third of the 10th century B.C."

      In fact, this has been argued by bible critics since the mid 1800s.

    • Well Turkey was certainly thought of as Europe in the early 20th century by many as in "The sick man of..." In the late 20th century the continent of Eurasia existed.

      These sweeping geographical designations have always been political. The entire "Middle East" has more in common with Europe, whose religion, architecture etc... it shaped immeasurably than with East Asia. Europe and the ME have exchanged large populations several times over history as well.

      _Inventing Eastern Europe_ is worth reading on the subject of investing cultural meaning and hierarchy in borders that are always arbitrary and political.

      Japan has taken itself out of and placed itself into Asia several times, always for similar nationalist alignments and high culture club aspirations as in considering Israel to be European. Portuguese missionaries in the 17th century wrote that Japan was a white nation in Asia, because it had similar material attainments and wealth. etc...

  • Israel and apartheid: a response to Hirsh Goodman
    • I get why you don't relate to his shtick but its his shtick. For him, Jews are one family, he does pray in Hebrew and does believe in a collective Jewish soul. So, for him (and by the way just as in the case of measuring %'s of Muslims who believe X or Mormons who believe Y for people outside looking in), Jews will be judged to as a collective and he has a responsibility to address the issue in those terms.

  • Kerry's framework according to Friedman and Indyk (Updated: Abbas Weighs In)
    • American: that's Sobran, you "urbe". And he was the one obsessed, like you, about the Joooooooos.
      He was also a speaker at the IHR conference with David Irving, Holocaust denier.
      William Buckley finally acknowledged that there was no way to defend him from a charge of anti-semitism. And, it has nothing to do with his politics on Israel. At all. Or yours.

      It must be very, very sad to have the center of your life, the subject of most of your waking thoughts, a group that you despise.

      Alex and Phil and I assume the others here are basically nice people with a focus on a particular subject and not particularly sensitive to this type of whistle (actually shout). I understand the reasons why but it still always amazes me.

  • Pete Seeger interview: 'The greatest people will come forward, after I kick the bucket'
    • Haha classic Citizen post.

      Because Scarlett is a half Jewess operating on her Jew instincts. Got it.

      And there are no Jews who can be favorably compared to other non-Jews, anywhere, ever.

      But, its true we should all have Pete Seeger instincts, which are to prefer the human tribe over all other subdivisions.

    • Actually saw some disparagement of PS on Facebook walls, of his politics which were once Red and often dreamy.

      To which my response was:

      "Which of your heroes was fighting for a non-racial society in the 1930's when he was still a teenager?"

      A true American legend.

  • De Blasio's leftwing base is enraged by AIPAC moment
    • That is always the bigot's premise. I did not hate X until Y. I did not hate Muslims till 9/11. same bs.

      Your phrasing is contemptuous, and your implication to how Jews have brought on their own hatred in the past telling. If you are noticing Jews gushing how wonderful we are, fine. I see a lot of Jews, and increasing number, saying look how we are f-ing up. Ditto your use of "goy," a term I see more hear than I ever have heard among Jews (in a non liturgical fashion, since the word goy appears in the Torah meaning nation -- a category in which btw Jews are included).

      The premise is that if Israel does not shape up than it will bring on Jews deserved hatred, but that is, excuse my Irish, plain Seafóid, Pearl Harbor did not bring on real (deserved) racism against Japanese Americans even though many did go back and forth, send money, print pro Japanese newspapers, have a Japan lobby etc... Geroge Takei was an innocent little boy as were the J-Americans as a group.

    • Glad to see you expressing ownership with and legacy from a Jewish community, Phil.

      Though I think you will agree on reflection that socialism and Zionism were not exactly oil and water and in fact fused from the decades just before and just after the establishment of Israel.

  • 'NYT' publishes Holocaust trivia on front page
    • We do need days of remembrance and museums and textbooks and art etc...

      In Japan most young people have no idea about Japanese crimes in Asia, which by the way helped contribute to nearly 20 million civilian deaths.

      How many people know about the clearing of the Belgian Congo which also was a death toll of millions.

      As for this topic, its actually not so hard to remember the specificity of how and why Jews (and Roma) were murdered -Homosexuality is a slightly different category- as well as the millions of others who were murdered in the course of war and who starved, died of disease or were killed for political reasons.

  • Israel's UN ambassador catches flak in Upper West Side synagogue
    • Sounds like more seafóid (rubbish) as in "ag caint seafóide" (talking bs) to me.

      But maybe you are right. I do agree with your last comment that Israel as it is proceeding will damage the Jews and that Jewish nationalism is a sad addendum to the Holocaust. Please do tell how this works?

      Is there a single exemplar of the Quenelle who is also known to be staunchly anti-racist including against anti-Jewish racism? Or, are pretty much all Quenellers (even the ones who don't do selfies in front of Synagogues and death camps) also people with expressed hostility towards Jews and Jewish culture? The inventor of the salute (who is now trying to trademark and market it) can't exactly be called simply anti-Israel.

  • 'Economist' pulls cartoon showing Obama shackled to Congress bearing Star of David
    • Yup, intention well acknowledged. The question is the image as it appears. Three strokes of the pen and you have an Israeli flag, no ambiguity and no complaint from me or comparison to earlier images it evokes.

      Similar requests have been reasonably made about drawing president Obama or not comparing him, like his predecessor to a monkey.

      All which appeal correctly to a past lineage with demonstrable consequences.

    • With respect eljay, I don't think its the end of story.

      Ever notice how the folks at JihadWatch and the most extreme Salafists agree exactly on the definition of Islam and its role in the world?

      I can contest Israel's use of the symbols (as a Jew) and insist that they not be applied to me (as a Jew) in the shape of an ambiguous image. Same would be true of the star and crescent or even more appropriately the Shahada (on the flag of Saudi Arabia) or the phrase "Allahu Akhbar."

      Its not unreasonable to expect people to make the distinction between Israel and Jews and to make it clearly. In general and in light of an evil tradition that outdates Israel and has had demonstrable consequences.

      And, of course this standard must be applied universally.

    • Right so Foxman uses it for his own agenda. The term "anti-semitic" has been over used to the point of reducing its meaning. Israel uses Jewish imagery as state symbols and so others use this symbols to mean Israel. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.
      And Zionism uses anti-semitism as a cloaking device. Agreed.

      Now, does the cartoon as it was drawn dip into a poisoned well that predates Israel?

      Yes, it does. And the economist was right to rethink it on those grounds.

    • The Menorah is also a Jewish symbol co-opted by the GOI so if it were used (as it has been in the past) people would write it off as referring to Israel and not Jews.

    • Yes you are right about not being a hypocrite, but how does that make the image not appear, whatever the intentions, as inferring the Jews run congress and hobble Obama (who Jews support in the majority) rather than Israel has undue influence on the President's foreign policy.

    • I think what he is saying is - well its not racist if its true. Which is of course the classic way of excusing generalizations or ascribing a real or perceived trait of some members of a group with all of that group or the essence of that group.

      I think an image that very clearly demarcated The State of Israel as opposed to the Jews would not have been offensive in the way I describe above, and done all the commentary work the artist wanted to do. But, I am not the artist.

      Google: "star of david menorah roosevelt lustige blatter" for one of many that you can find in this particular vein that pre-date the founding of Israel.

      There is imagery like this in anti-immigraiton cartoons of the late 19th century which was also mostly anti-catholic and in Europe during the Dreyfus affair and of course in Nazi Germany. Japan, which had a bipolar attitude towards Jews used similar Roosevelt imagery (controlled by Jews as represented by a Star of David) which is readily available from google images.

    • The Star of David is probably meant to represent Israel and not all Jews.

      But it does also appear as a kind of classic anti-Semitism.

      You may not care, or feel the Jews brought it on themselves or that since Israel uses the Star its fair game but just google anti-semitic propaganda and you can see this exact image going back a century.

      The lapel pin is a specious comparison. Go to any embassy or chamber of commerce event anywhere in the world and you will be handed a lapel pin with the two relevant country's flags side-by-side. I have a shelf full of them in various combinations.

      Lastly, its good that the Economist rethought this just as Alec Baldwin was forced to rethink his use of a classically gay slur even if he thought it was specific to one individual. Not out of censorship or political correctness but moral correctness. The Russian editor who was photographed sitting on a chair shaped like a black woman will have to apologize too. She can say, well there are white versions too, well I did not mean to be offensive, etc... but fortunately for now there is a mainstream consensus that is sensitive to racist lineages.

      Lastly, I cannot figure out why, since there has been so much progress, Jews who are pro-Palestinian rights don't start claiming the moral center of Judaism. There seems to be some pleasure in letting the mainstream Jewish organizations claim to be the official representatives of all Jews. Why cede that ground?

  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • Not sure why you are surprised in the slightest.

      I think I was right to suggest to Annie a while back that she change her moniker from "Human rights activist" to "advocate of the Palestinian people" since clearly for her and others here, events are only meaningful as far as they advance an understanding of that conflict.

      Fortunately, though, many other pro-Palestinian people (the majority?) are also deeply concerned with the scale of misery occurring as a result of Assad (and no doubt perpetrated and exacerbated by the resistance), regardless if some pro US, Pro Israel and "pro Imperialists" will also use these horrific events to score their own points.

      "(Reuters) - A Syrian military police photographer has supplied "clear evidence" showing the systematic torture and killing of about 11,000 detainees in circumstances that evoked Nazi death camps, former war crimes prosecutors said."
      link to

  • Former 'NYT' reporter says Times should assign non-Jews to cover Israel/Palestine
    • Asians are replacing Jews in everything.

      Worry not Phil. The Jewish rise in 20th century had very specific causes and conditions have changed. Your excitement at a certain time in your life about that and anxiety now are also themselves products of a (waning) time and place.

  • Roger Cohen (who doesn't live there) explains the need for 'my Jewish state'
    • Sure that and kids being shot at Jewish centers only to have other thugs come by to take selfies with a quenelle salute.

      No, Aliyah is not the answer but please try not to be crass about why some Jews might be concerned in France.

  • Stanley Fish and the violence of neutrality
    • Is there anything Fish has ever written or said that can be linked that would show that he supports these equally unreferenced calls against "the 'browning' of the ASA"?

      Its always interesting when American scholars (writing in English. Of course), simply because they can claim some ancestry in a "brown" part of the world assume that they are somehow "natives" against the old guard of white men. Meanwhile projecting a thoroughly American concept of race and identity onto the world because it serves a political interest in the West (and of the West).

      Israel does not fit into a simple white-black model no matter how much it is a forceful way to explain to Western audiences the Apartheid conditions which do exist, along religious and "ethnic" lines.

      Talk like this is a power play of the new guard against the old guard. Academia should serve the truth not factions who claim authority in tradition or anti-tradition, or simply inverting an old ethnic order.

      In the case of Jews replacing WASPs at the top of a "meritocratic" elite, I am sure most people here would agree.

  • Coen brothers and Bob Dylan went to Zionist summer camp
    • It is a despicable word, "shegetz." Just like "shikse." It was also used to describe a rowdy Jewish boy, but the intent here is still slander of non-Jews.

      Goy is a Hebrew word meaning nation. It is like, though not as extreme a case as "shvarze," (Yiddish; black) kushi (Hebrew; Ethiopian) in the sense that it had a literal meaning at one time and continues to have a neutral meaning in Hebrew texts but in every day speech (where Gentile might be used) is effectively a slur. imo.

  • David Brooks comes out against the occupation
    • "Why does an American columnist regard such a territorial matter half the world away as so painful– when so many other territorial/sovereignty issues over much greater swaths of the planet don’t amount to a hill of beans here?"

      Well this describes you too Phil, right? And frankly me and a lot of Jews who could otherwise live lives without any reference to the Middle East.

      I agree with you completely about the repositioning.

  • Israel's real fear is BDS and 'delegitimization,' says Goldberg
    • "If BDS were purely a device for legitimizing antisemitism, then Israel would be hated (and subject to BDS) no matter what, no matter how small its ultimate boundaries, no matter how fair its division of Palestinian surface and ground water, etc."
      It depends which BDS platform you read. One says Arab lands from 67 but another says Arab lands meaning all of historic Palestine.
      My guess is many people will not accept any form of Israel, which will remain hated in any form, though I don't think that always or necessarily implies anti-Semitism. Full right of return means, as it is supposed to, "Palestine next to Palestine."
      As the 2S "dream" fades proponents have been more open about this.

      But I do think if Israel got out of the WB and allowed for even a Bantustan Palestine that would probably slow the BDS trend towards the mainstream as represented by orgs like the ABA.

  • Defying Hillel rules, Swarthmore chapter invites anti-Zionists to come on in
    • This is huge and indeed shows that, as I mentioned to someone here yesterday, the next generation will be more progressive, without giving up the Jewish identity.

  • Butler: ASA boycott resolution pressures Israeli and US institutions supporting occupation
    • Ah yes, "Jewish" history as opposed to the real history. Von den Jüden und iren Lügen with a touch of the Ewige. Since Dick and Jane of the establishment are honest and upright and pure unless corrupted by David and Judy.

      No, the old Jewish guard will be replaced by a much more progressive generation. Its happening everywhere and for reasons not only related to the specific dynamics of P/I.

      The highly established -disproportionately Jewish- professors of the ASA have taken a step to mainstreaming BDS inconceivable a few years ago.

      If other Jews want to cede the term establishment to only pro-Zionism that is their choice but there is enough momentum in places like MW where I think that is a mistake, perhaps even in your historic terms.

  • America has changed in the face of Zionism's frozen grimace
    • Its a powerful rhetoric but its not accurately the case that a white over black stencil can be applied here in the way you want to.

      Take the example of Rabbi Yosef being embraced by the mayor-elect as a supposed contradiction. First of all, politicians meet with leaders of groups without endorsing them entirely.The mayor's wife was also once involved in a lesbian relationship so will it be a contradiction when he meets with a leader of the Catholic church or mainstream Islamic leader? Of course not. Its always about power, votes and or money.

      More importantly the rabbi, who was indeed an anti Muslim Arab bigot, is in fact revered by non white Jews who saw him accurately as a force counteracting Ashkenazi hegemony. I was a bit dismayed at the boundless praise given to him in the various Jews of color groups I belong to, without mention of some of the truly despicable things he said over his career.

      Your model is appealing to you because of the power of race in the West, particularly America, not because it accurately describes Israel/Palestine. Zionism is in fact a tool which necessarily created a Jewish "ethnicity," across a color spectrum from Russian to Ethiopian to Indian to Chinese, not an enduringly European one.

      The relevant divide is Jewish/non Jewish,-- not skin color. Isreal was very happy to send the black Miss Israel on a world tour representing their country. Even in the case of African immigrants, this is stark (not that life for African Jews has been easy or in all cases equitable -- and not that there is not racism in Israel or Ashkenazim who also believe that they are an outpost of the white West).

      Israel is in fact browning, probably faster than any other country in the region, and there is no reason to assume brown and black Jews, who are represent the majority ancestry of the country, will be any more progressive than Ashkenazim. To do so, I believe, is a kind of white liberal naiveté.

  • Corasanti responds to Abulhawa: My purpose in writing 'The Almond Tree' was to shine a light on Palestinian suffering and help bring about peace
    • I refer to Faulkner, Morrison, Joyce, Baldwin etc...

      Ford's work and the PEOZ pose as factual. Completely different category. Sure, there are lots of portrayals in literature that I think are bigoted but that is separate form the fact that literature requires an author to get in the mind of people unlike themselves. My point is that the author has already lost to the critique because she essentially buys into the same framework of privileged voices (which I think she should reject).

      Abulhawa does the same thing (portrays "others") as is her right as an author, separate from how developed her characters are.

      About the rest of your comment, your inability to understand my POV is at this point not my problem since I have repeated my positions. But its funny how saying that Abulhawa is in fact correct here (in a limited sense) is taken by you as zionist subterfuge! And the fact that you think there is a slate of ideas one has to sign onto in order to be consistent to non-zionism shows your own limitations not mine.

      I mention the things that interest me, like everyone else.

    • You are either feigning naiveté or else you are really out of your depth here, and indeed privileged in a way that is in fact relevant to the critique.

      The grounds by which to reject almost all of Ms. Abulhawa's criticisms would have been in the name of literature; a human writing about humans. In that case you need no other authority or authentication from anyone, not even the legitimizing "native."

      If you are saying you set out to be a Harriet Stowe, and your project is one of pathos and rescue (either by you the author or your good and evil West and East characters) than you have already signed on to the authenticity politics that will be used to dismantle your text and your right to have conceived it.

  • 'Quietly, with no fanfare,' Israeli army delivers Philippine baby alongside NBC's Dr. Snyderman
    • In fact its totally irrelevant why the IDF did this.
      It changes nothing about Israel's relationship to the Palestinians which is various forms of conquest and subjugation.
      It changes everything about the lives saved. Sumud, how many days did you spend in Haiti, since 11 days is not enough for your standards?
      It won't manke any difference to those who criticize Israel for occupation etc... Why should it?
      Those who support Israel will continue to do so, and see this Israel as the genuine one. (No its not simply Hasbara).

    • Krauss, I am a fan of (very recent) Australia too, and Australians, but it never ceases to amaze me how selective people are here with history and ascribing national characters (in the service of deconstructing the Zionist entity). I mean Australia actually has very much to prove about being a democracy that is aware of its historic and ongoing crimes against the indigenous culture that it destroyed on purpose wholesale, whose people remain corralled and unintegrated to a large degree and subject to different laws i.e. alcohol on reservations. But, still maybe the Australians are just more decent and laid back even though there is not a single Australian settlement not built on land stolen by a colonial entity , after all no there is no reason (here) to contest the right of white Australians to live naturally on conquered land -- ps that still had a white only immigration policy after the founding of Israel, not fully dismantled until the 1970's.

      You would however be right to assert that in Australia generally there is a higher degree of self awareness than in Israel about the nature of the country's founding and also that ethnic-nationalist justifications for present day segregation is not tolerated in polite society.

  • Natalie Portman and Woody Allen see anti-Semitism as pervasive
    • I am genuinely surprised to see you say something so intemperate and borderline bigoted like this, Annie.

      This is analysis from the Jihad-Watch school on Islam.

  • 'Variety' misses the story on BDS
    • Annie,

      Come on I expect more from you than to try to catch me with the goose and gander play: because I critique something related to pro-Palestinian activity I must be covering for Zionism? How long have I been commenting here?

      Seriously, why is there such a rigid party line here?

      Why would I play from the Hasbara handbook when I think 90% of Hasbara is complete BS?

      I do though think there is a kind of equivalence in claims of innocence in pretty much everything I/P which was my initial comment.

      I said above I am against Boycotts, including Iran . I think the sanctions of Iran are counter productive and yes involve a kind of harassment and intimidation which the US certainly employs in its "coalition" building.

      Anyway, I am sorry to have commented so much today and wish everyone a good day.

    • I don't think saying BDS has become very effective at promoting boycott which is in itself always a threat of someones bottom line, that is why it is a boycott. The official language has almost all been temperate and morality based which is a reason why BDS has been effective. Social media not as much. Google yourself. And hey I am still busy with your last assignment proving Cory Booker is a Zionist which is just so hard to do you since he has never praised Israel ever, you have to give me more time!

    • *street cred

    • I suppose I see BDS as gaining momentum and being well organized and edging into street fred territory which my reference to being labeled as "bad" (as in a bad person)

    • This is the goose/gander aspect of I/P. Any critique of one "side" means one is hiding similar in their own "side."

      I am very concerned with the intimidation of Jewish dissenters such as those you named, in fact more so since I have worked on dialogue in the Jewish community. and I say this being not especially sympathetic to Alice Walker, who I think is a tad bat-shit, and MJ Rosenberg, who I think has played a little careless with terms like "Israel Firster." I am much more sympathetic to Phil and Adam's project and Norman Finkelstein and others, though reject all of their ostracizing from the Jewish mainstream.

      And professional intimidation obviously applies here too.

    • Coordinated is a compliment to a movement that first was laughed at.
      Boycott is in itself a threat of consequences. I don't think anyone has threatened to break legs. On twitter the threat to one's livelihood and reputation is explicit, especially after artists go ahead and play anyway, whatever the intentions of the artists many of whom claim that they want to play to mixed audiences and to play in the name of peace.
      I don't want to make a huge deal about it simply to repeat that this strikes me as a similar claim to rock throwing is non-violent. In the I/P discussion everything hides behind innocence.

    • As soon as a star announces travel they are flooded with twitter, Facebook, emails to their management with the explicit threat of their own careers being boycotted and them becoming a bad person (even if their intent is to play to a mixed audience). Fair tactic in a just cause? of course.

      Gentle coercion in explicitly moral terms? No.

      I do not personally support BDS of Israel, Iran, Saudi or even scumbag North Korea but different point but feel no right to lecture Palestinian civil society and their supporters about what non-violent tactics they employ. My point again is that this discussion needs clarity and accuracy and in this sense alone I think there is a kind of parity of narratives of innocence.

    • Of course its harassment and intimidation. This is from the school of thought that throwing rocks is nonviolent, that is when its our cause its what we say it is not what your eyes tell you.

      You either believe that people have a right to resist or not and if they do have a right to resist than why sugarcoat the tactics. BDS is becoming an effective tool because of coordinated full court harassment of performers who want to play Israel.

  • Meet the pro-Israel donors who boosted Cory Booker's Senate run
    • Alex,

      Others have been worse than you (and dupe for sale is directed generally-- see kathleen below) on this but the implication that he is a blob of clay molded by his friends and donors does in my mind come more easily to some because of a disbelief that a young black man would be a more powerful force than old rich Jews and other whites. This also feeds in to the innocent Dick and Jane model.

      CB is his own man and his donors are shaped by him as much or more.

      That positioning is uncomfortable to a particular kind of white "liberal" critique.

      And no, the company could not make him rich because he divested and it is all but inactive.

    • I speak from the experience of spending countless hours with him. You are welcome to disbelieve me or my conclusion but I am telling you he is a sincere Zionist and moreover any of his public statements confirm this.

    • Point of fact: His stake (which he got rid of) in that company did not make him rich. It did not make him anything. You should look back into that and correct that.

      Point of opinion (based on knowledge): You can disagree with CB's ideas about Israel (which I happen to) but they are his own. Booker drives the relationship with his donors not the other way around and its always been this way since he was city councilman. He is not a dupe or for sale. He also has one of the most diverse support base of any candidate serving which is why he has been so successful in his campaigns-- even his first failed bid for mayor represented a unique base of Dems, GOP/Libertarians working people and multi millionaires.

      CB will be a uniquely public senator with out a doubt and also with out a doubt he will be pro Israel because that is indeed his pov. The assumed relationship you have here is not only wrong but has always smelled a tad racist to me. As I said, anyone who knows, knows that Cory has created a donor base that from the beginning feels privileged to support him not one to which he scrapes and bows and amends his positions for the buck.

  • 'The Onion' uses the k-word
    • Scott, of course it is. Reference to any groups particular (supposed) trait is going to be offensive especially skin color (which of course red is an imagined taxonomy like white, yellow of which there is no actual human equivalent).
      Though Chief Wahoo is pretty f-d up logo.
      Seminoles is the actual name of the people. If they don't care it seems ok to me.

    • Old Miss and other universities in the South wanted to keep blacks out because of "tradition," and while a name is not as offensive as segregation (of which by the way the founder of the Redskins was a proud proponent), the appeal to tradition is always invoked in these cases. So that argument is almost a guaranteed response by people who just aren't listening or just don't care.

      That Native Americans were wiped out and pushed into reservations here makes this a particularly disgusting.

      Berliner (the donut) and Wiener, even Sour Kraut (renamed Liberty Cabbage during the First War -- though of course the kraut there is literal) are quite a different thing.

      "Jews Ear" an auricularia mushroom is still on the menu in some Chinese restaurants in Japan that have English menus and "N^%$R's Toes," Brazil Nuts -- I remember an old lady that was shocked that anyone would be offended by this appellation, are quite a different thing which seems to me more like your example of Gypsy Schnitzel.

  • MJ Rosenberg owes Ali Abunimah an apology for false accusations of anti-Semitism
    • MJs problem is ego and impatience. That's why he refuses to dialogue with people who disagree with him, no comment section and bans people left and right on twitter. And, his charge about Abuminah which is not supportable. My guess is it was a bad day for him and he blew up in a way that (he will never admit but that) he regrets.

      As for the comment section here, there are people who have a problem with the Jewish collective and are unsympathetic to Jews and very slow to condemn in, for example, Atzmon what would produce a hair trigger response if he were writing about Islam and Muslims. But its hard to say if someone is an anti-Semite or other kind of racist in their private actions and attitudes. Much better to confront each instance and focus on the statement.

      I think out of the hundreds of commenters on MW this is less than ten people though.

      The term "Israel Firster," MJs own, bother's me more than most of what Abuminah says. I suppose like "Anti-semite" it can describe some people, but it is used as a blanket.

  • What Comes Next: A secular democratic state in historic Palestine - a promising land
    • Diamodok,

      Hertzl and other early Zionists were most certainly worried about the status and safety of Jews in Western and Eastern Europe at the earliest points of modern immigration to Palestine and the formation of the idea of Israel.

      I do think Jews have should have the same rights as other self-identified peoples. But no people have the right to self determine on top of other people.

      The bride is truly beautiful.

      Our real eternal beef is with the scum who deny our natural place on earth, the player haters and double standard bearers, the libelists and conspiracy nuts. Its not with Palestinians or Muslims certainly not with Palestinian Muslim farmers who want to occupy the same land and houses as their fore parents.

      Jewish life in historic Palestine is wonderful thing to be defended, but, imo not in nationalist terms and not at the expense of other individuals and groups.

    • I don't know why Barghouti insists on claiming (as he does here and in his talks) that there were no pogroms against Jews in the Arab/Islamic world. And by implication discrimination. From incidents like the Damascus Affair to dhimmi codes which were sometimes ignored and sometimes enforced. And of course there were slaughters Hebron and expulsions/coercions (everywhere) after the period of Zionism and unless that is ok because it the other side, they were worse, etc... well those count too.

      It is not necessary to his argument to create this pure (counter) history. Even if the Arab/Islamic world was as discriminatory and abusive (at times) as the European Christian world towards Jews, which it was not, it would not change in any way the merit of his vision for the next phase of I/P.

      I understand he wants to naturalize human rights in a part of the world which many see as incapable, but the fact is humanity and inhumanity are natural to every part of the world and history. There are plenty of examples, like that of his family member who was breastfed by a Jewish woman, to establish the past naturalness of Jews in the Middle East. But there are other stories too. Not Muslim or Arab stories but Planet Earth stories, where minorities are sometimes abused by majorities.

      About the argument, I can't imagine a better or more articulate vision of reconciliation in a non-ethnic state.

      Its always been my opinion that we as Jews fought are fighting the wrong battle. What we want(ed) is a state safe for Jews, which a Jewish State may or may not be.

  • Journalists should tell their readers if they're Zionists
    • Zionist does not mean "person who disagrees with you" about Hamas or symetry anything else. (Let's say you are right about both). It means someone who supports a Jewish state in historic Palestine.

  • Miley Cyrus, sociologist
    • I think your description of the power dynamics is true for the past, even recent, but in an era of JZ, Diddy and a few others, its hard to say whites of any background have the upper hand in black cultural production.

      And the founder of BET became the first black American billionaire so I wouldn't worry too much about him as a symbol of victimhood either. I think in fact he got the better deal over Redstone.

      Some Jews, like Rick Rubin seem to have been in a different mold than say the stereotypical mildly less racist but still racially exploitative managers of the Spike Lee Mo Better Blues stereotype. Rubin has never been described by the black musicians he has worked with as other than a partner and peer, from Run DMC on. (Russell Simmons being a bit bit of a capitalist himself).

      There was a moment where Jews served as intermediaries between black and mainstream white society but all the dynamics have changed (for the better mostly) and that moment is over.

  • Israel lobby group counters Palestinian dispossession with-- Jewish creationism
    • wait, which guys? I take you for smart so surely you don't equate Jewish or the belief that Jews can also be part of the natural landscape of Palestine, with Zionism (which you have never seen me defend).

    • Can someone explain the first map. It should be 100% green. The yellow represents land purchased legally in Palestine by Jews presumably.

      Why does that represent a loss of Palestine itself?

      The other maps makes sense because they represent post-conquest.

  • There Are No Facts: Excerpt from Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel'
    • Sea, you always talk in these purities that don't have any representation on planet earth, certainly not in wildlife and not in human populations either. Just inverse that regarding Arabs in Europe to see how silly your serious joke is.

      I guess according to you Helen Thomas's family should have gone back to where they "belong" since Arab identity is mutually exclusive with European ancestry except when it is not as in the case a good percentage Arab people.

      You always fail to miss the beauty of diversity which is by they way a very strong argument for the inclusiveness of the Palestinian identity then , now and in an equitable future.

      Dutch, you did read the study right? Its the mother's lineage not the father's which is Near Eastern.

      But it actually does not matter at all because even if Ashkenazim descended 100% from Palestine there would not be justification for an ethnic or religious state which cleared out rightful inhabitants under the banner of Nationalism. And, the Jewish claim to descent to that region was never assumed to be exclusive.

  • Video: Another Problem from Hell? Adelson and Wiesel laud Rwanda's Kagame
    • "Good German" is an historical term to refer to the majority of Germans who, wile not having genocidal intent and being otherwise normal people, either tacitly supported, or did nothing to prevent, the rise of Hitler.

  • Malcolm Gladwell is afraid to address Israel in his new book
    • Sure, perhaps. He wants to sell his kind of books and Israel/Palestine watchers decide in the first sentence if you are pure good or pure evil.

    • You may be right about al that but my point is that if he says Israel is treats Palestinians in Apartheid-like ways, a true statement, he becomes an anti-Zionist not worth listening to for one group (I think Phil is right about book reading demographics too). If he says Israel has a comparatively good record on gay and woman's rights, he becomes a liberal imperialist, pink washing Zionist to another group. Human rights is not actually his gig. As mentioned above he is more into the airplane read and so Israel is not a good choice for his niche.

    • Phil you are missing Gladwell's point, I think, which funny enough is Gladwell's point.

      It is impossible to talk honestly about Israel in public because for the vast majority of people interested in the discussion only one list; either achievements or defaults, matters. Any mention of Israel as David or Israel as Goliath means to most close observers of this conflict that you are creating a polemic. A neutral statement is always going to be taken as Zionism or anti-Zionism.

      Gladwell is saying he wants to discuss ideas not get caught up in (explicit) politics so other cases are better suited.

  • When myths about Jews collide with Jewish reality
    • I know you do but guess what? Some US Southerners hate hearing from collective black people and some Israelis don't want to hear anything about the Nakba. Just suck it up because the consequences of tragedies do last generations. Its true you are not individually responsible and no individual alive today can use a past legacy as an excuse for their behavior. But legacies matter to people. And by the way, no country in the world has done a better job of dealing with its own past than yours, than Germany. Certainly not where I live, Japan which has been terrible at this.

    • Korea is a funny place re: Jews (so is Japan but Korea moreso). Lot's of intense shared Chosen people feelings-- no pun intended as "Cho-sen" is one old name for Korea, and creepy would be emulation of small "obviously" superior nation surrounded by obviously jealous enemies. Plus intense Christianity which makes Jews seem special in themselves as a relic from the time of Jesus, and also as potential converts with bonus points. Look forward to hearing about your experience and if you encounter this variety of philo-semitism/self love.

      PS: That is not what Chosen is supposed to mean so while I agree with you somewhat Kathleen, it is only to the same extent I don't want to be told Jesus is -the- way and the truth or that the shahada is what separates those bound for Janna or Jahannam (plus lots of earthly distinctions between us and them.)

  • Jewish leader warns Beinart that opening discussion to BDS would be like including the KKK
    • Essentially Arab and essentially Slovak are meaningless terms, unless you mean language and sure there are places which speak Arabic predominantly but even that is not exclusive in any of the historic "Arab" countries.

      Palestine has been an especially diverse and fluid place by all measurements including those we use to (inaccurately) determine race and ethnicity such as hair texture, skin color, eye shape.

      Sure, Egypt belongs to the Egyptians, but that is actually a different kind of statement.

      And, again, you keep answering me as if I am justifying Zionism when in fact I am rejecting the basic terms by which Zionism argues.

    • You keep going back to Zionism as if I am making some brief for Jewish nationalism or the conquest of Palestine which I am certainly not. I am aware of the argument that the residents of Palestine did not really own their land and I reject it as completely as you do.

      Yes, nationalism is built around perceptions of ethnicity which are all fabricated. "Caucasian," "Aryan" "Semite" all have political and social histories. "Our Ancestors the Gauls," the beginning of past French primers had little basis in the demography of France and had everything to do with constructing a French nation that belonged on eternally French soil.

      Of course Israel cannot claim Central London. My point is neither can "Anglo Saxons" another invented identity which in its 18th century currency held that neither Romans nor Normans contributed in any way to the people living on the "British" Islands, and as I hope you agree, a UK citizen from Pakistan, Nigeria or Poland has as much natural right to live their as someone who is indeed descended from Danes, Picts, Angles or Celts.

    • ?
      My logic is the claim that land is not essentially ethnic.

    • Sure, but my point is "Arab Lands" is being used in a way that does not actually mean all Arabs.

      Palestinian identity includes people born and raised in and with descent from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar etc... from Arafat to leaders of Hamas to Omar Barghouti. As well it has every right to. All identities are fluid and often political. Claiming a unique Palestinian culture is very recent. For most of the history of Palestinian nationalism, Palestinians argued that its culture was part of a peoplehood that stretched across North Africa and all the way to Persia.

      The answer is to minimize ethnicity and religion not enhance its power.

      And of course it does not change the nature of Israel's founding.

    • Mike, I for one have no problem with taking religion out of the Israeli state, in fact endorse it.

      The problem is referring to the land as essentially Arab.

      Land does not belong to ethnic groups, not even the so called natives (as an entity, of course Palestinians have rights to the homes they fled and were driven from), who are always diverse and almost always themselves immigrants (having supplanted some one else).

    • "On Arab lands occupied in June 1967" and "On Arab lands." are used interchangeably in various platforms. To be sure, just as there are one and two state boycotters, there are boycotters for whom this means BDS until Israel withdraws from the OT and for others BDS until the Jews are no longer where presumably they don't belong, on land that is naturally Arab (not that the actual composition of Israeli Jews, where more than half have ancestry in Arab lands matters to this formulation).
      There are two major (Palestinian) writers who never refuse to answer me about anything but who simply won't answer this question. The ambiguity is important for building a big tent and Palestinian consensus.

  • Backlash against Netanyahu: He gets 2-1/2 hours with Obama during shutdown, trying to thwart Iran opening
    • Have you ever even checked what your mythical Dick and Jane think about Israel? According to the newest and last Pew studies, twice as many white Evangelicals believe God gave Israel to the Jews as Jews do, some 80%! which of course is Insane.
      Most Americans still support Israel as a Jewish state. So lurking and nefarious David and Judith are in fact not poising the minds of pure hearted Dick and Jane.
      This will certainly change and Netanyahu's antics will be a catalyst, as will younger Jews caring less about religion and Israel in general. But stop acting like the American public is innocent about about this issue and if they only knew. They know.

  • Hillel director slams Birthright for refusing students' requests to meet Palestinians and see checkpoints
    • Henry there certainly would be manipulation (its a propaganda tour) but you seem to make and W Jones runs with the assumption that Palestinians preaching love and peace in slick coffee shops and nightclubs and start-ups are not authentic enough natives (or necessarily "Uncle Toms"PS a much maligned image of (often) subverts "putting on ol massa."

  • Seymour Hersh says official story of bin Laden killing is 'one big lie, not one word is true'
    • where you learn that 7 of the (CIA-Mossad op) 9/11 hijackers are still alive, etc... and Veteran's Today, which writes "The holy gas chamber is a fake. Which makes the entire Holocaust story a fake.... There was never a plan for exterminating Jews and there was never an instrument," From its financial editor we learn that (of course) "The Jews in Hollywood" are responsible for taking away real American's guns and that Israeli death squads were behind the shootings of Gabrielle Giffords, the Colorado movie shootings and at the school in New Town, Connecticut." The editor of VT is not just a holocaust revisionist, by the way, but also a Hitler revisionist, feeling the Fuhrer acted rationally towards Jews in response to a world Jewish boycott of Germany and (supposed) Jewish domination of the global economy.

  • What if your friend had to die to preserve a Jewish state?
    • The questions seem the same but they are separate:
      Are you willing to die for your country ?
      Is your country worth dying for (in a universally justifiable way)?
      There are plenty of people who will die for their crappy country or religion, warts and all.
      Phil does not seem to believe that anyone cannot see how obvious it is that nationalism is two centuries ago and useless. And "Bad for the Jews" (worse for the Palestinians).

      I am reading a book whose title translate as "When will it be ok to love Japan again?"
      which begins with the lament that less than 10% of Japanese surveyed say they are willing to die defending Japan." It is strange since the vast majority of Japanese would have (did) say yes in the late 1930s whereas Japan today is eminently more worth defending.

      I recall a survey from about 2006 where the numbers were fairly low for most European countries as well.

  • Sh*t rightwing Zionists say about liberal Zionists
    • GL - Not sure how many books you have read about Zionism or left and right political movements you have read.

      Zionism is nationalism which can be "left" or "right." Nationalism can even be Socialist. That rings a bell, right?(PS I love Germany, so that is not a dig on the country, just you)

      Zionism began as a "progressive" movement (as in breakaway from history not as in "good"). Labor Zionism was an extremely powerful movement in terms of bringing American and European left types into the idea of a modern (often a-religious) Jewish state organized in collectives such as the Yishuv and Kibbutz.

      But people use "left" and "right" as synonyms for "good" and "bad." So my guess is to your ear saying that Zionism is "right wing" is just a way to say it is "bad."

      Without a doubt the most powerful Zionist groups today lean "right."

  • 'It is Zionist to think that American Jews have any connection to Israel'
    • bilial, which networking benefits would those be and why do you assume he is taking advantage of them?

      He goes to a Catholic founded university and, frankly, he is riding the bus between cities which is a perfectly normal thing to do but not exactly a privileged class marker.

  • Celebrity foodie Anthony Bourdain's trip to Palestine highlights Gaza blockade, racist settlers
    • I have to say in spite of being terrible at measurement (Egypt 12,000 years old never even one civil war) and predictions (Mubarek will never be released from prison in a kajillion years -though I guess house arrest still counts?) your honesty about how much -Jews- bother you (whatever their politics or intentions) is refreshing.

    • Actually, Taxi, you could not be more wrong about how culture and history works. Of course a people eating something for a time makes it theirs. Why that's like suggesting noodles are not Italian -- except by your fascist standards they are still Chinese.

      Sushi, which is actually originated from the Mekong Delta -- is -- American, just like Pizza and Hot Dogs which originated in Germany and Italy -- except tomatoes are South American). California Rolls are not on the menu of any sushi restaurant in Japan that is not catering to tourists. (Tempura by the way is Portuguese, probably West African before that and Yakiniku is a Korean dish brought back during the colonization of Korea.

      Food transfer is wonderful thing, and the Jews of Israel are mixed between Ashkenazi (you should learn how to use the singular and plural btw) and Arab Jews who were eating roughly the same cuisine as their Muslim and Christian counterparts.

      The issue is oppression, colonialism, choking the remnants of what might have been a Palestinian State while stifling an egalitarian democracy to develop.

      Ashkenazim eating hummus and incorporating it into their pan-Jewish diet in a free and equal Israel/Palestine would be a wonderful human thing.

      Food transfer is as beautiful as colonialism and oppression (and cultural fascism) are ugly.

    • The result is tremendously powerful I believe, more so than any polemic. Humans related to and depicted as humans in a specific American language as you point out.

  • Spy on mosques, stay away from synagogues: NYPD surveillance differs based on religion
    • I believe that photo shows an observation tower meant to protect the mosque.

      One good memory on a terrible, terrible day was the police surrounding NYC's largest mosque on 9/11 to protect it from "reprisals" that of course never came.

  • Jews without Israel
    • Rabbi Arthur Waskow. Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Rosen are all faith leadership, no? As for mainstream, the mainstream leadership in the Jewish community has been pro-attack. The numbers of Israeli's who support the attack is something like 67%. My guess is the Jewish community in the US is divided equally. Americans in General are about 56% against attack in Syria.

      As I have expressed here before I think the facts should always be taken as they are but when one defines a community by a segment, even the dominant groups, it helps a static essential definition when faiths and communities are always dynamic and should be encouraged. This way of looking at communities is the underpinning of Islamophobia such that when a progressive Islamic group takes a position but more conservative elements within the faith - AND - critics without write it off as a "private" Islam counter to the -real- faith.

      Most religious Jews opposed a secular state of Israel when it was founded and many conservative, reform and assimilated American and European Jews did as well, and there is no eternal or essential reason why Judaism and Zionism need to be linked regardless of how it serves the interests of those who (from self promotion or external derision) want to keep Jews as an isolated and ahistorical (changing) entity.

    • link to

      Faith Leaders (Including Jewish Groups) No War In Syria

    • I don't insult people with that generally because most people on this issue are not anti-semites.

      I believe your and Citizen's construction of Jewish and other things you have written has the whiff of antisemitism and when I see it, I say so. You may be perfectly nice people with generally good intentions.

    • PTJ I have no idea what you are talking about and neither do you.

      I believe any one who calls themselves Jewish (for whatever reason) is Jewish.

      There are genetic clusters within that group (ashkenazic is a meaningful term when looking at for example disease patters) but this is hardly what Jewish means which from the beginning has always been a collection of tribes and converts.

      When Citizen says Jew he means the stiff necked interloping 2% that subverts the will of the pure 98% (even when in fact among that 2% there is the same range of ideas as within the 98%).

    • You are contextualizng expulsion, which is what people do when they want to deny the Nakba.

    • Thank you Annie for your points.

      And actually there is wide debate about this among many communities including the Muslim and Arab community. So the dyad of Jews and Americans does not work here regardless of what the professional lobbies are arguing for.

      I think btw assimilation is a wonderful two way street and has made both Jewish and non-Jewish communities more vibrant and more interesting.

      But yes, the construction (real) Citizen and (real) American favor which is constantly that Jews are apart from the 98% has a whiff of antisemitism to it whether done by Jew lovers or Jew haters.

    • If your point is that non and anti-zionist jewish groups are smaller and less powerful than zionist Jewish groups you are correct. But you and anyone else with google or twitter can find prominent anti-war Jewish voices. We are having a conversation on a site established by such self-identified Jews.

      You take additional steps and insist this defines Jewry and there is where you are wrong and would still be wrong even if 99% of Jews were professing Zionists (which they are not and the number is decreasing by all accounts)

      Please take a look over at Jihad Watch for some insight into how the same arguments are used to create an immobile, static and eternally oppositional Islam.

    • seanmcbride: "But the worldwide Jewish religious establishment — the official authority on Judaism "

    • What you write above is true but in your first statement and in others you take two additional steps.

      1) You say this is the official authority. No its not.
      2) You say to commit Judaism means to engage Zionism. No it doesn't.

    • You make the assumption (obviously) that a majority of Jews support a strike in different numbers than non-Jews. I am not so sure. As Prof. Cole points out, the Muslim community is also split.

      link to

      BY the way, Jews are everyday Americans, right? or no?

    • Please introduce me to this official authority on Judaism some time, I have some questions I need answered.
      This is the style over at Jihad Watch too, there they say the same kind of thing about Islam.

      In fact, most of religious Judaism rejected secular Zionism at its inception, so the "these days" part is significant.

      IMO, Jews without Israel is fine as long as Jews in Palestine is fine.

  • Mondoweiss partners with TinyPass for Fall drive -- $5 a reader
    • Its a great idea in addition to appeals for larger sums.

      There is probably no one who uses this site who cannot afford to throw 5 bucks in the hat and its only common decency to do so.

  • No one knows what Obama stands for
    • "I had no idea how many Muslim friends he had," would be the very bad start to a very incoherent explanation about someone's geopolitics, regardless of the % of Muslims who believe x y or z.

    • Cliff, we all have the things that interest us about this conflict. I think my interest in Jewish identity contraction and how it is perceived within this debate is relevant here on Mondoweiss. Telling me I cannot point it out here is a kind of what-aboutism I have never justified the daily abuses of Palestinians and would agree that diverting from it on purpose is a problem.
      I agree it is not about me but since you asked, half of my family and my wife are not Jewish (for now, I think she may convert one day but it makes no difference to me), btw.

    • Yes, I understand and I think you are being thoughtful about it. But the statement to the effect that Obama's number of Jewish friends, even in the case where the majority of Jews are Zionists, is a relevant indicator of his thought process is still not just unacceptable, but the very kind of unacceptable construction that buttresses Islamophobia.
      Jewish becomes an a priori stand in for Zionist. In this way (MHughes976 comment below) the (a)symmetry between Jewish=Zionist and Muslim=terrorist is irrelevant -- though I tend to agree they are not the same.

    • Though I must add I completely agree with you that it was Obama's accepting of the prize that was more disturbing than the fact that it was awarded to him prematurely (and eventually wrongly). At the time I think Obama could have made a more important statement humbly refusing it.

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