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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: https://friendfeed.com/mondoweiss-on-friendfeed

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  • Hasbarah Bingo
    • Speaking of the exchange of ideas on the top, Chomsky has a new article in The Nation responding to the replies to his article: link to thenation.com

      Two of his key ideas are that the State's system inside the Green Line cannot be compared to Apartheid (although he said otherwise in his interview with Safundi) and that international law offers only "weak reeds" in support of the Right of Return.

  • In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza (Updated)
    • The British chose to avoid imposing a mass conversion of Irish to protestantism, although they did ban Catholicism and persecute it in Ireland. Why didn't Britain forcibly convert them? I read that it's because then the UK would actually have had to care about the Irish, who were starving. That's responsibility.

      The Israeli tactic of attacking Hamas is a failure. Palestinians are motivated to oppose the State because the Israelis are brutalizing them. That's where the resistance comes from. Even if the leaders are taken out, there are tons of Gazans who want to resist, and it's not really that hard to use a sugar powered bottle rocket. And there are tons of Gazans who don't want a compliant government.

      The actual way for the Israelis to solve the problem is for them to address Gaza's economic and social restrictions and to make themselves more appealing to Palestinians so that they won't be interested in using rockets, but rather see the 2SS as a real, viable possibility.

      The problem is much like that with Britain and respecting and feeding a huge population of converts from Catholicism in Ireland. The Israelis are not actually interested in having a 2SS with a real, viable Palestinian state. That is why they are not interested in taking the constructive measures of appealing to everyday Palestinians that will move them toward that goal. They find it preferable to crush Hamas and the population - which it has turned out is their real, ultimate target, unfortunately.

  • The killing fields
  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • and she agrees with me that the mainstream media are showing more sympathy this time to the Palestinian view of things... ~Phil
      This is debateable.
      The NYT can report on both Israeli and Gazan rockets and casualties and present "both sides" of the story equally. Yet some will say that it's biased coverage because it doesn't represent their views as the only correct one. They would prefer for the news to sound like YNET, after which they would triumphally say that the news was "good".

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • Good question by Kevin about victor's justice and who the ICC prosecutes.

    • Thanks. I wonder what pretext the prosecutor would use to avoid exercizing his discretion under the Rome Statute if the PA joined the ICC.

    • Walid,
      I would tend to agree with Hostage's defense of Abbas. And yet nonetheless, what kind of discussion can we have if I don't let you discuss your point of view about that?

    • Walid,

      This is a mixed bag. Some folks will say Abbas is a collaborator and isn't doing more for that reason. Others say Abbas is certainly not a collaborator- he wants sovereignty, and the problem is that he has too much pressure from the S.O.I. and the U.S.

      Hostage was very knowledgeable about our topics on MW and fun to talk with. It was neat to hear that he worked with resettling people in Vietnam. I didn't expect that he would vanish over a critical discussion.

    • Walid,

      Just consider the argument:
      First, even if the PA joined the ICC, does the ICC's prosecutor have the ability to avoid prosecuting?
      The ICC incorrectly claimed that it had to resolve the question of the PA's statehood before prosecuting, so perhaps the ICC would still find another excuse?

      Second, perhaps the Israeli State would take punitive measures against the PA leadership for seeking justice and an end to the abuse in the ICC?

      Of course, acceding to the ICC would still be a step forward.

    • Hostage's view, correctly, was that the ICC even has enough standing at this very moment to prosecute, even without the PNA joining the ICC as a member. The last time around, the ICC decided that it would not intervene until it resolved the question of Palestine's status as a state. In fact though, the Geneva convention never says that the victims of war crimes have to belong to a state that is a member of the court in order to launch a complaint.

      However, naturally if the PNA is a member of the court, then it has more of a voice to push its claims than if it wasn't.

      Now this is an interesting issue: What if the Palestinians did join the ICC? Could the ICC still refuse to take up the matter, based on some pretext, like the ex-prosecutor claimed? Well, if the ex-prosecutor is saying that, then even if he is wrong in terms of law, it suggests that in reality if he was still the prosecutor he might have succeeded in avoiding the prosecution. At least in US domestic law, the prosecutor has discretion whether to prosecute or not.

      How can you "make" the ICC do its job when the prosecutor doesn't want to?

  • Dr. Kristol's curriculum: US 'special responsibilities' include 'ancient longings' of Jewish nationalists
  • Israel's actions 'unjustified' in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy's, and those under 50 -- Gallup
    • Right, Cliff.

      The first time I was exposed to Israeli nationalism was when I went to a summer camp for a few weeks at Johns Hopkins while in elementary school. The instructors were Israeli-Americans- or Americans who had lived there, and they said that when the Israeli state fought Egypt, the "road to Cairo was open", and it was only the American government who stopped them from conquering it. They said this with a sense of disappointment.

  • 'Israel is wrong by any moral standard' -- Robinson says, as US media pile up
    • I think it falls within the normal rules of war. The moral bottom line seems clear. ~ Ori Nir of "Peace Now".

      A "faux pas" or a "faux pax"?

    • “I don’t like the civilian casualties that result from bombing the homes of the Hamas leaders,” [Peace Now's Ori] Nir says. “And what’s happening in Shejaiya is horrible, but I think it falls within the normal rules of war. The moral bottom line seems clear.” And then, semi-amazed to be doing so, he quoted Netanyahu: “‘We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.’”

      An Israeli "Peace Now" defending war now?
      What's the point of having a Peace "Now" group. with a name of such urgency, if it advocates continuing the assault?

  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • In the latest New York Review of Books (not yet online), Jonathan Freedland praises Ari Shavit’s neo-Zionist book, My Promised Land, and dismisses John Judis’s book on Truman, Genesis, by saying that Jews– and he and I agree that Jews matter– will only hear criticism of Israel when it comes from inside the fold.

      I don't get it. How is Judis' book outside the community a the way that Ari's is not?

      Didn't Judis actually go to a Jewish community center to talk about his book, in a controversial event? If so, doesn't that mean that he was making criticism from inside the community?

      Maybe what Freedland really means underneath is that Shavit supports Israeli nationalism, while Judis doesn't. In other words, someone who supports the conquest is "inside", while someone who doesn't support conquest is therefore "outside".

  • Avishai says we misrepresented his views
    • Mooser,
      For Alopecia, try taking the vitamin called Biotin.

      Earlier you asked about Eczema. To treat it, the best thing is really soaking it in sea salt overnight. You can put a few tablespoons of salt on a wet rag and soak the rag on the affected area overnight. This works because eczema is really an allergic reaction in your skin, and saline solutions pull the chemicals causing the allergy out of the body tissue.

    • Right. If Phil is not mischaracterizing him, then what else is the point of the email?

      It's a situation of cognitive dissonance like a prince criticizing the king's war, and then getting quoted by the French, which makes him decide to write back with disagreement to the French editor.

    • I understand that Avishai is saying that he has long ago criticized Israeli policies.

      But I am confused when he asks:

      ((t Israel will not shrink from inflicting hundreds of random civilian casualties, through which it hopes to discredit Hamas. If you don’t think this is a war crime, talk to your Palestinian friends.” ~Avishai's original quote))

      Anyway, even if Israeli strikes can be vaguely justified as a response to them, you need to be incapable of compassion, or devoid of Palestinian friends, to refrain from seeing the bombing as criminally cavalier. This is what I argued, which is not really what you insinuate, is it?

      Weiss wrote that Avishai saw war crimes as being imposed on Palestinians,
      ((Bernard Avishai had a piece at the New Yorker last week called “Watching Gaza” that said Israel is guilty of war crimes, killing civilians in an effort to discredit Hamas.))

      So, I don't understand why Avishai is saying that Weiss was wrong in characterizing Avishai's statement to that effect.

  • Why Israel's legal justifications for 'Operation Protective Edge' are wrong
  • 9 Reasons why Israel is under rocket attack 
  • It's time for liberal Jewish bodies to take a stand
    • Seafoid,
      A friend who defended the community's stance said that when the Gazan rockets happened now it closed down Israeli summer camps, so the American community decided to send "care packages". She said that people in the community asked "What about the Palestinians?", so they sent care packages to Palestinians too.

      Is this for real? Maybe that was a nice sounding way of saying that the packages went to Israeli citizens at large, some of whom are naturally Palestinian Israeli citizens?

    • I was OK with the article up to "If Israel is to survive as a liberal, democratic nation". What about the 50 laws discriminating against Palestinians? Palestinian Israeli citizens have an extremely hard time even buying new land or founding a new town, not to mention reclaiming the towns they were kicked out of.

  • Speaking to the Deaf: Activists attempt to talk with the Israeli public about Gaza
    • Flynt Leverett... From March 2002 to March 2003, he served as the senior director for Middle East affairs on the National Security Council (NSC).

      Prior to serving on the NSC, he was a counterterrorism expert on the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department, and before that he served as a CIA senior analyst for eight years. Since leaving government service, Leverett served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      For real? How is this the biography of the person talking?

  • 'Heartbreaking' is U.S. government's talking point for Gaza massacre
    • They hit targets like hospitals after the UN has confirmed that they don't have weapons. They are basically targeting the population.

      There are hardcore Hasbarists who talk this way about targeting Gazans. It's no surprise their military thinks this way.

  • 'Slate' blames Birthright for indoctrinating American Jew who was killed fighting for Israel
    • Do you know what is the origin and meaning of the hexagram, or is it purely decorative?

    • Perhaps. Tolkien's story about Sauron's ring bears a close resemblance to the myth of Solomon's ring, some versions of which claimed that the ring was inscribed with a hexagram. This in turn became a major symbol in magic since medieval times. So when Tolkien wrote about Sauron's eye he may have also based it on the all-seeing eye symbol used in contemporary magic and religion.

    • There are all kind of weird things and unknowns going on over there.

    • Is that an eye symbol with a curved upper brow?

  • Arab reporters come under attack from Israelis
    • Maximus,
      I had a Jewish friend who said she went to Israel on Birthright and she loved how she was surrounded by a whole society for the first time in her life from her community. However, she said that she didn't recommend it for others because she doesn't agree with their social and political structure of inequality. Others may not have the same hesitancies about it.

    • I am a progressive American rabbi who leans left pretty hard. I've been engaged, as a US faith leader, in work to reform gun laws, ~Rabbi Creditor, Editor, 'Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence'

      So Americans should have as few guns as possible to protect themselves, but Israeli youth and settlers get to be totally armed even when they are off duty to fight the natives. Nice.

    • 24 hours of no American flights? Privation? I guess.

  • Gaza onslaught is p.r. problem for Israel's 'moral authority' -- Albright
    • racial injustice is really dependent on broader economic ideologies: that post got rejected :)
      Sounds like you're trying to open a can of worms.

  • Naomi Wolf walked out of synagogue when they had nothing to say about Gaza massacre
    • That's funny about the hemlock.
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates_Cafe
      Socrates Café are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences...

    • Mooser,

      In ancient times, the Temple was the center of ritual, while the synagogues also served as discussion forums, something like the Roman "forum", or a "Socrates cafe." In those days, the rabbis argued different points of view, and early Christians stood up to say that the ancient prophecies like Isaiah 53 predicted a Messiah who would be killed. The Christians were persecuted and rejected for announcing their visions, but nonetheless they could serve as a model: that rather than walk out, I could agree with you that ideally dissenters should stay and take the opportunity to speak out loudly about the crucial moral and humanitarian issues of today, particularly the conflict in Gaza.

    • Bilal,

      You are on to something. Once they started out expelling peaceful friendly villages and planning on it being permanent since 1947, they set out on their present course. They already engaged in a certain mindset of claiming the land. Chomsky, as a former young kibbutznik, writes that Yes, they were socialist kibbutz builders, and yet the racism was so strong that he would not have lasted.

      It is actually questionable whether the plan for a 2 SS was realistic, when from the beginning they claimed the whole land, desired it, and their power was far greater than the natives.

      You would have to demand a kind of intense self control in 1967 and since, when in fact they acted with reckless impunity expelling people since 1947. In fact, the current occupation may be less drastic than the Nakba of 1947, since at least in the current situation many of the people in the Territories are still within their homeland.

      So while I understand the logic that the biggest obstacle started in 1967 with the Occupation, in fact it was the expulsions of 1947 that set things on this course.

    • The article clarifies when they wonder two months from now where she's been.

    • I agree with you, Mooser. But can I say that she "has" to go back if she is so disillusioned with her faith community's general stance on the issue?

      How hard is it to find a synagogue where they talk about Palestinians' rights?
      (I don't ask that rhetorically.) JVP has a large rabbinical council.

    • Thanks for writing. My sympathies.

  • Burning children
    • Or begs for anti-wrinkle cream?

    • Speak about God – if it makes sense to the burning children of the Holocaust and Palestine. Taken seriously, the seminaries of every faith would have to close. As would the synagogues, churches and mosques. God-talk cannot make sense to a burning child.

      I sympathize- this is a really big problem in the world.

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
    • Kalithea,

      I am saying that the tally comes out to about 100% of the people having an opinion. I think that in reality many Americans don't have a serious opinion. It's not something I hear everyday Americans talking about at food counters, gas stations, supermarkets, etc. I think that the poll answers would have at least 10-20% saying they have no opinion. And even those with one arent hardcore.

    • Lenny,
      Interestingly Chomsky has said that he is what was once considered Zionist (the Buberites and nationalist anarchist movement), but that he would no longer be able to live there because the country has changed so much.
      Personally I think that this is still considered "Zionist", but nonetheless he agrees with you.

    • I am suspicious with the poll, because where are all the Americans who would answer "No opinion"? I think many Americans don't have a serious opinion about the conflict or know alot about it.

  • Finally, Israel is alienating the US mainstream media
    • RoHa,

      Isn't it true though that Palestinians have a certain virtue in their position? The Israelis demand that the Palestinians submit to whatever they offer them, and that if the Pal.s don't accept, then it's their fault there is no peace. The Israelis have overwhelming force and slaughter them, yet they doggedly refuse to submit.

    • That's a good way of putting it, Citizen. The Supreme Court held that Separate but Equal was Unequal in practice and reality. It might be said that what we see within the Green Line is a reflection of that- the seemingly rational principle of having two separate but equal communities in the Holy Land, called a "democratic state" that focuses on just one religious community led to a reality of unequal treatment within the Green Line.

      Chomsky's "nonstate" Separate but Equal system could easily become the same thing. Chomsky's vision was both more and less segregated than US Segregation. Chomsky would have denounced separate water fountains and other irrational divisions, and yet even the US South's main political parties were not officially and formally dedicated to just one nationality.

    • Chinese Box,
      The thing is, if the Left was the same way it was back in 1975 on the IP issue, and nothing had really changed in left wing circles in 1982 and later, then the media would be more supportive of the IDF's actions.

      It was due to some pressure that NBC reassigned Ayman to cover Gaza, and that pressure wouldnt have been there were it not for the Left having moved at least a bit on the issue.

      In other words, we might not directly see something having changed in the media, but it did. It does not mean the media is good on the issue, but just that it may be paying more attention than it did sometimes in the past. But then again, I don't want to delude myself into being over optimistic about it.

    • Hello Donald,

      this has happened before–during the summer 1982 Lebanon War, for instance. Israel mercilessly bombing Lebanese cities. Within a few years it was like it had never happened.

      That's not quite true. The 1982 bombing led Finkelstein and a number of leftists to become active in the Palestinian topic. When the Israelis every few years attack Gaza, it becomes an issue that gets more and more attention. It does not really go away but builds over time.

      You commented:

      The moral denunciations of Israel’s bombing–it was like it never happened at all. I read about it later in Chomsky (yeah, that awful terrible Chomsky guy who is secretly an agent for the Zionists or whatever the current line on him is).

      This is a good example. Chomsky was affected by it and wrote about it and then in turn it affected you. If it was really like it hadn't happened, then you would not be where you are, posting on Mondoweiss.

      This is a positive thing about Chomsky, whereby a nationalist who is focused on IP because of his ideology writes about the issue eloquently and sounds the alarm, not because he is a nationalist, but because he is generally a person who cares about human rights.

      However, Donald, I would encourage you to follow Chomsky's advice to be 'realistic', even when it comes to Chomsky himself. Chomsky cannot be a "secret" Israeli nationalist, since Allison Weir asked him about being a nationalist youth leader and he replied that his nationalist views have not changed: link to youtube.com

      Famous figures can be complex and even contradictory. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were way ahead of their time in terms of Democracy, and yet they owned slaves, although they later freed them. Lincoln freed the slaves, and yet presided over the US army's crushing of the Indian revolts. And yet I admire Abraham Lincoln. Chomsky hardly owns slaves or advocates fighting Indians, but nonetheless can be an interesting, inspiring, complex, radical, and -as hard to admit as it may be - in some rare moments even a contradictory and reactionary figure. I consider his ideal of dividing political parties along religious lines and his claim that there is no internationally agreed on right of return to be a rare example of the latter.

    • The American people have many admirable characteristics but their inability to see virtue in “losers” is not one of them.
      Pat Lang is certainly mistaken about this. Americans have seen plenty of virtue in losers. They usually give examples of one people brutalizing another "losing" people as an example of the losers' virtue.

      The fact that the Native Americans were wiped out by colonists, rather than the other way around, has come to reflect virtue in Native Americans nowadays. The fact that Gaza "lost" the 2009 "war" came to reflect its virtue to the US Left.

      Thus, Pat Lang is mistaken to talk about the virtues of suicide attacks, which while having some advantages of reflecting resistance, have a downside as well.

      It's actually human nature for people to sympathize with others who are victims. That's why Israelis nationalists are at such pains to describe themselves this way.

  • Video: A beautiful brother went looking for his family in the death zone (Updated)
    • Seafoid,

      What's the platinum package look like? "You can't ever come to the synagogues?" I have heard of people who can't find a synagogue they can talk about IP in openly, but I am not in their shoes, as I attend ekklesia ("the congregations"), so I don't know firsthand to confirm how hard it must be for them.

    • Seafoid,

      But are we to think that this was all there was to it? Goldberg writing an article attacking him and the South African leaders meeting him in a private conference?
      “Debating face to face with the community really shook him,” said David Saks, associate director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, who received a read-out on the meeting right after it took place. “When he saw the extent of the anger and he couldn’t answer the accusations against him… I think he realized he was wrong.”
      Read more: link to forward.com

      so just being in a meeting with 10 community leaders and constantly being criticized about it was enough to change his ideas or make him disavow them?

    • It would be interesting to know what happened to Goldstone. He was shunned by his synagogue.

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • The answer why they didn't join is because of Israeli pressure. The PLO wants to be tolerated by their conquerors and not treated as bad as Hamas.

  • Look at Netanyahu's 'evidence' that civilians are harboring rockets in Gaza
  • Video: 'It's a hell of a pinpoint operation' -- John Kerry caught criticizing Israel on hot mic during Sunday news show
    • You may find this talk at the UN Security Council on July 18.
      The main figures get time- Palestine's diplomat, the Israeli one, Jordan's, and Samatha Powers from the US. Turn off the sound when you watch the Israeli one to notice his emotional reaction.
      link to c-span.org

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