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Total number of comments: 4519 (since 2009-07-30 20:36:23)


Showing comments 4519 - 4501

  • Amnesty: Killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was 'extrajudicial execution'
    • Little known historical fact: The Soweto Uprising in 1976 South Africa started as a protest by high school students against a new decree by the government that Afrikaans must be the language of instruction in all black high schools. Another fact from the uprising- the students threw stones at police in response to tear gas. What is most remembered is that the South African police then shot over a hundred of the 20,000 some students who protested.

      I think many people agree the oppressed had a right to protest having to use the language of the oppressor, and they had a right to throw stones without being shot and killed. Too bad the usual apologists for Israel don't apply the same reasoning to Palestinians that they are willing to apply to black South Africans.

    • JRD

      One thing you will notice if you post here regularly is that the clearing of comments is rather haphazard. The place is understaffed for moderators and they aren't always available so there may be a backlog. Then, when someone is available and comments do get cleared, they don't always get cleared in the order in which they are posted.Sometimes new comments get cleared before older comments or comments on a more active thread are cleared faster than those on other threads. And a few longtime posters have their comments cleared in a more streamlined system. I'd suggest not taking it personally. It isn't intended that way, its just a part of the vagaries of a small volunteer moderation system.

  • How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror
    • A day after deir yassin 78 docters etc. where murdered in the Hadassah convoy. No arab leader condemned the massacre.

      From Wikipedia( yes I know its not the best source, but in this case it provides valuable context):

      The Hadassah convoy massacre took place on April 13, 1948, when a convoy, escorted by Haganah militia, bringing medical and military supplies and personnel to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus was ambushed by Arab forces.[1][2]
      Seventy-eight Jewish doctors, nurses, students, patients, faculty members and Haganah fighters, and one British soldier were killed in the attack. Dozens of unidentified bodies, burned beyond recognition, were buried in a mass grave in the Sanhedria Cemetery. The Jewish Agency claimed that the massacre was a gross violation of international humanitarian law, and demanded action be taken against a breach of the Geneva Conventions.[1] The Arabs claimed they had attacked a military formation, that all members of the convoy had engaged in combat, and that it had been impossible to distinguish combatants from civilians. An enquiry was conducted. Eventually an agreement was reached to separate military from humanitarian convoys.[2]

      More on the inquiry:

      (T)he Jewish Agency requested that the Red Cross intervene over what they called a grave Arab violation of the conventions. An inquiry conducted among the Arabs, Jews and the British suggested the circumstances were more complex. The firefight had lasted several hours, indicating that the convoy was armed. The Arabs claimed that they had attacked the military formation by blowing up the armoured cars. They were unable to make a distinction between military and civilians because, they maintained, all the Jews, including the medical personnel, had taken part in the battle.[2] The Jews claimed that they had the right to protect their medical convoys with troops. They admitted in the end, according to Jacques de Reynier, that they had been relieving the unit at the Hadassah hospital and furnishing the troop there with ammunition with the same convoys as those of the Red Shield. This practice was justified, they said, because the role of that troop was exclusively one of defending the hospital. De Reynier repeated the position of the Red Cross, that a mobil medical unit must move around unarmed and always separately from combat units. One had a choice between having recourse to armed protection or the protection of the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross flag. Both staging troops in a position of strategic importance, and refurnishing them with supplies, de Reynier argued, had nothing to do with the hospital's functions. The Jewish Agency had been prepared to have the troop stationed there withdrawn and its protection entrusted to the Red Cross, but was overruled by the Haganah, which insisted that convoys to the hospital could not pass unless they went under military escort. De Reynier then volunteered to put this to the test with a practical proof that an unarmed convoy could pass. The following day, without warning the Arabs, he led a small column of vehicles, under a Red Cross flag, while the following cars displayed the red shield. Their passage passed without a shot fired, and de Reynier argued that this was proof that the Arabs respected the Red Cross. The result was that leaders on both sides eventually ordered that military operations were to be separated from activities associated with medical assistance and the Red Cross.[2]

      link to

    • To be completely factual the 254 number was quoted at the time by members of the Irgun and Lehi, who were responsible for the massacre. Apparently no one at the time asked the surviving villagers how many were killed.

      Several decades later, in 1988, in a research study from the Palestinian Bir Zeit University, the surviving villagers of Deir Yassin were actually asked to number and name those who were killed. According to villagers' memories the number killed was 107. Pretty much immediately afterwards this new lower number was glommed onto by various and sundry Zionists , including the ZOA. (Perhaps the first case of the ZOA accepting Palestinian sources.) Of course in this case it was because the 1988 Palestinian figures were lower than the professed Irgun numbers reported by international newspapers immediately after the massacre.

      At present time some Zionist apologists even try to imply that the larger number was the result of "Arab propagandists" rather than from the perpetrators themselves, and ignore the fact that the lower number was the result of a Palestinian study, not an Israeli one. The GOI has still refused to declassify any documents (including pictures taken after the massacre) from Deir Yassin, despite the fact that it is now nearly another 30 years past the usual 30 year mark for declassifying Israeli government documents.

      As a personal aside, I'm not sure that a number arrived at 40 years after the fact is necessarily the most accurate either. I would suspect it to be somewhat lower than the actual number, memories being what they are. So the number is probably somewhere in between the two figures, IMHO.

  • Israeli gov't used my image for propaganda purposes without my consent
    • not necessarily “adores” but might be ambivalent about experience with Israelis in general until she was pressured to reject any positive aspect to the GOI

      What "positive aspect" do you think she experienced? The 3 GOI military assaults on Gaza that she experienced since 2008? The repeated GOI rejections of her request for a permit to leave so she could study abroad ? The refusal of her request to visit her uncle in Ramallah before leaving? The fact that they didn't shoot her at the crossing?

      Why do apologists for Israel act as if there is some "positive aspect" to the GOI for Palestinians? Do they really think the rest of us are so stupid, or are they so brainwashed (or stupid?) that they believe it themselves?

  • Could Syria's revolution have been different?
    • Beezlebubelaroo..

      Really? You feel the need to resort to serial name calling to make your points? Give it up. You aren't impressing anyone here with your name calling and comparisons to Stalin. Why make this so personal? Either you have the facts or you don't. And right now your name calling only leads me to believe you don't.

  • 'NYT' misrepresents Iran's prediction about 'Zionist regime' to mean 'Israel'
    • And as for the ridiculous notion that AIPAC is (or was) the most ‘powerful lobby’ here is a LINK-[yes-i actually found cause to link] to a site that is most decidedly ANTI Israel ANTI Zionist and anti-everything that has to do with Israel-The Angry Arab citing a list of the top 10 nations paying for influence in the US government. So much for the protocols.

      I'm not sure whether your problem is poor reading comprehension or faulty logic. AIPAC is not a foreign country. Therefore it would not be on the list of top ten foreign governments paying for influence, or even on the list of bottom ten foreign governments. Its funny how lists work that way, but if your group doesn't fit the definition of the list, it doesn't appear on the list, no matter how much it spends.

      However, the fact that AIPAC et al spent some $40 million on just one issue this year means that if it was a foreign government it would be at the top of the list and the amount spent would be greater than the top 3 countries combined. If you add in all the associated pro-Israel lobbying groups' and PACs' 2015 spending it would dwarf that of all 10 of the foreign governments.

      P.S. you didn't link to the article you cited. You just copied and pasted. Here's what an actual link looks like:

      link to

      You can accomplish this yourself by copying the url for the article you wish to link and pasting it in your comment.

  • The Star of David is fair game
    • Sweetie, the flying pig in question had all 3 Abrahamic religious symbols on it, not just the Star of David. Only the Star of David on the pig received any vocal condemnation. So please explain how the 3 things are completely different and only the Star of David is found offensive, and also explain how you were completely clueless to the fact that the flying pig balloon had both the Crucifix and the Crescent and Star on it.

    • The Roger Waters flying pig not only had a Star of David on it; it also had a Crucifix, a Crescent and Star as well as a hammer and sickle, a dollar sign, a Mercedes symbol, a McDonald's sign and a Shell Oil sign.

      I can find no internet link to any objection to the Crescent and Star or to the Crucifix that were illuminated on the very same Waters' flying pig.

      link to

  • Racism in Arad: Mayor declares southern Israeli town off-limits to Africans
    • Lets be very clear that at the core of Jewish “ethnocentrism” is a great hatred/fear of Jews and non-Jews of a darker hue –

      But the level of fear of the non-Jew is much greater because the hatred of the non-Jew is greater. Jews of Arab or African descent are still considered Jews and thus not as significant a "demographic threat" as non-Jews are. Although the Ashkenazim might be disappointed to be outnumbered by the presumed "inferior" Mizrahim and Ethiopian Jews, in the final analysis they are all Jews and don't threaten the demographics of the Jewish State like the Palestinians, the foreign workers (including the Eastern European ones) and the African asylum seekers do.

      The mayor didn't ban Ethiopian Jews from the town of Arad. He banned African non-Jews. There's a difference in the level of discrimination one faces in Israel depending on the religious background of the person.

    • But its important to remember that the African Asylum seekers main "offense" against the Jewish State is that they aren't Jewish. Israel has been doing this kind of crap since its very beginnings, as did the early Zionists before its creation. They didn't need to "seize" an ugly American tradition (since abandoned thankfully) to do this. Its the nature of Zionism. Let's not try to morph this into white racism. Its Jewish ethnocentrism at its heart.

  • 'Jimmy Carter's cancer is God's punishment,' says leading Israeli newspaper
    • shorter yonah: ‘i’m the arbitrator of what is and is not news.’

      With addendum: 'I'm the expert on stupid.'

  • Pappé on apartheid, ideology, Chomsky, and the contradictions of "liberal Zionism"
    • Thanks for posting this, Henry. Pappe's got a great mind and he's funny too. I loved this bit:

      It is very interesting if you mentioned, you know, Democracy Now or The Nation. These are the venues where people who stretch the word Zionism to such an extent that if they would one day leave it, I do not want to be there to get it in the nose. It is like an elastic gum. They have really succeeded in remaining loyal to a basic Zionist idea and yet being very, very liberal and open-minded. I think what I am doing is too much for them. I just pinch the balloon and I say, “Guys, I am sorry, you cannot.” And I know they really mean well. They somehow believe that there could be a Jewish state and it could be liberal, it could be democratic. That Palestinians would be happy with that. [laughs] You know?

      Very inspiring interview.

  • Why the mainstream media is still ignoring Max Blumenthal's excellent book on Gaza
    • Furthermore, Hamas was not invited into negotiations for the "Egyptian" ceasefire, which was pretty much dictated to Egypt by Israel.

      On Monday night the press became aware that a ceasefire proposal was being crafted by the Egyptian government in negotiation with Israel and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The proposal was delivered to the Hamas leadership shortly before the deadline was to take into effect, and did not include the demands the Hamas party put forward already on the second day of the fighting, conditions that would score the group political capital, namely - the release of its rearrested fmembers, jailed in recent weeks by Israel, the lifting of the 8 year-long blockade on the strip, and the end of fire.

      link to

  • U.S. is even more implicated in Israeli settlement project than we thought
    • Non-Jews would are the spouses of Jewish aliyot are eligible for citizenship through the Law of Return.

      This is not true in the case of spouses who are Palestinian non-citizens, i.e. those from the West Bank or Gaza. Not only does Israel prevent these Palestinians from gaining citizenship, or even residency, if they marry Palestinian citizens of Israel, it also prevents Palestinian spouses of Israeli Jews from gaining citizenship as well as residency rights in Israel.

      Two well known examples of this are the husbands of Neta Golan, a well-known Israeli human rights activist and one of the founders of ISM, and Allegra Pacheco, an Israeli human rights lawyer. Both couples must reside in the Occupied Territories because they are not allowed to even live in Israel together.

      link to

  • Israeli minister says IDF should have fired on unarmed Palestinian protesters for humiliating a soldier
  • Jewish community is Humpty Dumpty-- it won't come back together again, and shouldn't
    • My apologies for the missing apostrophe, RoHa. I know the rule but plead an error of haste and hope the court will let me off with a lenient sentence, so to speak.

      (I'd add a smiley face except it might be considered a second offense.)

    • Tokyobk,

      This was your first mention of Weir in this thread, in a comment to Keith:

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

      You weren't likening her to Phil or Finkelstein or Shipman. You are trying to move the goalposts after the fact. You referred to her as one of Keith's "Jew-hobby heroes", implying that she was anti-semitic, like other people you earlier compared Keith to, such as Ford, Duke and Farrakhan. Your disclaimer at the end was a cheap attempt to imply while claiming not to accuse. Have you ever said that Phil was " perhaps on the line of some old school Jew clustering" ? No, just Weir, whom you have asserted numerous times you are ignorant about.

      BTW, I have a strong feeling that, if you actually did invite her, the clear leaders of the group would spend all their time accusing her of anti-semitism, so the discussion would be all about Jews again; "who gives a f**k about whats happening to the Palestinians, you said things that make us feel bad, so you are a bad person." What a waste of time that would be.

      ...Keith obviously thinks is some exclusive conversation that hides from critics of Israel or controversial speakers.

      If you think that you obviously haven't a clue what Keith has been saying, even though he explained it in detail. Hophmi called him an anti-semite and made a stupid lame-*ss remark about how it was the fault of "anti-semites" like Keith that Jews don't feel comfortable disagreeing about things in public. The reason Keith brought your name into the mix was because you have likewise accused Keith of being anti-semitic, although you couched the accusation in other words. You and hophmi are both most interested in the Palestinian issue on this blog in terms of what and who is and isn't anti-semitic. Hophmi's list is a tad bigger than yours, but the emphasis is the same. That's the source of Keith's rejoinder to Hophmi, not whether or not Eliezer hosts people who aren't Jewish or who criticize Israel.

      One more BTW: This enforced silence on disagreement on Israel or Iran perpetrated by "Jewish community leaders" is incredibly counterproductive. If the community is falsely implied to be uniform in opinion on these subjects then its all the more likely that people with little other knowledge to go on will believe that the entire community is monolithic and supports and approves every atrocity and oppression that Israel commits.

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

      If you think that you were "being very careful" then why did you even bring her into the conversation, each time mentioning that she had been accused of anti-semitism? In the first place, neither the formal JVP nor the ETO charges accuse her of anti-semitism or bigotry. But of course there are those who do accuse her of such, but not formally and not with any sound judgment on their part, imo. Phil has likewise been accused of being anti-semitic, as have many others. Do you feel the need to mention the accusation against him every time Phil's name comes up? No? Then why bring Weir into your discussion when talking about your fantasy of Keith's "Jew-hobbyists", among whom you earlier listed as Duke and Farrakhan (and Henry Ford and Martin Luther)? Putting her in the same grouping automatically assumes the charges, doesn't it? Caveat or not.

      And why repeat an accusation, even with caveats, when you have no knowledge about whether it is true or not? If you had heard that someone had been accused by another person of being a child molester but did not have any knowledge on which to base a decision on whether the charge was honest or not, would you consistently repeat that charge whenever you brought that person's name up? I think not. A charge of anti-semitism, even if totally false, can have an impact nearly as devastating. In fact the French President has given a speech which compares "anti-semitic" online speech with child pornography, and has proposed laws to treat it as such.

      link to

      If you want a quick primer on the Weir dispute without reading the large thread, i would suggest these two sources. One, the statement from JVP

      link to

      and two, the contrary analysis of the JVP statement, from Amith Gupta:

      link to

      If you don't care enough to find out the facts, then please don't repeat the accusation. For too many people the mere mention of the accusation is enough to convince them of the charge.

      As for the your "Jew-hobbyist" term, I think SIbiriak's comment on it was spot on. It comes across as a weasel word for anti-semite, and isn't helpful.

    • Page: 45
    • I don’t know anything about Weir to evaluate whether the accusations are correct or not imo, I do know she has been accused of clustering legitimate criticisms of Israel with old school Jew baiting.

      I find it odd, but yet somehow strangely predictable in your case, that someone who is so obsessed with anti-semitism, or "Jew-hobbyists" or "Jew-clustering", or whatever, hasn't bothered to read any of the voluminous thread on Weir, or her writings or speeches, etc. out of sheer purposeful ignorance but thinks its A-OK to repeat the accusations that are made by others. It isn't. If that's how lightly you pass on a serious allegation you claim to have no opinion on, an allegation that can ruin a person's life work by the way, then you shouldn't wonder why others see you as unduly obsessed with the topic.

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

      And we all know from Phil's article about his invitation that he was made to feel guilty about his work for justice and equality for Palestinians, that your introduction dealt first-off with the rift in the Jewish community on the subject of Israel, and that the first question you asked him at Eliezer was not about the plight of the Palestinians, but if he thought about how his work could encourage anti-semites. All the outward focus in that group dinner was on Jews. Palestinians were merely a backdrop to a discussion of whether Phil was doing something good for the Jews or not.

      I think Keith has hit a kernel of truth in comparing you to Hophmi. You may be a bit less bigoted and a bit more liberal but some of the prejudices are the same. I see that similarity as the reasoning behind Keith's fantasy, not whether or not you would host people that your Jewish Yale society would consider anti-semitic. Of course such an invite would give you yet another chance to talk about anti-semitism - and Jews. Despite your insistence that others here are "Jew-hobbyists" I think its a description that fits you better than most here.

    • TBK
      ...certainly Israel critics who are perhaps on the line of some old school Jew clustering such as has been accused about Weir (I don't know her work).

      Your accusations against Keith, et al, are quite ridiculous and unseemly, but at least they have a chance to respond here. Your swipe at Weir is beyond the pale.

      You said that you have no knowledge of the claims against her, nor any knowledge of her work, so why go so low as to mention her as if the claims against her might have merit? If you have no knowledge, and apparently no interest in knowing, anything about her, then shut the f*** up about "jew clustering", whatever that is, which is not even remotely what she is accused of doing. You aren't acquitting yourself well here. You seem instead to be haphazardly flaunting your prejudices while wildly accusing others of prejudice.

  • On the Road to Tantura: Interview with Hala Gabriel
    • Tree – the deflection tactic isn’t working

      jon, I gave you exactly the example you were asking for. An Arab neighborhood in Lod that was walled off, within the green line in Israel. How is that deflecting?

    • Benny Morris said in 2004 that millions of IDF documents from 1948 remain classified.

    • My understanding is that there are still some documents that have remained classified to this day. The pictures taken by the Haganah photographer immediately after the massacre at Deir Yassin are still classified, for one.

    • jon s,

      PHOTO: Wall separating Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in Lod is destroyed

      A section of a separation wall in central Israel was destroyed by unknown parties several days ago. The separation wall was built between the Arab Pardes Shanir neighborhood of Lod and the neighboring Jewish town of Nir Tzvti (both inside Israel).

      The wall, 1.5 km long and 4 meters high, was built in 2003, creating a symbolic and territorial partition between the Arab and Jewish residents. After the 50-meter long section of the wall was destroyed, police forces raided the Arab neighborhood and arrested several residents.

      link to

      Wall Separates Arabs And Jews In Israeli City

      link to

  • Israel's destruction of Mamilla cemetery part of effort to remove Palestine from Jerusalem
    • Thanks, just. I just noticed a typo I missed on first proofreading, though. The date of the article was November 22, obviously, since there is no such thing as November 33!

    • Hi Justin. Although his wording is sloppy, I suppose your friend is referring to the Palestine Post (Zionist newspaper of the day-now the Jerusalem Post) article from 1945 that claimed that the Supreme Muslim Council approved a Muslim plan to build a commercial center on part of the cemetery. There was just one article about it on November 33, 1945, no plans were ever approved, no construction was ever started, but Martin Hier of the Simon Weisenthal Center claimed that the one article proved that the cemetery was not considered sacred.

      I was pretty sure that your friend is wrong and that this factoid was mentioned here in the past, so I used the MW search function and came up with these results:

      link to

      One article in particular deals directly with this Palestine Post article:

      link to

      I'll excerpt from the article with 3 out of the 6 points it makes, that should answer your question:

      3) Referring to the 1945 Jerusalem Post article, Hier says that a "Supreme Muslim Council" had approved building on top of the Mamilla Cemetery. However, this Supreme Muslim Council (appointed by the British Mandate authorities) had no Muslim clerics among it and there also was no Mufti in office. Only a Mufti would have had the religious authority to approve building on the Mamilla Cemetery. It is part of the historical record that the last Supreme Muslim Council headed by a Mufti was dissolved by the British Mandate Authority in 1937.

      4)The 1945, non-clerical, British-appointed Supreme Muslim Council did not have the authority to issue a religious fatwa (or ruling) that would have had the power to make any big changes in the status quo. The only thing this 1945 SMC could do is administer Islamic waqf affairs.

      5) In 1944, the British Mandate put the Mamilla Cemetery on its list of Antiquities. The British Mandate was the only lawful governing authority at that time. Why would the put it on an antiquities list in 1944 and then allow the destruction of the cemetery the following year? Why doesn’t Hier say that the Mandate approved the building of this commercial center? Most likely because they did not.

      - See more at: link to

      I have not perused the other articles under the "Mamilla" search, but its probable that there may be mention of this issue in other articles as well.

      So you can tell your friend that MW addresses all issues, and debunks the ones that are false or red herrings. That is not a feature of a site that is "ferociously biased".

      And you might ask your friend where he got his information about the Palestine Post article, because that source of his clearly had much more of a bias, perhaps even a ferocious one, in not mentioning that the SMC was British appointed, had no Muslim clerics on it, and had no Mufti in 1945, since the Grand Mufti had been exiled in 1937.

      BTW, you can access the search feature for articles by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the upper right side of the page. You can also search comments from individual commenters for further information.YOu can do that by clicking on the commenter's name and then entering the search criteria when their comment page comes up. There are great articles here, but there is also a lot of information available from individual commenters if you know where to look.

      Hope this helps. Good luck with your friend.

  • A year after Shipman lost his Yale job for speaking out on Israel's actions, some Jews say the same thing
    • ...the shiboleth that all of European “antisemitism” was irrational and based solely on a racist hatred .

      Actually, TBK, that quote of Crowther's is lamenting the essentializing of non-Jews by certain bigoted Jews. You've got it exactly backwards. I'm not really surprised. You have yet to deal with your own prejudices.

    • My second point, which I am curious what you think about is that power/no power is also insufficient as a moral or even rational indicator of which group is fair game for critique.

      I agree. I meant to make that clear in my comment at August 26, 2015 5:07pm:

      "I happen to disagree to some extent with the “ancient prohibition”, as Phil terms it. I think criticism should not depend on whether someone is a member of a group with power or not, with the important caveat that the power situation should be considered when criticizing, and that the criticism should not be of an essentializing nature." See more at: link to

      As an example of criticism of those from a group with little power, I would say that it is fair criticism to speak of the PA leadership as ineffectual and corrupt but it would also be apropos to note that the occupation severely stifles open and transparent governing by Palestinians, and my other caveat would be that such criticism of the PA should not be used to essentialize Palestinians as being intrinsically incapable of governing themselves. I would apply a similar rationale to all groups, regardless of the power situation. I hope that makes my point clearer.

      My point is that I think Phil, who I guess I should add I like a lot as a person, and whose larger project I support, seems to be creating a Jewish shaped exemption from what would be his normal position on who gets to say what.

      I don't see it as a "Jewish shaped" exemption. He's saying that, in the US, Jews as a group have power, so the "ancient prohibition" doesn't apply to them at this point. I'm guessing that he thinks it still applies to those groups who don't have that kind of power. Therefore it isn't a "Jewish" exemption, its just a power exemption in his mind. But I'm not even sure that he agrees with the prohibition- only that he understands where it is coming from. I guess we'll have to wait and see if he chimes in to clarify.

    • OK, now I understand your point and can see the contradiction. I happen to disagree to some extent with the "ancient prohibition", as Phil terms it. I think criticism should not depend on whether someone is the member of a group with power or not, with the important caveat that the power situation should be considered when criticizing, and that the criticism should not be of an essentializing nature.

      In Shipman's case he was not criticizing an ethnic/religious group, he was criticizing Israel, which is a state. I haven't seen any hesitation to criticize African states, or Arab states, or any other state that might be demographically associated with a minority in the US, powerful or not, and certainly haven't seen anyone get fired for doing so.

      Shipman's comment, suggesting that Israel's actions, taken as the self-proclaimed State of all Jews everywhere, are creating anti-semitic feelings is simple truth and not an anti-semitic statement in itself. Just as Germany's and Japan's actions in WWII created anti-German and anti-Japanese feelings. Just as the Iran Hostage crisis created anti-Iranian feelings in the US many decades ago. (Personal note: an Armenian boyfriend I had way back then was harassed and arrested because the policeman stopping him for a minor traffic violation thought he was Iranian.) That's not to say that these feelings are right, but they are human and are ultimately one of the negative outcomes of the actions of states.

      Again, as Phil said, the firing of Shipman for saying what prominent Jews have said is a form of discrimination, although in this case I would call it religious rather than ethnic discrimination. That's what's important in all of this.

    • I've repeatedly tried to parse your statement, TokyoBK, and I still can't understand what you are trying to say.

      To me, the takeaway point from Phil's post is that Shipman got fired for saying the same thing that various prominent Jews have said without facing any significant negative repercussions. He was judged anti-semitic, not because of what he said, but because of who he is and isn't; he's Christian and not Jewish. There's a huge double standard on the issue with regard to what is considered acceptable speech, even if true.

      Phil is pointing that out.

  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
    • edit: your link doesn’t even go to the attack we’re discussing. i think there’s ample evidence from the video up there who had bad intentions for the day.

      Annie, TBK has already made it clear in the Roundtable thread that he doesn't bother reading the articles. He just goes prowling for "Jew hobbyists" among the commenters, whom he can then invite to his little club with the Rabbi with the racist "shtick", and pretend that the Rabbi's racism doesn't really count and isn't worth confronting. One might think that he'd have to understand the original post in order to understand the comments make in response but apparently not. It's probably one of those smell things.

    • Annie and Laurent, I think you are both mistaken about the Rue de Tournelle synagogue. I think the article Laurent linked to was wrong on so many points that it was most likely wrong on that, too.

      There was a firebombing two days earlier than the Sunday demonstration that happened on a Friday night at the entrance to a synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of France. I think that attack was falsely, or mistakenly, confused with what happened two days later after the demonstration against "Protective Edge" that ended at the Bastille in Paris on that Sunday.

      This is mentioned in the original MW report from last year:

      In an interview broadcast Friday on the 24-hour news channel i-Télé, Serge Benhaïm said that there was “not a single projectile thrown at the synagogue” and that “at no moment, were we ever physically in danger.” (“Pas un seul projectile lancé sur la synagogue”. “A aucun moment, nous n’avons été physiquement en danger.”)

      While Benhaïm did not describe the street fight outside as resulting from a JDL “provocation”, he did say that the extremist group smashed up a cafe on Rue de la Roquette (“le président de la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette confirme également que la LDJ a ‘cassé des chaises et des tables’) in order to confront pro-Palestinian demonstrators (“pour aller livrer ce face-à-face”). He added that he did not condone the action, and described the JDL as having a “bad reputation” using a French phrase — “une renommée un peu sulfureuse” — that is not done justice by a literal translation.

      Benhaïm added that he believes rumors of an attack on the synagogue were spread due to “‘confusion’ between the events that happened near a synagogue at Aulnay-sous-Bois” — a reference to a firebomb thrown at a synagogue in the northeast suburb two days prior to the July 13 demonstration.

      - See more at: link to

      The firebombing of the synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois was not connected with any demonstration. It appears it was a random act of vandalism, with no arrest made, and it was not as harrowing as one might expect from its description as a firebombing. I looked up the event on LeMonde, and this is the Google translation from the French:

      A Molotov cocktail was thrown on the night of Friday to Saturday, July 12, against a synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), causing no injuries and only causing little damage, a-t- was learned from sources. The Molotov cocktail, a small device made with a soda can was launched against the door of the synagogue of the Clermont-Tonnerre Street in the south of the city, said a police source.

      "No one was injured. There are only slight damage, "said Bruno Beschizza, UMP mayor of the municipality. According to police sources, "the door of the synagogue was a little blackened." "There was no other damage," Has it said.

      link to

    • ...the Jewish Establishment in France, which is supine and beholden to the French government

      CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France) is "supine and beholden" to the French government just as much as AIPAC is "supine and beholden" to the American government. Change it to the Israeli government and you might get a bit closer to the truth, but neither organization likes being told that they need to run for their lives to Israel, since they know its bullshit and they don't want to leave their home countries.

  • How my return to Zimbabwe redoubled my enthusiasm for BDS in Israel/Palestine
    • The Etsel Jewish underground attacked British military occupying forces in the King David Hotel and by hanging British servicemen in retaliation for the execution of Jewish underground fighters. My relatives were active in Etsel, it’s nice to know you think attacking military targets and personnel isn’t terror, but they’d be the first to admit that it was.

      You're whitewashing Etzel (also known as Irgun). The primary victims of Irgun attacks were Palestinian civilians. Between March 1937 and September 1939, Irgun was responsible for killing 504 civilians (mostly Palestinian but also some Jews). Many if not most deaths came from bombs set off in public markets throughout Palestine.

      And from July 1946 until April 1948 Irgun killed 318 civilians, including 75 of the 91 killed in the King David Hotel bombing who were not soldiers or policemen.

      link to

      ( I excluded any soldiers or policemen from my count of civilians killed, even when the soldiers killed were not engaged in hostile action at the time of their deaths.)

      For comparison, according to Btselem's casualty figures, in the 13 years from the start of the first intifada in 1987 until the start of the second intifada in 2000, a total of 271 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians. That's 504 killed in 2 and a half years by one terrorist group, the Irgun, in the late '30s, as opposed to a bit more than half that amount killed in those 13 years during the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

      link to

      For further information on Israeli civilians killed, if you combine the figures from 5 different time periods- first intifada to start of second intifada, prior to Cast Lead, during Cast Lead, after Cast Lead, and during Protective Edge the total number of Israeli (or foreign) civilians killed by Palestinians in the 28 years from 1987 to 2015 is 1109. Not several thousand, just slightly over one thousand.

      For figures on Palestinian civilians, I only include the years from the start of the second intifada until right before Protective Edge. For those years BTselem breaks down casualties between those Palestinians who did "not take part in hostilities", those for whom it is "not known if involved in fighting" and those who "took part in hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces". For fatalities between the first and second intifada, Btselem does not break down the figures in this way, making it harder to define the number of non-combatants. By counting up only the fatalities that Btselem was sure did not take part in hostilities, from September 29, 2000 until June 2015 (excluding those killed during Protective Edge, which Btselem has not yet conclusively grouped) the number of Palestinians civilian non-combatants killed in the last 15 years has been 3654. If we add in the estimates of the PCHR or other humanitarian groups of the numbers of Palestinian civilians killed during Protective Edge we get over 5000 killed in 15 years.

      link to

      As for the total number of Palestinian civilians killed since 1948, you'd have to count at least 90% of those killed in the early 1950's who were shot and killed trying to cross the border to return to their land and homes. Benny Morris estimated the number killed at 5000 during this time, and he and other historians say that at least 90% of that number were not engaged in retaliatory actions. You'd also have to include those who were killed in the massacre in Gaza that Israel committed in 1956, the Qibya massacre in 1953, the Kafr Kassem massacre also in 1953, the civilian deaths at Es Samu in 1966. the civilian casualties during and after the 1967 war, the deaths of the 1976 Land Day protests, the casualties from Israeli Jewish terror attacks in the early to mid 1980's, the Sabra and Shatilla massacre for which Sharon was found personally responsible by an Israeli commission, as well as other deaths caused by similar but smaller attacks by Israeli forces or civilians on Palestinian civilians. I'd put the number of Palestinian civilian deaths since 1948 at closer to 25,000. And that includes only those Palestinians who did not engage in hostilities despite their ongoing oppression over the past 67 years.

  • Beinart's fear of 'Israstine'
    • Palestinians living within Israel’s 1967 lines are not living in anything like Jim Crow conditions.

      Perhaps you missed this today, hophmi:


      BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 23 Aug — Israeli excavators on Sunday morning began work on infrastructure for two Jewish-only settlements in the former Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert in southern Israel, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that excavators and bulldozers were building a new road under heavy protection of Israeli forces. In November 2013, the Israeli government approved a decision to demolish the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran and passed plans to create two Jewish settlements, Hiran and Kassif, in the area. “There is no room for comments any more as we are not talking about racism, but rather, extermination of a 60-year-old town whose residents have been displaced three times,” a member of a local committee of the displaced Bedouin community, Raed Abu al-Qean, said. Umm al-Hiran is one of dozens of Bedouin villages which the Israeli government does not recognize. It is located in Wadi Attir east of Hurah village.
      - See more at: link to

      This is not in the West Bank or Gaza. This is in Israel, within the green line. And its worse than Jim Crow.

    • You must answer why it’s a good idea for the international community to create a state inhabited by two peoples who neither trust nor like one another in a region where peoples who dislike and do not trust each other in way Palestinians and Israelis dislike and mistrust one another tend to kill each other.

      Well, its almost 100 years too late but its good to see that you are against the Balfour Declaration. Maybe in another hundred years you'll finally get around to recognizing what a disaster Zionism was and is.

  • Omar Barghouti on Matisyahu: 'Perfectly reasonable to oppose performance by any bigot'
    • They should do nothing but Pink Floyd songs with Matisyahu singing the Roger water parts.

      ah, err, you do know that Roger Waters would get royalty payments for any of the 93 Pink Floyd songs that he had a hand in writing for any performance of those songs, right? I'm sure he'd be happy if Matisyahu recorded them. Maybe Miller the bigot would even learn something from them. In any case Waters could take that money to the bank, or even donated it to Palestinian charities if he so chose.

      Being the kind of thinker who considers morality a sport you no doubt would consider giving Waters money as an own-goal on your part. Be careful what you wish for.

  • 'New York Review of Books' offers Israel as a model to US on targeted killings and detention for terrorists
    • Mondoweiss did a post on this a year ago when the incident happened. The story of the synagogue being attacked was debunked then by videos and statements from the President of the Roquette Synagogue himself. Why Vanity Fair is falsely reporting on, and even embelishing, a bogus claim from over a year ago deserves an answer, as well as an apology and a retraction.

      Mondo post here:

      link to

      Particularly note the comments by Sumud, Walid, Sycamore, myself and others about the location of the first video ("attacque de la synagogue de la roquette") released, which was at first erroneously identified as taken from within the synagogue itself, and also comments from Alienkh, who was a participant in the original demonstration at the Bastille against Israel's attack on Gaza in July 2014.

  • 'There is no Jewish terror': Conspiracy theory that Palestinians committed Duma firebombing spreads among Israelis
    • Not only does he feel no sense of shame at the abuse of untermensch but believes that they must also allow him to walk the streets of segregated Hebron unhindered, with nothing but his bulletproof vest, helmet, assault rifle and Jewish superiority to protect him.

      Not that this redeems the soldier's statement in any way, but I think he was talking about the attacks on soldiers from the crazed settlers in Hebron, who have been known to attack and harass soldiers as well. It's mild compared to how they treat Palestinians of course, but that's not much of a caveat . I've read enough soldiers' testimonies to know that one of the many reasons that the typical IDF soldier does nothing to protect Palestinians or restrain the settlers is because they will get targeted by the crazies, and the government officials in their thrall, if he does so. Pretty chickenshit but the system is rigged against any caring, except for your own hide. Hebron is one of the most hated tours of duty for many IDF soldiers, and it has nothing to do with what Palestinians do.

      On the latest Israeli conspiracy story,just remember that blaming Palestinians for their own fatalities, injuries and miseries is an Israeli Jewish response with a long heritage. After all this time and information to the contrary, there is still a widespread belief that the Palestinians all left on orders of their leaders, to return when the Jews were all wiped out. Muhammed al Durra either wasn't really dead or was killed by his father or he never existed in the first place, or all three (bigotry has no truck with logic) during the second intifada. During the first intifada,Tirza Porat, an Israeli settler teen, was stoned to death by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Beita, even when she actually died from a stray bullet from an Israeli settler. It was the villagers fault and so they were solely to blame for the 3 villager deaths, the 14 village homes destroyed, and the 6 villagers exiled to Lebanon.

      ( For those of you who are not familiar with this see David Samel's description of the even here: link to )

      And then of course there's the "liberal" Israeli Zionist, for whom every death of a Palestinian in Gaza is the fault of Hamas, no matter if the IDF pulled the trigger or dropped the bomb, over and over and over again. Its a wonderful illusion of no Jewish accountability for anything bad that happens to Palestinians. Thus they can continue to hallucinate that the IDF is the "most moral army in the world" and there is no "Jewish terror".

  • Pittsburgh Jews say Obama will allow 'Second Holocaust' while Israel's ambassador openly lobbies Capitol Hill
    • That’s why there’s an Israel. Jews aren’t depending on other people to keep them safe anymore.

      Good grief, you can certainly spout some insanely obtuse crap, but posting this comment in a thread about Philadelphia Jewish groups warning that the US needs to quash the Iran deal or Israel will face a "Second Holocaust" is the height of cluelessness. Why is Israel running to the US to protect it? Because its depending on the US, and US Jews, to keep it safe. Israel is totally dependent on the US for funds, and diplomatic and military protection from the adverse effects of its own lunatic actions. Israel isn't protecting Jews; its a liability. You're just too much of an ethnic chauvinist to acknowledge the reality.

  • In latest thrust at Obama, Netanyahu names UN ambassador who trashed him and said Palestinians can have 'Facebook state'
  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • Secondly,no there is no such special rule on Weir. My position is due to the fact the documentation on Weir’s alleged ties with racist elements are easily accessible for review.

      Her so-called "alleged ties" amount to being interviewed on right wing internet radio and newspaper reports. As Amith Gupta has stated,

      "Weir has separately – and correctly — pointed out that JVP’s attacks would also implicate prominent American peace activist Ray McGovern; Palestine solidarity activist and journalist Jennifer Loewenstein; Israeli professor and author of “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” Ilan Pappe; journalist Dilip Hiro; Edward Said; Noam Chomsky; and parents of slain ISM activist Cindy and Craig Corrie."

      link to

      I'd add that under the JVP allegation, Yousef Munayyer could be charged with "ties" to right wing media because he has appeared at least twice on Fox, including on Bill O'Reilly's show.

      So the JVP "charge" is in fact a special rule applied only to Weir. And JVP made no mention of the fact that Weir has also appeared on right wing Israeli radio interviews. Of course JVP didn't accuse her of agreeing with racists when the racists were of the Zionist flavor, so obviously they either have selective and hypocritical rules on when appearing on right wing radio constitutes "ties" and "agreement" and when it does not.

      And speaking of Zionism, JVP, despite its insistence that it follows a policy of opposing all racism, still does not call itself anti-Zionist, and still refuses to associate with any group using anti-Zionist banners or slogans, such as AL-Awda and the Jewish Anti-Zionist network. And Rebecca Vilkomerson, the Executive Director of JVP, has appeared at the national conference of the liberal Zionist group J-Street, thus consorting with racists, although JVP officially refuses to make any statement equating Zionism with racism, even though it is most assuredly the most dangerous form of racism against the Palestinians as well as other Arabs.

      JVP is doing exactly what it accuses Weir of doing. Its entirely hypocritical on this matter. If it wants to work with Zionists that's its perogative, but to smear someone else in order to crush the fine work she is doing is the height of chutzpah, and counterproductive to the movement in the extreme. I have lost respect for both JVP and ETO on this issue.

      And BTW, despite insisting that you have read everything in this thread, you seem entirely ignorant of the fact that JVP has only just recently (earlier this year) endorsed full BDS, whereas Weir has done so since its very beginning in 2006. She has also endorsed the Palestinians Right of Return since her very first involvement. JVP has only endorsed such a right recently and still calls for negotiation of the that right.

      So JVP, despite claiming a complete anti-racist policy, does in fact interact with racists of the Zionist kind, including attempts to join Hillel campus organizations and then has the gall to claim that being interviewed by radio hosts or reporters that may have racist views is against their rules. Its all bullshit. They don't mind interacting with racists, they just can't bring themselves to acknowledge that Zionism is racism. It's a stand that is not at all conducive to ending the daily and violent racism that Palestinians face. If anyone needs to grow up and change on this subject it JVP, not Weir.

      And don't even get me started on the insensitive and clueless speech that JVP Rabbi Alissa Wisse gave at the Friends of Sabeel conference a few months ago.

      link to

      And on a side note, personally I think that lately the Rebuilding Alliance, despite its shoestring nature and limited scope, has done more to rally support in Congress than ETO has over the past several years. I much prefer to give them my money.

    • If you have to resort to pandering to racists for support, what sort of goal are you trying to achieve??

      So your point is that appearing on a right wing radio show is the same as "pandering to racists for support"? It seems like a strawman argument to me. Do you hold the same for others, including representatives of JVP and ETO, who have appeared on such shows? Or is this a special rule that applies only to Alison Weir?

      And do you likewise consider JVP's acceptance of Zionists in its membership, and its and ETO's refusal to acknowledge Zionism as a form of racism, as pandering to racists for support? Why is it acceptable to pander to the one racism that is the preeminent cause of the Palestinians' plight but verboten to even mention the Palestinian plight to those who have not been properly vetted as being pure of any other possible racism? Your arguments aren't consistent or logical.

      As an aside to Henry Norr, thanks for providing that new info. Much appreciated.

    • mcohen, your first link goes to an empty search page, but yes, the eto charges against Weir have been posted and discussed here and your second link has also been posted here and discussed. A large portion of the discussion here has been refuting the eto charges. If you'd like a quick summary of the refutations, rather than reading the whole thread, try this link:

      link to

      to think that i have wasted my time reading all this rubbish…what a waste of space and time .

      Bullshit. You just proved that you haven't read this thread by asking if things that were already posted here had been posted. You've managed to be both obtuse and transparent at the same time. Congrats on your dubious achievement.

    • I think you are misinterpreting Atzmon, Sibiriak, but in the interest of abiding by the desires of this website, and also in the interest of not forcing annie to moderate an off topic discussion, I'll leave it at that.

      Specifically on-topic I'd like to post a video of Alison Weir talking at Binghamton University in May 2015 so people can judge for themselves what Alison is like.

      link to

      And I'd like to juxtapose that with this speech from Rabbi Alissa Wisse at a Friends of Sabeel Conference in April of 2015.

      link to

      I don't think Wisse had even a clue as to how condescending she was or how bigoted her speech was. But, especially since she was addressing the Friends of Sabeel, which is a group in support of a Christian Palestinian organization(Sabeel) that is facing the desecration and burning of Churches, as well as the violent oppression of Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, her suggestion that Christians should contemplate "Christian hegemony" by

      "doing the hard work of examining the legacy and current realities of anti-Semitism – and Islamophobia – in Christian communities, and Christian dominance in our culture.

      For example, this could look like doing study groups about the legacy of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Christianity.

      It could look like workshopping ways Christian dominance manifests in our media, educational systems, and pop culture, for example, reflecting on questions such as:

      – Have you ever been given a school vacation or paid holiday related to Christmas or Easter when school vacations or paid Holidays for Ramadan or the Jewish High Holidays were not observed?

      – Are public institutions you use, such as offices, buildings, banks, parking meters, the post office, libraries, and stores, open on Fridays and Saturdays but closed on Sundays?

      – Is the calendar year you observe calculated from the year designated as the birth of Christ?

      – Have you ever seen a public institution in your community, such as a school, hospital, or city hall, decorated with Christian symbols (such as Christmas trees, wreaths, portraits or sculptures of Jesus, nativity scenes, “Commandment” displays, or crosses)?

      I mean, really, there are people being physically and psychologically crushed in Israel/Palestine by "Jewish hegemony" and she thinks that a day off on Sunday is important enough to suggest to a group of Palestinian solidarity activists as something they should "workshop" about? Cluelessly condescending and insulting.

      And then she ends her speech thusly:

      May we be part of the transformation of a painful history of Christian anti-Semitism and of Jewish trauma by working together to realize justice, equality and freedom, not just for Israelis and Palestinians, but for all people.

      My work alongside Christians is an important challenge to those dangerous and disempowering messages I learned growing up. I no longer believe Jews are inevitably alone in the world, but in fact quite the opposite. I now see just how much we are there for each other.

      "Christian anti-semitism" and "Jewish trauma". No mention of Jewish antigoyism, even though it is the overriding problem confronting Palestinians for the last 100 years or so. She also calls the "learning" she got in Jewish day school as "dangerous and disempowering messages", rather than the appropriate term for such lessons, which would be Jewish bigotry.

      At that Jewish Day School, education about the Nazi Holocaust was a centerpiece of our learning. In High School, I visited Auschwitz, Majdonek and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps with my Jewish youth movement. We were told stories of how the Christian world was complicit in Nazism and their crimes.

      I was looking over an old Mondo post from 2012 I think and in it I mentioned that many Jews were taught exactly what Wisse admits she was taught. Of course at the time I was accused of making this up. I missed the comment that made that accusation at the time, and so did not respond. Funny how in looking back at 2012 that accusation came up right after I had just read Wisse's description of her Jewish day school experience.

      I certainly don't think Wisse should be banned or put in herem for her unacknowledged religious bigotry in that speech but I'm noticing more and more that quite a few anti-semitic accusations are really founded in unacknowledged Jewish racism and bigotry. Wisse seems completely oblivious of her own bigotry,

    • Thanks PTJ. Hasan is a superb interviewer. Did his homework and conducted a sharp but fair interview. Oh how I wish we had an American interviewer who could do even half as well as Hasan does, on any subject and with any interviewee.

      Here's another link to the "Head to Head" interview with WIstrich from Youtube

    • His argument was that the “Jewish left” is an oxymoron — one can be either a universalist or tribal, but one cannot be both.

      Just to clarify a bit to those who may not be familiar with Atzmon's argument, he isn't saying that a Jewish person who identifies as a leftist is an oxymoron.

      He is saying that a Jewish person who identifies as part of the "Jewish left" or as a "Jewish Marxist" is using a contradiction in terms, just as a person who called themselves a member of the "white left", or a "white Marxist", or a member "Christian left", or a "Christian Marxist" would be. As far as ethnicity or religion goes, they are both superfluous to being a leftist or a Merxist, who normally do not classify people according to their race or religion.

    • You know what other stories get less hits here than stories about Jewish Power? Stories about Palestinians.

      You're being stupid here, TBK, and you are not a stupid guy.First off, hits are not comments. One can avidly read a story and not have any comment to make. That would be the equivalent of a hit. You can likewise make a comment and not even have bothered to read the story; you are just responding to something someone said in the comment section, kind of like what you did here:

      Actually, I swooped in to make a comment about including O’Keefe on a list of people who have been accused -unfairly- of being antisemites.

      About Weir and JVP I have said nothing because I have no idea about the situation.

      So you didn't read the article itself, otherwise you would have had a least some idea about the situation. Apparently you must have had special alert set to warn you if the name of Ken O'Keefe showed up, which would explain how you could also read the comment section and still "have no idea about the {Weir/JVP} situation".

      You made several comments, first in response to one comment and then as part of a back and forth. Of course none of your comments had anything to do with the subject of the "roundtable". You want us to believe that the number of comments under an article is in direct correlation to the interest in the article itself when you've just proven the opposite by your own actions?

      You know one column that I always start off reading but have seldom if ever commented on? The Today in Palestine compendium that Kate posts. Sometimes I don't(can't) finish reading it all because for the most part its all so depressing that I have to stop reading after two or three instances of the horrible crap Palestinians have to put up with. And I don't comment because how many times can one say "Oh my God that's terrible!".

      But you are trying to pretend that a low number of comments means that few people have read it. Its not that simple; you showed that in your comment above, so stop with this attempt to imply that people here are more interested in discussing Jews than in Palestinians and their oppression. I promise you if a large majority of Jews would stop either oppressing Palestinians or making excuses for other Jews who are oppressing Palestinians, interest in talking about Jews would disappear overnight.

      If it makes you feel any better, yes, I agree, Ken O'Keefe is a bigot and so is Clay Douglas.

      But the main problem in Israel/Palestine, which we as Americans are subsidizing, is not the random O'Keefe's and Douglas'. Its bigotry on the part of a large majority of Jews, in both Israel and here in the US. And frankly that's where the emphasis should be in correcting the problem and improving the lives of Palestinians.

      If Ken O'Keefe suddenly became the epitome of universal acceptance of all of his fellow human beings, unfortunately it wouldn't do even the single smallest thing for Palestinians. Even if the same thing happened to all the non-Jewish bigots in the world, it wouldn't address the Palestinians' problems one iota, because what is tormenting them is Jewish bigotry. And yet we are expected to care more about possible anti-semitism towards the oppressors in this case rather than the widespread and structural bigotry of the oppressors towards Palestinians. That is, as they say, seriously f**ked up.

    • tree, another aspect of the lack of ferguson response is mondoweiss regular commenters already had that conversation and fight.

      Yes, of course, annie. Sorry. I didn't mean to imply, but probably did nevertheless, that there was only one possible reason for people not responding to notatall. Poorly expressed thought on my part.

      To notatall, about the passage you linked, yes, she could have handled that better, but it sounds like she was responding to communism doing those things, not Jews per se, although that was probably more his intent. Lots and lots of people did die in Soviet Russia in purges and such. Again, she could have responded better, but it seems from your question that you are acknowledging that your statement that she didn't challenge him at all was incorrect. Is that what you are saying? And if so, do you think you query yourself and ask why did it take me spelling out the passages from your own link for you to acknowledge this?

    • Atlantaiconoclast, who saw nothing racially objectionable in the cops’ behavior in Ferguson, and who offered a qualified defense of David Duke, is an example, and so are all those who failed to correct him because he supports them about Weir.

      I failed to "correct" him/her (or you) in that exchange because it was off topic and I didn't want to sidetrack the discussion from an important topic. So bring me up on the charges with the purity police. I suspect the fact that no one else made a comment was either due to similar reasoning or because they didn't even notice it in this humongous thread. You really would be better off as an activist if you would actually ask and listen to people rather than just assuming what their motives are. Helping the downtrodden does not need to involve treading on other people with the same goal because you think you know their minds aren't pure enough. In fact its actually quite counterproductive.

    • Alison did not challenge Clay Douglas, even weakly, on anything that mattered to him.

      Ignoring for the moment that you are linking to a hit site connected to the Political Research Associates and Spencer Sunshine, its obvious to me that your bias is getting in the way of your analysis. These may be weak challenges in your opinion but they exist throughout the interview. From the transcript:

      AW:Now I write about it and I’m trying to tell others about it. I don’t, by the way, however, when I write about this or speak about it, I never say “the CIA” does this, I never say “the Jews” do this. What it is are specific individuals within these groups that are doing these things.


      AW:Let me just correct you. Don’t say “The Jews”. It may sound to people that you are saying every Jewish-American did this, which, as you’ve just said is not true.


      CD:...How the Zionists, which is only a faction of the Jews, you know… I mean, Alison, I’ve been attacked, and I’ve been talking to, you know, supposed Christians, supposed Christians in Christian Identity, because I thought Christian Identity wasn’t getting a fair shake in Homeland Security, they were trying to put ‘em down, but… They were as evil as the Jews they were pointing the finger at. They wanted to go out and kill everybody else, you know….


      AW: Well, there’s so much that… Labels that are… The problem with labels of course is often that they mean different things to different people. So “communist” to some people means an ideology that sounded benign, that sounded in some ways like Christianity. Jesus preached that we should do unto others as we would like them to do unto us, that we should share our worldly goods with others, with those in need, etcetera. Let’s think what Jesus did teach us, how we should treat our fellow human beings. So to some people, communist means a very benign philosophy where you’re helping other people, you’re sharing your worldly goods, etcetera. That’s what it means to some people. To other people, it means what Stalin implemented and Lenin before him and what we saw under Mao, which was extreme cruelty, despotism in which people have no freedom, in which worldly goods certainly were not shared–even close to it. Party leaders had a very disproportionate amount of them and the rest of the people didn’t. There were purges in which people were killed; people that dissented were sent, in the case of the Soviet Union, to Siberia to gulags that were horrific institutions.
      So again, if you say “communist,” to two people, if you had one of those little balloons over their heads like in cartoons, you would have very different images to different people, and that’s the problem. If you say “Zionist” to you and to me, we know that represents a thematic political ideology. Other people, it would be a question mark, “What does that even mean?” Some people would think, “Oh that means a synonym for all Jews,” which is incorrect. So again, labels–it’s usually better–I don’t like to use labels anymore because so often people either don’t know what it means or they think it means something different than the use you’re using for it. And that’s what’s gone on here. I think it is, as you’re emphasizing, it’s very important for people to look into the background of these different movements, of these different events that have happened to previous decades, including World War Two, including World War One. It’s very important that we look into these things.


      AW:I don’t know–is that true? I can’t… You know, sometimes we all hear things and we pass them on, and sometimes the things that we hear and pass on are true, and sometimes it turns out to be one of these urban myths that many of us have believed and told others and then it turns out somebody looks into it and it’s not true.


      AW: And yet as you’ve said, before Zionism, before political Zionism, Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in Palestine for centuries, without armed conflict, without conflict, all practicing their religions. Christians and Jews lived throughout Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco… They lived throughout what’s… Jewish, Christian and Muslim human beings all living, without wiping one another out… So what we are seeing here is the result of a political, a very fanatic political ideology, that divided people against one another, that was a type of colonialism, and the violence that we’ve now seen for decades.

      CD: You know, the next article I come out with that you’ll be getting, is about the whole Christian Identity movement. Nothing wrong with the Christian Identity movement as a sect–I can buy into the fact that some of my relatives might have crossed the Caucus Mountains, tried to escape from slavery in the Middle East and became called Caucasians. I can buy into that. But when you get all these people that say, “Well, we need to kill all the blacks, we need to kill all the Jews”–no, no, that’s… how do you fight evil, how do you fight evil, if you become as evil as the people that you’re opposing? And that’s what’s happened in this so-called Patriot movement, in the Christian Identity movement, and I told them flat out, I said, “Man you’d better hope we don’t get into a war, because if we do, you know, you’re the first one I’m gonna shoot.”

      AW: [laughs] It’s, uh… [laughs] That would maybe make them think twice. Yeah, I think becoming what you’re opposing is what often happens and is deeply wrong. You know, I think what we’re… This kind of break down, instead of being, “We’re all human beings, we’re all…,” those of us born in the United States who are all American citizens… You know, I think there are other human beings deserving of security, of dignity, etcetera, is what we’re about. And what we’re opposing is when that does not happen. When Israel treats Christians and Muslims differently than they treat Jewish Israelis. That’s what we’re opposing and I think it’s very important to uphold the principles that motivated, I feel, that motivated the founders of the United States. Those are the founding principles of this country, and those are the ones that we need to continue to promote, to make sure that we don’t lose those principles.

      end of excerpts which challenged what Clay Douglas said. Could they have possibly been stronger, and made more often, certainly. She admitted such a possibility herself and apologized. But to say that she never challenged what he said is false. So why are you making false accusations?

    • interesting side note: In Amith Gupta's piece he cites this passage from the JVP FAQs section to compare their own questionable identity politics with Weir's

      Q: Why are you a Jewish group? Can’t you just be a peace group?

      “A: …

      “Because we are Jews, we have a particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies. As Jews, we can make the distinction between real anti-Semitism and the cynical manipulation of that issue to shield Israel from legitimate criticism.

      However, when I clicked on the link Gupta provided it went to a "page not found" on JVP's website. They have a FAQ's page elsewhere on the website, but it makes no mention of this question or answer. However if I do a google search on the verbatim of that answer as written by Gupta, my first search result is to the JVP site, via the same link that Gupta used, that of course now links to a JVP "page not found".

      link to

      This means that, sometime between the posting of Gupta's piece on June 25 of this year and now, JVP has quietly changed their FAQs page and erased both the question and answer as originally listed.

      While I think it is a good thing that they removed such a problematic, and frankly bigoted, answer on their website, I have to ask, given their recent actions, if they did that out of a genuine concern to weed out their own racism, or just because they got called on it, and want some plausible denial.

    • At the same time, we face real currents of unchallenged anti-Jewish oppression in our movements

      Really? Oppression? Where? Are we now trying to say that Alison Weir or even Gilad Atzmon for that matter is oppressing Jews? There's some minor racism directed at whites from the movement too but it would be equally ridiculous to call it "oppression".

    • I notice that one of the strongest commentaries on this subject has not yet, as far as I know, been posted here. It was written by NYU Law student Amith Gupta, and was posted on Louis Proyect's website, for which Proyect has been mercilessly hounded by the Marxist purity squad at JSF, just to show how idiotic the witch hunt has become.

      link to

      Its a very long statement but well worth a read. I think he makes so many important points.

      He starts off, after a few personal comments about why he decided to distribute his piece. with a short outline of his points and relevant materials, all of which he elaborates on later in the piece. Here is that outline:

      1) Disclaimer: I do not have any formal or organizational affiliation with Alison Weir or her organization, If Americans Knew.

      2) My personal experience with the smear campaign against Weir.

      3) JVP’s entire accusation against Weir is based on guilt by association and could easily apply to some of the most prominent voices in the movement for Palestine solidarity, including Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Dilip Hiro, Ilan Pappe, Jennifer Loewenstein, Ray McGovern, Joseph Massad, Norman Finkelstein, Glenn Greenwald, Pete McCloskey, Philip Weiss, Richard Falk, John Mearsheimer, Lenni Brenner, and Rachel Corrie’s parents.

      a. Alison Weir has not endorsed nor agreed with the racist views expressed by those with whom she has been associated

      b. It is unwise to expect Weir or anyone else to completely ignore the communities that are vulnerable to such racism (see below).

      4) Inaccurate and hypocritical accusations of ethnic chauvinism

      a. Losing Balance: While JVP alleges that IAK downplays the value of Palestinian voices, it is JVP which is constructed on seeing Jewish voices as “particularly legitimate” according to the JVP website.

      b. If Americans Knew and Alison Weir have been principled and expansive in working with Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinian/Arab-Americans, including the Al-Awda Right to Return Coalition and the Beit Sahour-based International Middle East Media Center; both organizations are run and staffed by Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans. The organization has publicly and explicitly supported the full Palestinian-led call for BDS since at least 2006.

      c. JVP has not been principled in working with Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinian/Arab-Americans, barring its chapters from working with groups of any ethnicity that take overtly anti-Zionist slogans and politically vetting those Middle Easterners and Muslims with whom they work. It also took JVP ten years to endorse the full BDS call.

      d. JVP ‘s statement appears to suggest that Jews alone can define anti-Semitism, despite knowing that such accusations can implicate racism and violence against Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities. This is a form of ethnic chauvinism.

      e. JVP’s statement suggests that all Jews are somehow personally or familially connected to Israel, a restatement of Zionism

      f. JVP’s statement suggests that American imperialism and warfare benefits Americans as a whole, undermining the American anti-war movement and contradicting prior stances that JVP has taken

      5) JVP has taken at least 4 different positions on Zionism, implying a lack of any principle regarding racism and colonialism against Palestine in particular and the Middle East as a whole.

      a. Open-Ended: JVP’s guidelines state a refusal to state their beliefs in terms of the word “Zionism”

      b. Restricted: JVP’s guidelines state that their chapters are banned from working with organizations that use “anti-Zionist demands or slogans”, presumably including Al-Awda and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

      c. Pro-Zionist: JVP interprets Jews, as a group, to be connected to the Middle East, which is Zionism (see above).

      d. Anti-Zionist when condemning anti-Semitism: JVP has recirculated letters that explicitly argue that Zionism is a form of racism in the context of disavowing a British-Israeli author for his apparently anti-Jewish statements. The statement against this man is included in their statement against Weir. The implication is that condemning Zionism as a form of racism is acceptable, provided the condemnation is made while disavowing someone for anti-Semitism.

      e. JVP’s statements imply a lack of principled positions regarding racism against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, while taking a staunch position against perceived racism toward the Jewish community. This is a racist double-standard.

      6) Racism, Colonialism, and Identity Politics

      a. Optics & the White Gaze: JVP and IAK are both “identitarian” groups that have sought to navigate the maze of racism in the United States.

      b. The racist and colonial roots of anti-Semitism allegations against Palestine solidarity organizers per se.

      c. While neither group has navigated perfectly, JVP’s position in particular is highly problematic and warrants serious criticism.

      7) JVP has taken an inconsistent position on engagement with “the Right” and those who are in danger of being misled and exploited by xenophobic, right-wing racism.

      a. My personal experiences with right-wing racism as a person of color and the son of immigrants.

      b. The roots of “the right” and the dangers of ignoring their misguided flock.

      c. JVP has not opposed engagement with right-wing elements of the Jewish or Israeli communities.

      8) Other Resources that I consider informative.

      a. Noam Chomsky on accusations of anti-Semitism within left-wing and anti-racist movements.

      b. Joseph Massad: “Sartre, European Intellectuals, and Zionism”

      c. Philip Weiss: “Conservatives for Palestine”

      d. Norman Finkelstein on ADL anti-Semitism survey and what qualifies as anti-Semitism

      e. Louis Proyect: “The Anti-Semitism Canard”

      f. Lenni Brenner, “The Demographics of American Jews”

      g. Jacobin Magazine: Checkered History of Palestine and the Left

      9) Addendum: Spencer Sunshine’s PRA attack on Alison Weir and “Campus Anti-Semitism”

      a. The original report

      b. The attack on Weir

      Again, if you'd like to read it in full, see here:

      link to

      All the points above are fleshed out later in the piece.

      And I'd like to commend Louis Proyect for keeping it up on his website despite the rather nasty pressure on him to remove it from those whom Hostage aptly described as "ankle-biters".

    • but I now see that in remaining silent in the face of his w-s and a-s views I was turning my back on black Americans and others deserving of support.

      But she didn't remain silent. She may not have countered his racist comments sufficiently, or in the manner that you or others find acceptable but she did counter him. And she already apologized for this, as W Jones has pointed out.

    • Annie, great statement but I have to disagree with your presentation of the facts in the case of Alison and the Israeli soldier here:

      alison and the soldier had different views during an ideological/political conversation. she was the presenter and he was (she thought) taking up too much of the space as an audience member using his platform to undermine her messaging. iow, she was in competition with him i would imagine for the attention of the audience.

      According to Alison's description of the event, there was a lengthy Q and A session at the end of the event, which included some challenging questions from those that disagreed with the film, and at a certain point late in the evening the student organizers of the event tried to wrap it up by announcing that there would be just one more question. The last question was asked and Alison responded, putting the final response on an upbeat note. It was only AFTER that last question was asked and answered that the Israeli soldier stood up and shouted that the film( which was not Alison's work, she simply narrated it) was all lies.

      In effect, the Israeli soldier did exactly what the Irvine 11 did when they interrupted Michael Oren's speech and were arrested and tried in court for disrupting the event to make their point.

      Of course, the results here were totally different. He was not arrested, nor escorted from the room. Alison, after asking him what he thought was untrue about the film, and getting an evasion instead of an answer, ended the event, that should have already been ended if not for the man's outburst.

      Here is some of her thinking on the incident:

      Suddenly, a man in the audience stood up and shouted out that he was an Israeli solider and that everything had been “lies.” There was considerable shouting back and forth, and when it finally quieted, I said to him that I fervently disagreed and asked him to name any inaccuracies. He apparently couldn’t, so he instead began to go into a long discourse of some sort; it was difficult to hear in all the commotion. This type of behavior is typical. I’ve rarely been to an event about Palestine in which some Israelis or Israel partisans have not demanded everyone’s attention and time far beyond that allotted to anyone else.

      While this IDF soldier was trying to claim victim-hood for Israelis, yet again, the irony of the situation struck me. Here was a man who was an Israeli soldier – the one that you see at every checkpoint demanding ID’s from old women and young students; deciding who may pass and who may not; yelling at people who respond too slowly; flirting with female soldiers while people wait in line in the sun to be waved through; who point machine guns at crowds going to pray, work, school, and who bark orders at old, stumbling men; who smash rifle butts into nonviolent protestors; who regularly, as some soldiers have described the Israeli military’s actions, “starve, humiliate, and dominate an entire population” … here he was, a member of the Israeli occupying force, trying to demand the victim’s right to speak, even as real victims had been willing to forego their questions when time forced the event to end. It seemed to me that either all the students should be allowed to ask their questions without discrimination, including the many Palestinian and Arab students who rarely have a voice, or no one; and since the student organizer had called the event to an end, I ended it.

      link to

      What Alison was objecting to was not his taking time away from her but that he was usurping time that should have gone equally to everyone, including Palestinians and others in the audience who had observed the rules of the Q and A. By officially closing the event at that point she actually opened up the way for the Palestinian students to have a say in discussion with the Israeli soldier, instead of it being just a back and forth between her and him. Her response was in actually exactly the way an adept solidarity activist should have handled the situation.

      I know you are agreed in any case that she was not anti-semitic in her response, but I tend to think that getting particulars of the event are also important. I hope you don't mind my nit-pick of your comment that I otherwise applaud .

    • Great comment, Rusty!

    • (blushing...)Thanks guys and gals, but there have been so many great comments here from everyone, I couldn't even begin to name names for fear I'd miss more than I'd mentioned. I will mention annie though, since she had to deal with onslaught of comments as well as interact with much grace and patience before finally realizing the lost cause that it was. You can't really converse with someone who doesn't know how to listen, but you gave it a fair and noble try.

      I actually think that my response was not as clear and succinct as I would have liked it to be. Well, "succinct" has always been a challenge for me, but my clarity was a little off here too, but I'm glad you were all able to get my comment's drift despite that.

      And for PTJ, thanks so much for the compliment but I have a problem with writer's block sometimes, and also a constant battle against stilted writing, so both the planet and I are much better off in the field I am in, which requires little to no writing, thank dog.

    • She won't reply to you, Irishmoses. She hasn't even read the book.

      She only read the first page or two on Amazon hoping to find something she could hang her hat on to prove that a "significant amount of " Weir's "work does suggest antisemitism", after admitting that she hadn't even read any of Alison's work, outside of that one organ harvesting article she keeps repeating without understanding its intent or meaning. She also doesn't listen to what anyone is saying. She just keeps repeating herself as if she thinks that doing so will be enough to convince us. I now seriously doubt that she is even a JVP member. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this all isn't just a part of her dissertation work on "BDS discourse". Her discourse here though doesn't speak well for the quality of doctoral candidates at Old Dominion.

      I saw her trailer. It looks more like a "why can't we all get along" film than anything worth watching. The movie could be different but a trailer is supposed to give you a good idea of what the move is about. At one point in the trailer they have George Rishmawi saying the Israeli narrative is that the Jews came in peace and the Arabs didn't want them, and then it cuts away from him to something else. It seemed dishonest, to say the least. It appears to me that she is much more interested in banning words or phrases that she thinks are "anti-semitic" than she is in achieving any justice for Palestinians.

    • echinococcus,

      Here's a source for JVP finally endorsing full BDS.

      link to

    • Notatall,

      I can understand and agree with your admiration for O'Connell, but I don't see the situations as even remotely similar, or if they are, it is only in the sense that O'Connell actually agreed to converse with slave owners, even though he disagreed with them. I'd doubt you'd call that "catering" to slaveholders, but that would seem to be analogous to what you call Weir's "catering to white supremacists".

    • annie,
      it occurs to me perhaps i’m not educated enough to comprehend whatever argument she’s (and her ilk w/the same sort of opinion) making .

      Don't discount yourself. I think you know exactly how to comprehend her argument and know its rubbish. It is basically a supremacist argument itself, setting up the world between the morally superior and the rest of the lesser human beings who are not as morally and politically pure or intellectually savvy as she herself is. Rubbish, with a Marxist patina.

      Important disclosure: I knew Emma Rosenthal many years ago when I joined a local solidarity group that she had been a part of and she would attend occasionally. I only knew her for a short amount of time over 10 years ago. She was a very divisive element in the group, and thought it was everyone else's fault that she was so divisive. This may color my assessment of her opinion piece somewhat but I think I would find it offensive and divisive even if I'd had no personal interaction with her.


      rightwing “patriots” (including white-supremacists and antisemites), the audience Alison Weir is aiming to reach.”

      This kind of stereotyping is one of the things that galls me about some on the so-called progressive left, despite the fact that I consider my own views as left-leaning. Weir is aiming to reach all American audiences, regardless of where they land on the political or ideological spectrum of right versus left, and regardless of color, faith or ethnicity. Right-wingers are no more her audience than anyone else. She talks to anyone who will listen, and mostly the right-wingers don't want to listen to her, which is why it is such a small part of her interviews, and why JVP had to go back to an interview from 5 years ago to hang her for not sufficiently challenging racist comments in their view. Calling such a universal stance of hers an appeal to "right-wing" patriots" as you have done is a bigoted lie. I suggest you follow Rosenthal's advice and disassociate from yourself, lest you be tainted by condoning your own prejudice. I'm being sarcastic of course, but I think you get my point.

    • annie, I ran across Allison's reply to Phil's 2008 post here:

      link to

      That might help explain Alison's reaction.

      My guess would be that Phil might have a different reaction to the film today than he did in 2008, and might also react differently to the Israeli soldier as well. I think his knowledge and understanding has increased substantially since then. But then you'd have to ask him to know what he feels. In any case I agree that Jennifer keeps trying to suggest anti-semitic motives without providing any exact quotes.

      Here's an excerpt from Alison's response:

      Following the film there was an extended question-and-answer session. While most people seemed moved by the film and asked questions about specific aspects, there were also challenging questions from people who were partisan toward Israel. The Q & A went on quite a long time, until finally the student organizer determined it was time to close the event. He stood up and said there would be one more question. There were still a great many hands up, and I randomly called on a student who had been waiting, like numerous others, to be called on. He asked whether there was hope that peace would ever be reached… I responded that I felt that when the US ended our massive aid to Israel, which prevented the Israeli government from believing it would ever have to compromise, the two populations would be able to find peace. I stated that there were visionaries on both sides who would be able to step forward when the US one-sided support of Israeli militarism got out of the way, and that Israelis and Palestinians would then find the way forward.

      The event was then over. It had been a long night and the students needed to get home to study. Many of the foreign students, in particular, feel it is critical that they do well at Yale; otherwise, as one student told me, they won’t be able to stay. Suddenly, a man in the audience stood up and shouted out that he was an Israeli solider and that everything had been “lies.” There was considerable shouting back and forth, and when it finally quieted, I said to him that I fervently disagreed and asked him to name any inaccuracies. He apparently couldn’t, so he instead began to go into a long discourse of some sort; it was difficult to hear in all the commotion. This type of behavior is typical. I’ve rarely been to an event about Palestine in which some Israelis or Israel partisans have not demanded everyone’s attention and time far beyond that allotted to anyone else.

      While this IDF soldier was trying to claim victim-hood for Israelis, yet again, the irony of the situation struck me. Here was a man who was an Israeli soldier – the one that you see at every checkpoint demanding ID’s from old women and young students; deciding who may pass and who may not; yelling at people who respond too slowly; flirting with female soldiers while people wait in line in the sun to be waved through; who point machine guns at crowds going to pray, work, school, and who bark orders at old, stumbling men; who smash rifle butts into nonviolent protestors; who regularly, as some soldiers have described the Israeli military’s actions, “starve, humiliate, and dominate an entire population” … here he was, a member of the Israeli occupying force, trying to demand the victim’s right to speak, even as real victims had been willing to forego their questions when time forced the event to end. It seemed to me that either all the students should be allowed to ask their questions without discrimination, including the many Palestinian and Arab students who rarely have a voice, or no one; and since the student organizer had called the event to an end, I ended it.

      Weiss disapproved, feeling that I should have favored the IDF soldier with more time, despite the lateness of the hour and the fact that other students had equal right, at least, to speak.

      more at link

    • There were so many new comments here I missed a few of them and had to go back. I missed this from Jennifer on my first pass through.

      do you think this a problem of older Palestinian solidarity activists vs. the newer, younger BDS movement? JVP, ETO, and many others are focused on BDS, but I see Weir as part of the broader (and older) Palestinian Solidarity movement but not necessarily part of the BDS movement. Is that right? And does that maybe also apply to many of the commenters here?

      Wow, ignorance must be bliss. IAK endorsed BDS years ago. JVP only endorsed it fully this past February. My estimation is that the majority of commenters here endorse BDS and have for much longer than JVP has.

      scroll down to the base of the page tree. see her parting note.

      Thanks annie. She's older than I would have assumed from her short bio. Even less excuse for the ignorance about Weir. I suspect she's a newbie to the movement. Maybe she'll wise up, maybe not.

    • This is a total generalization, I admit, but I can see Weir’s message and style to be much more effective with older, whiter, less liberal Americans, but maybe a little less effective on college campuses, especially with StandWithUs and the Campus Maccabees on the hunt for evidence of antisemitism to tarnish BDS?

      Wow, ageism and racism in one statement. Nice to know that you think that Alllison deserves the "anti-semite" treatment, but excuse your own bigotry with a "total generalization" disclaimer. Since you know little about Allison and have made that very obvious, I'll inform you that Allison has appeared on many US campuses and has been well received by students. I attended one of her presentations at UCLA in 2007, where she introduced "Occupation 101" a film made by two young Palestinians that was narrated by Weir. You really don't seem to mind speaking out of complete ignorance. Hopefully you'll wise up with age, but you aren't showing any signs of it here.

    • Wow! That is some strongly worded statement!

    • Since there is a treasured reply button right under your comment here W. Jones, I'd like to take a moment to say I think your comments on this thread have been excellent. Pointed, probing, but also ever so polite and reasonable without a hint of anger or recrimination. As someone said upthread, like a friendly pit bull in your lap. Thanks for your contributions here.

      And while I'm at it, I should thank Phil and Adam for allowing this discussion. I know this kind of stuff makes Phil nervous sometimes, and perhaps Adam too, but I sincerely appreciate MW having the courage to do things that aren't always within their comfort zone, and for letting us speak our minds.

      And big hugs to annie (and any other anonymous moderators too!) for sacrificing hours and days of her life to moderate this humongous thread, and all the rest too.

    • I wrote this piece initially because so many people, including Weir herself, were out there attacking JVP and ETO. She does not seem to have made any effort to resolve this quietly, so JVP and ETO do not deserve all the blame on that one.

      According to Weir, she did make an effort to resolve this quietly, but was greeted with a list of her supposed sins which were forwarded to various JVP chapters from JVP's lawyer, rather than an acceptance of her offer to try to discuss the dispute privately.

      I'm surprised at how little you know about the details of the dispute.

    • We need to remember that the JVP decision was not made public but was an organizational decision about relationships. It was If Americans Knew that made that public by attacking JVP first for an alleged whisper campaign and then for their decision.

      Merlot, there is some dispute about who attacked whom first.

      From Allison Weir:

      It appeared that some JVP leaders were attempting to thwart my talks and prevent people from learning the facts that my book and my talks contain.

      (It is very important to note this is not representative of all JVP members – many of whom are colleagues and supporters. Some have put on excellent speaking events for me.)

      I finally decided to write an article about this situation – “Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew,” but did not name JVP, in the hope of preventing damaging division and distraction in the movement for justice in Palestine.

      Before publishing this piece, I tried to clarify the situation with JVP, and emailed the national leaders asking about their statements about me.

      I hoped that by communicating with JVP directly the situation could be resolved. In reply I received a letter from a law firm on JVP’s behalf (a partner in the firm is the JVP board chair and was the signatory on the letter).

      I was surprised at the McCarthyist, guilt-through-association attacks this letter contained, and I was amazed at the great effort someone had made to monitor my every move over the past 14 years of hundreds of speeches, articles, and interviews.

      JVP sent their accusatory dossier on me to about 50 chapters around the country, and has been disseminating this and other accusations widely. I’ve just finished an extremely busy three-week speaking tour. In several locations I learned that JVP had tried to block my talks.

      link to

      If Weir's description is accurate then clearly JVP was the first to go on the attack, and showed absolutely no flexibility on the issue. Weir tried to settle it or at least discuss it privately. Receiving a letter from the organization's lawyer with a bill of particulars instead of a letter or invitation to converse with her on the subject from the organization itself highlights this inflexibility and the aggressive action on its part. At that point I don't see any valid reason for Weir not to take the issue public since she was being defamed publicly in the "dossiers".

    • This piece seems like a better explanation of why they focused on Weir’s choice of platforms than my arguments have been, so I would encourage everyone to read it and try to understand how this all fits within a larger anti-racist framework

      Except of course that JVP is being hypocritical on this point of "universal anti-racism". They have talked in venues with Zionists, they don't demand that their own membership be anti-Zionist, they have attempted to have their university chapters join under the Hillel umbrella, which is itself decidedly racist.

      Zionist racism, OK, redeemable, nothing you should refuse to work with, despite being the original and ongoing source of the horrid oppression of the Palestinians.

      White racism or anti-semitism, utterly irredeemable: don't even talk to those people. Ever. Even if its only 1% of the interviews you agree to.

      I fail to see how this is a "universal anti-racism" platform. Sounds more like subtle, or even not so subtle, bigotry to me. Is one of the reasons for the purge of Weir meant to increase JVP membership by appealing to more Jewish bigots? Because I don't see any upside for the movement out of this phony purity drive.

    • I didn’t get that, Irish. I thought he was saying that the USS Liberty was a real scandal.

      My that part one was tentatively pro-Weir, but part two( second link) is where he called her shallow and implied anti-semitic talk on her part.

    • Jennifer,

      First off, thank you for showing up here and responding to comments.

      And which activists are more helpful at persuading most Americans that it is okay to support Palestinian rights and BDS without being antisemitic? Weir and her talk about organ harvesting and deceptive Jewish/Zionist secret societies, or maybe JVP activists?

      At this point I'd have to say Weir would be more helpful since the JVP campaign against her has simply increased the likelihood that people will deduce that if you criticize Israel then even a so-called progressive organization will call your actions anti-semitic. I don't see the JVP action as having any good outcome, other than for opponents of equality for Palestinians. "See, even the JVP agrees that prominent pro-Palestinian advocates are anti-semitic" would be the argument that has been handed to pro-Israel groups. Most people don't want to have to deal with the hatred that could come their way for being called anti-semitic for standing up for people an ocean and a sea away.

      As for the Weir's organ harvesting article, my take from your argument is that you are either ignorant of the circumstances of the article or are purposely obscuring the circumstances in an attempt to strengthen a weak argument.

      Weir's article documenting the Israeli history of organ harvesting did not just come out of the blue. It was a direct response on her part to the controversy over David Bostrom's article in a Swedish newspaper which alleged that the IDF may have illegally and immorally harvested organs from Palestinians they killed without first seeking permission from their families, and further may have in fact killed some of them specifically to harvest their organs. This allegation was immediately called a "blood libel" by the usual suspects in Israel and elsewhere, and Bostrom was accused of making false accusations out of anti-semitic motives. Her article was no doubt written to give support and defend Bostrom by pointing out that Israel had a well documented ( documented mostly by Israeli sources themselves) serious problem with organ harvesting, and that Yehuda Hiss, the Israeli chief pathologist, had been found to have harvested organs from dead Jews and Palestinians, again according to Israeli sources, including admissions from the Israeli government itself.

      To complain that her article dwelt mainly on Israeli organ harvesting and therefore was anti-semitic in tone is to totally ignore the context in which she wrote her article, which was to lend support to the idea that accusing Israel of organ harvesting was a legitimate criticism and not simply a false "blood libel" meant to tar every Jew. For her to have discussed organ harvesting in Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia or anywhere else would have had no relevance to the question of whether Israeli officials could have condoned, exploited or participated in organ harvesting from Palestinians.

      It is only by ignoring this context that one can make any case for Weir's article, while being completely accurate and truthful, was anti-semitic in tone. I would have hoped that, being a discourse studies student, you would recognize that mentioning other countries besides Israel with a serious organ harvesting problem in a paper intended to address whether a charge of organ harvesting in the West Bank could be true or not would be completely off topic, and an example of poor and ineffectual rhetoric. But yet you attribute the lack of these irrelevant examples to anti-semitism rather than to the needs of effective communication on the issue at hand.

      As to her reference to Alfred Toaff's book, its clear to me that she brought it up to compare the storm of "blood libel" accusations against Bostrom to the similar storm around Toaff's research, where he claimed that,

      “My research shows that in the Middle Ages, a group of fundamentalist Jews did not respect the biblical prohibition and used blood for healing. It is just one group of Jews, who belonged to the communities that suffered the severest persecution during the Crusades. From this trauma came a passion for revenge that in some cases led to responses, among them ritual murder of Christian children.” (25)

      Toaff did not say that all Jews did this. In fact he specifically limited it to one group, and gave a rational possible explanation of why it happened. However he was still severely ostracized and threatened, not for actually fomenting a "blood libel" but for researching a single incident and finding it true. One instance is NOT the same as saying all Jews did it, and yet that was the response to his research.

      This leads me to your example of Weir's first two chapter's as being "anti-semitic" in tone because they , truthfully, talk about secrecy and elite memberships among early American Zionists . This is in line with your similar argument in the organ harvesting article you object to.You seem to think that calling out the truth regarding a particular Zionist Jew or group of Jews is anti-semitic, meaning that it is falsely defaming all Jews. Respectfully, I think it is your criticism that is either anti-semitic, or anti-gentile, or perhaps both.

      I'll explain. Legitimately criticizing one Jew or one group of Jews for their actions is not the same as criticizing all Jews for the actions of one person or one group. If you think it is then you either think that all Jews are the same, an anti-semitic thought, or you think that all non-Jews believe that all Jews are the same and therefore admitting that a single Jew or a subgroup of Jews may have done something bad would prompt all non-Jews to unfairly condemn all Jews. This would be an anti-gentile thought. Or you may believe in a combination of both, in that you think it is OK, and even necessary, for all Jews to attempt to cover up for the misdeeds of a few in an effort to prevent non-Jews from learning the truth and falsely blaming all Jews.

      It seems to me to be a prevalent problem among some Jews and some non-Jews as well. Its as if its an either/or question when its clearly not. The fact that there are some Jews who fit some of the negative stereotypes of Jews, or tropes if you will, does not mean that negative stereotypes are true of all Jews, nor is a person saying anything anti-semitic if they are accurately describing one particular Jewish person on the basis of that person's individual actions and words. In other words, if I think that OJ SImpson killed his ex-wife because of the evidence against him, then I am not being racist despite the fact that there exists a negative stereotype that all black men are violent. If I were to believe in his guilt in part or in whole because I believe that black men are inherently violent, then, yes, I am indulging in racist thoughts. But unfortunately you and too many others seem to think the the answer is to ignore any criticism of an individual or groups actions if those actions mimic the negative stereotypes of their ethnic, religious, cultural or class group. This sounds like the height of political correctness, and invokes just another insidious stereotype, that NO Jew can be secretive, NO black man can be violent, NO woman can be bitchy, NO blond can be dumb, No Scotsman can be stingy, No white can be racist, NO man can be sexist. And its corollary would then be that any one who didn't believe in these new reverse stereotypes was a racist, sexist, or whatever themselves. Behold the emperor's stunning new clothes or be labeled a bigot for believing that people should be judged as individuals.

      Maybe this policy of group silencing made sense centuries past when Jews and Non-Jews in the Western world were much more segregated and rumors were much more in abundance than real knowledge, but today, especially with the amount of interaction between Jews and non-Jews in the US, such silencing is counterproductive, because the word gets out anyway, and the attempts at silencing simply look like bigotry and a sense of Jewish entitlement to non-Jews, and foster resentment. I can bet you that whatever headway Weir might have made with rightwing groups as far as combating anti-semitism has been seriously undermined by JVP's actions toward her, particularly the point that she re-iterated often, that Zionists and Jews are not the same thing, and that Jews as a group are not responsible for what Zionists, even Zionist Jews, do.

      Which brings me to the radio interviews. I actually listened to the one ETO posted. Have you listened to it? I found that I seriously disagreed with ETO's characterization of it. I suggest everyone listen to it. I came away admiring Weir's ability to be non-confrontational and yet remain gently corrective. And she was corrective, despite what people have been led to believe. I think its a great way to make headway with those who are predisposed not to agree with you. I can't do it myself; I tend to get too confrontational and combative but I admire someone who can remain calm and listen but still make anti-racist correctives in a way that is not just insulting, and thus counterproductive.

      As to the idea that there are some platforms one may not appear on because of their racist nature, that seems to merely a cudgel to bash Weir with. Should no Palestinian solidarity activist appear in the NY TImes or on Fox TV because of their obvious racism. Was Yousef Munnayer "hobnobbing" with racists when he appeared on Fox? Weir also accepted interviews on a right-wing Israeli radio show. Was she hobnobbing with racists then, and if so why wasn't that interview mentioned? Zionist racists are OK to "hobnob" with?And speaking of "hobnobbing", why did JVP seek to join in campus Hillel chapters if they supposedly had a "zero-tolerance" for racism policy? Why associate with Jewish racist groups like Hillel if you really have such a policy, unless you are making an exception for Jewish racist groups. Since the elemental problem for the Palestinians is Jewish racism in Israel, and its support here in the US, one would think that Jewish racism would be the very thing you should be boycotting rather than trying to excuse from the definition "zero tolerance"of racism, which is the rubric under which JVP and ETO excused their banning of Weir. I'm not saying I'm against JVP attempting to open up Hillel. In fact I agree with that policy of theirs. I am, however pointing out that JVP has a big hypocrisy problem on this issue. Jewish prejudice is excused or diminished or considered moveable while non-Jewish racism or bigotry is considered die-hard and irredeemable. I don't believe in putting anyone in herem, either JVP or ETO or Weir. But I do wish that whomever is responsible for JVP putting Weir in herem would seriously look into their own actions and question whether or not the racism they think they see is actually a product of their own thought. I think it is.

      Disclosures: I met Allison Weir over 10 years ago, just once. I was favorable impressed with her dedication and her way of speaking about the issue. I have not seen her since, and although I did use IFK in the early days of my search for more information on the subject but have not used it recently. I bought her book because of your suggestion, have read parts of it but not all yet, and don't agree with your take on it.

      I have contributed to JVP and ETO in the past, but not recently. I am not a member of JVP, partly for the reasons that Danaa has articulated above, partly because I'm not Jewish, despite my family affiliation, and it seems odd to me to join a group that claims to speak for someone other than me, and because I rebel a bit against appealing to "Jewish values", as JVP does, (or "Christian values" or "Islamic values", etc. for that matter) as if they are somehow exceptional or different or always moral and good, when clearly in each and every case there are "X" values that are good and moral and there are other "X" values that are reprehensible. No group has a monopoly on good or bad. But I wish JVP well and respect many of its members that I have come to know here. I just wish that whomever was in charge of this purge in the name of JVP had seriously questioned their own tolerance before attempting to black-ball someone else who has shown much more tolerance toward all.

    • Mooser,

      I understand you are fond of JSF, but I think W.Jones' comment has proven how problematic the site is. I think I can truthfully say that W. Jones is one of the most reasonable and considerate commenters here. If his comments at JSF are being deleted soon after they are made then it only reinforces my opinion of the website, which is that it isn't really interested in debate or inquiry about an issue once it has declared its position. That's certainly its right to do so, and to delete comments it doesn't want to see the light of day on its website, but it certainly DOES NOT mean it is "helpful" or "worth reading".

      I speak as someone who used to comment on JSF many many years ago, and seldom or ever had my comments deleted then, but grew tired of its provincial mentality, its petty disagreements with others in the movement, and its apparent lack of any substantial work intended to actually improve the lot of the Palestinians.

  • Congressman Ted Lieu, are you really in bed with AIPAC?
    • I agree with Mooser, the quote he mentions is quite problematic. It’s victimizing Israelis, instead of the real victims, the Palestinians.

      It's also whitewashing the early racism and inequality of Israel from its very beginnings. All that ethnic cleansing, the imposition of martial law against Its Palestinian citizens, the land and home confiscations, and all the home demolitions were done under the "Left" government, controlled for the first 25+ years by the Labor Party.All that existed in 1953 when she visited, but she didn't see it.

      She's blaming all of Israel's problems on the Right, but the Right only came to power because Labor was not only discriminating against non-Jews but also against its Mizrahi Jewish citizens as well, and Likud took advantage of the Mizrahi dissatisfaction over that. None of the core values of Israel have changed over time; they have simply gotten more transparent, and peace and equality are NOT those values.

      We work tirelessly for equality. We are everywhere to end racism, injustice. We are and always have been our brother’s keeper. Jesus Christ, a Jew, said it first. No one was more passionate about peace and compassion than he.

      Maybe this was just intended to be boilerplate, sucking up to Lieu, but we really have to get over this 'Jews are more righteous than other people' attitude. Some Jews work tirelessly for equality. Most of them don't, and many of them have little to no problem with inequality if they are on the upside of the scale.

      This is no different than any other group of people, surprise, surprise, and to keep claiming that that "the Jews" (the "We" in her statement) are more attuned to ending racism and injustice is simply engaging in another stereotype. Positive stereotypes are just as much stereotypes as negative ones are. And can be just as toxic, especially to those who are not a part of that positively stereotyped group. If you believe in the stereotype that "the Jews" care more than other people about justice and equality, then your prejudice gets in the way of comprehending how unjustly the Palestinians have been treated since the very beginnings of Zionism.

      I appreciate Lila Garrett's letter to her representative and her interest in working for more equality and less racism in Israel and the US. But I would also wish that she would sincerely examine her own stereotypes about herself and her Jewishness. Take credit for your own work and beliefs and don't falsely credit them to others solely because they share your religion/ethnicity.

  • The enemies list
  • University of Illinois Chancellor steps down as judge upholds Salaita lawsuit against school on 1st amendment grounds
    • Not to mention that Salaita's classroom demeanor was never an issue, since he always received the highest praise from his students, whether or not they agreed with his opinions.

      He was attacked because his tweets, made on his own time, were considered "uncivil" by some of Israel's boosters with money and connections to the University. His tweets were attacked because he criticized Israel and its supporters too vehemently for their tastes and thus they tried to harm him for exercising his academic freedom. A big no-no.

  • Following fatal settler attack, Israeli army raids Dawabshe family homes in the West Bank village of Duma
    • yonah,

      The Haaretz report listed the 3 as soldiers, not settlers.

      “Three soldiers were wounded in a suspected hit-and-run terror attack on Thursday afternoon in the area of the West Bank settlement of Shiloh.

  • The day after 9/11, Kagan father-son duo said 'take the war' to Palestine
    • Unexploded ordinance, or "duds:"are a serious problem in war-torn areas, even decades after the wars are over, and dealing with them is always a dangerous task.

      Here's a report on a recent occurrence in Germany when an American unexploded bomb was discovered.

      link to

      Vietnam and Iraq also have serious unexploded ordinance problems, "courtesy" of the US.

    • A "dud" is simply the name for a bomb that fails to detonate when deployed. It still has explosive material in it, and a fuse or trigger of some type, and therefore could be accidentally triggered at any time.

      Here's a report specific to cluster bombs explaining "dud rates" and such:

      link to

  • Obama tells Americans it is 'abrogation of my constitutional duty' to defer to Israel on Iran Deal
    • To allege that they “allowed” it is, to me at least, a disgustingly ignorant act.

      It's more than that. Its the Zionist blood libel against all non-Jews. One that hophmi continually traffics in, along with the idea that only Jews are "his people". He's no more than a bigot and a hateful apologist for Israel... and of course the "outreach"guy.

    • Gotta be Yiddish.

      You didn't read all of Bornajoo's link. It's most likely from a Native American word.

      While Thompson claimed that he named the beverage after a Lieutenant Moxie,[2] a purported friend of his who he claimed had discovered the plant and used it as a panacea, and the company he created continued to promulgate legendary stories about the word's origin, it likely derives from an Abenaki word that means "dark water" and which is found in lake and river names in Maine, where Thompson was born and raised.[5]

  • The two-state pipedream: Israel will move 100s of 1000s of settlers
    • I'd agree with most or all of Jeff's comment except the very end...

      and will stay there until the rest of the world decides, as it has repeatedly in the past, that Jewish bad behavior requires correction.

      I think its an overgeneralization, oversimplification and just plain faulty history that does a disservice to Jews and to "the rest of the world" as well.

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • David,

      The South Africa situation was totally different, because South Africa already was one state, in which a minority community dominated a majority community.

      It wasn't as different as you think.South Africa was created out of three states and the continual dispossession of the indigenous African population was formalized in the early 20th century with the Native Lands Act, which eventually lead to the "Homelands" , or bantustans as they were called, which existed from the late 1950's onward, well before the international campaign against apartheid South Africa began. In apartheid South Africa they claimed that these bantustans were separate independent states, when they were in fact completely dependent, economically and politically, on South Africa. Israel has managed to slice up the Palestinian West Bank in similar ways by inserting its Jewish population into the area while forcibly removing the Palestinians from their land. This was in fact Ariel Sharon's concept of the "Palestinian State" and Israel has gone a long way towards achieving that goal. From Akiva Eldar in 2003:

      During his visit two weeks ago to Israel, former Italian prime minister Massimo D'Alema hosted a small group of Israelis - public figures and former diplomats - to a dinner at a Jerusalem hotel.
      The conversation quickly turned to the conciliatory interviews Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave to the press for their Independence Day editions. One of the Israelis, of the type for whom it's second nature, no matter who is in government, to explain and defend Israeli policy, expressed full confidence in Sharon's peace rhetoric. He said the prime minister understands the solution to the conflict is the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel.
      The former premier from the Italian left said that three or four years ago he had a long conversation with Sharon, who was in Rome for a brief visit. According to D'Alema, Sharon explained at length that the Bantustan model was the most appropriate solution to the conflict.
      The defender of Israel quickly protested. "Surely that was your personal interpretation of what Sharon said."
      D'Alema didn't give in. "No, sir, that is not interpretation. That is a precise quotation of your prime minister."
      Supplementary evidence backing D'Alema's story can be found in an expensively produced brochure prepared for Tourism Minister Benny Elon, who is promoting a two-state solution - Israel and Jordan. Under the title "The Road to War: a tiny protectorate, overpopulated, carved up and demilitarized," the Moledet Party leader presents "the map of the Palestinian state, according to Sharon's proposal." Sharon's map is surprisingly similar to the plan for protectorates in South Africa in the early 1960s. Even the number of cantons is the same - 10 in the West Bank (and one more in Gaza). Dr. Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, notes that the South Africans only managed to create four of their 10 planned Bantustans.

      An Israeli who spent many years nurturing Israeli relations with Africa was also at the dinner hosted by the Italian prime minister. He said that whenever he happened to encounter Sharon, he would be interrogated at length about the history of the protectorates and their structures.

      link to

      See also this:

      "Visualizing Palestine in a two state solution: A state of Palestine or a Palestinian Bantustan?"

      link to

      Your point:No amount of pressure could force it to absorb the West Bank and Gaza with their populations, and there is no legal basis for such action. Nor could the residents of Gaza and the West Bank be forced to accept Israeli sovereignty.

      Two points in response.1-You yourself have stated that we don't know what Israel would do if pressured, since it has never been pressured. Now you are claiming otherwise. As for the Israelis, some right wing Israeli politicians have actually stated that annexation is desirable, even if it means giving the Palestinian inhabitants the vote. The annexation itself is actually desired by many, if not most, rightwing Israelis. The pressure will be needed to ensure full citizenship guaranties, but that is a cause that will be easy to get international individuals and states to rally around.

      2-The residents of Gaza and the West Bank are already forced to accept Israeli sovereignty and have been for nearly 50 years. Full citizenship would allow West Bank and Gaza individuals to reconnect with their Palestinian Israeli brethren. And it would give them a stake in the overall economy and political arena that would be totally lacking in the bantustans that Israel has created. Regardless of whether it is claimed to be a "state" or not at some future point, it is highly likely that the "Palestinian State" will be totally dependent on Israel, and thus no more than a bantustan. Advocating for "two states" could very well end up formalizing and recognizing this bantustan, something that the international community refused to do with regard to South Africa, and something that will not give the Palestinians what they need and want to live freely on their land. I wouldn't be surprised if, as some Palestinians here and elsewhere have averred, one state with equality becomes the preferred solution for most Palestinians in the future. It was in fact their preferred solution in 1947, and it was only after the Israeli invasion of the West Bank and Gaza, and continual international pressure that they acceded to the two-state "solution", which has proved to be a sham for the last 25 plus years.

      To go from today’s situation, where the two states exist as legal entities, directly to one state means that one of those states will have to disappear: and it wouldn’t be Israel.

      But two independent viable states do NOT exist today. In actuality we have one state in control of the entire area, with two separate laws and rights enforced according to ethnicity- apartheid. Palestine has been disappearing for nearly a century, thanks to Israel and the early Zionists. The name of a country is not more important than the quality of life that could be obtained for the Palestinians, both in Israel and in the OPT, through equality.

    • The question the ‘one-staters’ never answer is this: what political process will take us from where we are now to a one-state solution?

      The same outside pressure that, if it ever materializes, could force two states could also force one state with equal rights for all. People are continually comparing Israel to South Africa, rightly I believe. But then many of them opt for pressing for a Bantustan alongside Israel instead of rejecting the Bantustan option as they did in South Africa, and pressing for equal rights for all in one country. Two states requires lengthy and most likely unbalanced negotiations about borders and water rights and security and air rights and a host of other issues. One state requires none of these, only a commitment to equal rights for all. Granted the Israeli government has no interest in equal rights, but neither did the white South African government, until they were forced into it by sanctions. If Israel is similar to Apartheid South Africa, then what is so impossible about using sanctions to reach the same result as was reached in South Africa? The obstacle to equality in one state is exactly the same obstacle that has prevented and will continue to prevent any justice for Palestinians via a pie in the sky two state solution that will either end in disconnected Indian Reservations or Bantustans, or turn the West Bank into Gaza, "independent" on paper but still under the deadly control of Israel and likely militarily devastated.

    • 3. At Lausanne in 1949 Ben-Gurion said that if Gaza was given to Israel, citizenship would be given to all its inhabitants PLUS all the refugees there. He was clearly no longer worried that Israel would not have a large enough Jewish majority.

      Two points: Even if one believed Ben-Gurion in this instance, and there is no rational reason for such a belief, in 1949 the Palestinian "citizens" of Israel had only temporary citizenship, and were subject to expulsion at any time. (I'd suggest reading Shira Robinson's "Citizen Strangers" for details) and these Israeli "citizens" were subject to martial law and restrictions of their movement within their own country for the next 19 years, until well after a large Jewish majority had been obtained through immigration . "Citizenship" for Palestinians in pre-1967 Israel meant little to nothing, so another 200,000 or so(estimates of Gaza's population in 1949) added to the 150,000 Palestinians extant after the ethnic cleansing created no serious threat to the million Jews in Israel by the end of 1949.

      Point two: Ben Gurion and all the Zionist leadership also publicly proclaimed for decades that they had no desire to dominate the indigenous Palestinians, and yet we all know from history that was an egregious lie. I wouldn't put any weight on anything Ben Gurion claimed in public. The number of lies he spoke were prodigious, even for a politician. He was almost pathological in his lying.

      A further example of this was the armistice negotiation between Jordan and Israel over the Little Triangle area in 1949. Jordan agreed to turn sovereignty of the area to Israel in return for Israel not removing the Palestinians who lived in the 3 villages there. Of course, after the agreement was signed, Israel expelled the villagers anyway and destroyed their homes and villages. Any of Ben Gurion's claims in this regard are meaningless.

      Point 3 (ala the Monty Python skit), Israel was still expelling Palestinians from Israel up until 1956. The entire population of Majdal were expelled in 1950, and the area was repopulated with Jews, becoming the town of Sderot.

    • If the Security Council would accept its duty to enforce the law, the occupation would end and there would be two independent states.

      And if pigs had wings...

      or as the Arabic saying goes,

      Bukra fil mishmish

    • Those who keep saying the ‘two-state solution is dead’ are essentially asking the Palestinians to surrender and hope for the best.

      Accepting the 'two-state solution" in 1988 was a surrender itself. Palestinians never wanted partition in the first place and only agreed to it as a concession to Israel in hopes of getting at least a bit of autonomy in a truncated Palestine: it was unfair from the beginning and It got Palestinians nothing but more oppression, more land theft, more settlements, and more futile negotiations.

      The problem is that the Israeli Jewish government will not accept Palestinians as equal beings. This means that they will not accept any two state solution that will give Palestinians even the minimum they need to function as an independent state. The Israeli desired result is a small series of disconnected Palestinian reservations and that is what the "two-state solution" will look like while "negotiations" go on into eternity.

      A single state, which the Palestinians wanted in the first place, negates the need for all those drawn-out negotiations over water rights and borders and security and the like, which always manage to work in Israel's favor. Neither two states nor one will work without vigorous outside pressure. One state solves more problems over the long term than does two.

    • From the UN Partition Plan document itself:

      The figures given for the distribution of the settled population in the two proposed States, as estimated on the basis of official figures up to the end of 1946, are approximately as follows: 166/

      Arabs and others
      The Jewish State
      The Arab State
      City of Jerusalem

      In addition there will be in the Jewish State about 90,000 Bedouins, cultivators and stock owners who seek grazing further afield in dry seasons.

      link to

      The UN and British considered the Bedouins as nomads, but it was, and is, more accurate to call them pastoralists, and their land was mostly within the UN Partition Plan's borders for the Jewish State.

  • Did the BBC cover up the anti-Semitism of Gaza's children?
    • Thanks, Bornajoo and Ritzl. I think you both just made very good points. The emphasis of the JC article was off as well, perhaps intentionally so, perhaps an unconscious result of its own bias. In any case, a "dogwhistle" which Cohen responded to exactly as the JC expected. Well taken analyses. Thanks.

    • Why wait? Why not debate American Jewish kids who exhibit eliminationist racism now? You'd probably have more believability speaking to them as a fellow Jew than a Palestinian or any other non-Jew would. Such debates might even hasten the day of peace and justice. Why wait for Jewish prejudice to end on its own?

    • Hi Bornajoo and Ritzl,

      I understand and agree with your general drift but I don't think that you actually read the JC article. It is quite short and only mentions that the BBC translated "yahood" as "Israeli", the standard translation is "Jew" and then went on to quote the BBC's reasoning for translating it as "Israeli" in this context. The JC article said nothing about anti-semitism at all. It may have intended or expected that its readership would make this leap of inference, but it clearly didn't say it or explicitly imply it in its article. And I think there are a few others here who are making the same assumption about what was actually in the JC article without having read it. Its an easy assumption to make from reading Cohen but I think that a lot of what you are rightly objecting to is actually the responsibility of Cohen and his reactions rather than the JC article itself.

      Unfortunately it was Robert Cohen who made this inference himself, not the result of any stated implication in the JC. As much as I appreciate the point he makes later in his opinion piece and what I believe are his good intentions in writing this piece, its obvious to me that he has his own prejudices to deal with, and they are on display at the very start of his piece. Quoting Cohen:

      To Jewish ears, mine included, the pejorative use of the word “Jews” conjures up enough historical baggage to fill the reclaim hall at Ben Gurion airport….Immediately I’m thinking: ‘Christ killers’, ‘blood libels’, ‘pogroms’ and the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’….Very soon I’m thinking: ‘Nazis’ and ‘gas chambers - See more at: link to

      First off, "Jews" is not a pejorative. Second, he has immediately leapt from the child's accurate description of what happened in Gaza to the idea that somehow this victimized child is the embodiment of Hitler.

      While sitting in the comfort of his own home in Britain, far away in place and time from any violence or destruction, suddenly he has cast himself as more of a victim than a 7 year old child who's mostly likely had her home destroyed and friends and family wantonly killed. I think this is a perfect example of the kind of prejudice that some Jews have and have not dealt with, because it is so ingrained that they don't even realize it is there. To them, any hint of anti-semitism, real or imagined, is only a half step away from the gas chambers. In this kind of mindset, every non-Jew is essentially a potential Hitler just waiting to be exposed, and liberal Zionist or not, this bigoted attitude is just the flip side of believing that every Jew is just as evil as the worst Jew is.

      This attitude is why those who are Jewish bigots carp so much about anti-semitism. To them anti-semitism is so much worse than any other bigotry, their own unacknowledged bigotry included. That's why we see the hurt feelings when Israel is criticized being described as the result of anti-semitism when clearly its not.

      Robert Cohen fell into this bigoted mindset at first, and although he was able to rationally conclude that the child's words were not particularly anti-semitic, he still seems to think that if the child were anti-semitic that no sympathy should be felt for her.

      Not only should no sympathy be felt for her, but none should be felt for all of "Gaza's children". The headline on this piece is his own. He didn't title it "Did the BBC coverup one child's anti-semitism?" No, he used the words "Gaza's children" as if they were all responsible for what this one child said, whether anti-semitic or not.

      In other words he did the very same thing that he objected to when first hearing that the child used the term "yahood". He blamed all Gaza's children for the words of one. Given the historic violence that Zionists and Israeli Jews have perpetrated against Palestinians, should Cohen's words immediately remind us of the massacres, ethnic cleansing and dispossession that have been visited on the Palestinians and thus cause us to withhold any sympathy for him should some equivalent violence be visited upon him? I'm sure he'd recognize that such a reaction would be heartless and bigoted itself. I wish he would analyze his own reactions and take responsibility for them.

      Perhaps he was trying to do so to some degree in his opinion piece. He has farther to go to unwrap his own prejudices. As he pointed out, many Israeli Jews, and even some of his fellow British Jews, have exhibited prejudices against Palestinians, some of them eliminationist in nature. Does he think that the world should deny them any sympathy as well if they become victims of violence? I doubt it.

      As I said, I appreciate the points that Cohen makes in the second part of his opinion piece. But, respectfully, I would suggest that he look into his own reactions and prejudices as well. Cohen's own unexamined prejudices are what makes the piece feel a bit "off" in my opinion.

  • 'This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel': A Palestinian-American's story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport
    • Ran across this from a comment left on Glenn Greenwald's piece in the Intercept today:

      excerpts of a talk by David Sheen on Israeli racism. An individual in the audience insists that it is only the "extremists" that are racists. Great response from Sheen.

  • 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.

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