Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3631 (since 2011-11-07 00:34:23)

Peace, social justice, belonging, human rights, homeland for the peoples of the Holy Land. To discuss Mondoweiss articles further, please come to the Mondoweiss Friendfeed page:

Showing comments 3631 - 3601

  • Warren, Schama, and Lipstadt address Holocaust echoes in Gaza conflict
    • Jews lost one million children, one million in Holocaust none of which belonged to communities firing rockets and digging death tunnels.

      Sometimes partisans attacked German police. In return, the Germans massacred whole villages. I think that that counts as part of the Holocaust. The Germans got their cities bombed too - not as if that makes any of what is happening, or happened then - OK.

  • Rabbi in Ohio U. controversy leads group that denies there's an occupation
    • Yes, it's a tattoo. Tattoos and female rabbis are unconventional, especially when you mix the two.

      I have never been able to totally get over the "PEP" phenomenon, widespread even among the Israeli state's founders. This goes back to Chomsky's time in on a Left Marxist (possibly Trotskyist or Stalinist) kibbutz in the 1950's, where he noted that the "racism" was strong (his word).

  • Encounter at a post office

      I had an experience a few days ago at the Post Office. I went to mail a letter to Christians in Bethlehem, but on the internet they put Bethlehem, PALESTINE as the address. So I wasn't sure what to put. The Post Office said that I had to put a country that was in their database, and they have no PALESTINE or WEST BANK or PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, or even the pro-Israeli "JUDEA AND SAMARIA", so they wouldn't accept my letter with those listed. They said even if they took i, it would get returned to me.

      I mainly want the letter to get to the recipient, but I just wasn''t sure what to put. The Israeli state doesn't want to include Bethlehem, because it doesn't want to bear responsibility for Palestinians. So even from the Israeli POV, Bethlehem isn't annexed yet as part of ISRAEL. So it's not "in" Israel.

      I heard that sometimes West Bank mail is routed through Jordan. Does that mean you can put JORDAN?

      I told the postal workers that this was like Tom Hanks' movie TERMINAL, where the South Slavic man's country vanished in a war when he was at the airport and couldnt get through Customs. They agreed and found my comment amusing. They said they liked the movie.

      I asked if there were situations like that, and asked if "Tibet" is listed as a country. As you may know, TIbet has been annexed by China since at least 1949. It turns out, Yes, Tibet is a country in the US Postal database.

  • Five lessons from the struggle to reinstate Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois
    • There's two answers possible. One is that the story about there being a divine presence in the Temple was just made up.

      The second, which the Bible gives, is that the Israelites weren't celebrating the 7 year cycle of keeping the fields fallow. The moral importance of this was, which some might overlook, was that the 7 year cycle and its fallowness were part of the concept of the Year of the "Jubilee", when debts were supposed to be forgiven and society acted in a way that we would consider to be somewhat socialistic or communitarian.

      As a result, the ancient Jews were in Babylonian captivity for a period that reflected the time when the 7 year cycle hadn't been observed. I think it may have been about 70 years of captivity reflecting a total 70 years of nonobservance.

    • As has been documented as well, pro-Israel donors
      I noticed how this article mentions the term Israel, and now is as good a time as any to mention this: I propose using the term "pro-Israeli" instead of "pro-Israel", and using "Israeli" or "Israeli State" instead of "Israel".

      First, we say pro-Amrican, pro-Russian and "pro-Canadian donors", not "pro-American donors". Grammatically, pro-Israeli is a more correct as an adjective than using the noun, "Israel".

      Second, but perhaps more importantly, there is a common confusion between people uninformed about the issue between the ancient, Biblical, Israel having a full, direct relationship with God's presence in the Temple, and the modern Israeli state.

      I myself had this confusion until I was about college aged and learned what Christian and Muslim villages were going through, which made me learn more about the topic. In my mind, the two societies were practically the same, and so it made me think of the modern state in semi-Biblical terms, even though my Christianity was not Fundamentalist. This had a major impact on my thinking about a conflict that I did not know much about. Based on surveys, many other mainstream and conservative American Protestants have the same tendency, and this is a major factor in the conflict, although perhaps often an unacknowledged one

      In case you haven't realized it by now, the Israeli state can at most only represent part of the "People of Israel", for at least two reasons. First, very many Palestinians are in fact ethnically part of the ancient People of Israel, yet Israeli society rejects them. Second, Israeli society defines the People as excluding converts to other faiths, despite Halakha's inclusion of those converts as part of the People. Third, that conversion of those ethnic Israelites (ie. Palestinians) to Islam should not have excluded them from belonging to the People of Israel, because they still believe in the same God.

      Thus, the correct adjective is "pro-Israeli", while the name "Israel" leads to a religious confusion with the broad, ancient People of Israel. People who wish to make a more objective approach should use the term "Israeli" to avoid confusion.

  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
    • As much of a distraction as constantly worrying about and trying to control the terms, the words used in the arguments?

      If you can control the words, you can control the situation.

      Good point, Mooser. It's like saying that you can't call massacres of thousands of an indigenous people in an African village region a "genocide".

    • Why is Slater, who is overall a progressive, writing an article saying that massacres of Palestinian villages is not genocide?

    • Thanks, Abigail and MRW.

      I believe that Donald and Slater should agree that genocide means killing a large group of people because of their ethnicity. I believe that the ethnic cleansing performed in Palestine involves cases of genocide as a result.

      As a general matter, Israeli nationalists since 1947, and probably earlier, planned to make their territory have far fewer Palestinians. Even Slater called for this, although he did not want it to involve force. But it realistically only could have used force to achieve mass expulsion of their ethnicity, because they would not voluntarily agree en masse.

      One defense to genocide is the scale. It's true that "only" perhaps from a few thousand to a few ten thousand Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israeli ethnic demographic policy over the last few decades (especially if we include casualties in Lebanon, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai). However, that is still a large number. If an army comes in and massacres thousands or tens of thousands of people, that is still a genocide.

      The second defense would be that the killing was not done for reasons of ethnicity, but because of some other reason like a military objective. However, that defense only works if the military objective is significant and its action is legitimate. The reason it doesn't work is because otherwise we would be talking about an illegal military act for a race-based objective.

      For example, the Turks claim that the Armenian genocide was not genocide because it happened during a war and the Armenian villages were resisting. However, massacring an Armenian village is not a legitimate military act.

      When it comes to massacres of Palestinian villages that have occurred over the past several decades, these can count as genocide too. The broader objective in the Nakba was ethnic cleansing, and the massacres of Palestinian villages, ranging from Deir Yassin to the Christian village of A-Bassa, to achieve the goal were illegal military acts.

    • Johann,

      It's true that the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba didnt kill nearly as many people as the Holocaust did. However, they both involved genocide.

      One time some resistance fighters killed a Nazi in Czechoslovakia, and the Nazis destroyed the whole town, killing a lot of people, maybe practically the whole village. They did that in lots of villages across Eastern Europe. Didn't that count as genocide?

      Likewise, in Plan Dalet, in 1948 the Israeli government decided to "destroy" villages that resisted them- including villages outside the UN-designated territory. The Israeli army sometimes killed many people in those villages - even though the villages were actually defending themselves against an attacker, being outside the UN lines. Didn't those women, children, and men undergo genocide too?

      The fact is, the Israeli government does distinguish between groups based on their race and ethnicity and religion when it comes to meting out harsh measures, and that includes the killing of many civilians.

    • Johann,

      I wish Slater would reconsider his belief that 75% of the Palestinian population in the UN-designated Israeli state should have been transferred, albeit with financial compensation. I would like to discuss alternatives with him, because it seems like it would simply be a more palatable form of ethnic cleansing.

  • Yale Jewish center to hold 'intellectual' panel on storm over ousted priest's comments-- without inviting the priest
  • University of Illinois trustees vote to reject Salaita reinstatement
    • <>
      Welcome to capitalism.

    • I thought that they probably wouldn't reinstate him, because people on Mondoweiss talked before about who is on the board, and a few of them sounded like religious nationalists. The other thing is that Wise likely already made her first decision in consultation with the board informally.

      Still, I had a hope that they might see the light after there was a campaign for his reinstatement and they learned more about constitutional academic freedom rights.

  • Ted Cruz praises Israel and gets booed off stage at D.C. Christian conference
    • nice. I know someone who fits the bill.

    • -- (Lady complains that tons of cash is being sent to the Israeli state)

      Bernie: I support the Two State Solution. (complains about Hamas)

      Crowd response: -- Two state solution is not going to happen.

      Bernie: I don't have a magic answer. If you have another answer, that's great.

      (So his answer to the original question about funding during Israeli war crimes is to complain about Hamas and say he doesn't have an answer.)

      I understand why people are interrupting him - they feel that he acts like a brick wall on the topic, even though he should be a leading left wing senator.

  • Entry Denied
    • Activist,
      I think the Israelis probably have that base covered with their computer data bases. There is a ton of information sharing that goes on, far more than you may suspect.

    • Kate,
      Your chances would be at least better. Julia tweeted that she had people with that connection offering to help her get in again.

    • I've heard from a few world travelers that they have the most scrutinizing, potentially rude system in the world. I am not sure if there is a more strict one. I suppose North Korea and some other places would be much worse if your travel documents are bad, but not if they actually gave you permission to visit.

    • Kate,

      Maybe that among other things. Unless they say the reason, you don't really know. There have been stories about people on MW who were denied for far less.

    • Yes, the ending was the best part.

  • ISIS and Israel allies against a Palestinian state
  • Freed by Gaza, Spiegelman calls Israel out as a batterer
    • Seafoid,
      I believe that the trauma of the Holocaust plays a role in inflaming the conflict. But why are attitudes becoming increasingly intolerant as the Holocaust recedes into the past? Surveys on some topics comparing the older and younger generations are very troubling.

    • It's funny, but Johnny Carson and the narrator from The Twilight Zone have a smooth, unusual way of talking. I think maybe there is a bygone era and US accents have changed since then.

    • At 0:58, is she wearing a religious necklace?

  • Salaita speaks publicly for the first time since firing: 'I am here to reaffirm my commitment to teaching and to a position with the American Indian Studies program at UIUC'
    • It's surprising how too frequent this is.

      Mar 25, 2011

      Donald Wagner, Middle Eastern studies professor at North Park University in Chicago, was fired last year after working in the school for 15 years. An activist for Palestinian human rights and director of North Park’s Center of Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Wagner was popular with students, but controversial within the evangelical Christian university’s larger community. Student leaders and faculty members started a petition — which eventually had more than 500 signatures, including some from members of North Park’s board of trustees — to rehire Wagner as an adjunct professor. But on May 18, after negotiations with faculty members, North Park announced that it would not rehire Wagner. School administrators have cited financial pressures as the reason for Wagner’s departure.

      In an email interview with F, Wagner said, “There are a number of pro-Israel organizations in the U.S. that monitor faculty who take up justice for the Palestinians, even when those faculty present a balanced and honest approach to this controversial topic. Faculty who do not have tenure are most vulnerable, but others are harassed and monitored as well.”

    • Lysias:

      Reinstatement is usually treated as a last resort, particularly when money will not make the employee whole for the harm caused. However, some employers will offer reinstatement as part of a settlement negotiation to limit their financial burden. If the employee has a strong desire to return to the role then the employee’s attorney can also try to negotiate that as part of a settlement. Settlement is more likely to result in reinstatement in a larger company where there are more job openings and it is easier to either place the employee in the same position under different management or place the employee in a new position with comparable pay and benefits. - See more at: link to

    • Lysias,

      In 2007, New York City fired the principal of the city's first Arabic-language school because she wore a T shirt saying Intifada, which she explained just means "shaking off" and doesn't refer to violence. She sought reinstatement, but the Education Department denied it:

      Arabic School Ex-Principal Fights to Get Job Back

      The founding principal of the city’s first Arabic-language school said yesterday that the Bloomberg administration forced her to resign in August by threatening to shut the school. She said she was applying to get the job back. Establishing the Khalil Gibran school, Ms. Almontaser said, “was my American dream.” She added, “It turned into an American nightmare.”

      Ms. Almontaser said that her critics — particularly those involved with a group that calls itself the “Stop the Madrassa Coalition” — had gone after her by “fostering hatred of Arabs and Muslims.”

      “They suggested that as an observant Muslim I was disqualified from leading” the school, Ms. Almontaser said. “To stir up anti-Arab prejudice, they constantly referred to me by my Arabic name, a name that I do not use professionally.”

      link to

      The backdrop to this, and the real reason she was fired, was most likely because her shirt supported Palestinian resistance in the IP conflict, and this is the motivation for Ms. Springer of the campaign against the school, as numerous postings by Ms. Springer on the conflict suggest - if it is the same Ms. Springer:
      (eg. link to

  • Ohio student leader's dramatic act for Gaza
  • The real issues in the Salaita case: Palestine, neoliberalism, and the corporate university
    • David,

      Thanks for replying. The fact is that when Lobbies are very strong, they play a decisive role in determining how American politics work on their issue.

      I took a class on Cuba from a Cuban exile professor. In the class, we learned how important the Cuban exile lobby is in determining US policy on Cuba. There were times when US presidents showed interest in improving US relations with Cuba, but the Cuban emigre lobby interfered. The US has positive relations with China, a key trading partner and yet it is considered by the Establishment to be a military and economic competitor (if not potential opponent). All three Latino senators in the US are Cuban emigres, while our class explained that Florida, and in particular Miami, is a key battleground state for the presidency.

      When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, why would the issue's lobby's role be limited to Congress, where Netanyahu gets his 28 bicameral standing ovations, and not also extend to the presidency, because of the decisive role of lobbies and campaigning in very tight elections? It's hard to separate Congressional politics from presidential ones, when you look at how big a role it played in Hagel's nomination. Hagel is unlikely to oppose Netanyahu openly and strongly on human rights issues after that, isn't he?

      Further, there are multiple cases where it has not been in the US strategic interest. The IP conflict inflames the world's Muslim population. And while the US may be interested in dominating the Middle East, the unnecessary "thorn" of the Nakba, systemic inequality, annual "lawn mowings" of Gaza, and the world's longest, largest refugee crisis makes it harder to control or influence other Arab societies, as numerous studies have shown.

      A good case of the US national interest being hurt was the Arab oil embargo in the early 1970's, which was put in place as a response to US support for the Israeli system. This embargo severely damaged the economy and brought commuters to wait for a Lonnnnngggggggg time at the gas pump. What strategic interest did the recession serve?

      In interviews, Chomsky himself said that his personal biases may affect his views about the Israeli state and that he was a nationalist "youth leader". While overall Chomsky is a radical, on some issues related to IP he is not really "radical".

      The fact is that lobbies play a decisive role in major US political issues, and that is true whether it involves Cuba, Wall Street, oil, tobacco, or one of the most contentious and provocative issues in US politics - the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

    • Page: 36
    • "While I disagree with the notion that the Israel Lobby determines U.S. foreign policy".
      It determines it on the issue of the Israeli state, though, right? Were there no lobby, the US votes in the UN on the issue would be different, right?

  • Three-sentence letter to the 'NYT' results in Yale chaplain's resignation
  • Cycling4Gaza to stage Philly to DC trek in mid-September
  • Gaza 'fractured' Rabbi Rosen's spiritual home
    • I suppose that this is what you are referring to?

      The beginning of Reconstructionism can be dated to 1922, when Kaplan founded the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a synagogue in New York City. Kaplan gathered Jews who were disaffected with other congregations and committed to "reconstructing" American Judaism...

      At the same time as the Reconstructionist Movement embraced a universalistic vision, Kaplan also deeply believed in developing both Jewish unity and a Jewish civilization and was a strong supporter of Zionism. Although critical of both the secular/religious dichotomy in Israeli society and of Israel's foreign policy, he made aliyah late in his life and lived in Jerusalem.

      link to

      In 1986, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) and the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot (FRCH) passed the official "Platform on Reconstructionism". It is not a mandatory statement of principles, but rather a consensus of current beliefs. Major points of the platform state that:

      There is no such thing as divine intervention; Judaism is an evolving religious civilization; Zionism and aliyah (immigration to Israel) are encouraged

      link to

  • Photo of six shoveling secretaries needs a caption
  • Joan Rivers's Palestinian finale
    • That's probably true. The thinking must run like this: Look at the good things about us, and we were victims and now came back to our homeland. People there don't want us to have country there, so they are bad. And they are fighting us even after we conquered them, so that's bad too.

  • Yasher Koach to Brant Rosen
    • Abigail,
      Do you know of any synagogues where staff can regularly openly criticize the Israeli system?
      Maybe there are some ultra-Orthodox ones that Neturei Kartei runs?

    • globalconsciouness, because you grew up with these same values does not conceptually refute the idea it is not “intrinsically Jewish”.

      Well, actually it does, but this might just be a semantic issue the author did not intend.

      "Instrinsically" means "by natural character", like you said. Art history may be "intrinsically" an academic subject. But academic subjects are not "by nature" or "intrinsically" Art history. Math and physics are not Art history.

      Jewish values may by nature include social activism, but all human rights are not by nature Jewish. For example, one may have a human right to worship pagan gods, even though the Torah bans it.

      This kind of debate really only tends to be an issue though when someone like Marc Ellis says that Christians do not have an "indigenous" prophetic spirit because he sees the prophetic as intrinsically Jewish.

    • Your comments in this section of the thread show extra strength at perception.

    • I don’t know what the heck you are expecting out of Judaism. It’ll bring you and your family what you bring to it. In America we have that choice, and we better use it or lose it.

      Well it might be tough for her to bring in Jewish things if she is not Jewish. And where does that leave things?

  • Brant Rosen's prophetic voice elevated him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day
    • OK. That's pretty cool they made a keyboard for you though. I can't get over how you are really a Moose. I think it's actually cool. I've seen videos of dogs and whales performing human speech, and I know now that they have made devices for people to interact using brain power.

      So are you in a scientific compound? Please fill me in on the back story if you get a chance.

    • RoHa,

      It's unfortunate that Mondowiss has turned off editing. Now, my comments will have more grammar and spelling mistakes, because often I notice the mistakes only after they have appeared. I suppose if I was really intense about it I would have a friend spellcheck everything before I pressed Submit.

      There are going to be more grammar mistakes appearing around here, including spelling mistkaes, whether we like it or not.


    • Oh, I thought you were called Mooser because you were Canadian. I didn't think you were actually a Moose. It's amazing for me - sorry if this sounds species-ist, that you are able to type. Modern science is amazing. I had a conversation once with an automated AI on the internet. One of these is on , but there are others. I feel that Moose are more sympathetic than AI, and your conversations with us on Mondoweiss has raised my already-positive opinion of your noble species!

    • Mooser,

      I'm Orthodox Christian, and in the Book of Acts and later church rules, the Noahide food restrictions were taken into Christianity. The most noticeable thing is that there is a ban on blood foods, like Haggis and kishka (Polish blood sausage). Weirdly enough, animal blood dishes are part of the cuisine of many Orthodox European countries, albeit less common.

      link to

      I heard that the rule against blood foods is followed strictly by Palestinian Christians, and believe that like some other Palestinian customs it comes from their descent from ancient Jews. Of course, standard Israeli talking points would say Palestinians are from Arabia or don't exist.

    • sharks do have scales, they are just placoid scales, which are denser and appear smooth if rubbed in one direction, in contrast to leptoid scales, ganoid scales, and cosmoid scales.
      link to

    • Is it permitted to consume carnivorous plants?
      link to

    • Tuna, salmon, sharks, alligators, and turtles are carnivores too. Do they count?

    • Some people were asking about the IPC and what it means. Some things that are relevant at JRC:

      SKIP: Send a Kid to Israel Program

      JRC participates in Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership (SKIP), which allows families, their congregations and JUF/JF to become partners in planning for a young person's future Israel Experience.

      link to

      Israel Solidarity Day
      Sunday, May 4, 2014 (All day)
      link to

      "Join us for Israeli Film Night the first Wednesday of each month."

      The Librarian however did recommend a book from an author who criticizes the state:
      link to

      Also, can anyone explain the references to the state under "JRC Core Values".
      Does Israel refer to the modern nation, or is it considered that the ancient nation is a way to refer to the religion?
      link to

      Overall, it looks like there was not a lot of discussion about the State on the website though.

  • Tzipi Livni's vacation nightmare
    • The web is becoming ever more centralized. Privacy deteriorates.

    • A lot of westerners can read extremely simple Greek. I can make out the end of the word Palestine in Greek in the photo, Lysias, along with the names of Palestinian cities like Gaza (Гаza). The sign is probably pretty simple in its wording.

      Pronouncing her sentence out loud makes a funny double entendre:
      “I still managed to tear/terr a part of the sign… We must act anywhere in the world to make it clear who here is the tearerist/terrorist”

    • Turn from your sins with your heart, ask God for help with them, and do your best to be a better person.

    • LOL.

      “I still managed to tear a part of the sign... We must act anywhere in the world to make it clear who here is the terrorist"~Livni

  • I quit my job at the Jewish Community Center over a pro-Israel rally and they called me an anti-semite
    • Giles,
      Racism happens occasionally, but fortunately nowadays it's not the norm. For example, anti-black racism isn't usually open or seen as socially "respectable" or polite, but now and then it happens, like you said. People can get in trouble at a lot of workplaces for making racist comments at people, and practicing discrimination is illegal.

      I think the ADL's antisemitism index was exaggerrated because of the way two questions were phrased, but in any case the US scored 9% for antisemitism. Of course, it would be better if it was 0, but it's not that huge either.

      Anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian sentiment is unfortunately far more serious like you said. Mondoweiss just put up a list of people who suffered for being pro-Palestinian just this summer.

    • Hello, Charlie.

      You wrote a good narrative, and added:

      I don’t think my white, Christian friends will ever understand how much I am losing by taking such a political stand.

      I think you are a good writer and gave a sense of what it was like o go through the resignation process after discussing with them how you and they felt about the conflict. I'm a white Christian myself, and admire your commitment to social justice. While I might not understand fully what you are losing, I am convinced that if you write another essay like his one about how you feel, what you are giving up, and what it means to you, people who are truly your friends will understand.

      You are a wonderful person, and there are people who care and sympathize. Please remember that.

    • Pixel,

      There are people who go on Birthright trips and who think a bit like the way you do. They try to ask tough questions, but they basically get shut down and are told that Birthright is apolitical, although in fact it's mainly political.

      You can ask people who go on birthright trips what happens when tough questions are asked.

      Imagine if you are in the military and ask tough questions to your sergeant. I'm not saying Birthright is the same as that, though.

    • Whatever is in the photo here:
      link to

      Wheat or rye is probably more common, but otherwise it's probably the same.

    • This is a good narrative.

    • It's interesting that she is Mizrahi. That must mean that she is basically Middle Eastern, right? (Although I suppose it includes elsewhere in Africa and Asia too.) Perhaps that meant her parents were not really typical in comparison with others?

  • Rabbi Brant Rosen steps down from Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue saying his activism on Israel/Palestine has been 'lightning rod for division'
    • Dunkin Donuts coffee is good, but what is wrong with African Fair Trade?
      Is Dunkin Donuts Jewish but African coffee isn't? Or does African Fair Trade not taste very good? I think they are both good.

    • If you are studying the society's sciences, you will find things like research on loggerhead turtles, bees, potatoes, etc., along with other research topics on the list from Hakafa's IPC.

    • Israel Programming Committee
      to simply celebrate all that is Israel, JRC established its new Israel
      Programming Committee.

      programming includes: Israeli folk dancing in December accompanied by a potluck dinner featuring Israeli recipes; a celebration of Israel’s Independence Day on April 23, 2015; and a do-it-yourself travel to Israel program.

      it is important to understand Israel on a cultural and economic basis as well and will include events focused on the arts, sciences and customs of the populations living in Israel.

      link to

    • Danaa,

      JRCMember claims that she was not aware that there was any serious problem, and thought that the critics were just 5%.

      What do you think about that?

    • Mooser,

      Do you know of openly non-nationalist Reform synagogues?

      I don't know if this one still is:

      Congregation Beth Elohim, also known as the Garfield Temple and the Eighth Avenue Temple, is a Reform Jewish congregation located at 274 Garfield Place and Eighth Avenue, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn...

      They planned "for a meeting of non-Zionist Reform Rabbis to discuss the problems that confront Judaism and Jews in the world emergency", to be held in Atlantic City. 36 rabbis eventually attended the two-day conference on June 1, 1942, including Beth Israel's Landman. The conference led to the formation of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism

      link to

    • With a Committee publication promoting the state's achievements as saving the world, I am not surprised that Rosen, who is not a religious nationalist, had contention, unfortunately:

      56. In October 2011, despite a severe diplomatic crisis in the wake of the deadly Gaza flotilla raid over a year earlier, Israel sent a package of aid to Turkey

      60. The United Nations turned to an Israeli company to help purify water for Syrians suffering water contamination during the country’s current violent conflict. The Israeli government blessed the deal despite a law nixing trade with an enemy state

      64. Strawberries, sweet peppers, cucumbers and eggplants are just some of the crops that are much healthier today because of some tiny little insects and mites bred in Israel. Kibbutz
      -based Bio - Bee breeds beneficial insects for biological pest control , which enable farmers to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 75 percent. The company exports eight different species of biological control agents, plus pollinating bumblebees, to 32 nations from Japan and the US to Chile.


      21. Norway is sending teachers to Israel to learn how to revitalize the Lapp language of Sámi
      . Of about 10 Sámi dialects once spoken in the country, only four are still known among the estimated 100,000 Sámi-speakers of Lapland and current teaching methods are not successful. Israel is considered an expert in reviving old languages because of its experience recreating Hebrew. Israeli language experts have worked with experts in Scotland and Wales, where long-suppressed minority languages are now making a comeback

      35. A new Israeli-developed tooth varnish is saving the lives of kangaroos in captivity who often fall victim to a contagious, and sometimes fatal, gum condition called lumpy jaw disease.

      36. An Israeli research team has found a way to mate male prawns and increase yields and profitability for farmers.

      41. Israel is the world-recognized leader in raising therapeutic clowning to the level of a standardized, research - backed healthcare discipline. Its internationally renowned Dream Doctors Project has trained and placed nearly 100 practitioners at 22 hospitals in Israel. Dream Doctors worked with the University of Haifa to establish the world’s only academic degree program in clown therapy as a paramedical profession. Much of the groundbreaking research on the measurable effects of medical clowning is being
      done in Israel and shared in international forums.

      43. Earlier this month, Israel set up a field hospital along its border with Syria to treat Syrians wounded in the country’s bloody civil war. Though Syria is an enemy nation, Israeli army medics have been treating dozens of wounded Syrian civilians at the makeshift hospital

      Is this true:

      8. Israeli doctors are flying to Africa to help train local medical personnel in male medical circumcision with the organization Operation Abraham , in an effort to halt the AIDS epidemic there. Studies suggest that more than half of all HIV infections could be stopped if men were circumcised.

  • Salaita firing turns into a 'catastrophe' for University of Illinois
    • As far as discrimination rules are concerned, ethnicity refers to an immutable trait. Anti-semitism means hating people simply because they are Jewish rather than because of other factors.

      So for example the Rech in WWII hated them for genetic reasons and rednecks in the South hated blacks simply because of their race.

      Hating someone simply because of their religion is also wrong, even though that's not really an immutable quality.

      It's not racism however if there is another reason for the antagonism. So if someone has an antagonism to Israelis who commit abuses (and I believe people should not have antagonism toward anyone, ideally), then it's not because of their ethnicity or religion but because of the harm done.

    • My understanding is that anti-semitism means animosity to Jews because of their ethnicity, much like anti-Black racism would be towards Blacks.

      Understood thus, opposing Israeli policies because they are abusive, or for that matter opposing organizations like AIPAC or even Hillel for supporting those policies would not be anti-semitic. In fact, any opposition to Israeli policies or groups (like Greta Berlin's tweet slandering Israeli nationalists) would not be anti-semitic as long as there is a different motive than ethnic hatred.

      So properly understood, actual anti-semitism could not be honorable.

    • I took his tweet to be sarcasm. You would have to redefine anti-semitism to make it honorable. You would have to say that it means opposing a collective society, and a collective society is defined by the beliefs or politics of, say, a big majority of its members.

      Personally I disagree with this way of talking about collective entities and have debated against it in the comments section a few times, if I remember correctly. However, people often do occasionally talk in these collective terms: eg. The Americans fought The Germans in WWII, The Gypsies are nomadic.

      In any case, it's rare for Solidarity activists to use this phraseology when it comes to the Jewish people.

    • Interesting. Yes, it became a kind of scandal.

      The Huffington Post has an article by the director of the law center at the University of Chicago, explaining why it's unconstitutional for the school to fire Salaita:
      Salaita v. University of Illinois: The Constitutional Issues
      link to

      The talk that Franke will go to sounds exciting. It would be very good if MW could run a story on that if the chance arose.

      Here's what's interesting. Salaita has a solid case - the University openly informed him that he was hired, which in terms of a contract seals his case. Also, pressure is mounting up with support for Salaita. Meanwhile, the school has announced that it is willing to settle, even before there has been a lawsuit - as far as I know. And on top of that, the President says that the decision for hiring will be up to the Board, and the Board has not voted yet.

      This will basically be a vote as to whether the Board designs to break its contract and violate constitutional free speech rights.

  • Israel's right wing Zionists, Palestine's militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter
    • Early Islamic activism in Gaza

      Among the activists benefited was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, who had also formed the Islamic group Mujama al-Islamiya, a charity recognized by Israel in 1979. Israel allowed the organization to build mosques, clubs, schools, and a library in Gaza.[13]

      Yitzhak Segev, the acting governor of Gaza in 1979, said he had no illusions about Yassin's intentions

      Segev maintained regular contact with Yassin, met with him around a dozen times, and arranged for Yassin to be taken to Israel for hospital treatment

      link to

      Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.

      "The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza." At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad (Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) , the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories....

      Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison ("on humanitarian grounds") where he was serving a life sentence... In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords. Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.

      The budget of The Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority.

      link to

    • Hello, Jeff B. Thanks for your confirmation.

      Regarding the Palestinians' origins, it isn't the case that Israeli immigrants are simply Europeans, or that Palestinians are simply from the Arabian desert. In fact, over the centuries they both include a solid mix of decent from ancient Israelites. In the case of the Palestinians, this is shown by DNA tests, cultural studies, customs, linguistics, place names, history, and was even known and discussed to different extents by some early Zionist founders.

      In 1935, a Christian or Muslim family and an Arabic-speaking Jewish family with long roots in the same ancient village may in fact have been divided not by ethnicity but by religion. And their situation was quite common.

    • Hello, Tod.

      You wrote: Some of what you wrote rings true, but I disagree with most of your conclusions.

      My main conclusion is that the Left Zionist position is that Israelis have a right to an Israeli state in Palestine but that Palestinians are so numerous that they should be allowed a Palestinian state in order to have an Israeli majority in the Israeli state. However, Left nationalists could not realistically implement this secondary goal because they would have to act against what are seen as the historical rights of other Israelis and intervene on behalf of Arabs who resist the state.

      Unfortunately you did not produce a compelling reason why the Israeli Left would drive itself hard to make a state for the weak, conquered, rebellious Palestinians, and you ended up agreeing with me by saying "this still places its opinions short of a just solution for the Palestinians."

      The fact is, if one's main goal is to have a state dedicated to one nationality only, it can't be expected that one will dedicate equal energy to allegedly "giving the land away" to a weak nation resisting them.

      (Sidenote: It looks like JeffB agrees with me, and based on his past posts here, that unfortunately confirms what I am saying. )

      Now I will be more specific:

      You write:
      The Israeli left is willing to “compromise” on the specific points you raised
      I actually agree. Even Netanyahu is willing to compromise - if sufficient pressure were put on him. However, the Palestinians by comparison are so weak, and the international community not dedicated enough to realistically expect a compromise.

      The US founders might have theoretically accepted that the Indians should get major land tracts under certain Peace Treaties, but you could not realistically expect them to make a major conflict with large numbers of pioneers who "tamed the west" based on their shared ideology of Manifest Destiny.

      Even if the Israeli left sees the land as historically theirs, that does not mean they believe settlers should be allowed to move in at will. Land in Jordan is also part of the historic Israelite kingdom, yet the Israeli left lays no claim to it. If, say Meretz, had 70% of the vote, would settlement expansion continue.

      First, the issue is not just West Bank settlements, but discrimination in the Green Lin, the Nakba, and the creation of a Palestinian state. Left nationalists could not be expected to drive hard to solve all these issues on behalf of contentious Palestinians and against other Israelis claiming what the Israeli Left sees as historical rights- even if "theoretically" they accept like US founders that settlers shouldn't move wherever they choose.

      As for Meretz, I suppose you don't know that even they are building West Bank settlements:
      link to

      You ask:
      Would anyone in the Israeli left agree that Israel is in the conquest phase? – not likely.
      What's your point? If they don't, then it means that they don't realize that the West Bank and Gaza are still being subjugated. The West Bank is still under martial law.

      You are right that I am "disregarding the extreme left (Gideon Levy as an example), post-zionists, etc…"
      My comments are specifically about why Left Nationalism could not be expected to independently create a 2SS with full rights for Palestinians in both states. I am not making a criticism of non-nationalists.


    • What seafoid said. LOL.

      I would have guessed they were 0.5% to 5% of the population. Muslims are 0.8%. Orthodox Christians (eg. Arab Christians, Greeks, and Russians) are 1.9%. The US Jewish population is 2.1%.

      My main point is that if Native Americans were still 60% of the population, then the US would have a much larger practical issue on its hands with regard to its treatment of them and their political demands. The US has been able to be democratic, give them tax benefits, full citizenship and avoid giving them independence. A nationalistic Israeli state on the other hand doesn't have that option. It can only give millions of Palestinians land and independence or else violate their civil rights.

    • I wish I hadn't started out so strongly with the words "You are mistaken", Bilal. But you know, No Edit Function.

      All the best.

    • You are mistaken that the system would be "entirely different", and that you can really use the words "despite the Nakba the founders were progressives", and conclude that they would not be in conflict with their neighbors.

      First, the system was laid out by Herzl and Ben Gurion for a "nationalistic and democratic state" for that nationality, and the state has not deviated from that basic system. Next, the founders included Herzl and Jabotinsky. The first modeled his system directly on European colonialism, and the second was openly right wing.

      After this, note that Ben Gurion was another main founder who ruled the state for a long time, and was in power during the Suez crisis with Egypt and later. During that time there remained conflict with the neighbors and this, like the Nakba, was not put on him by the US.

      Finally, as to whether they were progressives, it's true that there was a serious left and democratic movement, however, this progressiveness did not apply when it came to relations with Palestinians. Read about the J14 protests in the Israeli State in 2011 - there was a serious progressive movement, but the movement did not take on the issue of Palestinians. I recommend that you also read about Chomsky's experiences on the extremely left wing, Marxist progressive kibbutzes in the 1950's when it came to their relations with the Arabs. Chomsky said that he would not have lasted, and he noticed the intolerance.

      So no, it wasn't like the US intervened and made things totally different than what they wanted. What you should realize is that there was a contradiction going on. To give an analogy, the founders of the United States were also very progressive - one of the first successful long term democratic leaderships in world history, declaring All Men Are Created Equal. And yet when it came to relations with Native Americans and African Americans, there was also a major contradiction in play.

    • In shorter words:
      The Left Zionist position is that Israelis have a right to Palestine, but that since Democracy is important and Palestinians are so numerous, the practical answer is to allow the latter to have a state in the land too so that they don't obstruct the Israeli political majority.

      This ideology in reality sees Palestinian statehood as an inconvenience for the main goal, and a secondary goal so long as it must be reckoned with.

      Left nationalism could not realistically implement this secondary goal, because it sees right wing West Bank settlers as part of their society and their land claims as rightful, and because Palestinians are not so strong that they must be protected. Meanwhile, since Palestinians are resisting conquest, their inconvenient claims can be postponed.

      Finally, from the left nationalist perspective, the "inconvenience" Palestinians present should not be allowed to grow enough where it could seriously interfere with the Israeli state.

    • From the outset, the Right Wing was bound to take ascendancy until the "demographic problem" of a comparable number of Palestinians and Israelis living in conflict on land that the pro-Israeli nationalists believe belonged to them was solved.

      Both Left and Right Israeli nationalism were formulated as a colonialist movement, and although it's no longer fashionable to say it, it remains so. The main idea is that the land inherently belongs to the nationalists' community based on history, and it seriously encourages members of the community around the world to come and settle or colonize the land. That concept reflects the essence of a settler ideology - and it applies even to normally progressive left Zionists.

      Nationalists reply that the land really does belong to them, and that they are returning to it. However, even if both claims are true, this only means that the colonizing movement is seen very positively - ie. as a "Return colony", in which the settlers are repopulating or reclaiming their land. It does not deny that the movement is itself a colonizing one.

      And how is a colonialist movement to achieve the goal of an Ethnic and Democratic State without serious discrimination or ethnic cleansing when the majority of people already in the land don't belong to the nationalists' religious community?

      The nationalists could reorient themselves to become a Palestinian ethnic nationalism, since they claim to be returning - and many of those on the land already are ethnically Jews who stayed but converted to Christianity or Islam. However, the nationalists have hardly considered doing that, and instead remain in reality defined along religious, rather than ethnic lines.

      The other possibility is what the Left Nationalists themselves propose - a Two State Solution. But who is going to hold back the nationalists when they consider the land to be theirs? The Israeli government has undergone a kind of open "mission creep" - their declared goal posts have gradually advanced- from 1947 when it was dedicated to roughly the UN lines to its claims now over the West Bank. If the Palestinians were equal in strength to the nationalists, a parity would likely have occurred. But Palestinians are well overpowered, and when the two groups both claim the same land, who will stop the far more powerful group from gradually taking over it all?

      In other words, while left nationalists may see the two state solution as the most practical, its implementation is not realistic. Why is it unrealistic? Because of the combination of their main belief that the land is inherently theirs, because of the massive power imbalance, their belief in a second Palestinian state is only as a secondary corollary of their main practical goal of establishing an ethnic state. In other words, establishing an ethnic state comes first, making it democratic goes along with that- but Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are seen as outside of that democratic state and thus their rights come second.

      This can be seen through the lens of the experience with the Native Americans and American settlers. The US made treaties with the Indians, and Americans might think that having Indian lands was the best solution. However, American power was so much stronger than the Indians' that those Indian lands became reduced to parcels. Many states do not even include Indian lands anymore. Nowadays the Indians are so small in number after years of disease and conquest that the government is happy to give them tax and welfare benefits, without giving them full autonomy.

      The Israeli State, however is still in the conquest phase of its colonialism, and Palestinians are so numerous that the government is not prepared to put the Territories on welfare, and to give them their full rights in the Israeli state would make them a majority - unlike Indians in the US.

      Just as the US would make a treaty with the natives and then pioneers would independently move in, looking for new "elbow room", it's just the reality that there are Israeli settlers moving in to the territories. Since the main goal is an nationalist state, the state can't be realistically expected to stop the nationalists from continuing their colonization of what it sees as its rightful land. From the nationalists' viewpoint, both the West Bank settlers and the Palestinians have a good case - the settlers because the land is theirs and they have the preferred nationality, and the Palestinians because for practical reasons the liberal nationalists have accepted that they should have a state too.

    • The Israelis supposedly helped establish Hamas in the first place as a counterbalance to the moderate PLO.

    • Probably a mix. Which one is J Street?

      Lobbies run Washington's political decisions, and Palestinians don't have a serious Lobby.

  • Gaza benefit at Yale was moved off-campus due to backlash against priest's letter to NYT
    • I think if it was Christian it would still be OK, Ritzl. The general sense in the status quo is that Hamas is a Muslim terrorist group fighting Israel, and by extension Christendom, because it wants an Islamic theocracy. Prosecuting a Christian for helping a charity there would not really make sense within the general justification given.

      Nonetheless, I would not really exclude that they would do this either. The Holy Land prosecution show trial was probably influenced by the fact that the defendants were Muslim.

  • Judaism's hijacking by Zionists drives 70% of secular Jews to marry non-Jews-- Koppman at Huffpo
    • I think 70% is too high to blame it on Zionism. I think the real reason is that people don't care about religious differences as much as they did. So Jews and non-Jews have a lot more contact and intermarriage than before.

      Take for example, Sarah Silverman. She loves the Israeli State - more exactly, she loves Obama and she promoted him in her video by emphasizing that "He loves Israel".

      Yet she also wore a cross on an interview, creating a mini-scandal with her family, including her sister who is an Israeli Reform Rabbi:
      Susan Silverman added, "I'm her rabbi sister and called her and asked WTF? She got it, like our dad said, on a recent movie set and she just liked that it pointed to her boobs."
      link to

      So Israeli nationalism led her sister to become an Israeli rabbi, while in her case, nationalism did not stop her from mixing with Christian culture (see also her irreverent movie Jesus is magic) and considering herself to be non-religious. That is, her serious nationalism did not make her object to religion, and it made her sister attracted to religion.

      Granted, I was surprised about Sarah's position on the State's system- I like her, she is fun to watch, pretty, irreverent, and told Israelis to vote for the left parties Meretz and the green movement. So it was surprising to hear her say that Palestinians are responsible for the conflict because they have no humor and "only smile when a bomb goes off".
      link to

      I was also surprised at her signing the petition that practically gives them the only blame for the casualties, accepting the "human shields" accusation, without explaining it:
      link to

  • Beinart urges young Jews to get arrested in the West Bank for the sake of Zionism. Will they?
    • Marc,
      You wrote:

      But he’s much too kind to Beinart. And frankly, given the fecklessness and irrelevance of the skim milk liberal Zionist movement, I find myself wondering why I invested the time in another Beinart post.

      It's understandable I guess- MW is dedicated to a Jewish, progressive viewpoint on the topic, and Beinart is one of the figures he notes when he scans the horizon for signs of people moving to the left on the topic. If Beinart doesn't please you though, it raises another question: Has Phil considered discussing Neturei Kartei's actions? Or are they, like Beinart, too irrelevant for the community?

    • I thought Phil had a good analysis.

    • In the photo, how young does Peter Beinart look? 25?

  • In Gaza, Palestinians celebrate resistance and credit it with 'victory'
    • If you like, we could continue the discussion here, or take it onto Friendfeed if it is too long for the closing deadline.

    • Annie,

      I thought you made a good point explaining what is a very confusing idea by Israelis that they were defeated and blame their leadership, when you said:

      Netanyahu’s goal was not merely to stop the rockets. don’t forget he started this thing and completely freaked out over the unity agreement, the goal was to eradicate hamas/sever their authority, place the PA in charge … which he completely failed to do

      But how rationally did Israelis think that Netanyahu could eradicate Hamas without a ground invasion? How would bombing hospitals and churches and UN shelters defeat Hamas? Since when did aerial bombardment, without a ground invasion, change a government?

      You are right what you said:

      “Wasn’t that goal achieved by the ceasefire? ”
      it’s a temporary ceasefire. there’s no way to guarantee

      But nonetheless, I don't know why that is not a victory for the goal of stopping rockets. A ceasefire is an agreement to stop fighting. I think North and South Korea have a decades-long ceasefire, so they can become semi-permanent. I don't know how the Israelis can rationally think that they could get more than an agreement to stop fighting, other than an actual peace treaty. And Israelis don't even have a peace treaty with the PLO, just a semi-permanent peace "arrangement".

      So if the alleged goal is stopping the rockets, then they achieved their goal. If the goal was to get rid of Hamas, then how did they think they were going to do that without a ground invasion?

      And if they did want a ground invasion, then how did they think they could invade, hold, and occupy it securely with minimal casualties and then succeed in putting the PLO in power?

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • it’s my understanding the primary palestinian focus is liberation, equality and (of course) justice ~Annie.

      Sure. I also, I understand that Hamas does economic activity to help Palestinians, and that they have a broad base and their views are representative of a large section of Palestinians. Not only that, but in Gaza they won an election over their main rival, Fatah.

      Nonetheless, I would distinguish Palestinians from Fatah and Hamas, the two main parties. While Hamas might say "Act Justly or Disappear", perhaps many other Palestinians would say "Act Justly or Undergo BDS - especially sanctions, and international intervention."

      This issue reflects the question of how much support a people must give to an organization before we equate the people's views with the organization. Most American Jews in surveys have said that they support the Israeli system and also disagree with the idea of having a second, Palestinian, state. But because I am reluctant to make generalizations about populations, I would avoid generalizing about Jewish Americans with regards to either statement.

      Even when we make statements that apply to 90% of a population (like massive Israeli support for their attack on Gaza), I still have some doubt about whether it is fully correct to make generalizations about populations.

    • I think that the title is misleading and perhaps counterproductive. The article actually says "Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear". This message is from Hamas, rather than from the Palestinian people. Although I am sure that many Palestinians would agree with the statement, the main statement I think Palestinians would make would focus on peace and human rights, rather than the abuser disappearing.

    • Ivri,

      The reason people voted for Hamas in Gaza was because they wanted a party that would go against their decades-old suppression. Was Hamas' electoral win in Gaza an "improvement" of the Israeli position?

      Is the Israeli State better off now after almost a decade of blockading and bombing Gaza?

    • . Abbas and his Palestinian Authority bear their share of the responsibility for this as well. For his own reasons Abbas has silenced his most articulate spokespeople, filled his Authority’s diplomatic posts for the most part with ineffective political hacks and makes it almost impossible for reporters to get information or responses – all in contrast to Israel’s vaunted hasbara and legions of professional spin-doctors. As a result, there has been little official Palestinian messaging at all.

      There are articulate and effective PA officials and spokespeople, and I doubt that reporters find it "impossible" to get information on some topics. There has been official Palestinian messaging about the desire for peace and security for the Israelis and Palestinians.

      I think that Halper would like the PA to take some steps like applying to join the ICC that the PA hasn't done. On those kinds of topics that are in direct resistance to US and Israeli policies and desires, the PA is sometimes silent. The PA is careful n what it says officially to disturb the US and Israelis too much. But don't mistake that for willful longterm ineffectiveness. There are two sides to that issue. Take for example joining the ICC. Do you think the ICC would actually prosecute if it did that, and that the ICC can only prosecute abuses that occurred on member states' territory? If not, can the PA be called ineffective for failing to take that unnecessary step?

  • Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism
    • More and more Jews and non-Jews are going to express themselves over the Gaza horror show of 2014, that was a sequel to the Gaza horror show of 2009 and a sequel of 25 years of peace processing and colonizing more Palestinian land– a pattern demonstrating that Israel has not a clue about how to deal with its Jim Crow constitution except to marginalize, sequester, and kill brown people.

      My guess is that this latest attack is not just a sequel, but a prequel to more. Based on past experiences of mowing the lawn, it's one more link in a long, indefinite series of small to mid-sized massacres of Gaza.

      I don't understand why the Israeli State agreed to its ceasefire at all instead of just attacking indefinitely. With the Israeli public apparently now disfavoring Netanyahu for what they imagine to be some kind of defeat by not doing more, one might expect more and more repetitions of this.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • Israelis got a ceasefire, have hardly ever lost casualties from the rockets they alleged they were trying to stop, and had a "war" casualty ratio of 1 : 32, all in the space of a few months. I am confused how they consider that to be a defeat.

    • Jon S,

      OK, so explain this more to me. Let's say the IDF stops being Mister Nice Guy. How are they going to know where all the Hamas tunnels and storage places are? How are they going to know where all the ten thousand or more Hamas are? How are they going to stop every person out of 1.5 million in Gaza from being able to shoot primitive tube rockets?

    • Marc, what you are saying is leaking into my brain. It's hard to understand why they are upset with their leadership about the largescale bombing and now ceasefire from their rightwing viewpoint, but perhaps the Israeli mindset is radically different from what many American lefties are familiar with.

      Their goal was, naturally, to stop the rockets. Wasn't that goal achieved by the ceasefire?

      Now perhaps their goal was to stop even the ability to shoot rockets at all. But how did they think that they could they stop each of a million Hamas people from being able to shoot a practically homemade rocket?

      Granted, with satellites, couldn't they see where the primitive rockets are being launched from and then target it enough times to minimize rocket fire? Or was rocket fire still serious despite doing that, because Hamas would fire and return to their tunnels too quickly? And if that's really the case, then what did they expect their leadership to do?

      They could level Gaza and its tunnels even more and make 10-100 times as many casualties, including among Hamas, but would that really stop every person's' ability to fire rockets? I am having trouble seeing how Israelis expected to achieve a goal that went beyond a ceasefire.

    • His poll numbers have already dropped in recent days from 82 percent to 38 percent.

      Israelis are that mad at him for making a ceasefire?

  • Our new look
    • According to Sean - and he is an internet technician - Crowd Favorite hardly the optimal way to get the site redesigned to look more professional.

    • The arrangement of the New Look is pretty, and sure I can understand the two day limit now because of the need for moderation work. For that, you could probably bring on a few more unpaid staff who you trust and who are willing to do the moderation the way you want.

      However, unfortunately the New Look is a major handicap. There are major problems in it: No chronological list of all the articles for the past week, the practically transparent highlighting, the lack of an edit button, etc., etc. I am stuck going to "MONDOWEISS ON FRIENDFEED" now to get a chronological list of the latest articles.

      If someone chose to sabotage your blog intentionally, this is what it might be like.

    • Mooser,

      MJR tweeted what I find to be a pretty intolerant message about the traditional passover ritual - one I don't need to repeat. I would not be surprised if he got offended by MW posting an article criticizing some circumcision rituals though either. Some people are contradictory.

    • MJ's complaint about the comment section is basically that it has too much anti-nationalism. He wrote that Ali A. was racist and said that the evidence was in general the way Ali A. talks about "Zionists". What Ali A. does is that he often writes about how "Zionists" attacked Palestinian forces and villages in 1948. Factually this is true, as the Israeli state did not yet exist, and so the forces were "Zionist" (ie. their aim was Zionism - a nationalist state.)

    • New Mondoweiss design is terrible BUT at least it hides ugly comments section. ~ MJ Rosenberg

      link to

    • Yeah, it’s totally anti-Semantic. You can tell just by looking. - See more at: link to

      Were it to be more word-friendly, it would allow an edit function, because people often make mistakes. But then, love your people while you still have them, as Ma always said. While having an array of commentors may bring a lot of attention of all kinds to the site, it also means that the site has a lot of supporters- more than otherwise. Having a comment section at all means that people feel connected to the blog, even if they are not writers or editors.

      In other words, while some critics may complain about commentors, putting pressure on the site, it means that the site also has more supporters interested in it than it would otherwise.

    • I meant to say:

      There are sockpuppets that, in the course of their work, make donations to things they are against.

      That thought would not normally occur to people working in Solidarity work, because probably most Solidarity organizations run on a shoestring budget. Even the biggest ones have minimal paid staff.

    • With no Edit function, Ritzl is really going to have a hard time tolerating my writing. The fact is, that it's normal for people in the course of their writing to make spelling and grammar mistakes, or even to write things that should haven't had been said. Often, the realization that one made those mistakes only comes after one has already submitted a post or piece of writing and then is checking it for even the second or third time.

      It's better than having no Delete button, but the Delete key has a reason for existing. It was such an improvement when Computers came out because one became enabled to correct one's writing much more easily, even than those wonderful typewriters that were able to use an erase ckey.

    • <>~ Marc B. ______________ Maybe Marc is using a Mac or some other computer settings, but I am seeing nothing even with my face inches away from my screen.

  • Rolling in underground tunnels
    • It was assumed that afterwards they could be branded with a new, divided consciousness as Arab-Israelis, Arab-Jerusalemites, fundamentalist Gazans, West-Bankers, and exiled Palestinians without the right of return. But we in the West didn’t anticipate that the Palestinians would still see themselves as one people.

      Israeli nationalists claim that Palestinians are just "Arabs" who came from the Arabian desert, and so try to avoid calling them Palestinians, which associates them with the land- Palestine.

      And yet Israelis are happy calling all the other "Arab" peoples by their names - Libyans, Algerians, Iraqis, etc.

      This rejection of calling them only "Arabs", not "Palestinians" is pretty common among Israeli nationalists, and I wonder how common.

  • 'Common Dreams' website traps Hasbara troll spewing anti-Semitism
  • State Dep't says it's 'not OK' that Israel detained another American teenager without informing us
  • My personal BDS
    • [The Nakba] was out of a fear (justified or not), in the midst of a fight for a place to build a nation surrounded by enemies and obviously not welcomed from within – a fear that these people may potentially be hostile and harm the Zionist project. Those who were not suspected of being potentially hostile were allowed to stay, so ethnicity is not the issue, the issue is fear, possibly unwarranted but nonetheless very real.”

      OK, what about the ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans. Couldn't many of the pioneers who massacred Indian villages from New England to Washington State make the same claim that they were acting out of fear, rather than ethnic hatred?

      Then again, why must ethnic resentment and fear be mutually exclusive? "Xenophobia" means fear of another ethnicity. She claimed that they feared the other ethnicity in the Nakba because it could be an enemy.

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • There are non-Jews who are Israeli citizens, there are Jews who intensely dislike Zionism, there are even a handful of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel. None of these facts can change the fundamental truth: in Zionism the Jews set out to re-create a national existence on the political playing field, in their ancestral homeland, and Israel is its expression, or outcome, or whatever you wish to call it.

      At what percent of a group's support or performance of something does it become correct or permissible to say that the group supports or performs it?

  • HAMAS made me do it!
    • It may be difficult for reasonable, moral, people to accept that that is the evil Hamas strategy: they fire from schools, mosques, hospitals and residential areas, knowing that the IDF will attack those facilities and cause civilian casualties among their own people.

      The fact that someone in a fight expects the other side to attack civilians in retribution does not mean that the person made that other side attack the civilians.

      Russia fought the Mongol hordes from Russian cities, forts and civilian buildings, and expected that to crush resistance, the Mongols would, based on past Mongol actions, level those structures and settlements. Yet the Russians didn't "make" the Mongols level their villages.

      The problem here is proportionality. Massacring a Russian village because some people offered weak resistance to the hordes was not proportional. Leveling Gaza and its hospitals because some fighters launched metal tube rockets causing practically no casualties is not proportional. Gazans did not "make" the Israelis use extreme, disproportionate force or illegal weapons like Napalm. The Israelis have the option well within their grasp of whether to use force and how much to use.

    • Their logic is that Hamas shoots rockets (which cause few casualties), so the Israelis "have" to attack the rocket launchers, and when they do, the bombs also harm the nearby civilians. So indirectly, Hamas has been "making" them harm civilians for the last 8 years or so.

  • Lobbyist tells Eliot Engel he has 'the blood of hundreds of Palestinian children on his hands'
    • "Israel is their vassal on the Arab Frontier. All de monies & weapons that Israel has received from the US"
      Under the vassalage system, the vassal pays its overlord its tutelage. Who would be the vassal in that relationship?

  • Witnessing Gaza
    • ((“Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that for most of its history, the ancient Jewish community operated rather similar to modern Zionism, in that it was dedicated to a state for one religion and nationality.”))

      I don’t give a husky f–k what the Bible says about the “ancient” Jews.

      Hello, Mooser.
      I think that this is a worthwhile topic. If Judaism's main spiritual book, the TaNaKh, describes the ancient Jews as managing and seeking a theocracy or nationalist state for their religious community, then wouldn't you say that the TaNaKh's descriptions are relevant to the relationship between Judaism and Zionism?

      Also, I sympathize with your desire to distinguish Judaism from nationalism, and tried to give three ways to make the distinction. What did you think about them?

    • Mooser,
      There are three ways I see to avoid equating Judaism with modern nationalism.
      First, Judaism's visions of a theocratic or ethnic kingdom can be "spiritualized", so that instead of talking about a political state, the prophecies were about a "state of being" or a religious community (an assembly, Church, tribe, etc.).
      Second, the visions could be seen as real promises of a political theocracy, but one whose time has not yet come and still awaits the Messiah.
      Third, the promise of an Abrahamic kingdom could be seen to open up to include all nations that accept the Messiah, as Abraham was promised to be the father of many nations. So rather than an exclusive vision, Israel could come to mean a house or realm of many peoples.

      I believe that one of these three is the best interpretation of Judaism, but am not sure which one. What do you think?

      Nonetheless, it's important to recognize that for most of its history, the ancient Jewish community operated rather similar to modern Zionism, in that it was dedicated to a state for one religion and nationality. Granted, the ancient Israelites might not have been as focused on driving out other peoples from Palestine as the Nakba was, but at times they too could be harsh (eg. under Joshua).

  • UPDATED: Bay Area demonstrators succeed for **fourth** day in 'Blocking the Boat for Gaza'
  • Jewish Voice for Peace stomps AIPAC and J Street in latest online traffic figures
    • I would like to second that. I love Mondoweiss. I would like to ask why the comments have been limited to two days? I think that the conversations in the comments section have been very enlightening, and more days means deeper conversations. Nonetheless, I can see that there can be an advantage to limiting comments- it means they are more manageable for moderators.

      One suggestion I would make is that you might include occasional citations to articles by or about Orthodox NonZionist Judaism, even if it is a marginal movement. It might help to give a broader range of thought in the broader religious community.

      A final suggestion might be to make friends for a few months with a sincere Christian- not for the purpose of conversion one way or the other, but rather to broaden one's horizons. By this I am not insinuating that your horizons aren't broad enough- since in fact they are broad. Rather I think that this gets to one of the key issues of the IP conflict, since the dividing lines have really been drawn along religious lines rather than ethnic ones by the nationalists, and the friendship criterion is one that you mentioned.

    • It sounds like Posner is saying that she or others she describes are "pro-Israeli", but they do not like the Israeli attacks on Gaza. So they aren't in agreement with JVP for not being "patriotic"/strongly nationalistic, but they aren't in agreement with J Street for accepting the Israeli wars. Such is the difficult nature of a position supporting the political system that is also a "antiwar"/pro-peace position, at a time when that system is involved in conquest.

  • Rabbi slams 'militarization' in St. Louis but when it comes to Gaza-- the press 'loves underdog and suffering'
    • This is what I think. as long as Hamas can feed itself and has physical bodies, they are going to use that to make tunnels. and if they have metal they will make tubes that they can use as light "bottle rocket"-level weapons. We are talking about very primitive, weak means of resistance. It makes directly occupying Gaza costly because of the manpower needed to "secure" all the locations, but there are not many casualties inflicted by Gazans either.

      This is why the Israelis found it more practical to evacuate Gaza than to still occupy it. And anyway Gaza is so small and dense that it is not really worth using it for settlements either. Sderot and the other neighboring villages are geographically about where settlements would be in that general region if Gaza had a decent sized territory.

    • I actually doubt how much the humanitarian aid goes to paying for digging tunnels. Their tunnels as far as I heard are hardly US Highway style tunnels, but rather earthen dugouts with boards and soil. They rely on manual labor rather than finances. Thus, the claim that humanitarian aid is being misused to build tunnels might be a way to cast a bad light on humanitarian aid.

    • Has Hamas ever said that they want civilian casualties among Gazans in order to get support?
      It's obvious to me that this is just a way to misinterpret reality and blame Hamas for Israeli attacks on the population.

  • Top legal scholars decry 'chilling' effect of dehiring scholar Salaita
  • Question for the American Jewish Establishment: Where does Zionism end and Judaism begin?
    • I understand that polls show support decreasing for the State among young Americans, but have there been polls of young Jewish Americans?

      To my best recollection, the latter group did not change in whether they supported it, except that it was not as important to them as their parent's generation.

  • Blaming the Victims: A night with AIPAC in St. Louis and protesters in Ferguson
    • Talve said that just as the United States is a Christian country which protects minority rights, Israel strives to be a Jewish country that protects minority rights.
      Which of the founding documents or statutes declares that America is a "Christian" country?

      In culture and religion, American society, yes, is largely Christian. But it is not enshrined in law. That's different.

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