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Total number of comments: 1017 (since 2010-07-08 12:35:09)

objak

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  • Yakov Rabkin's devastating critique of Zionism: it is opposed to Jewish tradition and liberalism
    • And Keith, there is no point debating you. I am sure you know a lot about a lot of things. Judaism is not one of them.

      You have your story and your sticking to it. Any Jewish ethnocentrism reflects the real Judaism any universality is a ruse.

      Bont: Judaism, like other faiths is always changing. I recommend Aaron Hahn Tapper:s book -Judaisms- on this subject.

      *Linda Sarsour.

    • I changed my screen name because I no longer live in Tokyo. And made no attempt to change anything else because I am not hiding from anyone or anything least of all from you. I accept your apology for odd accusations (which by the way define you).

      I have been very interested in the response to a figure like Lisa Sarsour. Every time she roots her ideas of social justice within Islam she gets a flood of comments from non-Muslims telling her how she has to be wrong or lying because Islam cannot be a religion of peace or progressive ideas.

      You are that type. Obviously.

    • Your position with Judaism is exactly that of the Islamophobe to Islam. That will never change. You have your book or two and your online sources and your absolute conviction that the essence of Judaism is malevolent anti-gentilism.

      Fortunately, the strain of Judaism the rabbi outlines and Phil interprets (which by the way provided the first detailed anti-and non-Zionist arguments) is only getting stronger in its -return- to mainstream Jewish discourse.

      This very healthy development will help return your eternal beef to the obscure margins, which is its proper place.

  • Diaspora Jews go to Palestine to fight the occupation
    • Re: de and re-centering. Elliot and Phil have either of you heard the joke with many variants, one that goes:

      Three survivors of the camps are discussing their future.
      "I'm going to America, the land of opportunity" says the first.
      "I'm going right back to Germany. No way I'm, going to let Hitler win."
      "I'm going to Australia," says the third.
      "AUSTRALIA!!??" the first two say in unison, and the second asks "Isn't that kind of far?"
      To which the third replies:
      "Far from what?"

  • Leonard Cohen song is anthem of Jewish exclusivists
    • Yonah, I read it. Its a well written account of his travels to a space that is indeed post-identitarian which you call ex-Jewish.

      I'm somewhere there too, though less so than Phil.

    • In which article did Phil Weiss explain himself an "ex-jew"?

    • Wagner does just fine. If David Duke had a prodigious talent besides finding the Jew behind every bad thing that ever afflicted humanity that would probably last too, as it probably should given the moral louts who have nonetheless enriched art.

    • Yes? First I have heard that (about the Basque tune). Interesting.

  • A historical framework for continued Black-Palestinian solidarity
    • Thanks!

      One suggestion, since you are talking about (black) - (white, Jewish) relations its helpful to specifically say so. Otherwise, you contribute to something I am gathering you don't support: 1) the erasure of those of us who are not white and Jewish and 2) the continued conflation of Jewishness and whiteness which need not be essentially linked (though clearly for Ashkenazi and Sephardim in the Americas they are).

  • Israel's proof that Marwan Barghouti is a terrorist – a cookie
    • I wonder though why in 2017 we need or expect pure heroes. Is any human not flawed? Do those flaws mean the movement they are representing is flawed in the same way? Just saw another post about Gandhi's inconstancies and of course Hoover (with his own secrets) caught MLK doing and saying things that hurt his wife. Hoover hated King's personal hypocrisies more than he hated his country's hypocrisy when it came to life liberty and happiness for all of its citizens. I think we all know though which was the larger problem.

  • Remembering Jean Stein
    • A moving tribute.

      And I had no idea you wrote that classic SPY article, which I read as an 18 year old.

      Was thinking about SPY recently as it was the first place I heard about a particular outer borough developer with eyes on Manhattan.

  • Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the 'merchant of JVP'
    • Very true that reckless and baseless charges of antisemitism have been used to cover up Israeli encroachments on Palestine and Palestinians.

      Now, back to the subject at hand, which is why Atzmon appeals to a particular kind of personality is attracted to I/P.

    • Goodwin,

      Good comments.

      I used to debate the same basic points with the same people.

      This was before the alt-right was on my radar and in general prominence so I didn't really understand their sensibilities like I do now.

      I did see perfumed contamination from sites like Veteran's Today, Occidental Observer, etc... white identitarian gripes barely dressed up as concern for Palestine.

      For some I/P is simply a way to get at the "JQ" and Atzmon is admired because that's what he cares about too. When Jews live in your head and under the bed too, everything is reduced to outing this supposedly unnameable force. Just notice who will help a thread like this get to near 200 comments and if those same people ever comment on other topics, especially ones that are not Jewish centred.

      But then again, admiration for Atzmon tells you enough already.

  • Why I'm keeping my child home from school in Israel on Holocaust Day
    • I very glad to hear that as a German you don't remember a time when you didn't know about the holocaust. I wish that was true in Japan regarding the horrors of Asian Imperialism and in the States too, though I think Trump just helped more people learn about Andrew Jackson, an enthusiastic slaver and ethnic cleanser of Natives.

      As far as remembering being slaves in Egypt, this is part of the religious tradition which you're welcome to reject as mythic or even harmful but you could certainly find similar in other faith traditions. It would be kind of unreasonable though to expect people to stop teaching their religions, though.

      As far as teaching past antisemitism in Germany well, that is unfortunate history. Did the holocaust not happen? Was it not organized buy the German Reich? Do you think we should just forget about it and move on? You sound like whites in the States would like black people to shut up already about Slavery.

      I really enjoyed my time in Germany, where part of my fathers family lived for a thousand years, the last few generations as fully assimilated Jews and German citizens. Its hardly all bad history, they were particularly comfortable, but partially it is and "never forget" in the particular and universal is important.

  • Jews in Iran: a travelogue
    • "Try to explain that Jewish folk have not been terrorized by everyone on the planet, and the vitriol hits the roof."

      While I have seen the strident assertion of this assertion often, particularly from people who seem hostile to any notion that there has indeed been anti-Semitism in history, I have actually never read or heard this actual assertion, even in intensely Zionist circles.

      Just who outside of your imagination is offended by the idea that Jews have lived assimilated and peaceful lives in every part of the world on different periods of history? People get rightly vitriolic when antisemitism itself is explained away, as we all should with any type of historical bigotry.

      In fact if you look at, for example, the Jewish holidays of Passover and Purim which are both narrations of victimization, both are also predicated on Jews as living through moments of great acceptance and power. Moses and Mordecai, Esther.

      Ditto secular histories of Jews, by Jewish and non-Jewish historians of all ideologies, which are hardly an unbroken stream of atrocity. So, who are these folks in your mind?

      About the topic of the essay I was amazed to learn elsewhere that mid 19th century Baghdad was apparently almost 1/2 Jewish, more Jewish than Manhattan. I wonder how Jews there now think of that past.

      Also, there are Sasson's buried in the largest foreign cemetery in Tokyo as they sold carpets and other Silk Road type of products for several generations here.

  • Origins of a golden shower
    • Yes, but we do know the name of the person who, ahem, leaked the document. Its Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent, who has been a respected source of information for decades. He is now hiding, by the way, as some people who have run afoul of Putin met with bad ends.

      Trump himself once said it his history with women would keep him from being president, and while they were both on Howard Stern, AJ Benza a gossip columnist teased Trump for bragging how much he loved Russia because the women there "have no morals."

      In any case, there is almost certainly sordid stuff on Trump out there and imo it is quite likely to surface in the next months. He is not helping things by going to war with much of the intelligence community, which by the way, makes it seem more credible that he feels the need to protect Putin at all costs.

  • Stephen Cohen calls out liberal media for demonizing Russia, slurring Tillerson and stigmatizing all dissent
    • Trump is part of the US elite talks like a warmonger (has promised brutality against ISIS), has surrounded himself with enthusiastic warmongers, and in fact promised war. He is clearly at least friends with warmonger and expansionist Putin.

      China has already flown nuclear capable bombers over the South Sea and its not even 1/20 yet in response to his provocative phone call to Taiwan.

      He has rejected Obama's diplomacy with Iran and we just don;'t know whats next there.

      He has never said and clearly does not believe that war or military are bad, only the wars fought were fought the wrong way (not brutal enough).

      The chances of Trump not starting a war with someone imo are 0%. I hope I am wrong.

    • Page: 10
    • Except Donald Trump is going to increase defense spending. So, how again..?

    • ... far surpass in a negative way. Israel's government already knows this.

      The last to seem to know are among the left. But you will see in the next few years.

    • In every possible way that is deemed important here, Trump and his cabinet will far surpass Obama and (I imagine what would have been ) Hillary.

      The reason the alt-right, white nationalists, hard left, libertarians etc... share a strange bed with either liking or not hating Trump is because he allows a kind of venting that people mistakenly pride even over their supposed causes.

      Whites in the rust belt got to say F You to the elite coasts. And that is about all they will get.

      People here mitigating concerns about Russia and Putin will see in the next years how a supposed Russia US alliance is really the alliance of a dozen or so billionaires.

      And only God knows what will happen in Syria.

      But, its true you might be able to say Jewish lobby out loud so theres that.

    • Trump's support of Israel will far, far surpass even Obama's or what would have been Hillary's.

      In fact, under very thin guise of non-intervention he will give them room to do whatever they want.

      He, along with his allies in Russia will divert billions.

      He will allow Putin to reshape the ME, starting with Syria, however Putin wants.

      BUT, heres the great part, PC will take a huge blow so FINALLY people will get to say Jews out loud,! FREEDOM! (some others are just happy to say "Mexican" and "Muslim.") How could Trump possibly be more hostile to Muslims?

      And some of the left will bask in Russian/US relations as if there is some true country wide alliance when its really just the personal and business alignment of a very few oligarchs.

      So, all good.

      Except, no.

      Please, don't believe me. Just watch with non lying eyes (already people are lying to themselves about Trump though when the evidence is in plain sight).

  • 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' -- Really?
    • "Judaism doesn’t solve problems via discussion. You are either in agreement with the rest or you are an enemy."

      Sheer ignorance. Judaism only solves problems through discussion. The purpose of the Talmud is discussion not dictates. Jon S. is right about the vast multitudes of halacha - and contradictions.

      Its not "but" in Leviticus, its "and..." In some translations, including Chabad there is no "and" The part about the neighbor (fellow, friend) simply a new thought distinguished from the first about nation.

      This is also the mechanics of Islamophobia, non experts with quotes.

      If there are Jews using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism, write specifically about them. Otherwise, you are on a bad kind of fishing expedition and I can't see any good intent.

  • Trump is forcing us to redefine the idea of 'Home'
    • Thanks this is really thoughtful and well put together.

      I guess home is where you put your hat as said above. Though not always. Depends who and where you are.

      I have long, long learned just to smile and accept the gesture with its (almost always) positive intention, but how tired I am of people speaking to me in English after I have spoken to them in Japanese.

      It is no worthy complaint at all compared to what many immigrants go through but it is still a constant reminder - you will never be from here.

      Fine in my case, I am a foreigner.

      but I feel for my young child who already looks at me befuddled when people speak to her in English (she speaks only native Japanese out of the house. She has only lived here.) - like whats different about me?

      There is a neighbor who thinks she is being friendly by speaking to us English.

      She's not, but I couldn't explain to her without rejecting what she thinks of as kindness, which is I think more important.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • I don't know what your examples have to do with my story about the woman in PA.

      If someone tells you that a Muslim woman in Ohio was told she should take off her headscarf, do you produce a long list of things Muslims have done or allegedly done?

      If you do, what kind of person are you and what is your agenda?

    • "...what exactly is your hierarchy of concerns?"

      I think my comment was pretty clear that these are hardly the worst of times for Jews but that that doesn't necessarily mean that there is no rational reason to be concerned about anti-semitism.

      But, since you ask, bigotry against Jews would be fairly low on a list of things the world, and the US faces right now. Again, not sure how that is relevant but there you go.

      How electing Trump makes us safer in any way, including with the potential for nuclear conflict I just don't know. The world is a lot more dangerous and in much more unpredictable ways.

      Its possible for a society to do several things at once both culturally and politically. I don:t see how gay marriage is not important alongside economic opportunity or lawful policing.

      What you a re saying about the use of antisemitism to bolster Zionism is true but I am not sure what that has to do with me or anything I said, namely we are seeing swastikas and we may see violence against Jews,. We are hearing lots of obnoxious talk and that is not nothing. The standard does not need to be whether Jews are going to the ovens, does it?

      You are addressing me specifically, so I have to ask, just what use do you think antisemitism has to me? You seem to believe I need it as a part of my identity, which simply has no bearing on how I live my life and the people with whom I live it.

      I think it is, rather, another way for you to try to place Jew hatred as a minor and fairly rational event that is brought on in large part by Jews complaining about it (for selfish reasons). I see only alt-right grievances in your posts, however sanitised.

    • Others have it worse. True. It could be worse. Also true.

      But neither fact means there aren't reasons to be concerned.

      African American spending power is the size of the GDP of South Korea, and there is a black president. How would it sound to yet hinge racism on whether there was slavery or lynch mobs? People do so and it is always an obfuscation.

      The recent spate of swastikas and other such things is enough to be concerned even if Jews remain well placed and assimilated. As they were in Germany before the war. It dues not mean Trump is Hitler. It does mean things can change quickly for any group and it has repeatedly for Jews.

      A woman in PA was told by a stranger in public she might want to take off her Star of David necklace because "you people are not in charge any more." It's an asinine comment especially since as you agree Jews might not be any less in positions of influence under Trump and btw Trump will be the most Zionist enabling president ever, but it reflects on a simmering resentment and a perception that now things are say able when they were not before.

  • After years of careless accusation, Dershowitz says anti-Semitism charges must be 'very careful'
  • Jeffrey Goldberg should come with a warning label
    • Echi- ok besides the context in which Yahud. literally, Jew might be used to mean Israeli? I get that.

      I think that would account for a lot of it and also, for the third time, I don't know what they asked or what they consider to be anti-semetic.

      I do also think we should realistically assess these attitudes, including of Israelis.

      Majority minority tensions, to say the least, are one of the problems int he ME and its hardly just about Jews.

    • Echi --

      I am sure I do have inconsistencies but we also live in a time where people are expected to sign on to giant slates or live inside of big categories like "liberal" and "conservative" and I don't do that. Also in the case of I/P.

      My point about Japan was actually that I am not sure what anti-Jewish attitudes means. I doubt 44% of Japanese have scary ideas about Jews, from my experience. So it is in fact very possible that many Lebanese were counted in the 98% have some biases against Jews but not what I would consider anti-semitism. Not sure how you missed that.

      Obviously Yahud can mean Israeli or Jew and again I wonder how Pew dealt with this.

      Keith -- to your point it depends on how we define anti-semitism or other bigotry. I would say no amount of bombings done by some Muslims in the name of Islam justifies a hatred of all Muslims, or the belief that terror bombings are inherently Muslim or Islamic. So I reject the rationality of all bigotry because of its essentialist claims. People can and should be expected to differentiate, otherwise the idea that yelling at a woman wearing a headscarf in Paris is acceptable because of the actions of some Muslims there, which is a fairly despicable thought.

      I consider the accusation of the "need for anti-Semitism" to be a odious kind of claim and one quite popular on the kind of sites that you obviously read, since most of your comments here are bowdlerized retakes of their gripes. I have no need of antisemitism, I wish there was none, or as little possible on earth, or any other bigotry. I am not denying of course that anti-Semitism has been a powerful rhetorical tool in building Zionism, or that the Star of David on an IDF jet does claim to represent all Jews.

    • As I said, I don't know the exact questions.

      I see for example that 44% of Japanese are supposed to have negative feelings towards Jews and I just haven't experienced that at all besides a certain type of book you find in convenience store comics (not taken seriously).

      My point was simply that it might not have been totally made up that Goldberg experienced the Lebanese as not particularly fond of Jews -- thats what the survey says - and its Jews not Israelis. I do think we should give the Lebanese more credit for being aware of the world and its people.

      About Israelis I am sure there are numbers comparable in reverse, with some of the other numbers from around the ME. Half of Israelis want all Arabs expelled so that's a pretty good indicator of how things go.

      Here is a MW story on it:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/most-jews-want-to-expel-palestinians-pews-ugly-portrait-of-israel/

    • I havent checked what they asked, and I don't disregard the context you mention at all, but the 2010 Pew study showed 98% of Lebanese with negative attitudes towards Jews.

      http://www.pewglobal.org/2010/02/04/chapter-3-views-of-religious-groups/

  • Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish
    • Successful immigrant groups from all backgrounds employ nepotism. If you look closely at those groups you find even tighter subgroups; such as from a particular city or region, practicing a religious variant, part of a traditional clan. This is true of Indians, Chinese, Somalis, and especially the last century, Italians and Jews and others.

      Elites from the dominant (at least for now) have also employed nepotism (such as the social register).

      Unsuccessful whites have a lot of resentment about this and it shows, after all they are supposed to be successful in a white man's country (your allusion to the trick of multiculturalism comes up frequently in this brand of lament).

      In a better world there would be no nepotism but its certainly not an exclusively Jewish thing. Look at the hotel industry and South Asians.

      That said, I think its kind of cool that Jews and other tight knit communities share money and break of power for their family members. I'd like to se emote of the same for everyone. I would love to see the dollar circulate many times more in, for example, the black American community.

  • New statement calls on the movement to focus on Palestine, not divisive internal conflicts
    • ... I should have said "a problem with the petition." I am certainly not denying that "anti-semite" beside being a real thing can also be a way to smear and silence people.

    • Hi Danaa --

      I think the tweet in itself was silly and rude and offensive but if people want to use that to smear him as an anti-Semite or derail his efforts, of course that is absurd and by the way more offensive than his stupid tweet.

      That other people say worse or that its just the way this group talks in that situation, well all that to me sounds like the way people minimize Trumps' grab comments as just 'locker room talk' or 'boys talk,' and 'Bill Clinton says worse.'

      I do read enough Hebrew and have known enough Israelis to get what you are saying but not sure how that redeems the one tweet.

      Now the tweet: Explaining the context of bigotry is very different than rationalizing bigotry. Peled's tweet was in the second category. It would be offensive no matter which group it was applied to, including Palestinians. Its important to many anti-semites to not only minimize the history of anti Jewish bigotry but to explain it as a rational phenomenon. Peled's tweet had that tone.

      The problem with the petition is that it is angry that people who should know better got caught not knowing better (I consider Helen Thomas and Miko Peled to be very different than Alison Weir and Greta Berlin btw).

      Do we blame the people who notice, or do we blame the activists themselves for saying stupid things, or hanging out with sleazy people who have a different or extra agenda than Palestinian rights? I think if a social movement is serious, it draws clear lines and many of the important Palestinian rights activists have drawn lines. This is a good thing.

      I see the same thing about the social collision between Israeli and US Jews as you do. In fact like many it is in seeing that with open eyes that changed much of my views of I/P.

    • Its pretty reasonable to ask people engaged in a justice movement to speak carefully.

      Each case mentioned is different in Miko Peled's case his tweet was objectionable in ways that would be both obvious and have similar result had someone made them about say terrorism and Muslims.

      But yes, it was just one tweet and to pillory him over it is unwarranted.

  • A look at Breitbart's 'Alt-Right Lite' plan for Israel/Palestine
  • White Jews and uppity blacks
    • Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews in the New World where white by the only metric that really mattered: slavery. This does not mean that there was not at times discrimination, there was.

      But whiteness was a pedigree of freedom and Jews, except black ones (and there were such), were never subject to any kind of servitude based on ancestry.

    • "At one time the Irish were treated poorly, however, I have never heard an Irishman asking what would happen if the Irish stopped being white."

      You just don't know/read enough about the subjects you expert on. The Irish and whiteness has been a pretty worked subject in studies of racial formation. Here is one of the more popular books on the subject:

      "http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/305686.How_the_Irish_Became_White" Just google and see plenty of considerations of when/if Irish were/were not white.

  • Ozick says Obama needs 6-volume history of Jews on his bedside table
    • At Occidental Observer, Veterans Today, Stormfront and DavidDuke.com, its Gospel that the Jews have fearfully prevented the the English publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Two Hundred Years Together and are, as a hive group, hostile to its existence.

      Not that fact will ever deter the person who is inclined to find a Jew, or the Jews, behind everything, but in this case, there is in fact a partial translation in English published by a house-- in fact founded by anti-antisemite WF Buckley and a Jewish partner. More is supposedly forthcoming.

      And those rags accusing Jews of shutting down translations with Jewish omnipotence, have translated the work as well, with no apparent consequences yet. So where is this power and why has it failed?

      Most importantly, while the work has indeed been called antisemitic by -some- Jews, it has been praised by other Jews, such historian emeritus at Harvard Richard Pipes. Meanwhile it has been parsed and criticised by various non-Jewish writers and historians. Why wouldn't it, like any book, find fans and foes within many groups?

      The book itself is of course, not anti-semitic, as anyone who used that word judiciously would agree. Nor does it refrain from depicting the horrors of anti-Semitism and regularity of pogroms. Simply, it argues that these were almost never state sponsored.

      So, when you say it should be read along other works of Jewish history and that 'we don't get that, do we?' you need to understand you are talking about you and people like you, not 'we' generally because the book has been read and discussed by many normative people interested in the subject.

      I can't asses the nuances of Russian, but I do find the title a bit off-putting like your references to Dick and Jane America, as if David and Judith are not also regular citizens. Have Jews and Russians been two entities living together? or were Russian Jews part of Russia? I know some Zionists and anti semites like the idea of unassimilable Jews, but I for one don:t.

  • In latest pander to Israel lobby, Clinton smears Max Blumenthal's criticism of Wiesel as 'hateful'
    • Max's Wiesel piece is like you say fair and accurate. Wiesel was. thankfully, an amazing force in placing the horror of the Holocaust into everyday consciousness.

      Wiesel fell very far short of any universal application to this and, indeed, became ever closer to retrograde nationalism in Israel.

      Max B can provoke, but the idea that he is an antisemtie is too stupid to seriously debate.

      The Trump tweet was either careless and/or a dogwhistle. You may be right, probably are, that he is not an anti-semite, but that is not the problem with the tweet. His son in law sidesteps the problem that he is feeding a nasty pack. The evidence it was a whistle? The dogs came running. When the image was changed to a circle (evidence in itself) there was a second round of tweets decrying the power that could effect such a change.

      Trump actually insisted his clubs be integrated and lifted longstanding bans on Jews and blacks. I don't see any other evidence that he is an antisemite at all (I have long been surprised that anyone here thinks he won't be a yuge friend of Israel) and I think the racism he flirts with is largely schtick.

      That's bad enough though.

  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
    • Silamcuz, I think you have your white people confused (though I am not sure the fine distinctions of the category interest you all that much). Wiesel was not in any shape a progressive. He was a certain kind of "white liberal" in the sense that he purported to speak for universal experiences.

  • Netanyahu's bloody incitement
    • "Context" for me, and "nothing more than..." for thee make sense as a political strategy, but it is not helpful otherwise, in my opinion. Nor is it morally mature.

      Of course this was not just about one man and one girl. There is a context. Is there such a thing as the isolated actions of a lone settler or lone IDF soldier? There is an appeal to innocence which is powerful, but there is no isolated action.

      In which context you chose to frame an action is, again, politics

  • Democratic Party leadership lines up against BDS -- and the 'nuts' who support it
    • "I watched Jake Tapper milk this on behalf of his fatherland. "

      Absolutely despicable, Kay24.

      Jake is an American and the implied dual loyalty charge here is a disgusting canard with no basis.

      If you knew anything about him, by the way, you would know about his commitment to US troops, while deployed and after.

      I don't doubt, by the way, that language including his here is biased towards Israel. But that is a very different kind of statement than yours.

  • Happy 100th birthday Bernard Lewis!
    • It's also my opinion Judaism will indeed be better off when it spins off its the axis of ashkenazi culture. White New York Jews and US transplants to the OT are only one type.

      But Spain in your memory is a bit romanticised, and liberal Protestant culture probably did more to free and empower Jews than any other.

      Its not one or the other.

  • 'My weekend in Palestine' changed an Australian man's life
    • Gonna say no on that. From a few of his comments and retweets, not guessing Martin is a fan of the tribe.

      And, no that does not take away from this particular work or in anyway mitigate the things he has documented.

  • Yehuda Glick's meteoric rise from messianic margins to Israeli parliament
    • Zaid --

      Yes, I am aware that it is only the -n-ight flight that is presumed a reference to Jerusalem in the Qur'an.

      None of the three faiths deny a Jewish connection to the Holy Land.

      If you think all Jewish migration to pre- Israel Palestine was illegitimate and all non-Jewish immigration to pre-Palestine was legitimate, than you believe that. I don't. In fact., I find such a belief to be repugnant and bigoted. I like the model of co-existance and believe it it the proper one for a post Zionist I/P.

      I think reasonable accommodations can be made at sites which religions have shared, in Spain, in Turkey, in India and certainly in Israel/Palestine.

    • Jews have the right to pray at the site of the Temple. Jews do not have the right to establish a supremacist state based on religion or ethnicity.

      In fact, the only basis for a free I/P is rooted in equal treatment and the protection of minority groups - which ever religion finds itself in the minority in a region which has been the home to all three faiths.

      As far as mumbo jumbo, fine, but what do any of the religions have an attachment to Jerusalem. None of the texts of the three faiths deny a Jewish connection and there is no reason why, as prior to 1948, legitimate Jewish citizens would shouldn't have access and protection in any part of historic Palestine.

  • 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.

    • 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. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9359111696314697/

      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
  • '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.

      https://www.zaytuna.edu/misc/an_open_letter_on_the_mayhem_in_paris

  • 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.

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