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Total number of comments: 1013 (since 2010-07-08 12:35:09)

tokyobk

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  • Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91
  • A brief history of the 'Nakba' in Israel
    • "Those few people in the West, especially in America, who have learned of what Zionist Israel has done to, not for, Palestinians, in spite of the pro-Zionist Israel “news media” propaganda, do not appreciate at all these academic pieces on “Nakba discourse in Zionist Israel” and couching Zionist Israel’s countless human rights crimes in “softer language”. "

      Sure, but that is a different criticism than about the title of this article, which is appropriate to the content, whatever its other merits or faults.

    • James Michie,

      You seem not to grasp the intention of the article, and therefore the use of "Israel" and not "Palestine" in the title, which is to write how the nakba has been forgotten, remembered, denied and/or discussed in Israel by Israelis. Its a very informative historiography.

  • Sanders slams Clinton for ignoring Palestinian needs and thinking Netanyahu is 'right all the time'
  • How I discovered what Phil Ochs thought about Israel
    • Thanks Peter.

      I attended a Habonim camp from 1979 - 1984, and often wonder the various paths others from the labor Zionist youth movements have taken and are taking on I/P.

      About "The Sixties," well we know on a calendar but in spirit, when did they begin and end? I think a good argument can be made for 1963 - 1975, so looking back at least I think you were still square inside of that experience. My camp counselors were the little kids of your day (and in my last year we absorbed the collapsed Na'aleh) and they were still thinking of themselves as deeply attached to your generations aspirations.

  • Israeli journalist Derfner succinctly analyzes the anti-Semitism vs. anti-Zionism debate
  • Shocker: 'NYT' forum on anti-Zionism tilts toward equating Zionism with racism
    • A cultural Zionism that included living in/visiting Palestine (as legal residents and tourists) speaking Hebrew etc.. could be consistent with the rights of all citizens of I/P including returnees. That is clearly not what most Zionists want now or where the movement went (inevitably) but that does answer the question about "could."

    • Like many I am sure, Phil, I first thought of you and the others here without whose efforts over the last decade, the NYT would surely not be moving.

  • Jews aren't special
    • Of course you are right that Jews are not special, that those who identify as such need to build on the welcoming and integrating traditions, and also about how the claim of specialness is an attempt to cover aggression. Its always this way. The Japanese, for example, saw themselves as the eternal victims of the West as they tried to gobble up much of Asia.

      The feeling of ethnic specialness can be dangerous but in fact such claims do get a pass from the same who decry racism when they are seen as bolstering the wounded pride of a victimised group. Do you follow the responses to racism and Islamophobia? Do they not include a certain amount of talk of specialness from within the communities responding to various forms of prejudice? They do.

      What is your evidence though that Jews as a group feel more special than others? Do you think Bernie Sanders feels Jews are more special. or any number of people involved in I/P that happen to be Jewish (or brought to it because they are Jewish)?So does Bernie cancel out your one friend? Are you sure that a survey of Jews would demonstrate a sense of group superiority more ingrained than other religious and ethnic groups? I am not sure at all. Are you also sure that chosen-ness is any different than feeling belonging to an Ummah that cuts across time and space, or of being saved? I am not sure of that either.

      But, without a doubt, to repeat, the idea of permanent victimhood and therefore special entitlement, that somehow missed what happened to Jews after the war and especially in the US where they became a very integrated and powerful group is madness, and as it plays out in I/P very dangerous madness.

  • Behind the #WeWillRespectHomosexualRights campaign in the Middle East
    • Why does "Arab" tradition have to be a pure lineage (its not anyway). "The West" gets to import and appropriate whatever it wants (including Arab civilisation)?

      Anyway, I applaud this and hope that in the future people in the West who see themselves as progressive try to support people in other parts of the world who are also progressive (the contour of the progressivism may of course differ) rather than assign traditionalists (who are often working on a pretty recent idea of what constitutes tradition btw) the default position.

  • Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000 (Updated)
    • Uh, Kay24, it depends on who the "we" is that "know[s]" who controls Hollywood ("and its not the Japanese") is.

      Sure, those who can sniff Jews like a pig on rare truffles know this to be true, but that "we" can find controlling Jews anywhere and everywhere.

      Meanwhile, the "we" who know about Hollywood (and Jews and Japanese btw) know that in fact "the" Japanese own about 1/7th of Hollywood, and by % and total numbers actually do own more of Hollywood than "the" Jews.

      Though to be fair, even there conspiracies fall short of facts since over half of Sony is owned by foreign investors and individuals, about 56% I think. So is it The Japanese or lots of Japanese that control more of Hollywood than Jews? Hmmm...

      0 out of the 7 corporations that truly own Hollywood have anything more than a small percentage of Jewish shareholder ownership, though several were founded long ago by Jews and Jews remain prominent as executives.

      There are a few thousand very influential Jews in Hollywood. Most of them as Zionist I would guess. This definitely matters to I/P.

      Controlling? No. Your implication is backward but I am sure its not the first time.

  • 'New York Times' picks up Bernie Sanders's 'socialist' kibbutz but leaves out the ethnic cleansing
    • Its a fair concern and there are certainly Jews who were living in and immigrated legally to Palestine, but here is the thing with all colonial movements; legitimate transactions of one time are obscured by larger, state sponsored grabs of a later time.

      Take the many Japanese farmers and merchants who legitimately bought land and property in Manchuria and various South Sea Islands decades before the Pacific War. The Imperial grab of entire countries by force (and with support of most of those early settlers) creates a kind of complicit responsibility.

      In that case, all the Japanese, except some blended families and many of them too, were expelled. In the case of a future Israel/Palestine I would hope all legitimate deeds were respected but that would mean an awful lot of Palestinian returnees making fair claims.

  • Israeli designer eroticizes the Palestinian keffiyeh
    • Well not exactly. Certainly Israeli culture appropriates in a way similar to all colonialism. I remember learning "rikud ha'am" the people's dance and realising much later that the people who invented these dances were not my people at all (set to Romanian folk tunes btw).

      But 1/2 of Israelis descend from people for whom hummus was also indigenous. The same cannot be said for Europeans in the Americas.

      The issue is expulsion and conquest not food which is the most "stolen" of all culture. Name any supposedly national cuisine and then research its parts. The property rights fall apart pretty quickly.

      Chick Peas (probably from Turkey) and Fava Beans are a pan-Medeterranian staple and people of all the pre-Abrahamic and Abrahamic faiths were eating them long before Israel or Palestine.

    • Page: 10
    • Actually you're both right, Jon66 slightly more so (by precedent). Google can tell you why.

    • Thanks, it was in part a response to your post.

    • "Cultural Appropriation" is an interesting subject. In a sense all culture is appropriated. Its very clear now that Europe only transitioned from hunting and gathering after its appropriation of Levant agricultural techniques brought by an influx of immigrants.

      It makes sense that cultures that are subject to ongoing theft are the most sensitive to having their arts taken without attribution. So, Native Americans are particularly upset about purported native fashions on mainstream runways.

      That said, cloth is just cloth. There certainly would be people miffed by a talit used as a sash but the fact that humans take ideas and things from other humans is why we are still here. There is no fashion that is not derivative. The issue is stealing land, erasing cultures not beads, clothes or falafel. Solve the first and the second will seem more like exchange.

      Last year a group of Asian Americans (mostly not Japanese) got upset at a try-on-a-kimono event at the Boston Museum. In fact the event was part of an exhibition on "Japonisme" which was a very conscious appropriation which the exhibit explained. Moreover, the kimono was made at great time and expense by a very old and prestigious shop in Kyoto. Reaction in Japan (where getting foreigners to appropriate is a business and cultural pride -- i.e. renting kimono to foreigners in Kyoto's Gion to dress up for a day) was largely wtf is wrong with these Americans?

      I could walk down the street dressed as an extra in a samurai period drama, complete with a with pointed shoulder kataginu frock and shaved head with topknot and probably not get more than a few stares.

      But again, I can completely empathise with a Palestinian having to see crap like this which is salt in the wound.

  • Adelson newspaper suggests Swedish foreign minister deserves assassination for questioning Israeli policy
    • Depends what is meant by "cultural Zionists."

      Cultural Zionism has meant for many wanting nothing more than to live in Zion, and before the late 19th century that never meant thoughts of displacing other Palestinians.

      In hindsight we can see clearly that in increasing numbers this has been a cover for soft conquest, but that does not mean that individuals aw themselves this way int he past were not genuine.

      And in the future, a term reflecting the old usage may come back to describe former Israelis who want to continue to live in Palestine, or non-Palestinian Jews who want to tour Jewish sites, though "Zionist" probably will not be rehabilitatable.

  • Goodbye to all that (my Jewish-WASP shtik)
    • "I already posted 4 times a call to that strange creature Greg Mozart, defying him –or any other identity believer– to quote ONE (1) single non-religious, non-liturgical element of culture, language, hairdo, or any and I mean any common element common to all non-religious “Jews”, Eskenazi or Sefardí, Mizrahi, Ethiopian, Yemenite, Bukhari, Western European, Martian, etc. -"

      Why would I do that? As I keep saying, I don't believe that there is any common element, more importantly, any essential element to being Jewish. I am not an "identity believer" I am a humanity believer. I think identify belief of the sort we both mean here is ultimately dangerous.

      I do believe that many Jews do think there is a non-religious and "ethnic" definition of Judaism and, as I said, I see clearly that some Muslims in America are adopting this kind of understanding. If you disagree with that, fine, but at least get me right.

      Why you and Mooser think I am endorsing things I clearly don't, I just don't know.

    • "Oh well, it lasted almost two sentences!So basically, you want it for us, but not for anybody else. "-

      Who said that? Not me.

      I think you could probably say there is a certain type of 20th century Jewish (ashkenazic) humour, for example. My point is that the term may have some some meaning in certain contexts.

      But of course there is nothing essentially Jewish about anything.

      So, Mooser, believe it or not, we basically agree. Sorry.

    • You keep insisting I am endorsing or embracing this way of identifying. I am not. I also think these kinds ID fashioning limit full human expression. That said, one can talk of Jewish secular culture in a coherent way, since that culture produced a particular kind of food, humor, literature, politics etc...

      And yes, its interesting, for both anti-semites and secular Jews there is such a thing as a Jewish identity outside of the above types of expressions and religious practice; a Jewish essence. (I don't believe in such a thing).

      What I m telling you is that the same is happening already among non-practicing people of Muslim backgrounds who still, like Zakaria, define themselves using this category. I find that interesting and suspect it will continue as a trend.

    • There will be an increasing number of people who are not religious and yet still retain the identity of Muslim. I am not arguing the theology and by the way people said the same about Reform Jews, I am making a prediction about community and identity.

    • Hi Krauss.

      There are Jews of color mvong through the ranks of the Refom movement and several progressive groups. You are absolutely right that Jews of color are not in powerful positions yet. I think that is a yet.

      The group that did that study is B'chol Lashon, named for the reference "in every tongue" to what is the natural diversity of Judaism only obscured in part by the rise and influence of Ashkenazi culture.

      I don't agree that children of interracial marriages move away form Judaism any more or less than children of same race marriages. I speak for my own case and my sibling and many of my friends. But, its an interesting question I'd like to see the numbers on.

      Yup, that kind of racism exists in the Jewish community. I have experienced it and I have witnessed it my whole life. BUT, imo, you are wrong to pin it on just in the orthodox and not just intentionally. In fact, I can tell you for sure that once an orthodox person knows that a person of color is halachicly (legally by birth or conversion) Jewish they are less likely to express prejudice. For a secular Jew, Judaism is often a culture or ethnic identity so it seems weird for someone to be, say Latino or Asian and Jewish. Hence the supposedly funny ads for Levy's bread "You don't have to be Jewish..." which had pictures of (obviously from this viewpoint) not-Jewish people -- people of color. link to pinterest.com

      You are simply wrong on fact that AIPAC is funded by orthodox Jews. Orthodox Jews are not nearly the biggest individual or the largest collective donors to this or other major Jewish political and non-synagogue social groups.

      For a religious person it is a practiced and inherited faith and therefore not a contradiction to be, say, Jewish and Native American.

      I have called out an author here for speaking of black-Jewish relations, when what they meant was black - white Jewish relations, as if black Jews don't exist. I believe the title was "Do black lives matter to Jews?" uh, yeah for starts to black Jews they do. This is VERY common among people in the Jewish community who nonetheless see themselves as progressive.

      I should also say it was not religious Jews who fled the cities when blacks and Latino's moved in to their neighbourhoods but conservative and reform Jews.

    • Thanks Phil.

      I can relate to what I feel is your exhaustion.

      Just two notes, the first is that the Jewish community is also browning through intermarriage and fruitful multiplication by the small number that have been there (though at the margins) already. and Jews of color are growing into leadership positions. I gather from groups I belong to that as of now the Zionist to various form of non and anti-Zionism is roughly the same as in the larger mostly white Jewish community. But, I have my eye on this. It will be interesting to watch.

      Secondly, I have long thought that Islam in America will follow much the same trends as Judaism has in the last 150 years and there will be very strong Reconstruction and Reform branches emerging and wvwn more interestingly the non-practicing Muslim who yet retains a Muslim identity. There has recently been a reform Islamic group (they nailed their theses on the door of a Saudi funded mosque for dramatic flair) and essays such as a recent one by Fareed Zakaraia (who drinks wine, is intermarried, does not go to mosque and is agnostic) where he says he must assume even embrace a Muslim identity in the face of Islamophobia.

      Also, I have no doubt that some of the same values of family (including as an economic unit) education (including an intellectual religious tradition) will propel Muslims to some of the same heights in business and education over the next decades as Jews in the last. Many of these will be continue in the secular but identified tradition, imo.

  • A Christmas message in dark times
    • Where is the evidence that people say "happy holidays" mostly not to offend the Jews?

      I like "Merry Christmas," by the way, and have no beef with that basic argument, except surprise of surprises this essay draws a Jew shaped hole in the application of sensitivity which of course should apply to other groups.

      Everyone or no one, professor.

      In my experience, Roha, people who expect weird things from Japan almost always either don't live here or live here but with limited language abilities and social contacts within the normative society. I find much reporting from the supposedly unique islands on blogs written by foreigners to be sensationalist as well. Like, here I am on this strange planet type written. Understandable but adds to this misperception that Japans anything but its own particular variation of normal.

      But maybe you live/have lived here and disagree.

      I do want to visit the Japan I read about online one day, though, sounds fun. And weird.

  • Rubio's neocon-establishment team bolstered by 'Zionaire' hedgefunder who denies existence of Palestine
    • Yes, Mooser, the Japanese went on to claim their shameful spot among the worst in racism and genocide. But this was post WWI not pre WWII. Not that you know or care anything about history but China and (as then called) Siam were in fact co-signers of the Clause that Japan introduced, as were the two black nations I mentioned.

      In 1919, the Japanese were lauded by much of black America and most of Asia as potential "champions of the darker races" and the most powerful hedge against global white supremacy.

    • Wilson was not merely a representative of his racist time, he was one of the people who worked to keep his time racist. His racism was indeed typical of Lost Cause white Southerners, but not even all whites in that region.

      Two examples of many:

      He RE-segregated Washington DC federal offices. To make it clear, blacks were gaining economic and political status with public administration jobs in the center of American power. This was having not just the local effect of strengthening a DC middle class but a ripple effect in the distant and quite dismal places where Jim Crow was in full effect.

      He personally saw to it they the Racial Equality Clause introduced by the Japanese in Paris at the end of WWI was shot down even though it was likely to pass. This was going to preclude the mistreatment of any signing nations citizens by any other. Since Japan (as well as Haiti and Liberia) were signers this would have been a major step against legal discrimination.

      I could go on an on about that man who was an unrepentant racist, who tried his best to keep America a white country and, thankfully having lost, deserves whatever diminishment's come his way in the present.

  • Terrorism is an understandable response to west's wars in Middle East, realist and left writers say
    • The mainstream Muslim community is actually less parsing than many self described liberal writers these days.

  • The double standard for white and Muslim shooters
    • Annie -- I would love to be optimistic. You may be right and I hope you are.

      I meant much more generally. People who think extreme behaviours in their own group are an aberration but representative of the groups they oppose.

      It is true this is reflective of my feeds. I follow a wide range of people.

    • I think one standard would be great and should apply universally.

      But that means everybody's goose and every one else's gander.

      Very few people, on any side of an issue can resist the urge to apply a different standard to those they know in their hearts and minds are simply wrong.

      My feeds are filled with people who bristle at any implication of connection with their causes and their fringes and yet assume such connections as a starting point when it comes to their opposition.

  • Trump at the rightwing Jewish conference
    • You love a man who wants a Muslim data base and to "take out" the families of alleged terrorists, build a wall at the border, inspired in both he says by Israel. I haven't read through your comments but I am assuming you are a staunch Zionist, right?

      link to edition.cnn.com

  • 'Jewish Communal Fund' seeds Islamophobia as toxic as Trump's
  • Clash at settlement killed two innocent Jews -- and one innocent Palestinian
    • It does look like he was enrolled in one of the programs for non-Israelis (mostly Americans) who do support work and training with the IDF.

    • Its a fair line of inquiry, though prickly. He was an American citizen and a tourist. Was he aiding the IDF? Is an American Jew who is aiding Palestinians innocent? Or, do you think any Jew who sets foot in I/P becomes a legitimate target?

      And I am assuming you are Cherokee or Creek, Atlanta?

  • The way for Americans to take on the Islamic state is to end support for Jewish nationalism
    • Yusuf's mentor by the way is Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah who is one of the most respected scholars in Sunni Islam who has been at the forefront of developing Islamic responses to calls to armed Jihad. Neither sees themselves as a "moderate" (that would concede the center of Islam) though they are given that title in the West.

    • I wonder how many readers here are familiar with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, the founder of Zaytuna, the first accredited liberal arts college in the US which also offers a complete Islamic education. He and his co-founder Zaid Shakir, are two of the most interesting and imo thoughtful writers on Muslim life in in the Wes and both are extremely well versed in the history and literature of both civilisations. Here are some thoughts by Hamza Yusuf that strike the kind of balance that, I think Phil is attempting. In the earlier note on Paris, Phil had a list of people to watch. I would include both of these educators.

      link to zaytuna.edu

  • Netanyahu's fancy watch
    • I wouldn't doubt all kinds of slushy gifts to Netanyahu-- a warmonger and a scumbag.

      But a 5k watch, though, fancy by any normal standards, is not so special to fancy watch people.
      5k is the average starting price for high end time piece brands like Muller, Vacheron Constantin Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe, . And your going to get barebones steel. For mass luxury brands like Cartier or Rolex you get in the game as well, maybe some gold, but nothing too special.

      My guess is that he and Clinton think they are being modest by wearing such an easily available and comparatively inexpensive watch.

      PS ever see that Rabbi Boteach wears -two- watches?

  • Hillary Clinton promises to invite Netanyahu to White House in her first month
    • Some people with The Jews as a hobby are philo and some anti. Some both. Better? Worse? Don't know.

      I don't think Clinton is obsessed in any way with Jews, I think he has a generally sympathetic take on Jews as a group. I also think he discovered that many Jews can be a friends with political benefits. With Hillary, as I mentioned, I suspect its only the latter.

      My read, based on my experience with them both and the type of donors Phil is speaking of.

      If you have a different (relevant) experience or read pleased share. I always like to learn new things, or be shown why I am wrong. Though I suspect as usual the experience you draw on is hours and hours and hours tossing comment section barbs.

    • I don't think family stuff matters as much to her. Their grandchild may be Jewish but she is foremost a Clinton. On Trump, apparently his daughter's conversion was genuine and they are active members of their synagogue and in Jewish politics including Israel. Enthusiastically.

    • I have met both with and through the kinds of donors that Phil is taking about and my read it Bill is a Judeophile. A country kid, he met Jews at YLS as professors and friends and struck deep bonds emotionally and intellectually. Hillary, not really. Hillary has political instincts as shrewd as her husband but is not a deep feeler. "Ice in her veins" is how I remember a Zionist bundler for her once described her. Hillary's deepest emotional bond is with a Muslim woman apparently, I don't think she has absorbed much judeophilia or islamophobia. Its just about money and power with her and the Jews have more of both. For now.

  • When Palestinian 'protection' stands in the way of equality
    • It may have always been a nightmare for Palestinians but it is indeed a collapsing dream for Zionists Jews who have any genuine attachment to universal or progressive ideas.

      I am watching this now on the social media of people with whom I went to Hebrew Day school and Labor Zionist summer camp in the 70's and 80's, some of whom made aliyah.

  • 'Why I am a Zionist'
    • I agree with Phil and what you are saying (I think) above.

      Phil says "you can’t have safety if you build a state on stolen lands."

      Alas, this is not true in history, especially not in the history of my your and Phil's own country. Hopefully its true going forward.

    • Cosign but sadly, Phil, many safe countries including ours were built on stolen lands.

      What I think you mean to say is countries built on stolen land shouldn't be safe and that we have arrived at a new moment different from most of the human past.

  • Struggling Israel supporter laments hardhearted Israelis and 'hegemony of big donors'
    • This is certainly true but I predict perhaps with Weissian optimism, that some of the money worshippers will move into the pro-equality camp including even BDS.

  • Do 'Rabbis for Human Rights' protect Palestinians or the Jewish State?
    • A side note but I think germane:

      American born rabbis were to the man silent about slavery and congregation leaders in the Antebellum South went out of their way to proclaim loyalty to the cause.

      Only a few European transplants to the US , prominently David Einhorn, one of the founders of the Reform movement, who vehemently challenged that awful institution in enlightened and religious terms.

  • Fact Check: MSNBC’s Palestinian loss of land map
    • Of course. The stripping of non-Jewish Palestinian's citizenship is a great and ongoing crime. The maps show this process very effectively.

      My point of course is that places like Safed and Jerusalem have almost always had Jewish landowners. These are not outside invaders. The future of One State, imo, requires refiguring all Zionist (and other) citizenship determinations based on Jewish/non Jewish.

    • the pre 1948 maps should be careful not to imply that Jewish Palestinians were not also legal residents on lawfully acquired land.

      After that, I am glad this depiction of the slow choking of Palestine made it onto to national news.

  • Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic . . . It's anti-racist
    • Kris,

      You asked what category you are in. You were being snarky of course, as with your request I create a survey.

      But I don't know. You tell me. Do you not like Jews? I have not followed your posts. You and I have never had a conversation. So, only you know what's in your heart in this matter. If you say you are not anti-Jewish, fine with me.

      As for your question, and Citizen's, it is valid to ask how to measure this. How does someone detect this particular bigotry?

      If you start telling me there is no such thing as anti-Semitism, its only a Jewish accusation, that anti-Semitism in Europe wasn't really so bad, if your posts are always about Jewish power and never about Palestinians, if you use Jew to mean then, now forever, an unchanging group then I might think that you are more than just a critic of Israel (you might also be a Zionist in that last case though).

      My definition is actually quite narrow. For me, an anti-semite is someone for whom there has to be a Jew behind every problem, big or small, personal or global. No amount of factual reasoning will dissuade this person from Jewish malfeasance. Its someone who thinks Jews are a race, that Jewishness is an unchanging and malevolent force.

      How about you? How do you define anti-Semitism?

    • Only you know Kris, what is in your heart.

      I'll just stand by my statements:

      --The author is correct of course that criticising Israel is not anti-Semitism.
      -- Being vocally against anti-Semitism past and present is not Zionism (which should be obvious but is not)
      --I respect the way Amigo and the majority of people here and generally approach the issue.
      --For some, however, the attraction is the Jews.
      --For some, no occurrence of anti-Semitism past or present, escapes parsing, and contextualising for the purpose of minimising.

    • Mooser, I was not thinking of you. I don't think you are an anti-Semite at all. I agree with much of what you say in fact and appreciate your skepticism of organised religion including the one you and I were born into. My issue with you is that you seem to be here to tell jokes rather than exchange ideas, and that you twist my words often on purpose in the service of your priority. This is why back-and-fort with you is uninteresting to the point where I would rather contribute more to hear you less (best not at all on my posts). I have also accused you of egocentrism though, so interesting you thought I was thinking of you!

      There are several people among hundreds of commenters on this site that I think are attracted to the issue based on the Jewish aspect, and a few others others who minimise very case of anti-Semitism. When I have exchanged with them I mention this but I did not think it write to put personal names in that comment since none had commented.

    • I guess I am being anti-Semantic when I say, so what? We know what the term means, though inaccurate and in fact invented by someone who didn't like Jews or Arabs)

    • Mooser, I have something better to offer you. I'll add 10$ to my MW donation each time you don't respond to me. How about it? This way you could be part of actually contributing something meaningful.

    • You are certainly right that holding Jews to any different, even a lesser, standard would be a kind of anti-Semitism. And obviously, since you thought about it, you wanted to make sure you were not being bigoted towards Jews which is telling about your sincere intentions.

      I would only add that being against anti-Semitism is not being for Zionism (it should be obvious but its not).

      There are, unlike you obviously, some people for whom I/P is interesting precisely because of the Jewish aspect. And others who try to parse, minimise, contextualise or erase every expression of bigotry against Jews.

  • Palbox: A way to support Palestinian farmers and artisans this holiday season
    • Steve if you give me your address, Ill send you one for Hannukah.
      Its appropriate I think, as the Palestinians surviving on a diminishing supply of land and olive oil.

  • East Jerusalem is closed for Palestinians, but settlers march unimpeded
    • Weiss-

      Netanyahu sees himself as a historic figure a warrior-philosopher-king, saviour of the Jews. All options are on the table for him, no matter how barbaric they are from a human rights perspective. He has no second thoughts or reservations. Its how much he can get away with. I fear the worst from him.

  • Neither prayer nor propaganda nor the paper of record will ever convince the world of the Jewish right to control al Aqsa plaza
    • I care more than just about myself Mooser. The idea that a religion or race or ethnicity owns land has been a great cause of misery on earth.
      It's also important in a just solution to I/P that all faiths of rightful citizens are respected. You disagree? Or is it because I said so?

    • You're right. There is no right for Jewish control of this space but its not because we don't know the precise place of the Temples. Its because there is no such thing as Jewish land.

      There is also no such thing as Muslim land.

      Palestinians should control Palestinian territory, I would hope respectfully of the various faiths that have historically comprised Palestine.

  • Hillary Clinton expresses alarm for Israeli Jews, and not one word about Palestinian victims
    • echi--

      thanks but it is possible to speak of human nature without implying that there are not other contradictory human natures. Humans across culture have given respect to power and condemned individuals engaged in much smaller acts of violence. This works very well for describing the highly lopsided I/P issues where everything Palestinians do is "terror."

      Mooser is a guy imo with too much time on his hands who thinks misreading what I write is fun, funny and in some way helps Palestinians.

      Not here or anywhere do I, as he accuses, grant legitimacy to power, in fact I am doing the exact opposite as others could recognise. To quote you: "power is never legitimate prima facie to me".

      And, btw, I think of myself as human.

    • No I don't mooser, clearly, but why let that get in the way of a snipe. Its what you do.

    • --- The Clintons are motivated by money and power and will be sympathetic to the greater sources of those.

      --- Ramming a rabbi at a stop sign and then finishing him off with a hatchet will never be seen as the actions of a David against Goliath, whatever injustice made that killer snap. Its understandable that Americans will see it that way and random brutal violence helps Israel at home and abroad, and weakens non-violent, rights based approaches such as BDS.

      --The response of Israel's supporters on for example Facebook is remarkable for its genuine and affected cluelessness. Palestinian terrorists killing Jews simple for being Jewish, as if there is no occupation, as if there is no wider context for violence, as if there is no sense (of course there is no perceived right) of retaliation for Israeli's killing of them and theirs.

      Lastly, In the opening scene of the film Kagemusha, the bound thief who would later become the "shadow warrior" to the warring statesman Takeda Shingen, rolls over in laughter even though he might be headed to torture and the gallows. He scoffs at his captors, lord Shingen and his brother. They dare call -him- a thief for his individual crimes? The warlords meanwhile have stolen whole domains with vast murder and plunder, in an attempt to become the most powerful, and the most honoured.

      It is human nature beyond I/P to grant legitimacy to power. Israel can take an entire territory and fight with planes and missiles (with the occasional "collateral" damage). Yet, a palestinian with a knife or a rock will be a terrorist.

      This is quite unfair and in a saner world. Murder would be murder and theft would be theft. whichever the actor, whatever the scale, in fact the larger the scale the worse the crime. But we are in this world and Israel gains favour here in ways that are outside of the kind of typical explanation. This is in part about human optics, not the specifics of Jews and American empire.

  • Mourners of Gaza mother and child killed in airstrike urge resistance-- '3rd, 4th, 5th intifada, whatever it takes'
    • Ok, lets say you're right, the bomb hit and the house collapsed collaterally. So what?

      You're parsing evil and it is despicable whoever does it in whichever cause.

  • Rescuing atheism from Harris and Hitchens
    • The tells:

      ---One's definition of the essence of a religion is identical or near identical to the most radical of its adherents.

      ---One's source or sources are only or nearly only discontented ex-adherants and other ciritcs.

      --Reformers within the tradition, as mentioned above, are ignored or minimised. They must be celebrating their own private X because X is and always has been a molevolant faith.

      -self-awareded degrees and the assumption of expertise are attained in a day or week or a few months of internet scholarship, often confirming pre-existing biases.

      --The religion is essentialized to only one thing, across time and space.

      --One's definition of bigotry is drawn with a hole in it shaped exactly like the disliked faith. So, there is no such thing really as bigotry against that religion, just natural reactions to it.

      The major Abrahamic faiths and others all have their differences, but apply the above and you know your critic.

  • Jerusalem at a breaking point
    • Zaid I do understand your frustrations but in fact
      There are still groups within Christianity an Islam claiming old churches now mosques and mosques now churches. In India there is constant violence over temples that wee mosques and reverse. The Caliphate movement does claim Spain too. You can google any of this.
      That said, if the goal is to give Jews free and safe access to the comparatively few sites that are considered holy, it's not working out so well.

  • To condemn, or not to condemn
    • Human beings don't lose their moral agency even when victimised.

      If you look at slave revolts in the US or attacks on wagon trains of Westward colonists, you see a variety of responses.

      The choice to murder the master's children or to rape his wife is still a moral choice.

      I/P can be approached as a human rights issue or from a warring tribes issue. In the first, murdering civilians sitting next to their children is wrong, in the second it depends whose doing it to whom.

      imo, the issue is only solved by the first.

      Fortress Israel can last a long time and violence, especially on civilians is its fuel. In fact, violence against advanced settlers and the brutal response is indeed how the west was won.

    • They're only contradictions as far as she also claims the mantle of human rights advocate. As a partisan advocate of the Palestinian cause it makes complete sense that she holds the positions you describe or that she has a hair trigger sensitivity to Islamophobia but calls BS on any claim of anti-Semitism, even questioning the reality of the category.

      Its a kind of reverse-zionism and I sense the author did not realise he is writing for an audience that largely sees this issue in binary terms.

    • That is actually the less problematic item of two in Annie's way of thinking.

      The larger conceptual and moral problem with her reductionist idea, imo, is that she makes Palestinians into unthinking, irresponsible automatons, rather than fully human agents with choices, however circumscribed by the terrible and criminal activity of illegal colonists.

      Some people chose to protest, some chose to shoot at cars.

      This does not mean that Israel has no responsibility or even most of the responsibility. It does.

  • It was heroic to throw a brick at Stonewall but Palestinians who throw stones can be shot
    • Rock throwing is a tactic. It can be done out of hate (as happened to my friend's grandmother in Egypt in the 1930's (she lost an eye) or even my dad in 1950's Philadelphia (apparently he killed Christ). Or, it can be done out of resistance to conquest.

      It all depends on the legitimacy of the government and the intention of the rock-throwers.

      If I/P was a 1 person 1 vote with guarantees for minority groups then yeah, try them in court and if guilty lock up rock throwers.

      But its not. Its a battleground and everyone is choosing the weapon available to them.

  • 'NYT' piece on stonethrowing leaves out 'occupation'
    • Keller-san -- while you are exaggerating (there is no potential ban in the US against critiquing Israel or your favourite topic "Jewish Power"- you're good so carry on) there certainly is a heinous effort to slander criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic in the UC system.

      Zionists who attempt to label all criticisms of Israel (I would say any) have diluted the meaning of anti-semitism, and understandably made anti and reverse-zionists like you and Annie suspicious of any claim anywhere.

      By the way I love this quote from you. I could not have said it better.

      Keith:

      "My knowledge of Judaism is relatively slight, one of my primary sources is "Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years," by Israel Shahak..."

      and...

      "I am unfamiliar with Emmanuel Levinas or how he relates to the historical core of Jewish religious teaching."

      And that is exactly why I am flippant and not "scholarly" with you, my friend. If you know Shahak but you don't know Levinas than you are indeed the guy who knows Hirsi Ali, the word "Taqquia" and a few weak Hadith but nothing, really, about Islam.

  • Fasting for Palestine
    • And you are quoting Shahak to prove Shahak.

      You don't understand how the Talmud works, clearly.

      But, carry on in your expertise and with your one source.

    • Keith-

      The point about Shahak not being a rabbi is that he is not any kind of religious authority, however much he is treated as a high priest in the temple of Jew watching.

    • Shahak, a chemist not a rabbi, is not the last word on Judaism by any means though is very popular with people who otherwise know little to nothing about Judaism and would like him to be just that. His weakest point, in fact, is the claim that a Gentile's life should bot be saved on the Sabbath when in fact the precedent has been the opposite.

      The Talmud, which does indeed distinguish Jew and non-Jew in many passages,, is a dialogue of opinions not an instruction book.

      And imo religion, perhaps only religion, can make a naturally good person do bad things for sure, and this can certainly include Judaism, depending on how its interpreted. And religion can create justifications in the mind of a natural born psychopath, such as a Baruch Goldstein, may hell be real so he can rot there.

      But you don't need religion of any kind to explain conquest, occupation, expulsion which have happened everywhere under many pretexts of supposedly divine or natural sanctions.

      Shahak may have lied about the particular incident, and he definitely lied about the ruling of the Chief Rabbinate. Pikuach nefesh, the saving of human life trumps all other commandments.

      On Shabbat and Gentile Lives:

      link to aishdas.org

  • Bernie Sanders is 'radical' on economic policy but a pussycat for Israel
  • A communal confession on Yom Kippur
    • Rabbi Brant.

    • Personally, I don't know what else we who id in any way as Jews should be thinking about before Yom Kippur except I/P even if we don't go as far or take the same pov as Rabbi Brent, who is to be commended here and in general.

      I have suggested before that threads like these get very little comments because for -some- of the active commenters here, the interesting part of I/P is indeed the trans-historic malfeasance of a monolithic community. Rabbi Brent Jews (and we are growing in number) makes that harder.

      For 100 comments you need some of Jewish abuse of power angle.

  • Losing My Religion: A high holy days reflection
  • #IStandWithAhmed: Story of Muslim-American teenager arrested for bringing clock to school goes viral (Updated)
    • It's a great quote, but then again FDR had all the Japanese living on the West Coast rounded up and put in camps out of, well, fear, since the vast majority were proven loyal citizens.

  • Could Syria's revolution have been different?
  • The Star of David is fair game
    • Mooser --

      While I would not be surprised in the least if on Planet Mooser Jews prayed from a Sanskrit text revealed to their prophet Joseph Smith, facing Helsinki, on Earth there are actually a few practices (yes, beliefs is a bit trickier) that distinguish each religion. Islam is the easiest in this regard as it has five practices that every Muslim accepts as defining Islam.

      All Jews accept the Torah as the founding Jewish text and the Talmud as the Jewish oral tradition. All Jews accept Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Hannukah as Jewish holidays.

      The relevant point is that all Jews accept the Star of David as a symbol of their religion. So, while it can be symbol of the IDF (Thanks Israel for muddying these waters) it is also the normative symbol of Judaism.

      I suppose again on your home planet Jews also wear small Thor's Hammers and Poseidon tridents around their neck (its not as cool when the chest hair stick through though -- no frame) but again I am just talking about Planet Water here.

    • Mooser--

      By normative I am simply distinguishing the practices that all adherents of a faith agree on -- for example in Islam the fundamentals of proclaiming the shahada, charity, prayer or in Judaism, that the Torah is a foundational text, from a particular practice that may or may not be a part of the faith. The Sta of David is taken as a symbol of Judaism by all Jews. The shahada is universally accepted as the Islamic credo. Therefore normative.

      There is nothing in Judaism that says you must emblazon the SoD on a fighter jet or any other military equipment.

      Cartoonists and critics should simply be careful and respectful.

    • Annie--

      And by the way, there are places where Jews are pressured by social reality not to openly display their Judaism such as wearing a Star of David or Kippah.

      Is that because Israel uses the same star on its jets. Many here would probably say yes, that wearing a Star in the bannlieues or Malmo is dangerous because of Gaza.

      You have said this kind of thing [...] is low on your priority list of human right, but it is nonetheless true.

    • Yes, there is not exact -political- equivalence between poking fun in a sweeping way at Jews and at Muslims.

      I was speaking of the moral equivalence.

      Its actually not that hard. Just be specific. If a cartoonist lampoons Israel the Star of David may be included just as a cartoon with ISIS may have Allahu Akbar or a Shahada flag.

      The point is whether the Star or Shahada also represents normative Islam and Judaism, which they do, and that does, imo, give a satirist or critic some responsibility.

    • The better analogy would be between the Star of David and the Shadah, the Islamic confession, which has appeared on many Islamic flags, such as the ISIS black standard and the green field for Saudi.

      But its also said by normative Muslims everywhere as a matter of religious worship.

      In both cases, imo, one should do as the author suggests and be very clear.

      When cartoonists use "Allah hu Akbar" meaning -- this is what terrorists say, they are being derogatory to the religion and its adherents.

  • BDS is here to stay: Message to a CT synagogue
  • Pro-Israel Jews have 'inexcusable prejudice' against Obama -- Sandy Berger
    • Kris --

      Sorry, I was not avoiding your question. I either missed it or got busy.

      The Jewish Identity aspect means looking at the extent to which Zionism is not just Jewish nationalism (like Arab or Asian nationalism) but in fact a true expression of the Jewish essence, a replacement of the Jewish religion etc..
      .
      If that's the case, than I/P cannot be understood or undone without analysing The Jew as he has supposedly existed throughout time and geography.

      Is there an I/P conversation completely independent of Judaism, Jewish communities, Arab-Jewish relations etc... ? of course not. But that discussion also includes of the West, colonialism, Islam, Arab nationalism etc.

      Can I/P be solved by people of all backgrounds, including Jewish (and drawing Judaism as their inspiration even) within the framework of universal values and with the understanding that groups occupy different positions of power at various times in their history?

      That's the only legitimate and lasting way, imo.

      If you made a list of 10 important things to secure Palestinian rights, which number would be proving that Jews are deviant interlopers (in some form, religion, culture, community)? Some people, and I stand by my comment some people here, seem to put finally getting to be able to tell the (alleged) truth about the Jews fairly high up.

      Now, those drawn to "The Jewish Question" are not necessarily racial anti-semites, though almost always have a particular aspect of what they see as Jewish culture that they dislike and mistrust. I used the term "Jew-hobbyist" to convey the idea that whatever subject comes up, someone with this predisposition (including philo-semitic braggarts) is going to tell you which Jew is at the root of it, but that term was rightly criticised here.

    • Mooser --

      Yup, Hophmi et al will exaggerate and use anti-Semitism as a cover for Israel's misdeeds.

      Did you look at the credit card in question? Did you read Piotr's comment?

    • Yes, association between hook nose Jews and money as a "good luck" symbol is derogatory. Most people with black lawn jockeys and Native American mascots for their ball team think its cute and funny too.

      If you're pointing out that blaming a stupid credit card design by an obnoxious customer can be made into an international incident and used as cover to justify stealing land and water from Palestinians, yes you may be right.

      But hook nosed Jew characters and Zwarte Piet and Chief Wahoo and Sasha Cohen's Arabs are not funny or cute. Not in this world.

      I'm just going to file this in an obvious trend of, for some, there being no such thing as anti-semitism anywhere, ever. And yes, a good part of the blame for this situation is the exaggerations of pro-Israel factions and the use of the history anti Jewish bigotry as a carte blanche.

  • The 'Pallywood' smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy's brutalization brings backlash
    • Hophmi--

      You're playing hopscotch in the Venn diagram. Palestinian is as much an ethnic group as any other and by the way would certainly be a nation as well, if Israel would let it.

      People who use this term mean it to say not just that a particular event is staged or enhanced, but that the entire resistance of Palestinians is a farcical invention.

      How cruel.

      Its a despicable allegation and can be recognised by anyone, especially, I would argue, by someone who understands Jewish history.

  • Jewish community is Humpty Dumpty-- it won't come back together again, and shouldn't
    • Tree - I mentioned her as someone who has been accused of anti-Semitism to make the point that people accused of anti-Semitism have not been barred from speaking at what Keith obviously thinks is some exclusive conversation that hides from critics of Israel or controversial speakers.

      Finkelstein, Weiss, Shipman have been -accused- of anti-semitism. Are they anti-semites? Of course not. Does my mentioning that they have been -accused- of anti-Semitism imply agreement. No. In fact, that I had them invited means I want them to have a chance to respond.

      I mentioned that were I still at that task, I would have no problem inviting Atzmon, Weir or anyone else to do what we did there, open debate, not moaning about victimisation.

      I understand the criticisms of the term Jew-hobbyist.

    • Sibiriak,

      I think it is useful in describing a type of person drawn to the I/P discussion. I think it is a shade of grey in what is otherwise considered a black and white scenario. I think I have used it to mean that while you cannot know whats in someones heart, you can know what their interests are. I don't believe I have ever called anyone who comments here regularly an anti-semite. It is clear, however, that there are several people here who are drawn to the increasingly visible/audible Jewish ID aspect of I/P.

      Though it has this descriptive utility, imo, you are correct it does lend itself like "racist" to being used as an ad-hominem that shifts focus to the alleged character of a person and away from the argument itself, and should be used carefully if at all.

    • Tree-

      Your last point I accept.

      I did ask Phil the question as you describe. I was not among those who wanted him to feel guilty, in fact I wanted Phil to make them feel guilty where appropriate.

      But yes, it was mostly a Jewish conversation,among a diverse crowd of Jews and non Jews, and moreover I can see how people as different as me, Keith, Phil could all be considered Jew hobbyists.

    • Tree-

      I am not sure why you see my being very careful about Weir is the same as slandering her or participating in her slander. Meaning, I am not instantly assuming she is a bigot just because someone, even JVP which I respect, says so. In fact, this is the opposite of jumping on the accusation bandwagon, the opposite of tossing around antisemitism accusations lightly.

      I find Jew-hobby a useful term because it can describe someone who likes to discuss Jewish power topics without lobbing the anti-Semitism accusation. A Jew hobbyist may or may not be an anti-Semite. This is again an effort to be more careful, not less.

      As for me and Hophmi? We may agree on some aspects of anti-Semitism. About I/P, no I stand firmly with all those here who completely reject the idea of Jewish supremacy of any kind over Palestinians. I find the use anti-Semitism charges to cover Israel to be especially despicable.

    • .. I don't know anything about Weir to evaluate whether the accusations are correct or not imo, I do know she has been accused of clustering legitimate criticisms of Israel with old school Jew baiting. My point to Keith was, contrary to his fantasy, I did and would indeed host people who have been accused of anti-Semitism (Finkelstein, Weiss, Shipman all came and others) and were I still there I would host Weir in a heartbeat.

      In fact, Keith and others only know of Eliezer, -because- I invited Phil so a bit strange for him to imagine it as a place that avoided this conversation or any side of it.

      Anything else?

    • Keith:

      You said this:

      "Anti-Semite? Keep talking like that and maybe Ben Karp will invite you to Eliezer where you and he can hobnob in plush surroundings, eat good food and enjoy fine wine (ask Phil), all the while basking in the reflective glow of shared victimhood."

      I responded with an accurate description of what went on at Eliezer, not your fantasy of Jews huddled around groaning about victimisation.

      You have indeed rejected the idea that anti-Semitism was endemic to Europe for much of its history, implying that I meant Europeans were essentially anti-Semitic when I never agreed that. So those are direct response to what you have said here. I may miss some of your comments so sorry if I seemed to have been avoiding responding to you.

    • Hi Tree --

      No swipe at Weir at all.

      Keith seems to think I hosted private Jewish meetings which exclude people like him. I replied that in fact I went out of my way to host people who were considered dissident to mainstream conversations about I/P and were I still there would have no problem hosting Weir, someone who has been accused of being anti-Semitic.

    • Keith -- you flatter yourself to think you are someone I would not have invited you to discuss anything, including anti-Semitism, were you around town. And yes it would have been over some nice bourbon. Why not.

      I don't have any reason to think you are particularly loathsome in person or a vulture. I do think you want to deny that anti-Semitism was an -endemic- (please refresh your understanding of this word it does not mean essential) feature of European society and also want to cast it as a rational response to Jewish malfeasance. I consider that despicable and not on tribal grounds because I fins it despicable when applied otherwise. I don't see any rational reason to pogrom or make Jews live in a ghetto or wear different color shoes etc... etc... etc...

      Fact is, the only person in my whole time arranging completely open discussions about a wide range of subjects who I refused to host was Pamela Geller.

      Were I still around I would have no problem hosting a debate with almost anyone of your Jew-hobby heroes, even Mr. Atzmon, certainly Israel critics who are perhaps on the line of some old school Jew clustering such as has been accused about Weir (I don(t know her work).

    • Jews have often been taken as either super or sub human, not as normal.

      Normalizing the Jew means becoming like other groups who are presumed to have a range of opinions, skills and allegiances. Not all Jews are untied under Zionism, whatever its pretentions (one of which I mentioned was precisely to turn Jews into a "normal" nation). But, most American Jews are correctly assumed to support Israel. That is changing, which is Phil's point and we both agree its for the good.

    • Ironically, one of the Zionist dreams was that Jews could finally be normal citizens of they town country, that the police officer would be Jewish as would be the criminal. Jews could be scholars and farmers and bus drivers.

      In fact it will probably be the collapse of Zionism and the split of the Jewish community into the same various camps you find in most groups, that will lead to full normalisation.

      I agree with Phil, most importantly its good for I/P and good for America and lastly, btw, good for the Jews.

  • A year after Shipman lost his Yale job for speaking out on Israel's actions, some Jews say the same thing
    • Kris --

      Most recent, imo.

      Dan Crowther asks:

      I want to ask a question here: does anyone here, after watching the “Iran debate” and “The Lobby’s” antics ever question the shibboleth that all of European “antisemitism” was irrational and based solely on a racist hatred? Cuz you can read a million and one French, German, English, Spanish, Russian (and others) writers describing THE EXACT SAME shit happening in their countries at different times and obviously in different places.

      Its a question Phil should answer. We’re watching a worldwide conspiracy and shakedown right before our eyes, and no one here denies it. I’m wondering if people think this is the ONLY time the stereotype or the accusation is true."

      Keith, of course agrees (and Henry Ford and Martin Luther...) . This is an old story. Its the Jews then and now. Antisemitism charges (which are always inflated - Annie (see even this thread) , and never really so bad -- Citizen (see under Keith following this quote were not so bad anyway), are effectively a cover for Jewish malfeasance.

      I said -some-. This does not define the pro Palestinian movement or MW, even the comment section.

      Dan's comment is about 2015 about an Iran deal that American Jews in fact support in the majority. Support their American president

      But, for him seemingly its just one dot on a long unbroken line.

    • I respect any persons reasonable self-identity where its no harm to others.

      But, you do know Chris Rock stopped performing this piece, right?

      He realised that white audiences were laughing just a little too hard.

      Judaism is thousands of years old. Zionism and Israel just a hundred and a half.

      There are affirmative ways to be Jewish that are not tied to armed nationalism or anchored to either a positive or negative stereotype.

    • Just a note: Bruce Shipman did not work for Yale. He worked for a private organisation that has official ties ti the campus ministry.

    • Thats not the right analogy, though.

      The correct comparative would be whether actions by ISIS in Iraq contribute to Islamophobia in the suburbs of Paris.

      I say no, not legitimately at least.

    • Kris--

      And that is my issue with the "Ewige Jude" (Eternal Jew) themes that -some- people attracted to the I/P issue return to over and again. Watch -some- comments here, even if grounded in legitimate criticisms of Israel or even American Jewish support of Israel, drift towards the theme of finally getting to be able to tell the alleged truth about the Jews, then, now and always.

      As if there is some particular Jewish essence, unchanging and unchangeable throughout all space and time.

      Certainly, many people within a group also claim a special Jewish or black or Japanese or white "soul," but its a very dangerous way of categorising human beings. imo.

    • tree -- well we definitely also agree that bigotry. true bigotry against a group is defined not by a particular criticism or even general critique of a particular time and place but through essentializing.

      It also happens to be an especially useful way to detect anti-semitism through all the BS (imo coming from all sides).

    • W Jones.

      Believe it or not were saying the same thing here as in my second point to tree.

      Your point about Puritans and Natives is exactly right.

    • tree --

      My second point, which I am curious what you think about is that power/no power is also insufficient as a moral or even rational indicator of which group is fair game for critique.
      Not only because all groups, perhaps especially Jews (my reference to the myths in which power/no power is -part- of the story) have in moments both.

      African Americans have speeding power near the equivalent of the South Korean GDP, over one trillion dollars, there dis a black president, and African Americans as a group dominate school boards in several major cities. But no one in their right mind would argue that Sandra Bland for a striking example, could happen in a country where black people have equal due process to whites.

      So, can White Anglo Saxon Protestants opine on black Americans, politically or culturally. and have their arguments taken on merit? I sure hope so. That neither race nor relative power disqualifies him.

      My point is that I think Phil, who I guess I should add I like a lot as a person, and whose larger project I support, seems to be creating a Jewish shaped exemption from what would be his normal position on who gets to say what. Of course this is in response to the very type of disqualifying from the self-appointed and assumed leaders of the Jewish community he often writes about.

    • Indeed. Though, strangely, Witzelsucht begins with a "W."

    • Phil ends his observations (which I think are correct regarding the double standard) with the following:

      "It’s one thing if only members of a persecuted minority get to comment on that minority; I understand that ancient prohibition. But when you have power– a lot, I say; or a “modicum of power,” as Foxman says — then you should be able to take some criticism."

      This is a shift from his earlier point that truth is truth regardless of the source. I am suggesting it is a kind of Jewish exemption. Since Jews have power they can take it. Since other groups don't the ancient tradition of only members of that group being able to criticise still holds. I am saying this is not morally or logically consistent.

    • Phil,

      If the first part is true, that the truth matters more than the source, and I think I agree, than your second part is not morally consistent, imo. I think this is important to you as a kind of Jewish exemption, a way out of a particular kind of community pressure, to be sure )which as you know I support), but also a way around liberal conventions you will still apply generally to other groups, especially those with whom you have empathy.

      In fact, groups can be powerful and not in different times and places and even in the same time and place. In the Jewish example, from the myths, Esther and Exodus both depend on this combination.

      Shipman is either right or not, as he might be opining about Palestinians or African Americans in another case, regardless of his ethnicity or religion.

  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart

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