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Total number of comments: 4424 (since 2009-07-30 20:36:23)


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  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • Thanks, straightline. I'll defer to your greater knowledge on D.Phil and Oxford. I learn something new everyday.

      * Although I must say that D.Phil sounds too much like Dr. Phil for my taste. "Dr. Phil" is a bozo of a psychologist who has a television show on American TV. In the interest of sanity I won't link to him.

    • And responding to your link to Benny Morris in the New Republic, its more of the same. The one with the obvious bias and sloppiness happens to be Morris. Morris is reviewing 3 books by Pappe. His shortest review is of "Ethnic Cleansing" You speak English, jon. It is your first language, if I remember correctly. How could you not see the inanity of Morris' "explanation' of "dazzled".

      Morris states:

      Here is a clear and typical example—in detail, which is where the devil resides—of Pappe’s handiwork. I take this example from The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. On February 2, 1948, a young Jewish scientist named Aharon Katzir came to see David Ben-Gurion, the chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive and the leader of the Jewish community in Palestine...

      Katzir had come to report to the man managing the Jewish war effort (Ben-Gurion also held the defense portfolio in the Jewish Agency Executive) about an experiment that he and his team in the Haganah’s “science branch” had been conducting. As was his wont, Ben-Gurion jotted down in his diary what his visitor told him. (Ben-Gurion’s diary, a major source on Israeli and Middle East history, consists almost entirely of his summaries of reports by people coming to see him; very few entries actually enlighten the reader about what Ben-Gurion thought or said.) The entry reads:

      "Aharon: ‘Shimshon’ [the operation’s codename], an experiment was conducted on animals. The researchers were clothed in gas masks and suit. The suit costs 20 grush, the mask about 20 grush (all must be bought immediately). The operation [or experiment] went well. No animal died, the [animals] remained dazzled [as when a car’s headlights dazzle an oncoming driver] for 24 hours. There are some 50 kilos [of the gas]. [They] were moved to Tel Aviv. The [production] equipment is being moved here. On the laboratory level, some 20 kilos can be produced per day."

      This is the only accessible source that exists, to the best of my knowledge, about the meeting and the gas experiment, and it is the sole source cited by Pappe for his description of the meeting and the “Shimshon” project. But this is how Pappe gives the passage in English:

      "Katzir reported to Ben-Gurion: “We are experimenting with animals. Our researchers were wearing gas masks and adequate outfit. Good results. The animals did not die (they were just blinded). We can produce 20 kilos a day of this stuff.”"

      Morris then goes on to fulminate about how biased it was of Pappe to use the English word "blinded" instead of the word "dazzled" to explain the experiment. But Morris' own translation of Ben-Gurion includes the intended explanation of the Hebrew word for"dazzled" : " as when a car’s headlights dazzle an oncoming driver". In English, that's the same as saying the driver was blinded.

      past tense: dazzled; past participle: dazzled
      (of a bright light) blind (a person) temporarily.

      So Morris acts as if this is some gross purposeful ideologically driven error on Pappe's part because in this instance Pappe translated the Hebrew word for "dazzle" as blinded, even though its obvious from Morris' own translation that in this instance "dazzled" and "blinded" are exact synonyms. So who exactly is being sloppy and dishonest here? Morris, of course, unless he is insisting that in this context Ben Gurion and Katzir are using the word "dazzled" in its secondary meaning, "amaze or overwhelm (someone) with a particular impressive quality". And if that is Morris' contention then he is an idiot as well as a racist ideologue.

      Then in the next paragraph Morris' ugly bigotry is once again on display. I found thesestatements of his particularly racist and utterly clueless:

      Pappe’s version of this text is driven by something other than linguistic and historiographical accuracy. Published in English for the English-speaking world, where animal-lovers are legion and deliberately blinding animals would be regarded as a barbaric act, the passage, as published by Pappe, cannot fail to provoke a strong aversion to Ben-Gurion and to Israel.

      But apparently Morris doesn't think deliberately blinding Palestinians is a barbaric act. The only problem he sees is that American animal lovers' might develop an aversion to Ben-Gurion. I'm sure that if the gas had been used against Palestinians, as Katzir had suggested in June of 1948 but had not been done, that the IDf would have compassionately offered each Palestinian a set of dark glasses and a white cane, being as how they were so moral and all.

      And that is Morris' one complaint mentioned about Pappe's "Ethnic Cleansing", even though he insists that "(s)uch distortions, large and small, characterize almost every page of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine". This particular "distortion" was "outrageous"according to Morris, so it was the only one mentioned. Color me unimpressed with Morris' argument but "dazzled" (second meaning) by his bigotry.

      * I'd also note that Pappe refers to 3 different entries in Ben Gurion's diary about Katzir's experiments. Morris only relates the middle entry in February and not the one in January or the one in June where Karzir recommended employing the gas.

      If anyone would like I could go into the errors and distortions in Morris' critique of the other two books by Pappe. Some are quite egregious misrepresentations, but I'll save them for another time if someone is interested enough. I've read all three of Pappe's books.

    • jon s

      Some critiques of Prof. Pappe:

      Two serious questions, jon s. First, have you actually read Pappe's book, and two have you actually read the two "critiques" you posted? Because both of those critiques are incredibly sloppy themselves and as an Israeli and a fluent English speaker you should have recognized the flaws in both of them, but I'm assuming that you didn't post them to show how ignorant the critiques were. I'm sadly assuming that you are incapable of recognizing the obvious because your own bias gets in the way.

      First off, for the Frantzman piece (second link), he can't even get two sentences into his "critique" without an egregious error. His second sentence reads,

      He left Haifa University in 2007 after the exposure of his research errors undercut his master's thesis and his endorsement of the British boycott of Israeli universities prompted the president of the university to call for his resignation.

      Frantzman gets the first part of this sentence totally wrong. No one exposed Pappe's reasearch errors that "undercut his master's thesis" because Pappe never had a master thesis. He went from a BA from Hebrew University in 1978 to a PHD from Oxford in 1984. Frantzman is confusing the Teddy Katz affair, which involved allege errors in Katz' master thesis about what happened in the village of Tantura when the Haganah captured it in 1948. Any Israeli should know that, as the affair was front page news there in 2000, not in 2006, and although Pappe supported Katz and his thesis he had no other connection to it. Frantzman has mixed up Pappe and Katz, either purposely or out of sheer ignorance.

      Frantzman is a doctural student at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He should know better than his obvious errors with regards to Pappe/Katz, as should you, jon. Frankly that error alone should draw into question the rest of his critique, especially since he claims a source of Haaretz for his error, when it is clearly his own.

      My suspicion would be that his Katz/Pappe error was a deliberate conflation of the two, since later in the piece Frantzman willful misrepresents the Palestine Post and its connection to Zionism, hoping to convince gullible Americans and Brits that the Palestine Post was not a Zionist house organ.


      Between 1932 and 1948, the paper, which would later change its name to The Jerusalem Post, was Mandatory Palestine's newspaper of record. An English-language daily, it catered both to Palestine's British administrators and the relatively small number of Jewish residents in Palestine who spoke English. It was not always sympathetic to Zionists, especially not to those who resorted to force of arms, and often sided editorially with the British against the Irgun and Stern Gang. For instance, on February 20, 1948, it headlined a story about an Irgun attack on British servicemen, "Terrorists Murder Soldier in Jerusalem."[17] And rather than ignore the Arab population, The Palestine Post perhaps overemphasized their claims. Analysis of the newspaper's casualty reports shows that between November 1947 and May 1948, it over-reported Arab casualties threefold when its figure of over 3,500 is compared to British Mandatory statistics.

      Far from being an unbiased observer in Palestine, the Palestine Post, as described by the National Library of Israel was

      "(a)n English-language daily established in Jerusalem in 1932 as part of a Zionist-Jewish initiative. In 1950 its name was changed to The Jerusalem Post and it continues to be published under that name to this day. The newspaper’s intended audience was English readers in Palestine and nearby regions -- British Mandate officials, local Jews and Arabs, Jewish readers abroad, tourists, and Christian pilgrims. Zionist institutions considered the newspaper one of the most effective means of exerting influence on the British authorities."

      link to

      So for Frantzman to attempt to portray the Palestine Post as an unbiased arbiter of 1948 reality is itself an indication of his own bias and attempt to color history by omission.

      And notice that Frantzman earlier emphasizes the Palestine Post's accounting of Jewish casualties prior to May 15, 1948 as the proper "context" for the Plan Dalet and those Zionist plans that preceded it. Of course Frantzman doesn't mention those earlier plans, nor the fact that Plan Dalet, while officially adopted in March 1948, was first fleshed out in 1946, well before any major Jewish casualties inflicted by the Palestinians. In 1946, the majority of casualties were the result of Zionist terror groups.


      To take just one time period, between the U.N. General Assembly vote to partition Palestine on November 29, 1947, and Israeli independence almost six months later, Arab irregulars killed 1,256 Jews in Palestine[16]—almost all of whom were civilians.

      He uses figures from the Palestine Post to support this and claim this was necessary context for Plan Dalet, despite the fact that Plan Dalet had an earlier genesis than the period he quotes. And then, in a turnaround meant to show that the Post was overcompensating to be fair, he cites the fact that the Palestine Posts estimates of Palestinians killed in the same time period must have been exaggerated since they were 3 times larger than the British estimates for the same time period, and colors this as if it is some favor to the Palestinians to overestimate their body count. (And we all know how the US inflated Vietnamese body counts as a favor to the Vietnamese...yeah, right. ) A rational person would question why the Post's statistics of Jewish casualties must be presumed accurate if there is at the same time a stated assumption that the Post's statistics about Palestinian casualties were significantly overestimated. Only a person with an ingrained bias would state such an obvious contradiction.

      And the rest of his diatribe against "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" is more of the same. Frantzman omits any context if it doesn't support his conclusions. He is guilty of the very polemic he accuses Pappe of, without foundation. I serious doubt he even read Pappe's book.

      Note: For anyone unfamiliar with the Katz affair, here's a good synopsis from Zalman Amit.

      link to

  • The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality
    • The link I posted gives the current population by nationality.

      Qatar’s population continues to swell with every passing year, having witnessed a massive increase of 9.5 percent compared to October 31, 2013 according to Qatar’s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. The total population numbered 2,269,672 at last available count on 30 Nov, 2014 (not including people with resident permits and Qatari nationals that were outside the country at the time). Qatari nationals number only 278,000, representing a mere 12 percent of the total population in the country. Indians at 545,000 and Nepalese at 400,000 actually far surpass them. Qatar´s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics offers a month to month update on the population numbers, however it does not provide a breakdown per nationality. The Ministry of Interior also does not provide these statistics to the public, it however does seem to make it available to the Embassies, as some of them have told bq magazine the figures were given to them by the aforementioned Ministry. To overcome the hurdle of acquiring this information, bq magazine has used an alternative way to gather information on Qatar´s population by nationality. All the data comes from the Embassies of respective countries – either by the information given to us directly by them via email or telephone, or alternatively by gathering the numbers from Ambassadors who have been quoted by various media disclosing the number of their nationals in Qatar. The vast majority of data is from 2014.

      From the chart, the 20K Brits constitute 0.865% of the population.

    • Ellen,

      According to this from 2014, your figures for Brits in Qatar are off by a factor of ten. It lists the number of Brits in Qatar as 20K, not 200K.

      link to

  • St. Louis Jews call on ADL to cancel honor to police
    • If people would like to discuss this further, there are posts at both Jews Sans Frontieres and Tony Greenstein’s blog on this issue, and some lively discussion.

      No, thanks. I used to post there quite a long time ago, but they remind me of the "splitters" scene from "Life of Brian". More interested in personally attacking those who don't follow their narrow line than actually doing anything constructive for Palestinians is my take on their value, which I consider negligible.

    • old geezer,

      You will find very small support for Palestinian rights if you exclude those who generally find racism abhorent and support equality for all.

      I generally agree with most of your comments here, but this sounds like you have gotten this ass-backwards. No one is talking about excluding people like Annie and Mooser. The issue is JVP and End the Occupation seeking to exclude Allison Weir, despite her years of service and hard work for the cause, over what boils down to a disagreement on personal strategy. I think the letter that W Jones linked to sums up the issue quite well. I'll quote from it at length.

      As active participants in the struggle for justice for Palestinians, coming from a variety of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, we call for an end to internal attacks on fellow activists and organizations. These only impede the work for justice.

      We appreciate the important contributions to that cause made over many years by If Americans Knew, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

      In that light, we are dismayed by the recent unfounded attacks on one of the top organizations working on this issue, If Americans Knew, and its dedicated leader, Alison Weir, by the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign. Many of us are members of these groups and are unhappy at these significant actions made in our name but without consulting us.

      We recognize that important differences among these organizations exist – each has its own constituencies, approach, and style, as is the case with the scores of other organizations that together make up the solidarity movement. Some may disapprove of taking the Palestinian case to people who don't define themselves as "liberals" or "progressives." Others may disapprove of working with Zionist groups and failure to state that Zionism is racism, etc. We have no problem with any group articulating such differences and even making principled criticisms of another's work – that is part of the life of any healthy democratic movement.

      But we believe strongly that secret dossiers, ideological inquisitions, double standards, misrepresentations, spreading innuendo, and attempting to excommunicate groups or individuals one disagrees with from the ranks of the movement sow unnecessary divisions and distract from what must remain our primary focus: building the broad united front that's necessary to change United States policy in the Middle East and to help Palestinians obtain justice in their homeland.

      We also believe that the vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is "anti-Semitic" and/or racist are scurrilous and without foundation. They are based on guilt-by-association arguments through which numerous committed activists – including the leadership of the US Campaign and JVP – could equally, and also incorrectly, be called "anti-Semitic" and/or racist.

      We are painfully aware that there are well funded opponents who spare no effort to undermine and divide this movement for justice and human rights in Palestine. We therefore expect those who sincerely share our goals to be mindful of the potential to fracture the movement and be judicious and principled in their critique of groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the movement.

      We call for these attacks to cease and for those initiating them to return to their main task, working for justice in Palestine.


      The Undersigned

      link to

      Signatories include Richard Falk, Samia Khoury, Dr. Mazin Quimzeh, Hedy Epstein, George Rishmawi, Abbas Hamideh, Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Lawrence Davidson, Joel Kovel, Jeffrey Blankfort and also our own Henry Noor, Susie Kneedler, and Katie Miranda, as well as over 1400 others at the moment.

  • 'Suck Iranian ****' --- Netanyahu's Farsi twitter account earns negative reviews
    • If I read it correctly, the "Suck..." comment was one Iranian's response to Netanyahu's tweet, not the tweet itself. This was one of Nutty's tweets that Allison mentioned:

      “With the continuation of the show of compromising with Iran, the path to Iran getting a nuclear bomb is paved, and they are being given billions of dollars for terrorism and invasion.”

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • Of course, Oren’s comment about the smoldering ovens of Auschwitz has nothing to do with how many Jews lived in West Orange.

      Oren's comment was comparing West Orange, New Jersey and Auschwitz, for heaven's sake. He wasn't just talking about "smoldering overs" he was talking about "STILL smoldering ovens" in 1971, when relaying his narrative about how tough it was in West Orange. The fact that there were plenty of Jews who chose to live there is entirely pertinent to the question of the validity of Oren's statements, since I think even you would agree that American Jews would not purposely move to, or continue to live in, an American Auschwitz.

      In fact, there at least one similar incident in 1971. On September 20, 1971, a bomb was discovered in the Great Neck Synagogue on Long Island on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

      Now you are really flailing. The bomb at Oren's synagogue was, according to police, a "professional job". The one on Long Island was a pill bottle bomb, something that teenage boys have a habit of making and detonating in order to see and hear the explosion. Any competent police officer or fire official will tell you that the likelihood of the two incidents being related, or committed by the same person or persons, is next to nil.

      Public bathrooms usually have great acoustics to amplify the sound of these small explosions (and a wealth of toilet paper to use as a fuse of sorts). Its just as likely that young Jewish boys were the ones who created it, in a bit of teenage mischief, as it was anyone else. Such small bombs can cause injury, sometimes serious, depending on the chemicals used, which is why it was taken away and detonated by the police. (They usually blow it up with other explosives in a well armored box to eliminate the chance of injury.)

      I find it rather amusingly typical that the source you linked to about it (The International Institute of Counter-Terrorism in Israel) considers it one of 6 "terrorist incidents against Jewish communities and Israeli citizens abroad" committed in 1971, and one of only two in the US- with the explosion at the West Orange Synagogue in April being the only other one in the US.

      If a pill bottle bomb most likely built by a couple of mischievous Jewish teenage boys is considered an act of anti-semitic "terrorism" then its obvious why so many of us here consider these tales and counts of anti-semitism to be grossly inflated.

    • Hophmi,

      Given your profession and training I can only surmise that you are being intentionally obtuse. 2sense linked to a 2013 interview with Oren himself which totally contradicts what Oren claims in his memoir. It's not just 2sense's word against Oren's, its Oren contradicting himself.

      2sense also imparted some important information about exactly where Oren grew up. The address of Oren's mother is available on the internet and it confirms what 2sense said. The article also confirms that Oren grew up in that house in West Orange that he mother still lives in. It is across the street from a Jewish Country Club. The significance of that bit of information is that Oren claims 1) that he grew up in a "blue-collar neighborhood", 2) he claims he was the only "Jewish kid on the block". Country clubs, whether Jewish or not, do not get built in blue collar neighborhoods. They are an element of an upper middle class-middle class neighborhood. Jewish Country Clubs, like country clubs of any sort, are usually built in areas that are convenient and within easy driving distance of their members. If there was a Jewish country club adjacent to his parents home in the 1970's its a high probability that a significant number of Jews lived in the area.

      This is also indicated by the fact that Oren's synagogue, Bnei Shalom, was less than a mile and a half from his home, and it was quite a large one. These two documented facts would support 2sense's contention that the neighborhood had a good number of Jews in it, in order to support both a large synagogue and a Jewish country club.

      The high school he went to, West Orange High, was less than a mile from Bnei Shalom, and was also less than a mile and a half from Oren's home, so it was clearly in the same close vicinity. And yet Oren wants us to believe that he was a victimized minority at his school. 2sense's description of the neighborhood and the school is much more inline with the facts.

      So what we have is Oren contradicting himself, within the span of the last 2 years;first describing his growing up as being like "Happy Days" to later describing it as an unending ordeal of being the victim of anti-semitic acts. We also have facts that contradict Oren's description of his neighborhood as blue-collar and his description of himself as being part of a small victimized minority in his neighborhood. All this is what discredits Oren's memoir, and at the same time, gives credit to 2sense's admittedly anonymous description.

    • Thanks, Annie! I should have known you'd be on it. ;-)

    • Annie,

      May I suggest that you contact Phil and see if he would like to add the link to the interview that 2sense posted as an update to his article. Some people may not read all the comments, here and might miss it, but if its an update to the article it will get more coverage as a obvious inconsistency in Oren's story of his teenage years.

      And if Oren did live across the street from a Jewish Country club, its highly unlikely that he was "the only Jewish kid on the block" and lived in a "blue-collar neighborhood".

    • …and the only comment Ive ever heard…is one from a cowboy to his friend: Who’s the %$@# Muslim?

      Funny story.

      You've got to hand it to Hophmi for chutzpah, though. He doesn't just tell Jews what they should think, he goes beyond and speaks for them, because he imagines he's the Queen of some Jewish Borg Collective. Resistance is futile, CG.

      (To a lesser extent he does the same thing with gentiles. If he's not telling them what they should think he's telling them what they do think - which is of course mostly anti-semitic thoughts.

      Maybe we all should be worried. Heaven forbid someone we don't know might try to tell us what to think. Oh, the humanity!)

    • Thanks 2sense. When someone here (just?) mentioned that Oren's father was a hospital administrator and his mother a family therapist, two upper middle class white collar jobs, I wondered why he described his neighborhood as "blue collar".

      Seems like his memoir is full of fictions.

    • NO, hophmi. They voted no to independence. And every Scottish citizen was allowed to vote, and no one was ethnically cleansed before the vote either. If you are trying to compare it to Israel you're off your rocker.

      link to

    • When Netanyahu invited himself to Paris back in January, this was French Jews’ response to his urging them to leave France for Israel.

      But Froggy, those people in the Grand Synagogue, even the kippa wearers, can't be Jews! They all look white and Hophmi has assured us that all "active" French Jews are black or brown. And we all know how reliable hophmi's information is. Oh, wait...

    • Thanks for the kind words, Bornajoo. And thanks for telling a bit of your story.

      Sorry you had to go through all of that, but it seems like it helped you become a kind, intelligent, and moral human being. I grew up with a minimal non-Christian religion(Unitarianism), but I know a few people who had to go through similar circumstances in Christian denominations. I pretty early on decided that I didn't believe in God, especially one who seemed so provincially human. And yet I've met Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who do believe and are kind and moral human beings too. I've met other believers who are not so, of course, and I've met atheists who are utter a**holes as well those who are the opposite. It seems that religion is not the primary factor in whether a person grows up to be a moral and loving person. I wish I knew what the real deciding factor was. We need more of it.

    • From what I’ve read, I’d guess that anti Jewish sentiment in 1971 was worse in New Jersey and New York state than in Massachusetts, but I don’t really know. I’m sure the Gallup people polled the country to determine anti Jewish attitudes and if you wanted to do some real research instead of depending upon your own anecdotes, you might be able to speak from knowledge rather than from a random sample of one.


      First off, Oren's own account is anecdotal- a random sample of one. There's no more reason to believe his experience was more typical than any other person's anecdotal account. Hophmi mentioned Ocean Hill/ Brownsville and Canarsie but as my link here points out, what he is using as an example of anti-semitism was in fact a power struggle in those neighborhoods between Jews and Catholics on one side and blacks on the other. The OC/B political struggle had to do with local control of public schools there, which had a predominantly black enrollment, and Canarsie had to do with the issue of busing of black students into predominantly white schools. I'm sure some anti-semitic statements were bandied about, as I am sure so were racist and ethnic Catholic bashing ones as well, but to boil it all down to its essence, the outer borough Jews of NYC formed alliances with their mostly Catholic fellow whites in opposing the efforts of NYC blacks to have more control over their lives, and more power within the city. In the struggle for more power, it was the blacks who lost. To quote my link:

      The black-Jewish feud at Ocean Hill-Brownsville was more than just a case of unrealistic expectations and demands, however. When black writer James Baldwin, referring to the Ocean Hill dispute, said “it is cowardly and a betrayal of whatever it means to be a Jew, to act as a white man,” he captured what was driving Jews away from blacks, and toward white Catholics, at this time.26 Black intellectuals like Baldwin, Harold Cruse, and Julius Lester had long complained of Jewish ambivalence - an ambivalence of convenience, in their view - toward their white identity.27 These criticisms peaked during the Ocean Hill-Brownsville controversy. Black local board supporters responded to allegations of anti Semitism arguing that they harbored no special animus toward Jews. They opposed them, they maintained, not because they were Jewish, but because they were white. As the black cultural journal Liberator put it, “(t)he Jew should not be13 singled out for any particular righteousness or duplicity. For ultimately, in the American context, he is a white man, no more, no less.”28Throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, New York Jews had constructed a dual identity, one that was not “black,” but not quite “white,”either. This stance had its benefits, to be sure. It allowed Jews the option of identifying as white, or, when this was deemed inappropriate, as a besieged minority group. But at Ocean Hill-Brownsville, black resentment of this position’s privileges finally burst to the surface. Jews would no longer be permitted the luxury of ambivalence about their “whiteness”: they would have to make a choice.

      And, during the bitter days of September, October, and November 1968, the Jews of New York’s outer boroughs made their choice. Pushed by a black community that regarded them as “whites, no more, no less,” and pulled by the promise of a race-based coalition with white Catholics, they completed their journey to unambiguous white identity, the last group of Caucasians in America to do so.


      Ocean Hill-Brownsville taught Jews and Catholics that the whiteness uniting them was more important than any of the things that had divided them in the past. In outer-borough neighborhoods like Forest Hills and Canarsie, Jews stood alongside their Catholic neighbors to keep blacks “out”: out of their homes, in the case of Forest Hills, where in 1972 a Lindsay-backed low-income housing
      plan was defeated by community pressure, and out of their schools, in the case of Canarsie, where Jews and Catholics worked together in 1972 and 1973 to block a Board of Education initiative that would have bused in black students.32

      link to

      This is the context within the areas that Hophmi claimed were cases of rampant anti-semitism, but the animosities were over political issues, and the battle lines that were drawn were white -black, not Jew, non-Jew.

      As for the reliability of Oren's anecdotal teenage memories, its important to remember that we have numerous accounts of Oren either lying about or mis-remembering much more recent incidents, and that this is the man who sought to blame a US ambassador for the violent Israeli attack on Es Samu in 1966, as well as the man who claimed that a Palestinian teenager shot and killed in a cold-blood murder that was captured on security camera footage wasn't really dead. He has serious issues with the truth, so, given that, the tendency to discount his retelling of his story is completely understandable. And as Phil has pointed out, Oren left out any mention that Kahane was due to speak there, and that it might have been a motive for the explosion. And even if not, the welcome presence of a violent racism at Oren's synagogue should be a part of the story he tells, bu its not. So again there is a factual basis to question his retelling of this teenage anecdote.

      Today it is 70 years since the end of WWII, but Israel was established three years after WWII and any discussion that will focus on israel’s birth will of historical accuracy deal with antisemitism.

      And any discussion of Israel needs to deal with Jewish bigotry as well, since the primary problem for the Palestinians, and in reality for Israel as well, is the racism and bigotry of Jews. Just as a discussion of the historical oppression of blacks would be incomplete without discussion the racism of whites and the white power structure, so any historical discussion of Israel/Palestine would be incomplete without discussing Jewish attitudes and power structures. No one seriously called discussions of white racism and white power structures anti-white, even when these discussions sometimes slipped into over broad generalizations and stereotypes. Yet similar discussions of Jewish racism and religious bigotry are constantly being called into question as anti-semitic. Frankly I think this has more to do with un-acknowledged anti-gentile bias among some Jews, the very same bias that oppresses the Palestinians so severely in Israel, than it does with true anti-semitic speech or actions.

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

      Thank you for that. You said your piece, I've said mine. We can leave it at that if you wish. Goodnight, or I guess its good morning in your neck of the woods.

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

      The topics on which you comment indicate your interest, and so far your interest here is mainly focused on calling negative attention to what you think is anti-semitism, not only in the comment section, but it was even your main thrust when you hosted Phil at your club.

      Personally I think a much bigger problem than American anti-semitism with respect to the situation in Israel/Palestine( which this website deals with) is bigoted attitudes amongst both Israeli Jews and many American Jews, including those in power positions, towards non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular. I've stated as much here several times before. Prejudice is a problem for everyone, but Jews are not immune from exhibiting it just as well as other identity groups do. I think you are acting like the hypocrite you claim others are.

      My viewpoint is that if you sincerely disagree with hophmi here you should say so, not to give you cache when you criticize someone else, but because his attitude is much more toxic to the future well-being of the Palestinians, and indirectly to the future of Israeli Jews, than any one else's attitude here, barring the few Zionist nutcases who post here irregularly. If you really care about that issue, why the silence when someone promotes the "moral disaster", as you call it, of Zionism? You say you trust Bornajoo's comments more because you can relate to his background. Don't you see that you could be doing the same thing as he is, using your membership in the group to promote an awareness of the bigoted attitudes that are standing in the way of equality and justice because you would be more trusted. Rather than writing the bigotry off as "schtick", as you have done, you could stand up for overcoming the oppression of Palestinians, perhaps change a few minds, and be part of the solution.

      I have never seen bornajoo with Jew lists or rants about Jewish power. When he or she does, if I am around and have time, I would say something.

      Again this just points out your bias. You are saying that you would say something if you thought Bornajoo wrote something anti-semitic, but you have never said a thing to hophmi about his style of bigotry. His wrong attitudes aren't important enough to you to criticize, thus you diminish instances of bigotry on the part of Zionist Jews by your silence in comparison to your outspokenness here.

      I brought up my relatives and the ensatzgruppen to point out that one can indeed talk about past wrongs without kvetching or implying they are worse than other crimes.

      Granted, but often times this past IS implied to be worse than other crimes. Its done when other crimes and others suffering during WWII are diminished in order to place Jewish suffering above all else. And in this case its done by Oren when, as Bornajoo aptly described it:

      "Oren would prefer everyone to believe that it was mainly the Jews who suffered from these kinds of prejudices and discrimination. He does that by not mentioning that other groups (which was definitely the case in London and I’m sure the same where he grew up) were suffering even greater discrimination than he did within his Jewish community. And as you correctly state “Being a white Jew, especially male, especially on the East Coast, by the 1970’s was a category more of privilege than disadvantage….” "- See more at: link to

      I am genuinely sorry about your great-great grandmother and I would be offended anyone who made a statement like “people who descended from people who starved to death are really hungry for sympathy” which I find the very rude formulation of Jews “kvetching” about antisemitism to be akin.

      Don't be sorry for me. I never knew my great-grandmother and although I'm sure it affected my grandmother greatly, it is simply a family historical note to me and has no emotional trauma for me. So many people throughout history have had to deal with tragedy. I am exceedingly lucky and am well aware of it. If I constantly trumpeted how terrible I had it as a woman because of my great grandmother's situation then I would deserve to be criticized for carping about it. It wouldn't be rude. It would be the truth. I think even you acknowledge that the mainstream Jewish Zionist establishment cries "anti-semitism" over many things that are not, and implies that its a more important problem than other prejudices in the US, and certainly more important that the Israeli denial of Palestinian human rights. Its simply the truth that they over-complain, kvetch even, in order to excuse their own bigotry. Why is the truth rude, and even if it is, is that a valid reason to censor it?

    • More importantly I am pointing out that the kind of calls for context on this thread are decried when used to minimize the suffering of sympathetic victims.

      Context is not "whataboutery". You are comparing the two as if they are the same. If I compare the suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis to the suffering of Israelis at the hands of Palestinians, that's contextualizing. If I compare the suffering of Iraqis at the hands of the US, or the Syrians in the civil war, to the Palestinians, that's diverting and "whataboutery". And if I compare the suffering of American blacks to the sufferings of African blacks that is "whataboutery". What happens in Syria is not the context for what happens in Palestine anymore than what happens in Africa is the context for what happens in the US. But comparing the sufferings of American Jews to the sufferings of American blacks and other minorities is legitimate contextualizing. The concept is not that hard to understand.

      con·text, noun

      the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

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

      No, you are responding to Keith's statement that :

      "Any serious discussion about anti-Semitism will necessarily reference it RELATIVE to incidents of prejudice against other groups. If this is done, then anti-Semitism is a RELATIVELY minor phenomenon"

      He's not denying anti-semitism, he's calling it a "RELATIVELY minor phenomenon", similarly to how you have described it, BTW. That's why you are making a straw man argument. You aren't absorbing what is actually said or written.

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

      Again you are equating overcoming oppression with complaining. Complaining is most certainly NOT the same thing. I'm surprised that you keep insisting it is.

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

      Bullshit. You yourself admitted that "there is much exaggerated anti-semitism in Zionist rhetoric "- See more at: link to
      Another word for that would be "kvetching". You object to the word, but admit the existence, and then claim that Annie is against overcoming oppression because she agrees with you (and Keith) about the exaggeration. Its a dishonest statement on your part. Faulty appeals to feminists don't make your argument any less dishonest.

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

      I don't think that you have ever responded negatively to any of his comments here. I think this is the first time you have clearly stated that you disagree with him on anything. And you have rarely responded negatively to any of the other various Zionist bigots here. But you are consistent in replying to those you feel have made anti-semitic comments. You share that trait with Hophmi. You're closer than you think. You're still thinking in a particularist manner in regards to Jews and non-Jews. Its even apparent in your comment here to Bornajoo in comparison to your comment to Keith, who was agreeing with what Bornajoo said - gentle towards Bornajoo and confronting towards Keith. You may not notice it in yourself but I think a lot of other commenters here do.

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

      Replying is not the antithesis of using a straw man argument. In fact one can't even make a straw man argument without replying. I'm sure you know that. Your current reply means nothing. You ignore your faulty comparison of "overcoming oppression" with complaining, and your false implication that American Jews had a similar experience to American blacks or Palestinians.

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

      So are you trying to imply that Jews overcame oppression in the US? And complaining about anti-semitism is part of that "overcoming oppression"? Because otherwise your statement makes no sense, except to slam Annie and Keith with a straw man argument. I suspect that was your intent. You sound like you're understudying to become the new hophmi.

    • Page: 44
    • TBK

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

      I call it "whataboutery". What happens in other countries is not relevant to the situation in Palestine, or in the US. I'm a white woman. If I mention the ways in which I as a teenager was personally affected by sexism in the US, then mentioning that women in Gambia have their genitals mutilated, so I had it great in comparison (and that statement would actually be true), then that is "whataboutery", or trying to change the subject to avoid dealing with the issue, by bringing up what happens outside of the context of the US.

      However, if my situation as a white female teenager is compared to the situation that blacks in general, and black women in particular faced at that time, it is a legitimate contextualization - comparing relative treatment in the same location, the USA. Contextualizing in that instance is relevant, particularly if I try to imply that my situation as a white female teenager was so much worse than a member of any other identity group in the US, especially since, despite its own traumas it was not.

      Oren, by relating his teenage traumas to his need to become a citizen and supporter of Israel is in fact doing just that. He implies that his situation as a Jewish boy was so bad that he had to seek citizenship elsewhere. No one here is saying that bigotry against Jews doesn't exist in the US. They are simply saying that, comparatively speaking, it was not of sufficient harm to merit Oren's implications, and was minor in comparison to the bigotry exacted on American blacks, among others.

      And here's a flash for you in case you don't know it, but white teenage boys in the US were and are picked on for a variety of reasons, including in some cases for being of Polish, or Italian, German or some other ethnicity as well as for just being different in some way. I believe there's a certain resentment because Oren, due to his own bigotry, thinks that he had it so much worse than any other white simply because he was Jewish. He doesn't have a clue that dealing with bullies and taunts and teasing doesn't stop just because you happen to be Christian in the US.

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

      And my great grandmother died trying to feed her 4 children. Sad, but how does that relate to the discussion here? What you have just done is what you call "contextualizing" and I call "whataboutery". Although a valid and moving observation of your family history if related on another thread, it has no relevance to the treatment of Jews compared to others in 1970's New Jersey, which is the topic here. You don't mind contextualizing in regards to what Jews do or think or feel, but don't grant the same right to others. Its a particularist viewpoint that I doubt you even realize you are defending.

    • Here's an interesting overview of Ocean Hill/Brownsvile :

      On the morning of May 9, 1968, a Jewish junior high school science teacher named Fred Nauman received a letter that would change New York City. The letter Nauman opened that day was signed by the chairman of a local school board in Brooklyn’s predominantly black Ocean Hill-Brownsville section, which was part of an experiment in community control of the area’s public schools. It told Nauman, a chapter chairman of the city’s ninety-percent white, and majority Jewish union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), that he had been fired.1

      The issue of whether this black local school board could fire this Jewish, unionized teacher on its own initiative, which was joined with this letter, would effect a fundamental shift in politics, culture, and race relations in New York City.It would result in a series of three citywide teachers strikes launched by the UFT in the fall of 1968 aimed at obtaining the reinstatement of Nauman and nine of his union colleagues, who were also fired by the Ocean Hill-Brownsville local school board that day. Lasting almost two months in all, and affecting almost one million public schoolchildren, the strikes would be the most bitter in the city’s modern history, rife with charges of racism, union-busting, and anti-Semitism.

      These strikes pitted the city’s white middle class, which backed the UFT, against New York’s black poor, and government, business, media, and intellectual elites, who rallied in support of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville local school board2 and the community control idea. They pitted the city’s traditional liberals and emerging neo-conservatives against acolytes of the “New Politics” and the New Left. Most importantly, however, they pitted blacks against whites, and specifically, blacks against Jews. For both blacks and Jews, Ocean HillBrownsville was a crucial moment of self-revelation. It exposed the hidden fissures beneath the surface of what many had considered a “model” relationship. It forced each to confront unrealistic constructions of “the other.” And, it created an atmosphere in which continued Jewish ambivalence about “white” identity became impossible. Under pressure from the city’s black community at Ocean Hill-Brownsville, New York’s Jews, primarily those residing outside Manhattan in what were known as the “outer boroughs,” came to grips with their whiteness and began to align with white Italian, Irish, and Eastern European Catholics, who only recently had been their rivals.

      more at link...

      link to

    • Donald,

      So I saw Jews as being the good guys along with us. I think that would have been the common view where I was. But no doubt one could believe this stuff and still harbor some stereotypes about Jews.

      You don't seem to realize from your statement that you did in fact "harbor some stereotypes about Jews". Its just that those stereotypes were positive. At this point in America the bigger problem is positive stereotypes about Jews rather than negative ones, including the stereotypes that many American Jews have about themselves. This is what leads people in the US who have no knowledge otherwise to believe that Israel is a "vibrant democracy" and all the rest of the phony crap purveyed about the country and what its government does, and what the majority of its Jewish citizens condone. There's a pervasive sense that "Jews don't do that," when it comes to the reality of what most Jews in Israel have done, or condone, and continue to do and condone. And to expand a bit in reply to TBK's comment, "context" is most often trotted out when Israel or Jewish Israelis exhibit racism, hatred or violence. It's because of "thousands of missiles raining down", or "suicide bombers" or the Holocaust, or anti-semitism. Lately I've heard much more "context" to explain away Jewish bigotry than any other group's bigotry.

      Jews in general are no different from any one else. Some are very good, some are very bad, and the rest fall somewhere in between. Its thinking that an ethnic or religious group is all good or all bad that is the problem. And Jews are just as capable of exhibiting this kind of faulty thinking as any other group.

      Frankly, I think that's part of Oren's problem. He won't confront his own prejudices.

      BTW, re-examining his description of his fist fights, I notice that he just mentions "Jew-baiting", not being beaten up. So he was teased, or believed he was, and set out to beat up the kids who teased him, thus the scars on this knuckles and nowhere else. He obviously hit a lot of kids, or hit a few kids a lot. Great training for the IDF.

      He went to Israel in 1969. I suspect that had a more profound effect on his outlook than the explosion in his synagogue in 1971. He sounds like a bully-in-the-making who thinks of himself as a victim. Post 1967 Israel would have fit him to a tee. His mode seems to be to prevaricate and accuse people of Jew-hatred if they don't agree with him that Israel is never at fault for anything. I can see him embracing Kahane in his youth.

      And I can see Kahane bombing a synagogue in order to drum up more followers and increase fear in the Jewish community. If it was anti-semitic in origin I would expect there to have been other similar bombings in the same time frame and general area. Since the bombing was never solved, we can't know for sure what the motive was.

    • if Oren is telling the truth about his childhood fist fights with anti- Semites ( and with Oren assuming truthfulness is a big assumption) -

      His description seems a bit off. He talks about scars on his knuckles but unfortunately I've known kids who were bullied. Knuckles are the last place they get scars. Bullies may get scars there, but most kids who are bullied get them any place but. You only get scars on your knuckles when fighting from landing multiple blows on someone else. Seems like he's either lying about being attacked by bullies, or his ego has to make up stories about his fighting prowess -- or both.

  • Shifting the Discourse: Katie Miranda interviews Adam Horowitz on challenging the mainstream media
    • Usually, radical ideologues don’t care much about criticism.

      Neither do pompous asses on comment boards, or a whole range of other people, so what's your point, other than a lame attempt at false implication that because they don't care about criticism therefore they are "radical ideologues" ?

      Hophmi types.
      Monkeys can type.
      Therefore Hophmi is a monkey.

      I'd think that a lawyer could come up with something better than logical fallacies in his comment. In Hophmi's case I would be wrong.

    • hophmi,

      You’ve not been subject to any real Zionist pushback

      And pray tell what is "real Zionist pushback", oh great and wonderous self-appointed spokesperson for the mainstream Jewish community?
      Obviously you don't consider accusing Phil and Adam of anti-semitism, or hatred of Judaism and Jews, or of being self-hating Jews, as real pushback, since you subject the both of them to that here on a regular basis.

      So, what is "real Zionist pushback"? Sustained efforts at quashing their livelihoods? Death threats? Administrative detention? Drone attacks? Running them over with a bulldozer? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • A racist country with too much influence over US -- Israel's new image among Democrats
    • Perhaps you can pay out of pocket for brand name meds next time you go to the pharmacy, you know, in solidarity.

      You know, catalan, for someone who claims no interest in or connection to Israel you have a propensity to mimic the hasbara tribe in touting Israeli goods as indispensable. And here you are claiming that the only alternative to Teva is to buy brand name drugs, when Teva's market share of the generic drug market is only 12.2%, (just slightly ahead of Novartis at 11.5%) despite Teva being the largest. There are clearly other generic options. I thought you said you were brilliant at math. You flunked this one.

      link to

    • I think ckg answered that question upthread:

      “opinion elite” — a term coined by Luntz. It refers to folks who are college educated, make at least $65,000 annually, voted in the 2006 national elections and watch at least an hour of news per day. - See more at: link to

      No doubt updated with an increase in annual income and voting in more recent elections. The most heartening part of the poll is this:

      He also predicted that Israel is in for “a lot more trouble” from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) campaign. Once they had been informed about the BDS campaign, 19% of respondents supported it — 31% of Democrats and 3% of Republicans. And, stressed Luntz, 60% of America’s opinion elites said they were not familiar with BDS. “Israel is already having trouble with BDS, and Americans don’t even know what it means. Can you imagine how bad it will get?”

      He also foresaw a looming battle in the US over foreign aid to Israel. Some 33% of Democrats and 22% of Republicans, his poll found, were upset that “Israel gets billions and billions of dollars in funding from the US government that should be going to the American people.”

      From Phil's link to the Times of Israel.

    • I don't think it was a spell-correcting error. I've seen Luntz referred to a Lumpy before, implying "Lumpy Rutherford" from the old Leave it to Beaver show - a fat teenager who was kind of a bully. An unkind moniker obviously as Luntz's weight is totally irrelevant to his opinions and actions.

    • I would commission a poll with that question: do you prefer bumbling foreign policy, or a scary one?

      Haven't we had both for the last few decades? And unfortunately I don't see a future with much of a choice either.

    • Krauss,

      Also, questioning the poll’s implications for the larger society doesn’t make me a sympathiser to Zionism, nor does it make me question the specific methodology of the poll. You don’t seem to understand this.

      I suspect you don't understand that Marnie was replying to DS, not to your comment, despite what the weird tabbing of comments here makes it look like.

      I might also suggest that berating someone for hurling epithets ia a bit less hypocritical if you can refrain from doing the same yourself. Higher brow epithets really aren't superior to the low brow ones, despite what your comment might imply.

      That said, I do agree with your original point.

  • Oren's demands make Israel's liberal apologists squirm
    • Gonna set up a registry? Hand out credentials?

      I suggest a scarlet A for "assimilationist" (or "abnegator"). He could even put it on a nice yellow background, since it fits with the fascist mindset of his comment.

      BTW, are those American who "marry out" across ethnic lines also "self-abnegators", or does that sound too obviously white nationalist for hophmi's taste? Special rules for Jews again, hophmi?

    • Oren's reputation as a historian is vastly overrated. I remember at one point I was planning to read his 1967 tome, but happened across an except from it in an online publication.

      He was describing a bit of the run-up to Israel's attack on Es Samu in November 1966, in which Israel sent some 400-600 soldiers, 40 half-tracks and 10 tanks into the Jordanian West Bank to destroy the village of Es Samu, with another 2500-3500 troops mobilized as backup. All of this was apparently in response to the deaths of 3 Israeli soldiers from a grenade that their truck ran over somewhere along the border with Jordan. I'll quote from a 2013 book on US-Jordanian relations at the time to illustrate the lunacy of Oren's description:

      Following the border incident of 10 November, Hussein sent an apology[ [my note: more like a condolence and a promise to help find the perpetrators if they came from Jordan] through the American Ambassador to Israel, Walworth Barbour. Michael Oren, in his popular account of the Six Day War, argued that Ambassador Barbour's failure to deliver this message in a timely manner resulted in the Israeli attack at Samu'a. Oren wrote"Questions could later be raised whether Eshkol would have made the same decision had he received Hussein's apology in time, whether all subsequent events might have been averted had not Barbour so tragically procrastinated."

      This is on the face of it a craven attempt at Israeli apologetics and an attempt to blame a US ambassador for a large Israeli operation that obviously took considerable advanced planning. And Oren wants us to believe that condolences from Jordan would have precluded a vicious cross-border attack on Jordanian civilians? In his attempt to exonerate Israel he simply makes then look petty and vindictive.

      But that's not the half of it. According to the source I quote above, from 2013, and from a similar source written at the same time as Oren's book, in 2003, the condolences sent through the US Ambassador were only a back-up. King Hussein had personally contacted the Israelis and offered his condolences and help.

      Yet Hussein told Burns that he had communicated with the Israelis and received a positive response; "The last message I received from the Israelis was further to reassure me that they had no intention of attacking Jordan. I received the message on Nov. 13, the very day the Israeli troops attacked at Samu'a." According to Hussein's account, the Israelis independently assured the King that they would not attack, just prior to their strike. In this context, the transmission through Barbour was probably a duplicate, and, thus, the ambassador's clumsy delay was irrelevant.

      link to

      The US archives on this were opened well in advance of Oren's book in 2003. There is no excuse for him failing to mention these facts, except for propagandistic purposes. He never was a reputable historian who should have been exposed years ago, well before he started making unfounded allegations about certain American Jews.

  • Oren's memoir reveals Israel's elite is hyper-sensitive to U.S. criticism
    • Don't sweat it, just. I always appreciate your comments here, and find you are seldom remiss. The terms can be confusing for anyone.

    • just

      I’m inclined to agree with you about the fascism bit, but not the socialism bit.

      You may not be aware of this, but "national socialism" is not the same as socialism. It is in fact the descriptive given to Nazism, and is the translation of Hitler's "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" or National Socialist German Worker's Party, which was opposed to socialism, among many other things.

    • I find it the height of disingenuousness for hophmi, who has said on this very site,

      "I could care less that Christian killed Christians in endless intraChristian wars. It only goes to show that the religious hatred they showed for the Jews was similar to how they treated one another. "

      link to

      pretends to be concerned that 60 minutes didn't adequately cover the persecution of Christians in other countries. His only concern here has ever been making excuses for Israel's bad behavior.

      Also, for those interested, here's the link to the 60 minutes program that Oren objected to, and inserted himself into:

      link to

      Its really quite bland, and repeats the falsity that the Separation Wall was responsible for the end of suicide attacks in Israel; it also edited out the Christian call in the Kairos Document for the boycott of Israeli goods (although that is available as an extra on the website) and it gets into very few specifics. There is no interview with Palestinian Christians in Nazareth, but besides Oren assuring us that Israel cares deeply for its Christian citizens, and Ari Shavit doing similar, its likely that by Oren inserting himself into the segment he took time away from the report that could have been used to actually hear from Christians in Israel, who are themselves discriminated against despite their citizenship.

      Oren totally gives himself away at about 12 minutes into the segment, when he says,

      " Michael Oren: Bob, I'm the ambassador of the State of Israel. I do that very, very infrequently as ambassador. It's just-- that's an extraordinary move for me to complain about something. When I heard that you were going to do a story about Christians in the Holy Land and my assum-- and-- and had, I believe, information about the nature of it, and it's been confirmed by this interview today.

      Bob Simon: Nothing's been confirmed by the interview, Mr. Ambassador, because you don't know what's going to be put on air.

      Michael Oren: Okay. I don't. True."

      Note he starts to say "my assumption" but thinks better of it, because if he admits that he assumed a story about Christians in Israel/Palestine would be negative towards Israel then he has to explain why he would think that, other than the fact that he knows that Israel does treat Christians poorly.

      As for Oren's complaint that his hour and a half interview got edited, the man is a total egomaniac. "60 minutes" is, surprisingly enough, a 60 minute program, including commercial breaks. They usually do 3 or 4 stories each program and that particular story was about 15 minutes long. And Oren thinks that his hour and a half interview should have been aired in its entirety? What a narcissist.

  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • Thanks for the welcome, Avigail, and let me apologize for spelling your name wrong in my original comment.

      If I may respond, first off I 'd like to state that I have no doubt that your interest is to truly to help the Palestinians, who are the victims of Jewish Israeli attitudes and actions. I do still disagree with your take on cause and effect.

      If I can go on a bit about the experiment that Shefir conducted in Oklahoma in the 1950's, I think it might help illustrate my point. He selected 22 young boys, all white, all Protestant, all middle class, in general terms all quite similar. The boys thought they were simply going on a summer camp adventure. By randomly splitting the boys into two groups and isolating the two groups from each other for a few days each group developed a sense of tribe . When he later let each group realize that there was in fact another group of boys in "their camp" he noticed the feelings of rivalry, hatred, and the sense that the boys in each group considered their own group superior, and exaggerated their exploits to prove it, and demonized and diminished the other group. He said nothing to the boys to encourage these feelings; he simply set up circumstances that led to or re-enforced feelings of separation and difference between the two groups. After two weeks he set up other circumstances that required the two groups to act together to solve problems and break down these barriers. He in effect set up two tribal groups within a matter of days among boys who were remarkably similar to each other, and then broke the tribal feelings by breaking down the barriers the boys had set between the two groups. None of these kids were traumatized, they were normal average Okie white kids. Shefir himself didn't traumatize them, and although the animosity between the two groups was real prior to their reconciliation, the kids themselves did not traumatize each other. Neither did the boys have to have their "trauma" addressed before they were reintegrated in one group.

      The Zionist movement, which started in the late 19th Century, is based entirely on the psychology of trauma. It comes complete with a sense of exceptionalism, specialness, mistrust, isolationism, etc. — all trauma based.

      Exceptionalism, specialness, mistrust, isolationism are all common elements of tribal feelings, and they do not have to be trauma based. In the late 1800's, early 1900's some white Southerners in the US used to lynch black men (and occasionally black women). They used to have picnics at the lynching site, have smiling pictures taken with the dead victim, send postcards of the event to their friends. All exceedingly reprehensible, ghastly in its vileness. Yet in general these white people were not traumatized, and in most cases they were otherwise good and kind neighbors to those in their white tribe. But the tribe encouraged the feelings that they were superior to blacks, that blacks didn't feel as they did, that blacks were to be feared and repressed less they rise up and kill the white tribe. The fear was manufactured to support the tribal feelings, not the other way around. That's what I meant about "induced trauma". It isn't the underlying cause of the inhumanity, its a result of the tribal feelings that allow its members to exaggerate their own humanity and denigrate the "other" as not human, and so not worthy of humane treatment.

      Only a psychology based on trauma (or psychopathy) could be so devoid of empathy, as to consider that the removal of the indigenous people an acceptable thing to do.

      Then that means that large parts of the Western world are and/or were trauma-ridden, and I don't think that is true. One doesn't need trauma to explain racism or bigotry, unless you consider the act of teaching your children or cohorts racism is itself inducing trauma. But in that case aren't you simply creating a tautology rather than finding a cause?

      If you look at what the early Zionist leaders said and did, they were not looking for a safe place of refuge for European Jews. Instead they were looking to remake Jews into an ethnicity, and, in their minds, purify the Jewish "race" through eugenics. They had selection criteria for those who sought to go to Palestine and it was not based on need but on age and health and ethnicity (Ashkenazim over Mizrahim) and a receptive attitude towards Zionism. There was no "Right of Return" then because they didn't want every Jew, up until after the creation of the state when numbers alone became important in maintaining the demographic advantage Jews created through their ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

      I'd like to expand upon this a bit, but other priorities call at the moment. Perhaps I can come back to this later.

    • Hi, Abigail. I'm a little late to the confab but first off I wanted to thank you for responding and engaging in the conversation here. I'm sure its greatly appreciated by all here. Perhaps your cold had a positive side; although I'm sorry you had to suffer through it, it allowed you some time to engage with many commenters here.

      I think I disagree with your theory a bit, or perhaps I am misunderstanding it. I see the majority of the trauma as a result of the desire to create and maintain a tribal unity, rather than the other way around. In effect it is induced and indirect trauma, used to cement the feelings of "us" versus "them".

      About ten years ago I read a book called "Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind" by David Berreby. It had a profound effect at how I perceive the topics of various tribal mentalities in all of us, and in Israel in particular. The most memorable part of the book dealt with Muzafer Sherif, a psychologist of Turkish ethnicity who, as a young man, was nearly killed in 1919 as the result of tribal hatreds between Greeks and Turks. He later came to the US and conducted experiments at the University of Oklahoma on tribal feelings in ordinary Americans, first inducing them, and then ameliorating them. I would highly recommend giving the book a read. Even if it doesn't change your theory I think it would add to it in a positive way.

      Israel, set up as it is as a Jewish State, needs to inculcate its Jewish citizens with the sense that they are all the same in the most elemental way, even though there are great differences between individual Jews, and natural conflicts between various Jewish groups in Israel- Ashkenazim versus Mizrahim and Ethiopian, Orthodox versus secular, right wing versus left, etc. In order to keep the "tribe" together it must find a glue to hold them and that glue is fear and hatred of non-Jews, in particular Palestinians - the Them to the Jewish Us. Therefore all harm that comes to Jews must be perceived as having occurred simply because they are Jews and for no other reason, and all non-Jews must be perceived as holding beliefs that are dangerous, either openly or latently, to Jews.
      Israel needs to nurture tribal loyalties in Jews in order to be seen as necessary and relevant, and thus to exist. If a majority of Jews no longer see it as relevant then it will cease to exist as a Jewish State. (in other words, it will finally become the "ordinary state" like any other that Herzl wrongly claimed it would be, rather than one that exists to privilege Jews and dispossess the Palestinians .)

      This is what I mean by "induced trauma". Most Israelis did not experience the Holocaust, most DP camp survivors chose to go elsewhere, and certainly in the early years Holocaust survivors were viewed negatively in Israel, i.e. as "human dust" and not "good human material". But once Zionism saw the importance of inducing feelings of fear and group coherence in Israeli Jews, they began encouraging Israeli trauma about the Holocaust, engineering high school trips to Auschwitz, comparing every "Other" to Hitler and the Nazis, etc. The original problem was not the trauma; it was the need to promote and create the Jewish tribal feelings that was the cause of the trauma. Even when the trauma was real, it was created by the same tribal feelings that allowed Jewish Israelis to dispossess and oppress non-Jewish Palestinians and still consider themselves morally and intellectually superior. The superiority complex is nurtured by the tribal feelings, and the tribal fear, which believes that Jews are harmed simply because they are Jews, and not because of anything they do, or is done in their name, is used to justify the immoral behavior.

      I suspect that the reason that Palestinians don't have the same reaction to the very real trauma that they have endured up until this day is that their tribal sense does not require the invention of trauma in order to have any group cohesion. Their relation to the land and to each other is sufficient and needs no illusionary trauma to hold them together. I also think that Palestinians' sense of self, or their " founding myths" if you will, include a sense of hospitality and of acceptance of all regardless of religion. While this may not been the complete truth (no groups myths are entirely true), it is enough at this point to prevent them from seeking a tribal "revenge" should the tides turn. The longer the Israelis continue to oppress the more likely that that resilience will break down. The best hope for Israeli Jews are those Jews like the members of Taayush and Anarchists against the Wall and other groups who show that there are Israeli Jews who are willing and able to see the Palestinians as their brothers and sisters and support them, despite the Israeli government's continual efforts to demonize the Palestinians in order to create the tribal unity on steroids it requires to exist as a Jewish State.

      I hope you feel better soon.

    • He sings “Somewhere …..” so wonderfully!

      Bintbiba I think you'll also like this, one of my favorites. Its a medley of Somewhere and What a Wonderful World. At 2:10 he seamlessly segues from Somewhere to Wonderful and later segues back to Somewhere.

      link to

      The scenes you see starting at 2:37 are of the ceremonial scattering of his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. He was much loved in Hawaii, for his voice and his activism.

    • The holocaust was a genocide and the siege of leningrad is not considered an act of genocide.

      Both Nazi plans, Generalplan Ost and the Hunger Plan, were genocidal in nature towards the Slavic populations east of Germany and both preceded by several years the Wannsee Conference's Final Solution.

      The Generalplan Ost (Master Plan East, GPO) was a secret Nazi German plan for the colonization of Central and Eastern Europe.[1] Implementation would have necessitated genocide[2] and ethnic cleansing on a vast scale to be undertaken in territories occupied by Germany during World War II.[2]

      The plan entailed the enslavement, expulsion, and/or extermination of most Slavic peoples in Europe, who the Nazis viewed as Untermensch and non-Aryan.[2][3] The programme operational guidelines, in the years 1939–1942, were based on the policy of Lebensraum designed by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, as well as being a fulfillment of the Drang nach Osten (English: Drive towards the East) ideology of German expansion to the east. As such, it was intended to be a part of the New Order in Europe.

      link to

      The Hunger Plan (German der Hungerplan, also der Backe-Plan) was an economic management scheme created by Nazi Germany during World War II, that was put in place to ensure that Germans were given priority in food supplies at the expense of the inhabitants of the German-occupied Soviet territories. This plan was developed during the planning phase for the Wehrmacht (German Armed Forces) invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 (Operation Barbarossa). Germany itself was running low on food supplies, and the same problem faced the various territories occupied by Germany. The fundamental premise behind the Hunger Plan was that Germany was not self-sufficient in food supplies during the war, and to sustain the war it needed to obtain the food from conquered lands at any cost. It was an engineered famine, planned and implemented as a rational act of policy for the benefit of the German nation above all others.[1] The plan as a means of mass murder was outlined in several documents, including one that became known as Göring's Green Folder.

      link to

      The Siege of Leningrad was a part of Generalplan Ost:

      The capture of Leningrad was one of three strategic goals in the German Operation Barbarossa and the main target of Army Group North. The strategy was motivated by Leningrad's political status as the former capital of Russia and the symbolic capital of the Russian Revolution, its military importance as a main base of the Soviet Baltic Fleet and its industrial strength, housing numerous arms factories.[12] By 1939 the city was responsible for 11% of all Soviet industrial output.[13] It has been reported that Adolf Hitler was so confident of capturing Leningrad that he had the invitations to the victory celebrations to be held in the city's Hotel Astoria already printed.[14] Yet, although various theories have been forwarded about Nazi Germany's ultimate plans for Leningrad, including renaming the city Adolfsburg (as claimed by Soviet journalist Lev Bezymenski) [15] and making it the capital of the new Ingermanland province of the Reich in Generalplan Ost, it is clear that Hitler's intention was to utterly destroy the city and its population. According to a directive sent to Army Group North on 29 September, "After the defeat of Soviet Russia there can be no interest in the continued existence of this large urban center. [...] Following the city's encirclement, requests for surrender negotiations shall be denied, since the problem of relocating and feeding the population cannot and should not be solved by us. In this war for our very existence, we can have no interest in maintaining even a part of this very large urban population."[16] Hitler's ultimate plan was to raze Leningrad to the ground and give areas north of the River Neva to the Finns.[17][18]

      link to

  • Interview with a suicide bomber
    • Roha- Please link to the Palestinian offer that you cite (previous to Israel’s establishment.)

      Ah yonah, such a short memory.... From Hostage's reply to giladg from March 27, 2014:

      Roha, please give references where Palestinians displayed a serious and community willingness to share prior to 1948.

      On September 29, 1947, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Husseini, appeared before the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee hearing on Palestine. He said:

      “The future constitutional organization of Palestine should be based on the following principles: first, establishment on democratic lines of an Arab State comprising all Palestine; secondly, observance by the said Arab State of Palestine of human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law; thirdly, protection by the Arab State of the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities; fourthly, guarantee to all of freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.”

      That proposal was rejected by the representatives of the Jewish people. link to

      During the 2nd Special Session of the General Assembly on the Question of Palestine, Mr. Malik (Lebanon) introduced a proposal that the form of government in Palestine be based upon the model of the US Constitution:

      “Principle number five: The Constituent Assembly, in defining the powers of the federal state of Palestine, as well as the powers of the judicial and legislative organs, in defining the functions of the cantonal governments, and in defining the relationships between the cantonal governments and the federal state, will be guided by the provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as the constitutions of the individual states of the United States of America. — Yearbook of the United Nations for 1947-48

      The US representative confirmed the fact that similar proposals had previously been made in both the UNSCOP and Ad Hoc Committees and that they had not been deemed acceptable by the representatives of the Jewish Agency.

      - See more at: link to

      Hostage's links, if you don't wish to go to his comment linked above, were these:

      link to

      link to

  • Israeli President Reuven Rivlin calls for removal of Israeli flag
    • Jon s,

      Shmuel is right (as usual!), its what the Israel flag stands for that is objectionable.

      I understand that you might not realize where this thought experiment of Phil and Adam's comes from since you don't live in the US, but this is an outcome of the raging debate in the US South over the removal of the Confederate flag from state facilities, and from one Southern states' own state flags, recently re-sparked by the white terrorist murder of nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

      link to

      In essence, Phil and Adam are comparing Israel to the US and applying the same reasoning of eliminating a symbol "where the symbol itself is one of exclusion, discrimination and worse", in Shmuel's words, to Israel's situation.

      Israeli spokespeople, as well as assorted Zionists of various flavors, like to compare Israel to the US- the "shared values" meme. But when a comparison like P and A's is made that belies those "shared values", the immediate response is to suddenly shift and compare Israel to some despotic government somewhere else and say, "See we are no worse than they are." Well then stop carping about "shared values" with the US and what a great enlightened state Israel is, because it certainly isn't. The values it does share with the US are ones that neither country should be proud of.

      Personally I think the thought experiment doesn't work because Israel is still in the Jim Crow South mode, or worse, so getting rid of a symbol won't improve the lot of the non-Jewish citizens and subjects of Israeli rule. It would be equivalent in its meaningless to Mississippi removing the Confederate flag from its state flag in the 1920's. The rank discrimination and racial violence would still be there. It doesn't morph into equality simply by changing the symbols of the oppression. The state of Israel has to evolve first into a state that, at least officially and statutorily, honors and enshrines equality for all. Israel is a long way from being that kind of state.

      Can of worms and diasp0ra make the same points as Shmuel.

      Try thinking about what it means to put a religious symbol on the flag of a government that continues to engage in ethnic cleansing and horrific oppression. For the sake of the symbol itself it is a shame to associate it with such a state.

  • What I learned crossing the Qalandia Checkpoint
    • I think you are misinterpreting Eva's comment, catporn. First off, Eva's heritage is Polish but not Jewish. I think she is agreeing with your point, but relating it to her own relatives abominable treatment by Nazi Germany.

  • Oren pushed Random House to hurry his book so American Jews will 'intercede' to stop Iran deal and save millions of Jews
    • Believe it or not, Oren's claim to fame before becoming the Israeli ambassador was as a historian. Part of the "meritocracy" no doubt.

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • It’s time even for the passive residents of Gaza to suffer the way the residents of the south are suffering.

      She's also completely clueless. She has no concept that the people in Gaza suffer so much more than those "residents of the south" even when they aren't being bombarded by Israel. And all at the behest of Israel, its blockade and its routine aggression.

    • No one here would ever mistake you for Mooser. You are nothing like him and I suspect you have no concept of self-deprecating humor.

      No, I simply deferred to your own self-description of how wonderfully intelligent and how physically fit you are. Both could be true but neither have been shown here.

      As for getting by in Gaza or the West Bank, its much more likely that you would have been killed by the IDF, the ultimate authority figures with their own sense of superiority . That you couldn't imagine that scenario spells your limited perspective. You still have some bit of your identity wrapped up with Israel, even though you don't live there, and you claim not to care. That is why you get defensive and divert every time some criticism of Israel comes up. And that's why you hang around here instead of some place that deals more with your claimed interests.

    • I don’t claim to be perfect.

      No, you just claim to be appalled when someone else does exactly what you have done numerous times here, as if it is something that you would never do. And you have the gall to claim that if you made such a statement it wouldn't clear moderation, when clearly your negative generalizations about Americans have cleared moderation repeatedly.

      You also seem to lack the ability to apologize for making false statements, and instead resort to a childish "she was mean to me" defense (especially galling, as well as clueless, since your own posts show considerable anger and meanness towards other commenters here). Pretty pathetic response. Maybe she was right about the anger, fear and inferiority complex?

      I'm sure as the self-described intellectual and physical superman that you are, you are able to take a little jab at your magnificence, right?

    • If I recall correctly, I think Marnie was at one point an Israeli. If you excuse your generalizations about Americans because you are one, why do you disapprove of Marnie doing something very similar to what you do? That's the double standard of yours, catalan. Its faux moralizing on your part- its OK if you do it, not OK if Marnie does it.

      And of course you don't even address the fact that you falsely claimed that comments such as yours never passed moderation. Care to apologize for that, and for blasting Marnie for doing the same thing that you have done here numerous times?

    • But it is the most famous quote dealing with blackness and coffee and any learned discussion of a quote involving blackness and coffee should include the quote.

      Actually, its not the most famous quote dealing with blackness and coffee. The most famous quote dealing with blackness and coffee is this one from Airplane:

      "Young Boy with Coffee: Excuse me, I happened to be passing, and I thought you might like some coffee.
      Little Girl: Oh, that's very nice of you, thank you.
      [takes coffee]
      Little Girl: Oh, won't you sit down?
      Young Boy with Coffee: Cream?
      Little Girl: No, thank you, I take it black, like my men."

      link to

      Just sayin' cuz I know how important it is to mention this in a "learned discussion" of racist jokes tweeted by an Israeli bigot.

    • If your statement about angry, fearful, etc Israeli males was made regarding Black males, or Latino males, or Arab males, it would not have passed moderation.

      Diversionary bullshit as usual. Ever read your own comments here, catalan?You regularly bash Americans in your comments and yet you think that a generalization about the "average Israeli male" is over the line? A very obvious double standard on your part.

      "That's what I am saying, beneath the American mask of "we are so tolerant" is the depth of viscous bigotry. "

      "The fact is that American self satisfaction (we have come a long way, we are so tolerant, we are so accepting of gays) is in the words of someone smarter, an extraordinary popular delusion. "


      "I just don't buy this concept that I owe something to the American people as a whole. I pay lots and lots in taxes, you know. There is a lot of mediocrity here, scams, fraud. In general, people are spoiled, both because they are born in abundance, but also just from residing in such a powerful place. They think they are great because their country is powerful. Like the kid whose father is a prize fighter."


      "Americans are not gentle innocents corrupted by Israel. We are greedy aggressors and we have always been so."


      "The American president has not become a deity yet despite American fascination with the late Roman republic. "

      link to

      All from a quick search of your comments using the keyword "American". All of them of course passed moderation.

  • Obscure Netanyahu minister emerges as unsung international hero in latest 'NYT' report
    • Israel seems to me to give alot more rights to Christians and Muslims than 98% of the 45 ? Muslim countries were it is Illegal to be a different region except Muslim , Where Women don’t get a right to vote or drive or be educated for the most part.

      That's only because you seem to believe a bunch of falsities. No Muslim majority country makes it illegal to be a different religion than Muslim (I'm assuming you typed "region" when you meant "religion"). The only state that prevents women from driving is Saudi Arabia, and in most Arab countries women are at least 50 percent or more of university students. In Saudi Arabia, although still prevented from driving, since 2011 Saudi women are allowed to vote in municipal elections and can be appointed to the Consultative Assembly. Women currently make up 30 seats of the 150 seat Consultative Assembly.(There are no elections for nationwide office in SA, as it is an absolute monarchy.)

      Figures on university attendance:

      link to

      Saudi women:

      link to

      link to

      You might want to reconsider where you get your information from, since everything you've said here has been wrong.

      If I had to make a choice, I'd rather be a woman in Saudi Arabia than a Palestinian woman in the West Bank or Gaza. Choosing between being a Palestinian Israeli female citizen and a Saudi female would be a tougher choice, but I suspect that I would still choose being a Saudi woman. And many, if not most, Arab countries are more progressive towards women's rights than Saudi Arabia is.

      And Clinton has complained about violations of women's rights in all countries.

  • Video: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs ridicules foreign press in cartoon defending Gaza attack
    • ...and would regard your analogy (“the same crimes”) as disgraceful.

      That's because most Israelis have no sense of empathy for what non-Jews (and Palestinians in particular) have gone through, and continue to go through. Its part and parcel of Israeli indoctrination. The problem is not the analogy - its the inability on the part of way too many Israelis to acknowledge the similarities, gauge the damage caused by their own actions, or even accept responsibility for what they do.

  • The 'Forward''s apprehension about sending a reporter to Gaza -- a further response
    • jon,

      In his confession Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said..."

      Are you aware that KSM confessed to pretty much everything except the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and assassination of John F Kennedy while being waterboarded repeatedly in Guantanamo and that his torturers believe that in many case he was simply lying in order to end the torture?

      KSMs "31 plots"
      link to

      Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times, received "rectal hydration," was kept awake for 7 1/2 days, was made to stand for hours with his hands above his head and was put in a horizontal stress position unapproved by CIA headquarters, the Senate report states.

      In its rebuttal, the CIA insisted that the information Mohammed provided under what it calls enhanced interrogation techniques led to the arrest of other suspects, confirmed information about future plots and provided a deeper understanding of the inner workings of Al Qaeda.

      But the Senate report raises questions about the value of the information obtained from Mohammed during his torture and offers new details about how he and his interrogators faced off during his years in CIA custody.

      "A significant amount" of what Mohammed told the agency during these interrogations "was later identified as fabricated," the report concludes, relying on the CIA's internal assessments at the time of the interrogations. Other times he merely confirmed intelligence already known to the United States or outright lied, later recanting his stories.

      link to

      Senator Carl Levin had this to say about the techniques used against KSM and others in Guantanamo:

      "With last week's release of the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinions, it is now widely known that Bush administration officials distorted Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape "SERE" training - a legitimate program used by the military to train our troops to resist abusive enemy interrogations - by authorizing abusive techniques from SERE for use in detainee interrogations. Those decisions conveyed the message that abusive treatment was appropriate for detainees in U.S. custody. They were also an affront to the values articulated by General Petraeus.

      In SERE training, U.S. troops are briefly exposed, in a highly controlled setting, to abusive interrogation techniques used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions. The techniques are based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting false confessions for propaganda purposes. Techniques used in SERE training include stripping trainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, subjecting them to face and body slaps, depriving them of sleep, throwing them up against a wall, confining them in a small box, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. Until recently, the Navy SERE school also used waterboarding. The purpose of the SERE program is to provide U.S. troops who might be captured a taste of the treatment they might face so that they might have a better chance of surviving captivity and resisting abusive and coercive interrogations."

      Senator Levin then documents that SERE techniques were deployed as part of an official policy on detainees, and that SERE instructors helped to implement the interrogation programs.

      The senior Army SERE psychologist warned in 2002 against using SERE training techniques during interrogations in an email to personnel at Guantanamo Bay, because:

      "[T]he use of physical pressures brings with it a large number of potential negative side effects... When individuals are gradually exposed to increasing levels of discomfort, it is more common for them to resist harder... If individuals are put under enough discomfort, i.e. pain, they will eventually do whatever it takes to stop the pain. This will increase the amount of information they tell the interrogator, but it does not mean the information is accurate. In fact, it usually decreases the reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he believes will stop the pain... Bottom line: the likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the delivery of accurate information from a detainee is very low. The likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the level of resistance in a detainee is very high... (p. 53)."

      link to

      Bottom line, the fact that KSM claimed credit for a multitude of things under extreme torture does not mean that any of what he said was in fact the truth. He may well be a horrible man who committed terrible crimes (or not), but his "confessions" under torture mean nothing. Its quite possible that he had nothing to do with the death of Daniel Pearl and merely made up a statement that he thought his torturers wanted to hear.

    • Don’t trust what I say about certain topics where my knowledge is only as deep as the headlines. I saw the movie with Angelina Jolie and I thought that if such a serious accusation had been made by credible people it would have reached the headlines, but apparently not.

      Are you morphing into Ronald Reagan, who had trouble telling fictional movie making from reality, yonah?Watching a movie is not the same as reading something in the headlines. It was indeed in the headlines at the time that the group that abducted Pearl accused him of being a spy, regardless of what the movie with Angelina Jolie said years after the fact.

      I really am unwilling to spend seven minutes to see who this group is and if this is widely believed or what.

      You could have verified the statement that he was believed to be a spy by his captors by googling three words, "Daniel Pearl spy", a 10 second effort that would have produced the Wikipedia entry that Kris quoted here as the second result. Seven minutes, or even one, were not required. Instead you spent more than seven minutes accusing others of making things up and then posting your passive-aggressive "apology" for getting things wrong yet again. You complain about scorn instead of conversation and yet scorn is a major component of most of your comments here. "Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be your motto here.

      So don’t tell us Dan Cohen who should worry and who shouldn’t worry, when you are protected by the slant of your reporting.

      In this statement of yours, you are actually acknowledging that jon's point, as well as Eisner's, that being a Jewish journalist in Gaza is inherently dangerous simply because of their religion/ethnicity, is a false one. Since you claim that Cohen's "slant" protects him, you are admitting that his Jewishness alone does not endanger him. In reality, since the greatest danger to journalists in Gaza is getting killed or injured by the IDF, its doubtful that his "slant" protects him from danger. His Jewishness might actually protect him a bit against this danger from the IDF.

      Jon s was trying to imply that being a Jewish journalist in Gaza is sufficient to get one killed, ala Daniel Pearl, but I'm glad you were willing to dispel that canard.

    • Actually, the two stories have no connection whatsoever and to mention Pearl in this instance is an indication of your bigotry. Daniel Pearl was an Israeli-American investigative journalist following a crime story in Pakistan when he was abducted and then killed by those believing he was a spy.

      Naomi Zeveloff was there for a human interest story and apparently went to Gaza for 3 days and returned none the worse for wear.

      As far as Gaza "crawling with jihadis", the greatest danger to journalists, as Dan Cohen mentioned, is getting killed or injured by the Jewish jihadis in the IDF. Here's a list of 20 journalists and media workers who have been killed in the Occupied Territories since 2001, compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists:

      link to

      Eighteen out of the 20 were killed by the IDF.

  • The peace process is 'a savior for war' -- Ari Shavit
    • I accomplish this by being less inhumane when I’m not dropping bombs and by making sure everyone applauds me for it. Is that about right?

      I'm going to disagree with the rest here by saying you haven't quite got it right. Israel accomplishes this by pretending to be interested in peace and pretending to want to end the occupation, "if only..." yadda, yadda. It accomplishes this by lying about its motives and its actions, not by being less inhumane. Its been the Zionist way since the beginning. Ben Gurion made an art of it.

      The problem with the right wingers in Israel is they can't keep themselves from verbalizing their true feelings. They aren't as good at lying. That's what has alarmed Shavit.

      Anyone else notice that he only called for a settlement freeze "beyond the barrier", when the barrier is well inside the West Bank?

  • Munayyer and Beinart's historic debate on the solution to the conflict
    • Hophmi's definition of "self-determination" would have allowed the Third Reich, as their "right", to ethnically cleanse Jews from Nazi Germany in order to "self-determine" a German "Aryan" state. He obviously thinks that case of "self-determination" was morally wrong, as well he should. But as usual he is being a hypocrite.

      Hophmi supports a "right" that he would deny to any ethnic/religious group other than Jews, and then complains about someone else who is advocating equal rights for all, not special privileges for Hophmi's affinity group.

  • Gaza’s al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades prepares for next Israeli war
    • How do you feel about targeting civilians with precision weapons?

      Clearly he thinks it is just fine, since he himself just advocated that Dan Cohen, a civilian, be killed by a drone. First World is just another Zionist hypocrite.

      And BTW, more innocent civilians have been killed by US "precision" drones than have been killed by Palestinian rockets-- by a factor of a hundred.

      A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals – the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls “targeted killing” – they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November.

      “Drone strikes have been sold to the American public on the claim that they’re ‘precise’. But they are only as precise as the intelligence that feeds them. There is nothing precise about intelligence that results in the deaths of 28 unknown people, including women and children, for every ‘bad guy’ the US goes after,” said Reprieve’s Jennifer Gibson, who spearheaded the group’s study.

      Some 24 men specifically targeted in Pakistan resulted in the death of 874 people. All were reported in the press as “killed” on multiple occasions, meaning that numerous strikes were aimed at each of them. The vast majority of those strikes were unsuccessful. An estimated 142 children were killed in the course of pursuing those 24 men, only six of whom died in the course of drone strikes that killed their intended targets.

      In Yemen, 17 named men were targeted multiple times. Strikes on them killed 273 people, at least seven of them children. At least four of the targets are still alive.

      Available data for the 41 men targeted for drone strikes across both countries indicate that each of them was reported killed multiple times. Seven of them are believed to still be alive. The status of another, Haji Omar, is unknown. Abu Ubaidah al-Masri, whom drones targeted three times, later died from natural causes, believed to be hepatitis.

      The data cohort is only a fraction of those killed by US drones overall. Reprieve did not focus on named targets struck only once. Neither Reprieve nor the Guardian examined the subset of drone strikes that do not target specific people: the so-called “signature strikes” that attack people based on a pattern of behavior considered suspicious, rather than intelligence tying their targets to terrorist activity. An analytically conservative Council on Foreign Relations tally assesses that 500 drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed 3,674 people.

      link to

  • Despite differences, US showers Israel’s new right-wing government with arms and favors
    • And “political prostitute” is such a sexist comment anyway.

      No, what's sexist is thinking that only females can be prostitutes and claiming that calling a man a prostitute is sexist. It isn't.

      He has been disappointing to you because you are a one issue person.

      Again, small thinking on your part. He is a disappointment on many domestic issues, and his embrace of drone warfare and international assassination makes him a huge disappointment in foreign affairs, regardless of his bought and paid for views on Israel. He's done nothing of great significance with regards to the major problems in our country today.

      Obama craves the acceptance of the elite as well as the money. I'd be totally surprised if he goes the route of Jimmy Carter as an ex-president, and I don't mean just on Israel.

  • Corey Robin revisits Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem
    • Also, Señor tree, I’d like to know your opinion on this list, which includes attacks by Arabs, Jews, British, and even the French:

      Point one, I'm not a "senor". I'm female.

      With a quick perusal I find the list you linked to be slanted, incomplete, and erroneous in places. First off, their designation of responsible party is partisan in some instances. The "Battle of Tel Hai" was by no means a "massacre" as described by the list, what with nearly equal fatalities and similar armaments on both sides. Despite the Zionist myth making regarding Trumpeldor, the dispute was about the killing of Palestinian-owned cattle by Jewish convoys to Tel Hai, and the demand for compensation by the owners. Unfortunately, neither side could speak the other's language, and no one today knows who fired the first shot or why. Thus to call it a massacre and to claim that "Arabs" were the responsible party is to twist the truth to fit a propaganda narrative.

      Second, the "french air raid" on Tel Aviv in June 11 was actually a German bombing of Haifa and Tel Aviv, which was directly related to the British presence in Palestine and aimed at military targets, although a nursing home in Tel Aviv was hit, causing the 13 deaths your list mentions, while it fails to mention the one death in Haifa . Your list fails to mention the greater loss of civilian life in September 1940, when Italian bombers caused the death of 125 when retreating from British counter-attack and dropped their bombs over Tel Aviv, or the 40 deaths from Italian bombs in Haifa in July, 1940 and the 44 additional deaths in Haifa in another September, 1940 bombing.

      I don't think the bombings, which were the result of WWII fighting between GB and the Axis Powers, belong in such a list but if they do then all of them do, not just selective ones, erroneously attributed.

      link to

      The list also clearly states that it only "includes all casualties that resulted from the initial attack on civilians or non-combat military personnel," but then goes on to describe 4 separate attacks on Jewish military convoys as "massacres", with the responsible party being "Arab" in all cases, despite the fact that the first raid listed in December 1947 is listed elsewhere on Wikipedia as in dispute as to who fired the first shot, with the Jewish unit saying it was the Arabs, but the British (who were accompanying the Jewish unit) saying it was the Jewish forces who fired first.

      And oddly its numbers killed column doesn't always agree with its "notes" column. The numbers column lists 14 killed on December 2, 1947 but the "notes" only mention the 8 Jews killed and not the 6 Palestinianskilled, and the "1933 Palestine riots" list 20 killed, but no notes as to who the casualties were, even though it links to another Wikipedia article that lists 26 Palestinians killed by the British in suppressing the riot. Something tells me that if the casualties had been Jewish, it would have been mentioned in the "notes" column.

      And then of course there are the list's omissions. Many incidents of Irgun violence against civilian targets go unmentioned during the 1940's. It does mention several of the Irgun attacks on Palestinian civilians in 1939, but fails to note that Irgun clearly stated that those attacks were in "retaliation" for the 1939 British White Paper and were not "reprisals" for violence committed against Jews.

      And as for the Irgun website, I think I perused it several years ago. Not for its factual content. I doubt it has little. But I was fascinated with the mindset that excused terror, violence and extortion as moral attributes.

      Here's a few selected incidences of Irgun violence from the period from 1946, just after their bombing of the King David hotel, which killed many more civilians than military personnel, until just before the announcement of the UN Partition Plan, as reported to Dr. Ralph Bunche, newly appointed UN Mediator after the death of Count Folke Bernadotte at the hands of the Irgun. It clearly shows their criminal practices, their extortion of Jews, and their unprovoked attacks against Palestinians during the time that you claimed they only attack the British:

      September 14, 1946, Jaffa. Jewish terrorists robbed three banks in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, killing three Arabs. Thirty-six Jews were arrested.

      October 2, 1946, Tel Aviv. British military units and police seized 50 Jews in a Tel Aviv cafe after a Jewish home was blown up. This home belonged to a Jewish woman who had refused to pay extortion money to the Irgun terrorist gang

      .November 9 through November 13, 1946, Palestine. Nineteen persons, eleven British soldiers and policemen and eight Arab constables, were killed in Palestine during this period as Jewish terrorists, using land mines and suitcase bombs, increased their attacks on railroad stations, trains and even streetcars.

      January 2, 1947, Palestine. A wave of terror swept Palestine as Jewish terrorists staged bombings and machine gun attacks in five cities. Casualties were low. Homemade flame-throwers were used in several cases. Pamphlets seized warned that the Irgun had again declared war against the British and Arabs of Palestine.

      March 10, 1947, Haifa. A Jew, suspected of being an informer, was murdered by Jewish terrorists.

      March 30, 1947, Tel Aviv. The Stem gang killed the wife of a British soldier.

      May 8, 1947, Tel Aviv. A Jew was ambushed and shot to death by an Arab group near Tel Aviv, and three Jewish-owned Tel Aviv shops whose owners refused to contribute money to Jewish terrorist groups were burned down.

      May 22, 1947, Palestine. Arabs attacked a Jewish labor camp in southern Palestine, retaliating for a Haganah raid on the Arabs near Tel Aviv, May 20. Some 40,000 Arab and Jewish workers united the same day in a one-day strike against all establishments operated by the British War Ministry.

      August 16, 1947, Palestine. Arab-Jewish clashes have brought death to l2 Arabs and l3 Jews and heavy property destruction this week in the regions of Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa. Interracial strife was renewed on August 10 when Arabs killed four Jews in a Tel Aviv cafe, in reprisal for the deaths of two Arabs in a Haganah raid in Fega two months ago. Haganah responded to the Arab actions by bombing a house in an Arab orange grove near Tel Aviv, killing eleven Arabs, including a woman and four children. British military curfews imposed on August 13 on slum districts between modern Tel Aviv and Jaffa have failed to prevent mounting casualties. British military authorities, citing captured intelligence and statements from Jewish defectors from terrorist organizations, state that it now appears that the Jewish terrorists are beginning to attack Arabs where ever they found them because Jews wish the Arabs to be driven out of Palestine entirely.

      August 18, 1947, Palestine. The shops of five Jewish merchants in Tel Aviv were destroyed by the Irgun because the owners refused to give money to that organization.

      November 14, 1947, Palestine. Jewish terrorists killed two British policemen in Jerusalem and two soldiers in Tel Aviv to raise the total casualties in three days of violence to 10 Britons and five Jews killed and 33 Britons and five Jews wounded. The outbreaks began after British troops killed three girls and two boys in a raid on a farmhouse arsenal near Raanana on November 12. The terrorists retaliated yesterday by throwing hand grenades and firing a machine gun into the Ritz Cafe in Jerusalem.

      November 22, 1947, Haifa. Another Arab was murdered in Haifa by the Stern gang following their execution of four Arabs near Raanana November 20 in retaliation for the British shooting of five Stern gang members on November12. Arabs retaliated against this killing at Raanana by wounding five Jews on a bus near Tel Aviv on November 20.

      Taken from this link:

      link to

    • Additional note about the chronology: I only posted the chronology up to the arrival of Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, since that was sufficient proof that neggy was wrong. I highly recommend reading the whole chronology to get a sense of the timeline.

      BTW, the Irgun had been committing terrorist acts against the Palestinians since the late 1930's; neggy was wrong yet again in stating that the Irgun had only attacked the British up until the UN Partition Plan. See here:

      link to

    • The “Zionist massacres” before Husseini returned? Non, ma chérie. It would not be at all difficult for you to pull up the events in chronological order and to realize that you are mistaken.

      Its not hard to pull up the events in chronological order but they prove that lyn is right and neggy is wrong. Quelle surprise! (Not.)


      November 29: UN General Assembly recommends slight variant of UNSCOP partition plan by 33 to 13 votes with 10 abstentions. Arab representatives walk out of Assembly.

      November 30: Haganah calls up all Jews in Palestine aged 17 to 25 to register for military service.

      December: Haganah emissaries in Czechoslovakia reach agreement with Skoda arms firm on supply of arms.

      Haganah launches Plan Gimmel, designed to destabilize Palestinian population and occupy strategic positions in country. (My note: Plan Gimmel was formulated in May 1946.)

      December 2: Palestinians begin three-day strike protesting UN partition resolution. Intercommunal clashes result in death of eight Jews and six Palestinians.

      December 5: U.S. State Department announces U.S. embargo on arms shipments to Palestine and the Arab states.

      December 6: Irgun attacks Jaffa suburb of Abu Kebir

      December 8: Britain recommends to UN termination of Palestine Mandate on 15 May 1948 followed by creation of independent Jewish and Palestinian states two week later.

      December 8-16: Arab League, meeting in Cairo, declares partition of Palestine illegal; it decides to put at disposal of Technical Military Committee 10,000 rifles, 3,000 volunteers (including 500 Palestinians), and additional £1,000,000.

      December 13: Irgun carries out five raids on Palestinian residential areas in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and village of Tireh (Haifa district), killing 21 Palestinian civilians and wounding 67 others.

      December 15: British turn policing of Tel Aviv and Petah Tikva over to Jews, and that of Jaffa over to Palestinians.

      December 17: Jewish Agency Executive reports American Jews will be asked for $250 million to meet needs of Jewish Community in Palestine.

      December 19: Haganah attacks village of Khisas (Safed district), killing ten Palestinians.

      December 20: Haganah attacks village of Qazaza (Ramleh district).

      December 28: Irgun announces negotiations for "united front" with Haganah.

      December 29: Irgunist grenade attack on Palestinian crowd at Herod's Gate in Jerusalem kills 13 civilians.

      December 30-31: Irgunist grenade attack on Palestinian workers in Haifa refinery kills 6 and wounds 42. In reprisal, workers kill 41 Jewish refinery workers. Haganah then attacks village of Balad-al-Sheikh, near Haifa, killing 17 Palestinians and inuring 33.

      January: British sell 20 Auster planes to Jewish authorities in Palestine.

      British disband 3,200-strong Transjordanian Frontier Force (TJFF), recruited mainly from among Palestinians.

      Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, Palestinian guerrilla commander, secretly returns to Jerusalem after ten-year exile to organize resistance to partition.

      link to

      So at least 63 Palestinians had been killed by the Irgun terrorists, or by attacks against their villages by the Haganah PRIOR to the arrival of al-Husseini.

      Neggy will now apologize for his/her errors?

  • Sheesh: A conservative response to the special relationship
    • As usual, Israel and its own military-industrial complex will benefit from the arrangement, to the detriment of US firms.

      Israel's defense industry could reap major contracts under a reported agreement by the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin to install Israeli-made electronic warfare systems in the F-35I, the designation of the Israeli versions of the JSF.

      Sources familiar with the negotiations say the program is worth $450 million to Israeli defense contractors for the first batch of F-35s.

      Israel has been pressing the Pentagon and Lockheed to allow them to install Israeli electronic equipment, including electronic countermeasures, command systems, radios and datalinks, to integrate Israeli-made weapons systems into the F-35s it buys.

      The Israelis usually insist on that and got their way with their fleets of F-15Is and F-16Is but on this project, with various versions of the F-35 due to equip the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, the Americans have been more reluctant than usual to give Israel access to the F-35's software code that's required to integrate non-U.S. systems.

      "Based on the order options it has committed to, Israel is expecting to share about $1 billion worth of buyback related to the F-35 program," Defense Update magazine reported.

      "The system integration deal ... will allow an increased participation by Israeli industries in the JSF program."

      Among the companies likely to benefit are state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries which will build wings for the aircraft. Another is Elrisa, a subsidiary of the leading electronic equipment manufacturer Elbit Systems, the air force's main electronic warfare systems supplier.

      link to

  • 'NYT' obit turns the murderous settler rabbi into a 'contentious firebrand'
    • Is Yigal Arens his son?

      No. Yigal is the son of Moshe Arens. I met him as a member of a group I belonged to several years ago and remember him being asked how it came to be that his views were so different from his famous father's views. He said he was deeply affected by his uncle while growing up, who also thought as he (Yigal) did. I didn't know the name or background of his uncle until he was mentioned here. Thanks Pabelmont.

  • Netanyahu: Jerusalem was always the capital 'of the Jewish people alone'
    • To expand on Shmuel's comment about Levinger:

      In 1988, Levinger was indicted on two separate criminal charges involving events in Hebron. On September 30, 1988, Levinger, who had been hit a week before by a rock, was attacked by stoners who smashed his windshield, injuring his son. He reached an Israeli checkpoint. Levinger pulled out his pistol, turned round and went back down the streets shooting at shop windows, killing Palestinian store owner Hassan Abdul Azis Salah.[9] A customer was also wounded. Levinger claimed he had been surrounded by Palestinians who threatened his life,[9] and only to have shot into the air to defend himself against stone throwers. In a press conference following the shooting, Levinger said, "Regarding the actual deed, I will respond when the time comes. I have already said that as far as the substance of the case goes, the State Attorney's Office knows that I am innocent and that I did not have the privilege of killing that Arab. Not that I may not have wanted to kill him or that he did not deserve to die, but I did not have the privilege of killing that Arab."[10] He was charged with "manslaughter, causing bodily harm in aggravated circumstances and intentionally damaging property".[11] His trial began in August 1989, despite protests by 13 right-wing Knesset members and hundreds of supporters.[12] Levinger pleaded not guilty to the charges but accepted a plea-bargain to the lesser charge of negligent homicide.[13] He was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment and 7 months suspended, of which he served 92 days.[14] During his imprisonment, he was given leave to attend a public event in Hebron.[15] On his release in August 1990, he told Israel Radio, "If I'm in a situation of danger again, I'll again open fire. I hope that next time, I will be more careful and I won't miss the target."[16]

      In another case, which related to an event five months before the first, he was alleged to have assaulted a Palestinian woman and her two children after other Arab children had "made fun of" his daughter. At his trial in May 1989, the magistrate dismissed the evidence of the Arab witnesses on the grounds that they were interested parties and wanted to see Levinger in prison for ideological reasons, and also dismissed the evidence of two IDF soldiers who testified to the assault.[17] Six weeks after Levinger's release from prison on his separate negligent homicide conviction (see above), the Jerusalem District Court overturned his acquittal on the earlier assault charges.[18] He was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment, plus an additional 10 days for an outburst in court.[19] He served about two months. On his release in March 1991, he said "Over the years, I've carried out dozens of actions and all of them were against the law. It was worthwhile to violate the law, as all these actions advanced the whole Land of Israel."[20]

      link to

      And that's just a portion of his criminality. A thoroughly hateful man who was coddled by the Israeli government because he was Jewish and his violence and criminality furthered racist Israeli policies.

  • What if the Times had sent Rudoren to Selma in 1965?
    • For anyone interested in an informed view on the condition of the Palestinian economy right before and during the beginning of the first Zionist immigration to Palestine, rather than listening to Jeffb's racist blather, I would suggest reading from the Israeli book, "Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period", particularly the chapter written by Gad Gilbar, head of Haifa University's Middle Eastern History Department, entitled," The Growing Economic Involvement of Palestine with the West, 1865-1914".

      link to

      Quote:The late 1860s mark the beginning of a new period in the economic and social development of Ottoman Palestine. During the 45-50 years prior to World War I Palestine's economy underwent a process of modernization and growth surpassing both in force and scope anything it had experienced during the first seven decades of the 19th century and perhaps ever since the Ottoman conquest of the country. Nor did Palestine lag behind other economies in the Middle East, such as those of Syria, Anatolian and Iran, in the thrust of the economic changes that it underwent during the period under discussion.

      The modernization and growth that resulted from the increase in inputs of the factors of production, including technological changes, were not only expressed in an increase in the national product, but in important structural changes as well in the sectors of agriculture, manufacture and services, in the patterns of consumption and savings, and in the distribution of capital and incomes. These economic processes helped to generate a number of important social changes, the most outstanding of which was the emergence of a new layer among the elite of the Palestinian Arab society.

      At the root of these economic and social developments was a factor that was exogenous to the economy and society of Palestine. It was not Ottoman reforms, nor Templar settlement, nor the first Jewish waves of immigration, nor even foreign activity in Palestine in general that had caused them, but the fact that at the time Palestine's economy became increasingly linked to the world economic system, and particularly to the economies of Europe (see Tables 1 and 2). The connection exposed Palestine's economy to the influence of the changes taking place in the economies of Europe, and generated new forces and processes within it. However though the moving factor was external, the bearers of this growth were primarily local Arab-speaking Muslims and Christians. End quote

      The chapter goes on to detail the exponential growth in the citrus, olive and sesame export markets starting in the later 1800s. Of the three, only the citrus market had any appreciable Jewish ownership, and the vast majority of that came after the local Arab Palestinian citrus industry had shown itself capable of producing significant profits, thus creating a considerable Zionist interest in purchasing land capable of supporting citrus growth.Significant Jewish ownership of orange groves didn't occur until the early 1900s. By 1929 Zionist Jews owned half of the citrus groves in Palestine, and yet just prior to Israel's confiscation of Palestinian property in 1948-50, Palestinian Arabs still produced over half of the orange crop in the country. Certainly this indicates that Jewish groves were not significantly more productive than non-Jewish ones.

      As Mark Levine points out in "Overthrowing Geography:Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the Struggle for Palestine":

      QuoteAn extensive 1902 study of the Jaffa orange trade by two Zionist officials pays tribute to the growth of the industry, the various Arab owners, and the wide reach of its markets (with England, followed by Turkey and Egypt grouped as one unit, and, well below them, Austria-Hungary as the primary markets).

      Even as the study complains about the "primitive" state of Palestinian Arab cultivation (Arabische Kulturmethode), the discussion of the costs involved for Arab versus European proprietors bears out the praise of Arab cultivation methods as much more cost-efficient than the supposedly more modern Zionist-European ones made two decades later by the founder of Zionist agronomy, Yitzhak Elezari-Valkani. End quote

      Lest one be still tempted to equate the burgeoning economic changes in late Ottoman Palestine with the arrival of the first Zionist settlers, you might want to read Yossi Ben-Artzi on "Changes in the agricultural sector of the moshavot, 1882-1914". Besides delving into the alternate farming methods of the Arab Palestinians and the German Templer settlements and their positive influence on the Jewish farming methods, Ben-Artzi makes it clear that the early (first aliyah-1885-1903) settlements were primarily failures at farming, due mostly to their ignorance of farming methods, the local climate and soil conditions; a not surprising revelation due to the ideological rather than economic bent of the settlements. The limited success of the early settlements was in the production of wine grapes, which were tried after the German Templers had proved that wine grape growing could be profitable. However even this was later widely abandoned as unsuitable and unreliable. Regardless, the early settlements were almost entirely dependent on the financial hand-outs from Baron Rothschild, and had the motivation for the settlements been economic rather than ideological they would have been abandoned entirely within a few years for being economically unsustainable.

      See here

      :link to

      As for the draining of swamps, that had been done on a small scale prior to the arrival of the Zionists, by both Palestinian Arabs and German Templer settlers. As for the large scale draining of the Hula Valley by Israel in the 1950's, that was later realized as an ecological disaster, and was partially undone in the 1990's.
      "Israel Restoring Drained Wetland, Reversing Pioneers' Feat"

      link to

      Quote:The drying of the Hula lake and marsh in the 1950's freed some 15,000 acres of land for cultivation. But it also left behind a tangle of ecological problems so serious that planners are now preparing to reflood this area at the center of the drained basin. Now Unfit for Farming
      Dried peat soil from the bottom of the marsh has decomposed, burned and released pollutants that once were filtered by the swamp, leaving a wasteland unfit for farming.

      Draining the Hula, north of the Sea of Galilee, was a powerfully symbolic national enterprise, celebrated with patriotic fervor much as the space program was in the United States. It was expected to reclaim expanses of peat soil under the marsh that were considered to be both highly fertile and a source of fuel.

      Millions of gallons of swamp water previously lost through evaporation were to be channeled in canals to the Sea of Galilee, the national reservoir. And eliminating the marsh, officials said, would destroy a breeding ground of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

      Between 1951 and 1958, a network of canals was dug to drain the lake and swamp. According to press reports at the time, Agriculture Minister Kadish Luz declared, "Land had been redeemed from hostile nature, and water that had been a menace to health turned into a blessing."
      Peat Was a Problem

      Although thousands of acres were brought under cultivation by neighboring settlements, problems emerged in large tracts of land with high concentrations of peat soil.

      The dry peat disintegrated, sank and burned in underground fires caused by spontaneous combustion. The fertility of the soil declined sharply, and it released nitrate pollutants that were washed by rains into the Sea of Galilee. As farmers stopped cultivating large areas, the land was overrun by mice and weeds, and peat dust whipped up by winds covered the region.
      The desolation contrasted sharply with the teeming animal and plant life that had filled the Hula marsh, situated at a meeting point of tropical and temperate climate zones. Several species unique to the swamp became extinct when it was drained, and even though a 750-acre nature reserve was set aside to recreate the lost wetlands, their rich diversity largely vanished.
      When the draining project began, destruction of this everglade environment was not deemed too high a price. There was little ecological awareness in the 1950's, and those experts who warned of problems were overruled by the planners.

      Need for Land and Jobs
      Also, with waves of new immigrants arriving in Israel's early years, the Hula project filled a pressing need for jobs and for agricultural land that could support farming settlements.

      "It was clear that agriculture and settlement were top priority, and it was considered obvious that swamps should be drained," said Amotz Zahavi, an Israeli conservationist who had lobbied for preservation of some of the marsh. "No one imagined that you could say no to drying the Hula."
      Azaria Alon, another conservationist, recalled: "The draining was deeply troubling to nature advocates, but it was difficult to talk about it, because anyone who spoke out was considered anti-Zionist. This was seen as a tremendous achievement, celebrated in writing and song."

      "But it wasn't thought through, and the result was ecological destruction," Mr. Alon said. "I'm against such policies that enthusiastically promote all kinds of big projects that change the face of the land without a comprehensive assessment of their environmental impact."End quote.

      It should be noted that during the time frame of the draining of the Hula, Israel was almost entirely financially dependent on reparations from Germany and the confiscated property of the ethnically cleansed Palestinians.

      So as usual, JeffB just pulls hasbara out of his butt and hopes you will swallow it whole just like he did.

  • 'NYT' plays shameless propagandist for Israel's threats to kill Lebanese civilians
    • The only thing missing is the motive for the attack.

      To nitpick a bit, the motive is the same as it has always been. What the propaganda is trying to provide is the pretense, since the real motive has never been honorable or defensible.

  • 'Israel should extend the right of return to all Palestinian refugees' -- Jebreal in 'The Nation'
    • lysias: All those kindly folk appointed by Hillary Clinton?

      No, lysias is wrong. Rice and Power were foreign policy advisers to Obama (not Clinton) during his 2008 election campaign, and Power even had to resign the campaign (officially, but still was an advisor) after she called Clinton a "monster" during the 2008 primary campaign. Neither were appointed by Clinton. Both were appointed by Obama. And Nuland was appointed to her current position by Obama after Clinton resigned as Secretary of State. They are all Obama appointments, not Clinton ones. Seems that too many people want to absolve Obama of his neo-con choices simply because he is black, and they think he couldn't possibly have neo-con attitudes despite his actions which indicate otherwise.

  • Gaza rules: Kill 2 Palestinian women on cellphones in an orchard so Israeli soldiers face zero risk
    • Will jon s respond to this? He insisted that every Gazan killed was the fault of Hamas and that Israel was only bombing military targets. Will he just ignore what even IDF soldiers have said about what was done to the people of Gaza?

  • Spanish Jews resisted oppression in tunnels and, exiled, clutched their keys
    • They came there with the intent of conquest and it was right that the colonizers were expelled.

      So are you likewise advocating that European Americans should be expelled from the US, and that Israeli Jews should be expelled from Israel?

      Seven hundred years after the fact its OK to expel people based on their ancient heritage or their religious preference?

  • 'BirthWrong' in the Cradle of Jewish Culture: Jews gather in southern Spain for tour that aims to repudiate Zionism
    • jon s,

      I thought you were a teacher.

      Zigazag is just slightly to the southwest of Beersheva (by 45 arc minutes, or three quarters of a degree). If you insist on exactitude, then Port Said is directly due west of Beersheva (very same latitude) and 237 kilometers to the west, and Alexandria is 461 kilometers to the west and 3 arc minutes to the south. 300 kilometers exactly due west of Beersheva is firmly on land in Egypt, not in the Mediterranean. If your only comment is to nitpick at least get it right, otherwise you just sound like a pompous and ignorant *ss.

  • In defense of Cornel West's prophetic voice
    • He had said loud and clear that he was against the invasion.

      No, actually he didn't. He gave ONE pretty namby-pamby speech at an anti-war rally in Chicago pretty much just saying that we could better spend the money elsewhere when he was a a safe Illinois State Senator and the speech was deemed by his handlers to be advantageous to his then fortunes. He did clearly say that he wasn't sure what he would have done if he had been a US Senator when the Iraq war authorization vote came up. He defended John Kerry's (and Joe Biden's) vote for the war. ( BTW, everyone seems to forget their votes. Why is that?) He wouldn't have voted any differently than Clinton had he been in the US Senate in 2002. Some of us could see that early on.

      Others bought into his hope-y-change-y shtick. He was also the least socially progressive of the three Democratic candidates in 2008. What a surprise-NOT- that he turned out the way he did as President. I didn't vote for him specifically because I didn't think he was very progressive at all, but I really did hope that I was wrong about him. Time has proven I wasn't.

  • Understanding the Jewish National Home
    • This is tiresome. You stated that Jews were imprisoned in “the thousands.”

      It's only "tiresome" to you, hophmi because you got caught lying. You said

      "By 1939, hundreds of thousands of German Jews had already been killed or imprisoned. "

      I linked to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum which correctly stated that by early 1939 the number of German Jewish prisoners was in fact in the thousands, NOT the "hundreds of thousands" as you claimed and that over half of the German Jews had managed to escape Nazi Germany and the great majority of the rest were suffering, but alive, in Nazi Germany in 1939, which proved your exaggeration of the 1933-1939 death toll to be wrong. Why not just admit that you erred instead of, as pjdude mentioned, digging a deeper hole?

      . Jews were systematically deprived of their rights between 1933 and 1939.

      No one here is disputing that. Too bad that you can't likewise acknowledge that the state of Israel has systematically deprived Palestinians of their rights since 1948 up through this very moment.

      And you repeat this abomination about Jews being unable to fulfill their quotas under the White Paper, which they were unable to do because Jews were unable to emigrate, not because they didn’t want to.

      So now you have totally contradicted yourself. Why are you complaining about the quotas that weren't even filled if you acknowledge that many German Jews were unable to emigrate? You insisted that the White Paper was a "death sentence for tens of thousands of Jews" but now admit that German Jews couldn't emigrate regardless of how many unfilled quotas there were, thus the White Paper was not relevant to their suffering and deaths. You are being completely dishonest with yourself as well as the rest of us if you can't see the contradiction in the two statements you made.

      About 100,000 of the Jews from Germany emigrated to countries that Germany would eventually occupy, and most of them were killed, like Anne Frank. Nobody was in the dark about what was going to happen.

      Most people in early 1939 had no idea that Nazi Germany would control the fate of almost all of Western Europe by 1941. And the only reason that the Jews in Palestine were spared was because they lived in a country administered by Great Britain. If Sykes had relegated Palestine to Picot (or if Great Britain had fallen in WWII like France did), then the fate of Palestinian Jews would have been no different then the fate of Jews in other Nazi occupied countries. And if you seriously think that "nobody was in the dark" as to what was going to happen, how do you explain the Stern Gang's offer to collaborate with Nazi Germany in 1941?

      I understand you are emotional on this issue but its no excuse for lying, and certainly no excuse for issuing apologetics for Zionist leaders who showed little concern for European Jews other than as a source of demographics and financing for the benefit of their State.

      BTW, approximately 24,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine from 1939 through 1941. For the same time span, approximately 124,000 Jews immigrated to the US.

      link to

    • You’re just wrong. 30000 people were sent to concentration camps after Kristallnacht alone. Just stop it.

      30,000 is not "hundreds of thousands"(your quote), hophmi. There were barely "hundreds of thousands' of German Jews left in Germany in May of 1939 (when the British White Paper was signed) because the majority of them had managed to escape to other countries.

      I quoted from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum website. If you got a beef with what I said then take it up with them.

      As to the 30,000 German Jewish prisoners arrested in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, again, according to USHMM:

      As the pogrom spread, units of the SS and Gestapo (Secret State Police), following Heydrich's instructions, arrested up to 30,000 Jewish males, and transferred most of them from local prisons to Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, and other concentration camps. Significantly, Kristallnacht marks the first instance in which the Nazi regime incarcerated Jews on a massive scale simply on the basis of their ethnicity. Hundreds died in the camps as a result of the brutal treatment they endured; most obtained release over the next three months on the condition that they begin the process of emigration from Germany. Indeed, the effects of Kristallnacht would serve as a spur to the emigration of Jews from Germany in the months to come.

      link to

      And requoting a portion of the link I posted above:

      By early 1939, only about 16 percent of Jewish breadwinners had steady employment of any kind. Thousands of Jews remained interned in concentration camps following the mass arrests in the aftermath of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) in November 1938.

      "Thousands", not thirty thousand, were still incarcerated in early 1939.

      Nothing I said was incorrect. You were exaggerating.

    • By 1939, hundreds of thousands of German Jews had already been killed or imprisoned. The White Paper cut off one of their main avenues of exit.

      No, that is false. By 1939 over half of all German Jews had emigrated to other countries (and only 20 percent of them had gone to Palestine). Of the two hundred thousand left, the ones imprisoned were in the thousands, not "hundreds of thousands". And the one's killed were barely one thousand by the time of the White Paper.

      In January 1933, some 522,000 Jews by religious definition lived in Germany. Over half of these individuals, approximately 304,000 Jews, emigrated during the first six years of the Nazi dictatorship, leaving only approximately 214,000 Jews in Germany proper (1937 borders) on the eve of World War II.

      In the years between 1933 and 1939, the Nazi regime had brought radical and daunting social, economic, and communal change to the German Jewish community. Six years of Nazi-sponsored legislation had marginalized and disenfranchised Germany's Jewish citizenry and had expelled Jews from the professions and from commercial life. By early 1939, only about 16 percent of Jewish breadwinners had steady employment of any kind. Thousands of Jews remained interned in concentration camps following the mass arrests in the aftermath of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) in November 1938.

      World War II

      Yet the most drastic changes for the German Jewish community came with World War II in Europe. In the early war years, the newly transformed Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland), led by prominent Jewish theologian Leo Baeck but subject to the demands of Nazi German authorities, worked to organize further Jewish emigration, to support Jewish schools and self-help organizations, and to help the German Jewish community contend with an ever-growing mass of discriminatory legislation.

      Following the outbreak of war on September 1, 1939, the government imposed new restrictions on Jews remaining in Germany. One of the first wartime ordinances imposed a strict curfew on Jewish individuals and prohibited Jews from entering designated areas in many German cities. Once a general food rationing began, Jews received reduced rations; further decrees limited the time periods in which Jews could purchase food and other supplies and restricted access to certain stores, with the result that Jewish households often faced shortages of the most basic essentials.

      link to

      Many of those still stuck in Germany were elderly or with health or diability issues. The Zionist project had a selection process that disqualified those Jews who were not able-bodied. They weren't interested in saving those folks unless there was some advantage to the Zionists in doing so. As it was, they didn't even fill the quotas they were allowed by the White Paper during WWII.

  • Just like the Nazis, Iran 'plans to exterminate six million Jews' -- Netanyahu
    • Sorry, jon. I'm super busy right now and most of my books are packed away at the moment, but my recollection would tend to look for Segev as the source. Perhaps Shabti said something similar. The anger that the new Iraqi immigrants had towards both the Iraqi government and Israel has been mentioned in numerous sources. When I get access to my books again, I'll hunt down the exact source.

      In the meantime here's a quote from Yehuda Shenhav in "Arab Jews" that's accessible on the web:

      In January 1952, about a half a year after the official conclusion of the operation that brought Iraq's Jews to Israel, two Zionist activists, Yosef Basri and Shalom Salah, were hanged in Baghdad. They had been charged with possession of explosive materials and throwing bombs in the city center. According to the account of Shlomo Hillel, a former Israeli cabinet minister and Zionist activist in Iraq, their last words as they stood on the gallows were "Long live the state of Israel" (Hillel 1984:342). It would have only been natural for Iraqi Jews in Israel to have reacted with outrage to news of the hangings. But on the contrary, the mourning assemblies organized by leaders of the community in various Israeli cities failed to arouse widespread solidarity with the two Iraqi Zionists. Just the opposite; a classified communication from Moshe Sasson of the Foreign Ministry's Middle East Division to the then Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett said that many Iraqi immigrants, residents of the transit camps had greeted the hanging with the attitude: "That is God's revenge on the movement that brought us to such depths". 6 This bitter reaction attests to an acute degree of discontent among the newly arrived Iraqi Jews. It suggest that a good number of them did not view their immigration as the joyous return to Zion depicted by the community's Zionist activists. Rather, in addition to blaming the Iraqi government, they blamed the ZIonist movement for bringing them to Israel for reasons that did not include the best interests of the immigrants themselves. 7

      Shenhav, page 113

      link to

    • Your "historical facts", jon s, include some truth but there are also falsehoods in what you say. I can't go into a long post here because I'm just about out the door, but for the moment I will say that Iraq originally did not want its Jews to leave and tried to prohibit it. It was only under intense foreign pressure that it set up an orderly legal way for Iraqi Jews to emigrate to Israel. The volunteer lists were set up and run by Zionist emissaries,not by Iraqi officials, and it wasn't until after the 3rd and fatal bomb went off othat the number of volunteers became substantial. The deadline was for volunteering to emigrate under the plan; those who chose not to were allowed to stay in Iraq peacefully.

      Iraqi Jews were forced out of the civil service but were not prohibited from going to schools or hospitals, nor were their bank accounts frozen until late in the emigration period, and then only the accounts of those who were voluntarily giving up their citizenship. It wasn't morally justified but it was relatively mild compared to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the internment of Japanese citizens in the US during the same general time period.

      When I have more time and access to my sources I will expand if asked. My sources include Abbas Shiblak's "The Lure of Zion", Orit Bashkin's "The new Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq",
      Nissim Rejwan's "The Last Jews in Baghdad" and others.

      In any case, Israel didn't treat its new emigrants from Iraq very well either. Rejwan reports that, despite the difficulties in corresponding between the new Iraqi emigres in Israel and their friends and families in Iraq (Israel censored letters and Iraq outlawed any communication) new emigres tried to warn other Iraqi Jews not to go to Israel. He mentions one letter writer urging the family to wait until after their daughters wedding to make "aliyah", with the unwritten acknowledgement that their daughter was only 2 years old.

      Israel bears a least as much responsibility of the plight of the Iraqi Jews as anyone else, including Iraq. They simply wanted more Jews in Israel to change the demographics and they didn't mind f*cking over Jews to do it. Its been mentioned by several Israeli writers that Iraqi Jews in Israel celebrated when two Zionist Jews were executed in Iraq for the Synagogue bombing.

  • 'United States of Israel' has compromised U.S. 'sovereignty' on Iran policy -- Gideon Levy in D.C.
    • Point number one:

      Phil, if you know, how many non-Zionist Israelis have been killed or seriously injured because their political views? Yitzhak Rabin was one; he was assassinated by an extremist. Ze’ev Sternhall was physically attacked.But that’s about it.

      Wow, hophmi's totally clueless! First off, as pointed out by others, Rabin was NOT a "non-ZIonist". He was a Zionist. For that matter, so is Sternhell.

      And of course that's NOT "about it." It highlights hophmi's bigotry that he thinks it is. When Hophmi says non-ZIonist Israeli he shows that the phrase only means Jewish Israelis to him. Non-Jewish Israelis don't count, since just between the major Israeli government sanctioned killings in Kafr Kassem, on Land Day in 1976 and the killings of Israeli Palestinians in October 2000, the numbers are around 66 killed, and many more injured. But those are only the major events, without counting the numerous individual non-Jewish Israelis who have been killed throughout Israel's history. But none of those register any importance to hophmi. Wrong ethnicity to elicit any sympathy from him. He couldn't care less about them.

      And of course, some anti-Zionist Jews have been injured or assaulted during peaceful protests in solidarity with Palestinians, such as Yonatan Pollack and Yonatan Shapiro, as well as Ezra Nawi.

      And even Zionists have been attacked and killed by other Zionists in Israel because of their political views. Emil Gruenzweig, an organizer of Peace Now, was killed by a grenade lobbed into a protest march against Ariel Sharon in 1983, in the aftermath of Sabra and Shatila. Other protesters were injured in the attack and some of them were even beaten on their way to the hospital after the attack.

      Point number two:

      It’s a little childish to write as Levy writes and then to complain that he receives nasty letters as a result, as if this were in any way limited to Israel... Nu, who’s coming after him? Only people in the West seem to actually buy this guy’s persecution complex, because it doesn’t seem like anyone in Israel really does.

      Speaking of persecution complexes, has everyone noticed the obvious and silly double standard hophmi is evincing here the past couple of days?

      He's carping on how he's being "bullied" here and how terribly he's being treated simply because Mooser has been posting amusing ripostes to his comments. At the very same time Hophmi's accusing Gideon Levy of being a crybaby and a wuss for mentioning that he's had death threats against him. Thank the stars that Levy never had to face the horror of Mooser's bon mots like Hophmi has! Oh, the Horror!

      Levy's had several death threats, and one incident where the car he was in was showered with bullets, but big deal. Such small potatoes compared to Hophmi having to put up with humorous comebacks to his idiotic comments! Brave, brave Hophmi!

      And remember Hophmi's response here to Levy's death threats the next time he tells us we should be more concerned with some Zionist Jew's hurt feelings when Israel is criticized that we should care about Palestinians' real suffering.

  • Israel could reduce anti-Semitic violence by not calling itself the Jewish state, Finkelstein says
    • Jons,

      Yes, that’s what I was referring to, of course. “Mooser” has written around 20 comments to that one of mine, including calling me a “mother-fucking anti-semite”, which the moderators allowed. -

      I just did a word search through Mooser's comment archive. "mother-fucking anti-semite" doesn't exist there. If I word search just for "anti-semite' I don't see any comment from him calling you such. Most of his use of the term are humorous riffs on the fallacy that any criticism of Israel or its supporters is anti-semitic. I don't see any of them directed at you.

      Can you please link to the comment you are talking about?

      And isn't complaining to Hophmi about Mooser calling you an anti-semite sort of like complaining to Don Rickles about verbal abuse?

      Oops. My apologies, jons. I just found the comment below. It hadn't yet hit the archives.

      However, his comment in response to you is in a similar vein to his use of the term elsewhere. He's making a point that such a comment as you made, when made by a non-Jew is often used as an excuse to call that person anti-semitic. He's lampooning the overuse and mis-use of the term. He uses humor to make some very cogent and on-topic points. I'm sorry you have difficulty seeing that.

    • The premise was that Anti-Semitism had something to do with what Jews actually did.

      And that was one of the premises of the early Zionist movement. Its part and parcel of the Negation of the Diaspora.

    • One of the best plumbers I know is Jewish. Ezra Nawi.

      link to

      I don't usually have conversations with plumbers about their religion so I have no idea if I know any other Jewish plumbers. Frankly I don't know many plumbers at all, and that's a good thing since it means I haven't had many plumbing issues.

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • You are thinking of the MSI as being primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P. That’s not the aim.

      Then why take them to Israel if the aim is not to dialogue about Israel? You are pulling arguments out your ass again. You really need to stop that. It can lead to a very bad case of hemorrhoids.

      And Darrell Issa is not a Muslim. His father was Eastern Orthodox Christian and his mother was a Mormon. So much for your stereotyping of all Arabs as Muslim. Hint: The majority of Arabs in the US are Christian. Maybe if you "dialogued" with a few of them you'd get that, instead of having to make up sh*t.

    • You took the words out of my mouth, Donald.

      Besides its hard to get behind an organization founded by a man who called for genocide against the Palestinians. Not exactly what I would call promoting "pluralism , tolerance and democratic values".

      link to

  • Iran is 'congenital cheating' 'Islamic power bent on world domination' -- Netanyahu tells US media
    • Funny how Netanyahu thinks they are geeky enough to build a nuclear weapon (and that's pretty darn geeky!) as well as geeky enough to aim for "world domination", but now you think they have no "human capital" worth mentioning. Your argument is negating everything that Netanyahu is saying. Which one of you should we believe? And if Iran's such a backward country why is Netanyahu so afraid of them?

  • When occupation becomes apartheid
    • if only your refusal to see that speech from the standpoint of American Jews it paints you as someone who refuses to see things from the vantage point of the Jews.

      Yonah, the question was about Lindbergh's motives, not about anyone else's reaction to it. I'm sorry if you felt threatened by the speech but that does not mean that Lindbergh intended to threaten. Just as Iran's intentions are not the same thing as your average Israeli Jew's reaction to Iran. I don't believe that Iran intends to use a nuclear weapon, or even build one for deterrence purposes. Iran's intent should not be judged by whether Israel feels threatened or not. If in fact Iran does not intend to attack Israel then Israel's reaction is wrong, not Iran's intent. The "vantage point of the Jews" in this case is irrelevant to Iran's intentions.

      Same goes for LIndbergh's speech. If his intent was not to threaten Jews, then the speech can't be used as an example of "Jew hatred". If his intent was not to threaten, then the fact that some Jews felt threatened can be explained as either an insensitivity to certain Jews feelings on his part, or his belief that preventing the US from entering WWII was more important than hurting some peoples' feelings. ( BTW, isn't your using the term "the Jews" in the quote above a bit anti-semitic in assuming that "the Jews" are a monolith?)

      My guess about your background is that you are in your 80's and were an American child in the early 1940's, had a crush on Lindbergh yourself, and were devastated by what you thought was a threat against Jews like yourself from someone you had thought of as an idol. That would explain your obsession with Lindbergh's speech and your refusal to view it from any other vantage point than the one you had as a child. Otherwise your obsession with an arcane bit of history makes little to no sense, unless you are just looking for ways to hate people and justify your own hate.

      I asked you what people you belonged to in an attempt to fathom the variety of Jew hatred that lies at the basis of your opposition to the Jews.

      First off, what's with the term "the Jews" again? You have to know that Jews are not a monolith, and my opposition is to Zionism, which I view as a racist and supremacist movement, not to Jews per se, just as my opposition to white supremacism is not an opposition to whites per se. Zionism may perhaps be the viewpoint of the majority of Jews today, but likewise white racism was the viewpoint of the majority of whites for a long time. Opposition to either ideology is not opposition to either ethnicity. You asked "what people I belong to" because you accept the idea of an exclusivist "my people" and you sought to claim some personal victimhood on the basis of other people's pain that you think that you have a right to claim but I do not. It was a particularly bigoted reaction on your part. Apparently, you think that you are allowed to judge people based solely on their ethnicity and not be called on it, while pretending that people who oppose Zionism are anti-Jewish when they are clearly not. Another example of projection on your part. You judge people according to their ethnicity and then project that onto others.

      There are 31 varieties of ice cream at Baskin Robbins and there are many varieties of Jew hatred, some attached to ethnic origin and I was curious if you learnt your Jew hatred from the newspapers or from your grandparents or from Toynbee or Voltaire or the New Testament or from your concept of the better world where the past can be dismissed as so much flotsam.

      So why not ask me directly where my non-existent "Jew hatred" comes from instead of assuming that my ethnicity or religion must be at fault. If you wanted to know where my opposition to Zionism comes from I would have told you. I'll tell you now. If you know anything about Unitarianism you know that it is very non-dogmatic. I spent the few years I went to Sunday school (at my parents doing) mostly learning about other world religions, including Judaism, Christianity (Unitarians are not Christians), Islam and Eastern religions. My mother and father chose that religion as adults, but encouraged their children to make up their own minds. As my sister approached adulthood she became interested in Judaism. Although it wasn't our path the rest of the family approved of her seeking her own religious path (while my mother became Buddhist and I chose atheism). Many years later, in the early 1990's she chose to go live in Israel. I was a bit uneasy about that, knowing a very limited amount about the Occupation, but wished her well personally. It was after all the start of the Oslo period and things were generally assumed to be getting better, especially for those of us who knew very little at the time. We were sporadically in touch by email but not regularly. Then in late 2000, when the second intifada was ongoing and I began to follow the news a bit, and discuss things on a chat board, I got an email from my sister, out of the blue, filled with some of the most racist garbage about Palestinians I had ever seen. I was shocked. My sister didn't grow up a racist, why was she one now? That email, and the contradictory arguments that I heard from defenders of Israel led to my delving into the history and the more I delved the more I realized how incredibly bigoted and destructive the ideology is.

      As far as "[my] concept of the better world where the past can be dismissed as so much flotsam" I think that history, rather than flotsam, is important to learn from, but only if you have an accurate view of history. I've pointed out to you many instances where Zionism was destructive to Jews as well as others and you are the one who ignores that, probably because you are too wrapped up in your perceived identity as a Zionist and your belief that Zionist Jews would never hurt other Jews. I know from your personal belief system that you care much less for the much greater harm Zionism has done to non-Jews. One day people will look back and recognize the "healthy cruelty" that the early Zionists practiced even among themselves, the Zionist's mistreatment of the early Yemeni Jewish immigrants as well as the Israeli mistreatment of the latter Yemeni immigrants, the mistreatment of the DP camp Jews who refused to volunteer to fight for Israel in 1948, and many other instances where the interests of individual Jews were sacrificed to the interests of the ideology, and realize that Zionism was not "good for the Jews". Whether you will hold on to your sanitized view of Zionist history or not, I do not know. I hope you let it go as well. It would make you a much happier person.

      In the good old days when i used to haunt the pro Palestinians on east 14th street on saturdays in manhattan, I was able to meet the haters face to face and i got all kinds of input to add to the words they spoke. the nature of written communication is different

      You sound exactly like a hater yourself. A hater and a baiter. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe people just hate YOU and your attitude? Maybe its not all about your Jewishness to them just because it is to you? You come off rude and aggressive here. God knows how you come off in person, what with all the added input you give off in a face to face. I can't imagine your demeanor being anything but aggressive in such an instance, especially since your admitted purpose in going there was to find "haters" to confront. You need people to hate you to justify your hatred of them. It's self-destructive. You don't have to be an angry old man.

    • just,

      I appreciate your insights.

      Thanks. And I yours.

      whine mode on:
      I can't believe how far up I had to scroll to reply to your comment. I love this place but I so miss the old version and especially the green highlights on unread comments. I end up missing too many comments and conversations are much more disjointed these days. Hard to tell who's replying to whom some times.
      whine mode off.

    • yonah,

      To get upset at the Jews of Eastern Europe of 1945 or 1946 for taking vengeance on innocent German children, well it’s great to be a universalist, is all I can say. my use of comeuppance rather than vengeance and your picking on that and your swift: gaze your eyes on this despicable Jew, well, I reacted to that.

      You don't do dialogue well, yonah, and the primary reason for that is you don't listen-instead you project. I never said I was "upset at the Jews of Eastern Europe" or at any other European who succumbed to acts of vengeance after WWII. And I made it clear that such acts were not limited to Jews. I also made clear that vengeance is the product of universal human traits, or failings, so when you say that I was upset at Jews for seeking vengeance you are projecting. You are falsely interpreting my statements as hate so that you can hate in return. You seem to need to create instances of hate from others in order to justify your own in return.

      You claimed that the ethnic cleansing of Germans after the war was in no way related to the collective punishment of ethnic Germans for the horrors of Nazi Germany, and that vengeance and hatred had no part of it. I corrected you. The reality was sad and ugly, as was WWII even more, but it stems from human failings and including Jews in with the rest of humanity as having human failings is not an expression of Jew hatred. Its an acknowledgement that they are like the rest of humanity.

      If this will make you feel better, here's an example from Denmark about Danish doctors after WWII, that I read about recently:

      Denmark 's Myths Shattered: A Legacy of Dead German Children

      link to

      I'm sorry if you disapproved of my example of Salomon Morel, but I have heard too many times from defenders of Israel that Jews don't commit atrocities. I find the attitude most distressing Precisely because it is usually expressed, quite ironically, in order to excuse the mass killing of Palestinians or other Arabs by Israel. Mentioning Morel was a quick way of countering the false idea that somehow no Jew, apart from the rest of humanity, ever seeks vengeance or commits violence unless it is forced upon him. Again, I'm talking humanity, not singling out Jews. You were the one who implied that Jews never did such a thing, and that victims of collective punishment are just getting their "comeuppance".

      No America Firster from 1941 ever is criticized by you and no Jew is ever praised by you unless they work against Zionism.

      I simply defended Lindbergh against your claim that he was a Jew hater and threatened Jews. I mentioned some of his failings, in fact more than you did, but again you don't listen - you project. You hate Lindbergh so Lindbergh must have hated Jews. I defended the great Jew hater in your mind, so I must be a Jew hater too.

      So I am curious about the source of your attitude.

      Does that explain why you asked me who "my people" were? So you could stereotype me on the basis of my ethnicity? Doesn't that seem a bit bigoted on your part??? Think about it.

      you are good and I am evil. as simple as that.

      Projecting again. I never said that and don't believe it. You do seem to have a boatload of unresolved anger, though, which can't be good for you, or anyone else you interact with.

      And BTW, bantustan is an accurate description. "Sux" on the other hand is cant, which means next to nothing in describing the conditions under which Gazans live. Homework "sux", Monday "sux", McDonalds "sux". Gazans live in a Bantustan. It is way beyond the amorphous "sux".

      But I will apologize for the use of the word "simply", not because I misused it. I didn't. But because I tend to overuse some words and "simply" is one of those words. One of the reasons I comment here is to try to improve my writing. I don't think that I'm making much progress on that score.

      PS to Roha and just: Thanks for the kind comments. I appreciate both of your comments here.

    • Yonah,

      Your questions bespeak of a seriously twisted mindset and perhaps I should just ignore them but in the interest of dialogue I will answer them, mistake or not.

      tree- tell me again. from the perspective of 2015 are you in favor of US involvement in World war II?

      Yes, but I can respect those who felt otherwise at the time and don't feel the need to accuse them of Jew-hatred, especially since there was so much more to the war than the Jews, and war always creates much suffering, even with good motives and intent.

      how many relatives suffered in world war II for you, tree? any?

      Sounds like another particularly twisted question to me. No one suffered "for me" since I was not born until well after WWII. My father fought and was injured, one or two other more distant relatives were killed that I know about but obviously did not know personally.

      And a great grandfather was killed in WWI, and a grandmother was orphaned because of it. WWI- you know the World War that doesn't count when tallying up victim points. And certainly casualties of any other of the myriad regional wars since WWII don't count either. All the really important suffering started in 1939 and ended in 1945, right?

      So why do you even ask this question? Because I called you on your false implication that Jews don't do revenge, as opposed to every other ethnicity/religion that does?

      and if you consider yourself american, what was the most traumatic event of your people since the civil war?
      and if you consider yourself some other ethnicity, what was the most traumatic event of your people?

      Now this is the most bizarre question. I am a US citizen. I don't just "consider" myself one, I actually am one according to the US government. Its not an ethnicity, its a nationality, one I share with every other US citizen regardless of whatever their and my ethnicity or religion happens to be.

      I don't have "my people". All people have worth and meaning and I don't see any need to claim some restricted group in preference to all others. You ought to try it sometime. Its quite liberating and clarifying. It releases one from the idea that one must support or excuse evil actions just because they committed by "your people". If everyone, and no one, is "your people" then you can focus on the actions without having to preface your judgment on who is doing it before deciding whether the action is right or wrong. And you can account for and understand the frailty and imperfections of all human beings, not just some limited group.

      Ethnically speaking, I guess I would say that the roots that I am aware of are European, mostly Western European, with some Central and Eastern European roots thrown in. Religiously speaking, my ancestors have been of multiple religions -including Judaism. I consider myself an atheist, who grew up as a Unitarian. This does not mean that I consider either atheists or Unitarians as "my people", any more than I consider Europeans or Americans as "my people". I don't see the need to do so, and find it deleterious to do so if it is done to give me a illusory mantel of suffering, or accomplishment, that I didn't personally experience. Its seems the height of selfishness and narcissism to me.

      I am well aware of the fact that I have been quite lucky in my life. My personal sufferings have been minor compared to so many other people all over the world. The only discrimination I've faced has been gender oriented, and its much less than it was when I was growing up and so much less then what my Mom faced. I don't support gender equality just because I personally faced some discrimination, but because it is the right thing to do, and I believe in equality for all.

      So why is this so important to you? I usually answer all your questions, and you seldom answer mine in return. So can you answer this one in the interest of the dialogue you claim to want? Why do you think it important to know what "my" non-existent people have suffered throughout history? If I haven't personally suffered it, why is it so important for me to point out what people who share my ethnic heritage had to suffer? Do I get points for other people sufferings? And if so, then, for Dog's sake why? Why is the suffering of dead people who might have had a ancestral relationship to me more important that the suffering of people, both living and dead, who have no direct genetic relationship to me? Please explain, because it seem to me that this kind of thinking only leads to the creation of more suffering and more suffering for anyone is NOT a good thing.

    • Yonah, for someone who nit-picks every word that Phil uses, you have an obvious problem with your own choice of words, ala this:

      as comeuppance for supporting the nazi invader.

      Maybe you are just profoundly ignorant of the ethnic Germans who were the victims of this post-WWII revenge, but a large number of them were children, who were punished, not for "supporting the nazi invader", as they were too young to do so, but because they were of the same ethnicity as the Nazi invaders. It's called collective punishment, not "comeuppance" which means that they had it coming.

      a punishment or fate that someone deserves."

      If you really think that "comeuppance" is the proper term, then I suppose you wouldn't object to it being applied to Israelis who support or advocate the killing of Palestinians, as Rabbi Hartmann did. Oops, I forgot, he was Jewish and so subject to more lenient rules in your book.

      It had nothing to do with the death of Jews, except as an excuse.,

      Oh please. It had everything to do with the death of Jews, and the death of Slavs and other Eastern Europeans, and the innumerable hardships and violence perpetrated by the Nazis on other nations. It led to the all too human, but horrendous, desire to seek revenge by attacking other Germans who may have well had absolutely nothing to do with the Nazi violence, but merely shared their ethnicity. Some Jews were just as morally culpable for these attitudes and actions as those of other ethnicities. Salomon Morel for one very egregious example.

      link to

      If you really think that no Jew ever sought revenge for the death of other Jews then you are truly lying to yourself as well as others.

    • If I use the plain Zionist frame, it includes not just Labor Zionism but also the more progressive forms (long dead) that were advocating for a cooperative, bi-national approach with the Palestinians.

      The proper term used is cultural Zionism, not political Zionism. All political Zionism is based on ethnic nationalism, sometimes referred to as "romantic nationalism". Judah Magnes, for one, was a cultural Zionist, but not a political Zionist. He did not believe in a Jewish state, nor in the negation of the diaspora, nor did he believe in partition or separation between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

      link to

      Politically speaking, he was profoundly anti-Zionist, rather than a "progressive version" of a Zionist.

      But of course you are free to use whatever terms you find effective, whether or not I disagree with them.

      BTW, one of the more sane and rational Israeli Zionist politicians today is a member of Likud - Reuven Rivlin, the current President of Israel.

      As for the joke, not to worry. No apologies needed. You are confusing me with some other commenter, which is why I din't understand the reference at first, but now I understand. I never made a comment about chartering a jet. I tend to be pretty much a home body, rather than an avid traveller. No doubt my loss, but I'm well aware of my limitations, and long distance flights are one of them.

    • Irishmoses,

      I don’t like saying Zionist because it seems a little too much like saying Jews. It’s overly inclusive and smacks a bit of the antisemitic meme.

      Zionism has always been about Jewish supremacism, regardless of which wing you talk about, and at its very beginnings it was opposed by the majority of Jews worldwide. If I say Nazism, its not like I'm saying German, and likewise with ZIonism and Jews. While many if not most Jews today may approve of it to one extent or the other, it is not an existential part of being Jewish. Frankly speaking the vast majority of white people were white supremacists to one extent or the other for centuries, if not millenia, but it isn't an existential part of being white. Its an attitude. Its a circumstance of environment and thought and can be changed without changing one's racial, ethnic or religious identity, and therefore it is not anti-semitic to refer to Zionism anymore than it is racist to refer to white supremacism.

      As to the overriding ideology of the early years of Zionism (prior even to "Jabotinskyism"), I'd suggest reading Ilan Pappe's "The Idea of Israel"(book) as well as Etan Bloom's doctoral dissertation on Arthur Ruppin, the father of early Jewish settlement in Palestine. (available on the internet) And, as Avi Shlaim has pointed out, Jabotinsky might have fleshed out the doctrine of the Iron Wall, but Ben Gurion and the Labor Zionists lived by it.

      As to the dishonesty of Ben Gurion et al, let me use this incident from 1947 as an illustration. In late December, 1947 , Irgun terrorists threw a bomb at Palestinian day laborers waiting outside the Haifa Oil Refinery, killing 6 of them and injuring 40 or so. This violence immediately sparked a riot by Palestinian workers at the refinery (where, BTW, the Jewish Agency had been constantly pressuring the British to hire more Jews and less Palestinians, and pay the Jews more than they paid the Palestinians). Some 39 or so Jewish workers at the refinery were killed and some number were injured.

      The Jewish Agency, under control of Ben-Gurion, immediately came out with a statement condemning the Irgun attack and blaming Irgun for the resultant riot against Jewish workers at the plant. Sounds like quite a reasonable statement, except that, at the same time, Ben Gurion decided to issue a "reprisal" raid on the village of Balad al-Shaykh for the murderous riot at the refinery. The raid by the Haganah lasted three hours, killing over 60 Palestinians and destroying parts of the village. At the same time the Haganah went into one of the poorer neighborhoods of Haifa, Wadi Rushmiyya, expelled its people and blew up its houses. All of this was under Ben Gurion's direction. Pappe considers this act as the "official beginning of the ethnic cleansing operation in urban Palestine".

      So here you have Ben Gurion sounding all understanding and reasonable for public and international consumption while privately instigating acts of terrorism and ethnic cleansing. Thus his dishonesty helped to disguise the true purpose and intent of "Labor Zionism". Irgun was at least honest about what they did and why they did it. Ben Gurion was not. He was therefore the much more dangerous brand of Zionism. He was also the one who made up the story that the Palestinians fled at the exhortations of Arab leaders, rather than from fear or expulsion by Israeli forces. And that's just the tip of the iceberg with his lies.

      To my mind, using the term "Likud Zionism" leads to the inference that "Labor ZIonism" or "Liberal ZIonism" are not the problem, only the Likud version is. But clearly Zionism itself is the problem, no matter what "wing"; just as white supremacism was the problem in the US South, not just the right-wing variety. My two-cents. YMMV.

      And, sorry but I didn't get your Airbnb reference.

    • JeffB:What evidence do you have for that?

      and yonah:How many East Jerusalem Palestinians have applied for citizenship and how many have been approved?

      I am using the very sources that JeffB has linked here twice. Apparently he doesn't really read his own links, or else he thinks he can be dishonest and imply some sourcing for his claims that doesn't actually exist.

      Leading the horse to water, here it is on page 22 of the International Crisis Group Report, second paragraph and footnote 205:

      "Assessing the extent to which applications for Israeli citizenship among East Jerusalemites have trended upward during the last decade is difficult because the government has released contradictory figures. About 13,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem (roughly 5 per cent of the Arab population) are reported to have citizenship,203 though it seems likely a significant proportion are members of Israel’s Palestinian minority who have moved to Jerusalem for work or family reasons.204 In terms of applications,the interior ministry said that almost 7,000
      individuals applied for citizenship between 2001 and2010 205 – a relatively small number – yet two thirds of these applications were made from 2008 2010.206 "

      Footnote 205:"Roughly one third were approved, one third were denied and one third were deferred. Central Bureau of Statistics response to Crisis Group question.

      link to

      The report is summarized in Haaretz here: (which JeffB linked on an earlier occassion, again as if it supported his point, which it does not)

      link to

      A deferral in this case is equivalent to a denial at the time of the request. So, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, roughly two-thirds of the applicants during this period were denied- one half of those denials being permanent and one half of them being at least temporary, which could later become permanent.

      I won't even bother to respond to the idiocy of Jeff's argument that Jewish Israelis not having Palestinian citizenship is equal to East Jerusalem Palestinians not having Israeli citizenship. Its beyond ridiculous, but totally predictable.

      And yonah, the meaning of a bantustan does not require being landlocked, only that the territory has limited self-government subject to the whims of the apartheid government, and that same apartheid government controls the bantustan's borders, which Israel does directly, as well as through its blockade, and through its treaty with Egypt which allows it ultimate control over the border between Gaza and Egypt. Gaza is a bantustan.

      link to

      link to

      Note to JeffB: If you have an actually source to back up your statements on the number of applicants approved for citizenship, please provide it. The numbers from the International Crisis Group that you linked are in direct contradiction to the numbers you posted. I think it highly dishonest of you to imply that that your link supported your statement when it clearly did not. Please link to SUPPORTING sources next time, not ones that disagree with your point.

      Note to all readers: If the Haaretz article leads to a shortened version and a paywall, simply enter the first sentence exactly as written into Google or Yahoo search engines. A link to the article should appear that when clicked on will reveal the full article, not just the first paragraph.

    • Let me add my congratulations on the article, Gil. Great work.

      But I don't get why you are talking about the "Likud-Zionist project". There was really no significant difference in how Labor Zionists treated the Palestinians compared to Likud, and Labor was in complete control of Israel for the first few decades. Labor was just better at lying about what they were doing. And Ben-Gurion was a master prevaricator.

      Weingarten calls herself a Liberal Zionist and is bemoaning Netanyahu winning the election. And yet she still supports Israeli apartheid. Why not drop the "Likud" part? Its unnecessary.

    • Notes to JeffB:

      Poland was NOT our ally AFTER WWII.

      And Palestinians from East Jerusalem are NOT full citizens of Israel. They are allowed to APPLY for citizenship, but the majority of those that did apply have been turned down by Israel, and those that do apply risk losing their rights to Jordanian or Palestinian citizenship, as well as their rights to enter neighboring communities in the West Bank. Even those East Jerusalemites who manage to become Israeli citizens do not have full rights in Israel because they are not Jewish, and are barred from living in many Israeli Jewish communities.

      Gaza is not a separate country. And its borders, airspace, territorial sea, and even its population registry and monetary market, taxes and custom duties are controlled by Israel. It is simply a bantustan, ultimately controlled by Israel.

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • An important point to be made about Foxman's statement: the exact quote is

      "The piece is particularly troubling because it evokes memories of the “No Jews or Dogs Allowed" signs from our own early history in this country."

      One must logically assume that Foxman is talking about the US, since that is where he is speaking and where he is a citizen. Jews have been in the US since its very beginnings in the late 1700's and some were here before that time. I doubt Foxman has a memory of that time, and even if he did, I seriously doubt that such signs in the US were prevalent or even existent. He isn't talking about thousands of years ago in the whole world. He's talking about the US over a few hundred years and he's making shit up. Totally unsurprising. It may not be long before we hear about the shackles of slavery that poor persecuted Jews in the US had to suffer. And the camps! Don't forget the camps they were forced to live in! I'm sure Mooser (or at least Allan Sherman) could elaborate on those.

  • Joint List to lead mass march on Jerusalem, as Netanyahu forms a gov't
    • And because their villages (which existed before the creation of Israel) are not "recognized" by Israel, every home in the villages is under the threat of demolition because they are not permitted. And they are not permitted because the "unrecognized"( by the Israeli government) village cannot set up a master urban plan recognized by that same Israeli government. And Israel will not allow building permits to be issued for the villages unless there is a master plan. Its a particularly heartless and sick catch-22 and is so much more than voter suppression.

  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • I agree. Doesn’t it seem strange that this apparently isolated instance of a movie star’s privileged son being upset over verbal insults results in an op-ed in the LA Times decrying anti-Semitism?

      Especially since the incident was alleged to have happened sometime last summer, not just recently.

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • 50 years later they still do stuff like have black water tanks to indicate their solidarity with West Bank Palestinians shows that they don’t want citizenship.

      I don't often read JeffB's comments because they are too long winded and contain too much bullshit for me to ingest, but I have to say that this statement of his is incredibly stupid and racist. Not that it differentiates itself from most of his other comments; it doesn't. But apparently my conservative and Israel-loving (mostly out of preferred ignorance) ex-husband is showing his solidarity with West Bank Palestinians by having a black plastic water tank to store his well water according to Jeff! Who knew?

      I'm sure most the commenters here know what a crock of shit that statement of JeffB's is, but in case anyone wants a little background on black plastic water tanks, here it is:

      Black plastic is preferred over white plastic because it tends to be more UV stabilized which helps it avoid getting brittle and developing micro-cracks which leak. And its opacity prevents light from getting to the water, which would encourage the growth of algae and light-sensitive microbes, neither of which are good for drinking water. Rooftop tanks are used to help increase water pressure , since water pressure is directly related to the height from which water falls. And they also provide running water when the municipal water is shut off, which happens a lot in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, in comparison to what happens in Jewish neighborhoods. An example here:

      link to

      There are fewer individual water tanks in Jewish neighborhoods, since they don't have to rely on them for their water. And the few that I have seen, while painted white, tend to be metal (most likely stainless steel) so they are likewise protected from UV rays and light. But metal tanks are much more expensive than plastic so for the most part are out of the question for the poorer Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Why do the Palestinians have to buy new expensive white stainless steel water tanks to "assimilate" when the old black plastic ones work just as well ?To state that the logical and least expensive solution of utilizing a black plastic water tank is a reason to deny someone citizenship makes as much sense as stating that eating Ramen noodles instead of steak is grounds for treason.

      There is a huge difference between someone being offered a slice of pizza and refusing, and not being offered a slice because of their race. Conflating the two is lying.

      Yes, and you did just that. You lied.

  • 'NYT' reports 'surge of hostile sentiment against Jews' nationwide -- on what basis?
    • They weren't just "3 Jewish students", annie. They self-identified as representatives of the Hillel Student Board, who were incensed that Hillel was categorized as a political group and part of a "community that’s very invested in USAC and very specific outcomes", despite the fact that UCLA Hillel was intimately involved in the financial scandal of outside funding from an Islamophobe for the USAC candidates of Bruins United. UCLA Hillel IS a political group that seeks to wrap itself in a cloak of a religious fraternal organization in order to pre-empt any criticism of its political activities with the bogus charge of anti-semitism.

    • Donald,
      Tree and others–If I had an exact transcript of the conversation I might or might not tone down my criticism of the student who asked the question. I skimmed eljay’s link to a transcript and it seemed more of a paraphrase.

      I believe eljay's link was to the official minutes of the meeting. The video recording of the entire meeting was taken down from You-Tube, for reasons I'll expand on later, but there is a short snippet of the meeting in a very inaccurate news report from the local CBS affiliate here which includes the question Beyda was asked . There are several words which are unintelligible, but it is quoted on the related article on the KCBS site as follows:

      “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community … given that recently … [inaudible] has been surrounding cases of conflict of interest, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view … [inaudible]?”

      link to

      Again, given the background and nature of some of the conflicts at the UCLA campus recently, including the fact that the UCLA Hillel organization was implicated in money-laundering political contributions from Adam Milstein to UCLA student candidates from Bruins United (a right of center pro-Israel student organization,of which Avinoam Baral, the current student President is a member) as well as the fact that organizations affiliated with Hillel paid for trips to Israel for other student body officials in the recent past, and that Hillel has hired a PR firm to discredit student BDS activity, the question about a possible conflict of interest and how she would handle it seems entirely within bounds to ask of someone who is being considered for a student judicial board.

      As to why the you-Tube video of the meeting was removed, I discovered this from the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper:

      The undergraduate student government recently took down a YouTube video of a controversial council meeting after several council members received death threats and hate mail accusing them of being anti-Semitic.

      ....Haq said the hate mail she received in response to her questioning at the meeting was so severe that she did not feel safe walking around campus.

      Some of the people who sent messages to her identified themselves as donors who would cease donating to UCLA until she and other councilmembers resigned, she said. Most of the hate mail she received did not come with identification, and Haq said she would not be surprised if many of the messages were from UCLA students.

      Sadeghi-Movahed said she also received death threats and rape threats in emails and that she has reported these threats to university police.

      Other messages were sent to her email, Facebook and Twitter account. Some of these criticisms used hateful language, including expletives and pejoratives.

      Most of the hate mail was from people outside the UCLA community, and she said she thinks they have come from all over the country.

      “It’s to the point where this story has been so exaggerated that I’ve been dehumanized in a way that most people don’t think our apology was genuine,” Sadeghi-Movahed said. “I was okay with (the video) staying up to be quite honest, but it becomes an infringement on our safety when other outlets take it and manipulate it into a different narrative.”

      Haq said she thinks that she and other councilmembers have been misrepresented by news outlets who did not reach out to them before publishing their names, and by Chancellor Gene Block, who issued a campuswide email calling councilmembers unfair without reaching out to them for explanations beforehand.

      Singh said he also received death threats following the meeting. He said he has received hate mail using racist language in the past, but he had never been threatened before. He did not report the threats to UCPD.

      Roth said she has also been threatened, but she could not disclose the nature or severity of all the threats because she has not read all of them. This is the first time she has received hate mail, she added.

      Haq said this is also the first time she has received hate mail and that it has only gotten worse since the video was taken down. She did not address the USAC Live! video when reporting concerns for her safety and did not ask for it to be taken down, she added.

      “It’s a lose-lose situation, really,” Haq said. “If you don’t take down the video, it’s just going to grow more and more. If you do take it down, people get angry.”

      link to

      I have to say after reading the DB article that Phil missed a big part of the story in this case. Student council members were defamed as anti-semites for asking a question about possible conflict of interest for a prospective judicial board candidate and then faced death and rape threats and hateful derogatory racist comments about their ethnicity and yet that part of the story remains uncovered. I would have hoped that Phil could have dug this part out, or given it to Alex Kane whose covered the UCLA controversies in the past to dig into.

      Frankly, the whole issue seems contrived in order to create a false controversy and defame the student council members. After all, Rachel Beyda was appointed to the judicial board unanimously on the second vote after additional discussion at the very same meeting so seriously, where was the great harm in asking the question since she is affiliated with campus organizations that have been involved in cases alleging conflict of interest? Why was it morphed into a story of anti-semitism without hearing from the alleged perpetrators? Why does the racism and vicious hatred directed at the student council members go unmemtioned?

      I think Avinoam Baral bears some of the responsibility for the one-sided reporting of this incident, and the unsafe condition it created for his fellow student council members.

      According to EI,

      student body president Avinoam Baral, whose scandal-plagued election campaign was financed by Islamophobic anti-Palestinian property tycoon and convicted tax evader Adam Milstein, declared that the divestment resolution was “anti-Semitic.”

      link to

      so one can hardly claim that he understands the difference between anti-semitism and anti-Israel viewpoints.

      I did find this juxtaposition between Baral's statement in the NY Times report and his statements made in emails to Milstein amusingly revealing.

      From the NY Times article:

      The president of the student council, Avinoam Baral, who had nominated Ms. Beyda, appeared stunned at the turn the questioning took at the session and sought at first to rule Ms. Roth’s question out of order. “I don’t feel that’s an appropriate question,” he said.

      In an interview, Mr. Baral, who is Jewish, said he “related personally to what Rachel was going through.”

      “It’s very problematic to me that students would feel that it was appropriate to ask that kind of questions, especially given the long cultural history of Jews,” he said. “We’ve been questioned all of our history: Are Jews loyal citizens? Don’t they have divided loyalties? All of these anti-Semitic tropes.”

      Versus his emails to Milstein:

      In an email thanking Milstein for his efforts, the candidates wrote that “[We] and the rest of the Bruins United slate are prepared to make sure that UCLA will maintains [sic] its allegiance to Israel.” More specifically, Oved and Baral pledged to ensure that their party would take a firm stance in support of the university’s continued investment in companies supplying Israel with arms. In the same email, the candidates express their excitement at representing “the ideologies of Israel.”

      link to

      So personally Baral admits, at least privately, that he has loyalty to apartheid Israel but wants us to disbelieve that any Jew might agree with him and have a similar loyalty, despite the fact that numerous American Jews have admitted as much with respect to their own feelings and some American Jews have even had the chutzpah to insist that most or all Jews have the same loyalty, if they are not 'self-hating'.

      Further information about Baral, in regards to Milstein's covert financing of Bruins United, concerns leaked Hillel emails regarding the scandal.

      One email includes an explicit request by Avinoam Baral, now president of the student government, the Undergraduate Student Association Council, for a Milstein employee to help conceal evidence of their relationship.

      see EI link above

      Sounds like Baral has his own ethics problem.

    • annie

      i really don’t get how this is hate speech at all, much less “obvious” hate speech.

      Just remember that the hophmi working definition of hate speech is any speech that hophmi hates, and then you'll understand.

      There was nothing "hateful" about the question, but it did give hophmi a chance to vent his own spleen in a hateful way, so therefore it qualifies as hate speech. His logic is warped but its consistent in this regard.

    • Alex Kane covered the ethics case before the UCLA Judicial Board last year in this article:

      Documents open window into how Israel lobby courts student government members - See more at: link to

      Any news article that excludes this background to the questions and vote of the UCLA student council isn't doing its job of covering the news.

    • They had a conversation about whether this student could be fair because she was a Jew. They might have been thinking about BDS and Hillel and support for Israel’s crimes or who knows what, but they made it about her Jewishness.

      From reading the wording of the initial question, the written minutes and the long discussion on conflict of interest prior to the second confirming vote, I have to strongly disagree with your interpretation. The point brought up was concern about conflict of interest due to her Presidency of a Jewish Sorority at UCLA and her membership in Hillel, which has an obvious and stated political bent in favor of Israel, rather than simply being a support group for all Jews on campus, as has been amply illustrated by its recent actions.

      Donald, if the President of a Christian sorority at UCLA was questioned about her ability to put aside her bias, or recuse herself from judicial decisions in which she might have a conflict of interest, would you have considered such a question an example of religious bias against Christian students? Seriously? You believe that membership in a group that is religiously or ethnically exclusive should not come up for questioning when nomination to a judicial position is discussed? Or are you just accepting the framing as alleged by those with political agendas?

      As to her association with Hillel, it seems like another reasonable point on which to question her. After all, Hillel has chosen to take a clear political stand on Israel, rather than accept with open arms all Jews on campus regardless of what their political views are with respect to Israel. As such it functions as a political group which has a clear platform of opposition to BDS . See here for some background with specific regards to Hillel at UCLA:

      UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement - See more at: link to

      Funds to UCLA student political party came from outside sources, leaked emails show
      link to

      Costly pro-Israel PR campaign fails to stop UCLA divestment

      link to

      And a lot of the concern at the meeting seemed to be related to the UCLA Judicial board's decision last year that two UCLA Student government leaders did not commit ethical violations by receiving free trips to Israel sponsored by pro-Israel groups and then refusing to recuse themselves from last April's vote against divestment.

      SJP Judicial Board Case Study
      link to

      It seems to me that what we have here is a case of certain Jewish groups taking political positions in regards to Israel and then crying anti-semitism when their politics are questioned, thus trying to imply that their religion rather than their politics is the issue when it isn't.

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • Kathleen.

      I never meant to imply that hophmi had made any progress in dropping his bigoted attitudes since he made that statement in 2013. He foaming at the mouth here over Phil's post proves he hasn't. As does nearly every one of his comment s he makes here. His bigotry may reach its zenith when he's talking about Palestinians or lying about how wonderful Israel is, but his bigotry is more encompassing than that. He resents everyone who doesn't kowtow to the Apartheid State, Jew or non-Jew, but reserves most of his bile for no-Jews, whom he considers lesser, more venal beings, everyone of whom is collectively responsible for any bad thing that happened to Jews at the hand of non-Jews. (But of course, he'd condemn as anti-semitic the same view in reverse.) Those poor "outreached Muslims" need better than a Jewish bigot on the Board of Directors.

    • annie

      but bigotry is not inherent it is a learned or passed on trait.

      I agree. I never said that bigotry was inherent in anyone. But trauma is not a necessary ingredient for bigotry to occur. The African Slave Trade was not the result of white European or American trauma, neither was the death of millions of Congolese under King Leopold the result of Belgian trauma. Both were the end result of learned bigotry and a handed down sense of superiority and entitlement, and a sense of fear of the "savages" they were oppressing. The whites in this case were not victims of trauma, although the bigotry itself may have cased some fear. If you think that others are your inferiors morally and intellectually then you would naturally fear them and fear giving them any power over their own condition.

      Everything that is happening today in Israel/Palestine was foreshadowed by what happened when the Zionists first launched their conquest of Palestine. It did not change abruptly because of something that happened nearly 50 years later. The bigotry, the sense of superiority over the native Palestinians, the fear of the native "robbers and murderers", as the Arab Palestinians were often called by the newly arrived Zionist pioneers, the sense that Palestine belonged only to the Jews and that they had a right to take it back by force --all of that existed well before the Holocaust. And the Zionist attitude towards the European Jews was largely indifferent unless they had Zionist beliefs and could become productive members of the New Yishuv.

      Nothing seriously changed in the last 115 plus years in regards to the bigotry of Zionist Jews in Israel/Palestine. It was passed down through the generations well before the 1940's. Calling it Holocaust trauma is a cop out that simply condones and excuses the learned and enforced bigotry. The majority of Israeli Jews are not victims of anything but their own hatreds.

    • Still not buying it, seafoid. There are numerous countries and hundreds of millions of people who have gone through horrendous wartime trauma. There is nothing special about Jewish trauma. And Jewish trauma does not need to, nor does it in all cases (or even necessarily in most cases), manifest itself in attitudes and acts of bigotry and violence. Its a cop-out.

    • Hophmi's the Jewish equivalent of a white nationalist, decrying Phil as a "race traitor" for criticizing immoral behavior when it is committed or condoned by other Jews. Apparently Hophmi thinks that Jews don't have any self-identity outside of being Jewish. In other words, he's the anti-semite, not Phil.

    • Good points, Elliott.

      I don't think its trauma. Trauma is merely the excuse for pre-existing bigotry. "I can't be a bigot because I'm a victim" even if he or she has only ever grown up in Israel as the legally dominant ethno-religious group, or in the US, where the discrimination against Jews was much less than the discrimination against any other non-Anglo-Saxon ethnic group, or against women. It's a method of tribal adhesion through a culture of victimhood. Those who disagree are threatened with ostracism from the group.

      And, in any case, all ethnic and religious groups can likewise have members who are victims and members who are victimizers. And even bigots can be victims . They are not mutually exclusive despite widespread belief that they are.

    • So why all the upset about Phil's article and the fact that Vdare or Stormfront might quote it? Is the article itself unfair? If so, then why worry? Is the truth to be denied because someone might distort it? Isn't it better to share the truth rather than insist that ethnic solidarity demands that Jews must all agree with the likes of hophmi that Israel is the most wonderful place and Jewish individuals or groups have never sought power for their own selfish concerns or falsely claimed an intellectual or moral superiority or ever indulged in bigoted thought and word? Resentment is more likely to come when an ethnic or religious group refuses to acknowledge their own prejudices and failings. Resentment towards whites in general was no doubt much much higher when the majority of them refused to admit their own prejudices and how they negatively affected non-whites and refused to deal with the inequities. Why does a similar lesson not apply to Jews?

      Frankly Hophmi's racist screeds here, particularly under this post, sound just as hateful as the average screed from the likes of white nationalists. How do you react to Hophmi's attempts to shame Phil for being, in white nationalist parlance, a "race traitor"? Is it just a "shtick" of hophmi's, like Shmully Hecht's "shtick", whereas when Vdare flips the scenario around its a dangerous situation? Refusal to see that racism or bigotry of any variety, including Jewish racism, exists and should be called out doesn't solve the problem. You accept Jewish racism as a quirk or a "shticK" that you can dialogue with rather than something you should expose as wrong, lest hate groups learn that Jews aren't a monolith.

      People that grouse about it are often frustrated with their own or their groups lack of power, not power itself.

      Sometimes, but in the case of Israel, the "grousing" has more to do with the abuse of power, and the refusal on the part of numerous powerful Jewish groups to even admit that they have power and are wielding it to commit immoral acts based on bigotry. I'm sure if Phil thought that Jewish power was a strong net positive in the world he would be trumpeting it rather than criticizing it. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, it is a strong net negative, and so deserves his criticism.

    • Hophmi must be a veritable wizard at interfaith out-reach.

      Yes he is. Here's a gem from the past.

      I could care less that Christian killed Christians in endless intraChristian wars. It only goes to show that the religious hatred they showed for the Jews was similar to how they treated one another. - See more at: link to

      He doesn't care a wit about Palestinians killed by Israeli Jews, either. Except to excuse it and blame the victims. A veritable saint of a Jewish bigot. That's our hophmi.

  • Leading NY institutions discuss the Nakba -- and there is not a Palestinian in sight
    • About those long quotations ‘tree’ hauls out..
      ...They pertain to tactics discussed or adopted in 1936 and later. This does not tell us much about the central thrust of Zionist thinking prior to that time.

      Most of my comment concerned 1937 because it was in response to jon's feigned ingenuousness regarding Ben Gurion's intent in the 1937 and 1938 quotes that amigo posted.

      Many commenters here have made intelligent and moral arguments to refute your claims that the Zionists were "provoked", but I would like to add a few particulars regarding earlier ZIonist actions that prove that its "tactics" in 1937 were no different from its basic tenets in decades earlier.

      Besides the quote from Herzl supporting the transfer of the indigenous people living in his proposed Jewish State , which was made in the late 1800's, at a time and place where no Arab "provocation' was made or even imagined, I also included the forced displacement of Palestinian tenant farmers on JNF acquired land, which began in the early 1900's.

      The restrictive covenants of the JNF, which was founded in 1901, stated that no non-Jew would be allowed to own or work on JNF lands, nor could that land ever be subsequently sold to non-Jews. The Zionists for the most part were able to enforce that covenant despite the fact that tenant farmers had rights to work the land they had inhabited under Ottoman law. Negotiations were entered into to "encourage" the indigenous tenant farmers to abandon their rights. Ilan Pappe describes the attitudes of these early Zionists from their letters and diaries:

      Cleansing of the land of its farmers and tenants was done at first through meeting in the Zionist madafa [my note: guest tents set upfor negotiations] and then by force of eviction in Mandatory times. The "good" Palestinians were those who came to the madafa and allowed themselves to be evicted. Those who refused were branded robbers and murderers. Even Palestinians with whom the settlers sometimes shared ownership of horses or long hours of guard duty were transformed into villains once they refused eviction.

      "The Idea of Israel", Ilan Pappe, page 31

      With the coming of the Second Aliyah (1904-1914) the concepts of "Conquest of Labor" took hold along with the earlier "Conquest of the Land", which cemented the idea of refusing to allow Arab workers or produce into the New Yishuv . I've quoted David Hacohen many times before but its worth a repeat here to show just how early the Zionist attempt to displace the indigenous population began, well before any real "provocation" against the Zionists occurred.

      "I remember being one of the first of our comrades to go to London after the First World War … There I became a socialist … When I joined the socialist students – English, Irish, Jewish, Chinese, Indian, African – we found that we were all under English domination or rule. And even here, in these intimate surroundings, I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism, to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my trade union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they not buy at Arab stores; to defend the fact that we stood guard at orchards to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there. … To pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash the Arab eggs they had bought; to praise to the skies the Kereen Kayemet [Jewish Fund] that sent Hanlon to Beirut to buy land from absentee effendi [landlords] and to throw the fellahin[peasants] off the land – to buy dozens of dunams 12 from an Arab is permitted, but to sell, God forbid, one Jewish dunam to an Arab is prohibited; to take Rothschild, the incarnation of capitalism, as a socialist and to name him the “benefactor” – to do all that was not easy. And despite the fact that we did it – maybe we had no choice – I wasn’t happy about it "13.

      link to

      These should disabuse any serious intellect from believing that Zionist interest in marginalizing and dispossessing the native Palestinians was merely a reaction to Palestinian "provocation" or just a "tactic" rather tnan a basic policy that predated any interaction with actual Palestinians. However, if you'd like more examples of this attitude, Neil, just ask and I can provide many more examples of the centrality of the concept of the dispossession of the native population in favor of foreign Jews embedded within the founding ideology of Zionism.

    • jon,

      Intentionally clueless? The exact word isn't there but the intent is obvious to anyone who isn't purposely trying to be obtuse.

      You want more info to make it clear what BG was saying? In 1937 the British Peel Commission proposed a partition of Mandate Palestine and transfer of populations.

      The idea of population transfer was briefly placed on the Mandate's political agenda in 1937 by the Peel Commission. The commission recommended that Britain should withdraw from Palestine and that the land be partitioned between Jews and Arabs. It called for a "transfer of land and an exchange of population", including the removal of 250,000 Palestinian Arabs from what would become the Jewish state,[75] along the lines of the mutual population exchange between the Turkish and Greek populations after the Greco-Turkish War of 1922. According to the plan "in the last resort" the transfer of Arabs from the Jewish part would be compulsory.[76] The transfer would be voluntary in as far as Arab leaders were required to agree with it, but after that it would be almost inevitable that it would have to be forced upon the population.[77]

      According to Nur Masalha, heavy Zionist lobbying had been necessary for the Peel commission to propose this "in the last resort" compulsory transfer. Shertok, Weizmann and Ben-Gurion had travelled to London to talk it over, not only with members of the commission, but also with numerous politicians and officials whom the commission would be likely to consult.[78] This solution was embraced by Zionist leaders.[79] Masalha also says that Ben-Gurion saw partition only as an intermediate stage in the establishment of Israel, before the Jewish state could expand to all of Palestine using force.[80]

      According to Morris, Arab leaders, such as Emir Abdullah of Transjordan and Nuri as-Said of Iraq, supported the idea of a population transfer.[81] However, while Ben-Gurion was in favor of the Peel plan, he and other Zionist leaders considered it important that it be publicized as a British plan and not a Zionist plan. To this end, Morris quotes Moshe Sharett, director of the Jewish Agency's Political Department, who said (during a meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive on 7 May 1944) to consider the British Labour Party Executive's resolution supporting transfer: "Transfer could be the crowning achievements, the final stage in the development of [our] policy, but certainly not the point of departure. By [speaking publicly and prematurely] we could mobilizing vast forces against the matter and cause it to fail, in advance.... What will happen once the Jewish state is established—it is very possible that the result will be the transfer of Arabs."[82]

      All of the other members of the JAE present, including Yitzhak Gruenbaum (later Israel's first interior minister), Eliyahu Dobkin (director of the immigration department), Eliezer Kaplan (Israel's first finance minister), Dov Yosef (later Israel's justice minister) and Werner David Senator (a Hebrew University executive) spoke favorably of the transfer principle.[83] Morris summarises the attitude of the Jewish Agency Executive on 12 June 1938 as: "all preferred a 'voluntary' transfer; but most were also agreeable to a compulsory transfer."[84]

      At the twentieth Zionist Congress, held in Zurich in August 1937, the Peel Commission's plan was discussed and rejected on the ground that a larger part of Palestine should be assigned to them. According to Masalha, compulsory transfer was accepted as morally just by a majority although many doubted its feasibility.[85] Partition, however, was not acceptable for Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund, who said, "The Arab people have immense areas of land at their disposal; our people have nothing except a grave's plot. We demand that our inheritance, Palestine, be returned to us, and if there is no room for Arabs, they have the opportunity of going to Iraq."[86]

      The immediately succeeding Woodhead Commission, called to "examine the Peel Commission plan in detail and to recommend an actual partition plan" effectively removed the idea of transfer from the options under consideration by the British, and the 1939 White Paper proposed a complete end to immigration.

      According to Masalha "the defeat of the partition plan in no way diminished the determination of the Ben-Gurion camp ... to continue working for the removal of the native population."[87] In November 1937 a Population Transfer Committee was appointed to investigate the practicalities of transfer. It discussed details of the costs, specific places for relocation of the Palestinians, and the order in which they should be transferred. In view of the need for land it concluded that the rural population should be transferred before the townspeople, and that a village by village manner would be best.[88] In June 1938 Ben-Gurion summed up the mood in the JAE: "I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it." Regarding the unwillingness of the British to implement it, land expropriation was seen as a major mechanism to precipitate a Palestinian exodus. Also the remaining Palestinians should not be left with substantial landholdings.[89]

      link to

      More on the Jewish Agency's 1937 Population Transfer Committee:

      On the heel of the Peel Committee recommendations, the Jewish Agency created the Population Transfer Committee with an impressive list of executive members, one of whom was Dr Kurt Mendelson from Holland considered to be ‘the expert on the question of population transfer’. He would divide the Palestinian Arabs into 3 categories to be cleared in the first stage of the Transfer Plan:

      1. Tenant farmers.
      2. Landless villagers working as agricultural labourers.
      3. Farmers who owned less than 3 dunums per capita.

      To resettle these people, the Transfer Committee calculated that 1.15 million dunums would have to be purchased in Transjordan and that it would take nearly 10 years to complete the transfer.

      Ben-Gurion opted instead for a total evacuation of Arabs from the proposed Jewish state. He said that he looked at the Jewish part only as a provisional solution “on the basis that after we build a strong force following the establishment of the state, we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel”.

      One executive member of the Jewish Agency concurred: “...we will not achieve this by preaching sermons on the mount, but by machine-guns which we will need”. Some Committee members even opposed the idea of partition itself and argued for a single state for the Jewish people: “We cannot begin the Jewish state with a population of which Arabs constitute almost half of the population…Such a state cannot survive even for half an hour”.

      Fearing moral backlash from world opinion against forced expulsion of the Palestinian population, the debate considered ways of how to contain such a possible backlash. But this did not deter one Committee member to volunteer: “If you ask me whether it is moral to remove 60,000 families from their place of residence…I will say to you that it is moral. I am ready to come and defend the moral side of it before the Almighty and the League of Nations”.

      Ben-Gurion closed the debate: “I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it.

      link to

      And of course from its very beginnings the Zionist movement sought to remove Palestinian tenant farmers from their land, to deny employment to non-Jewish Palestinians, and to "spirit the penniless population across the border".

      Please don't try to pretend that the expulsion of the native non-Jewish population was not one of the basic tenets of the Zionist movement. It's a form of Nakba denial.

  • Netanyahu speech is 'destructive' of 'bipartisan, immutable relationship' between US and Israel, Rice says
  • Israel turns off power to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the dead of winter
    • And have a debt of over $ 500 million, which is threatening to the stability of the Israel Electric Corporation

      LOL. If you really are an Israeli then you are completely in the dark, pun intended, about the circumstances surrounding the Israeli government owned Israel Electric Company.

      It is currently in the red by over 73 billion NIS (73 billion NIS as of August of 2014 and continuing to grow).

      The debt owed by the PA is less than 2% of IEC's total debt. The IEC's stability is not being caused by that 2%, which has now been paid out of Palestinian tax revenues. It is threatened by the other 98% of its debt, which has nothing to do with the Palestinians.

      Here's an article from 2012 on the IEC's problems.

      link to

      Things haven't improved since then.Here's the JPost from August 2014 on the small portion of the IEC debt owed by the PA.

      link to

  • Israel's new Asian allies
    • Look who popped in just to make a fool of himself.

      He popped in to illustrate my point that he, among others, readily ignores the anti-semitism that comes out of the mouths of right wing Zionists like JeffB. JeffB went on at great length about how all Jews bear responsibility for the actions of Israel, etc, etc, but TBK never thought twice about that. Zionists are allowed to make such statements in his world. But just let TBK think he detects a whiff of anti-semitism from a non-Zionist non-Jew and out comes the invective and the comparisons to Stormfront.

      Frankly, I've rarely if ever seen the usual "liberal" Zionists here personally disagree in the comments section with any of the more right wing Zionist commenters. One might logically conclude that liberal ZIonists would consider the right wing commenters more of a threat to the continuation of their genteel ethnocentrism, but apparently their sense of tribal unity overshadows logic in these instances. Or perhaps it has more to do with their own unacknowledged bigotry towards non-Jews. More often than not Hophmi, Yonah and TBK prove to be on a hair trigger against any perceived sense of anti-semitism coming from someone who is not Jewish and/or not Zionist, but willing to overlook and excuse any anti-semitism or bigotry against non-Jews no matter how obvious or heinous if it comes from the mouths or actions of Zionist Jews.

  • Netanyahu flips off Harry Truman
    • no weapons from the United States during its War of Independence.

      According to JeffB (and granted you have to take a lot of what he says with a large grain of salt) Zionists did get weapons from the US.

      Quoted from JeffB on another thread:

      In the mid 1940s the USA policy was to support the arms boycott. My great uncle abused his ties with the army to help get weapons to Palestine. This wasn't something he kept secret after the war but is the highpoint of his life in terms of heroism. It is what he is remembered for by neighbors and nephews like me. Jews weren't powerful enough to do anything about the holocaust. But we were powerful enough to make sure the refugees who survived the camps didn't die in Palestine and thus help prevent round 2. - See more at: link to

      Of course, as is often the case, JeffB included a lie in his above statement. Zionists who were in control of the American DP camps threatened the Jewish refugees in those camps with loss of livelihood and food rations, and in some cases physical violence if those who were of draft quality didn't "volunteer" to go to Palestine to fight in 1948-9.

      Those Jews not of draft age or health were considered unqualified to go to Palestine at that time by the Jewish Agency and its organization in the DP camps. See Grodzinsky's"In the Shadow of the Holocaust:The Struggle Between Jews and Zionists in the Aftermath of World War II".

      Israel didn't institute the "Right of Return" for all Jews until 1950. And as Shira Robinson points out in "Citizen Strangers", that law was enacted mainly to give automatic citizenship to the Jews who already resided in Israel while purposely delaying any law provided citizenship to non-Jews, so as to minimize as much as possible the number of Palestinian non-Jews in Israel and to severely limit their rights in the new state.

      Most of the Jews in the DP camps chose to go elsewhere than to Israel and did so, no thanks to Zionists who preyed on them in the DP camps and abused them in Israel.

      As for Israeli treatment of the DP camp refugees in 1948, here's Ilan Pappe:

      "The leadership felt that indeed immigrants, in order to become part of the community, have to take part in the military effort, whether they were able to do so or not didn't interest anyone. What was interesting, what was important for them is to show this is the highest level of commitment. I remember one sentence of David Ben Gurion who said, "There is a problem with the holocaust survivor. They haven't yet sacrificed anyone in the defense of the homeland." He wanted them to have martyrs, people who died defending the homeland. He thought this would put them on par, on an equal level with the veteran Sabras, the heroic soldiers of the Haganah. "

      link to

      So much for Jeff's crap about making sure "the refugees who survived the camps didn't die in Palestine."

      My recollection is that officially the US observed the arms boycott against both sides of the conflict in 1948, but unofficially people like Jeff's uncle were able to skirt the boycott. The Palestinians were at a distinct disadvantage because of the failure of the Great Revolt a decade before, which Britain crushed by pretty violent means and left the Palestinians with few weapons to defend themselves. The neighboring Arab states had small armies and did not even allocate all of their troops to the war. They also suffered from the arms boycott. The Zionists were able to procure weapons from Europe despite the arms boycott and had superior numbers in their army, thus putting them at a a significant military advantage in the war.

      In case you forgot, 33 countries voted for partition, including the Soviet Union.

      And many of those countries were coerced by the US into voting for partition. In any case, the UN Partition Plan specifically set out the rights of the residents of each partitioned state and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was in gross violation of the Plan. And Israel claimed more land than was allotted to it under the plan. The US did little to nothing to actually enforce the particulars of the UN Plan, and by doing so enabled what was in essence a Zionist putsch and an enormous violation of the human rights of the indigenous Palestinians.

  • Jewish groups that blindly support Israel make US and European Jews potential victims of violence -- Avnery
    • Why do you continue to give JeffBeee a free pass on anti-Semitism?

      I've noticed the same selective judgment from hophmi and yonah (and occasionally TokyoBK) in the past. There was a poster named "eee" who used to constantly insist that the only real Jews were those who supported Israel 100%, and he tried to personally excommunicate several other Jews here, including Phil, Shmuel, Hostage, and a few others who criticized Israeli actions. Never a peep from either one of the "liberal Zionists" here arguing that not all Jews felt the same way, but of course if an anti-Zionist, or even a non-Zionist or a non-Jew, said the same thing, oh my God, the invective would flow, and the A-word would fly high and mightily.

      The only way I can understand the phenomenon is to suppose that hophmi really doesn't mind gross over generalizations about Jews as long as its couched in approving terms by a Jew who claims to care deeply about "the Jews". (As opposed to caring about individual Jews or even groups of Jews, whom they would quickly wish under the bus if those people don't follow the Zionist group think). Which is why, despite their stated desire to "dialogue", they really don't feel any need to disagree with Zionist Jews to the right of them, despite the prevalence of anti-semitic tropes coming from the mouths of more right-wing ZIonist posters here.

  • Leaked e-mails show that Israeli consulate, StandWithUs tried to thwart Northwestern divestment (Updated)
    • Well if you want examples there are multiple ones where representatives from the Territory of Utah addressed congress over the objections of Democratic Presidents.


      Philadelphialawyer asks for an instance of the heads of State of Japan or South Korea addressing the Congress over the objection of the US President, and JeffB comes up with the (US) Territory of Utah as an example. Gotta love the inanity of Jeff's arguments!

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