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Total number of comments: 4182 (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: https://friendfeed.com/mondoweiss-on-friendfeed

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  • My journey from Zionism to Palestine solidarity
    • Annie,

      How did you not realize this or the way of thinking? UNICEF helps kids all over the world. Some of them of course are "Arabs", especially Palestinian ones living in refugee camps across the Near East. And since "the Arabs" must not be assisted, how can someone donate to UNICEF?

  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • I understand what you mean by the Palestinians' reactions. Half of Armenians got wiped out by the Turks. How have their reactions been in terms of their approach in politics?

      Meanwhile, it's true that the pilgrims in the US experience persecution in Europe, but does that explain their treatment of the native Americans as a result of their colonization movement?

      Finally, as generations pass since the tragedies of WWII, have Israeli policies and attitudes become more or less tolerant, and why?

  • Support Palestinian human rights with the 'fierce urgency of now': An open letter to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
    • Fax +
      Mail +
      4 Phone calls during business hours

      Be the squeaky wheel and get back to us on her reply.

      Her phone:
      (800) 334-7626 FREE or (212) 716 6273

  • State Dep't report on latest Gaza onslaught itemizes children's deaths for first time
    • Hi Keith.

      I understand what you are saying, and if the question was What is the best angle and springboard for Solidarity activism, I would make the same criticisms. The question at the moment is whether Weir, like Ann Wright and Greta, is being racist through "guilt by association" or by referring to herself as dedicated to American interests besides her dedication to human rights. And I think that about this current question, you and I are on the same page.

      Additionally, I think you are probably being too harsh with considering Weir a supporter of imperial storm troops, since she is against the Iraq War. My guess is that she is more like people who go to an antiwar protest with American flags or who include national interests in their antiwar critiques.

      And I think that this angle is legitimate and reasonable, even though I share your criticisms. That is, putting aside the issue of imperialism, each country, even if it were noncapitalist, does have its own national interests. Ukraine does, Vietnam does, the US does, the Iroquois nation did viz a vie other Amerindian nations. One can focus on the angle that by invading Iraq or making other foreign policy blunders, the US was acting against its own national interests. I see this as a legitimate criticism and approach, even though the issue of imperialism is a primary one in the world today.

    • Someone named Amith posted a long criticism of the affair on Marxmail:
      link to marxmail.org

      He pointed out that:

      B) JVP even goes further to bar its chapters from working with groups that
      use “anti-Zionist slogans or demands”:

      "A JVP group may join in coalition with pro-Zionist or anti-Zionist groups. JVP
      groups may not participate in a coalition whose demands or slogans are pro-
      or anti-Zionist."

      That would presumably include principled organizations like the
      International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

      I had thought that IJAN and JVP worked together sometimes.

    • Keith,

      I understand what you mean about a bad taste, since I think you and I come from a progressive/humanitarian/socialist angle in our criticism of Israeli policies, whereas Weir's seems to be national interest/humanitarian.

      However, while Israeli nationalism and US patriotism have a lot in common like you say, there are major differences since our two nations are based on different political systems and philosophies regarding interreligious relations. Nor does this make Weir's national interest position necessarily wrong, as Phil wrote previously about it in his article "conservatives for palestine":

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Keith,

      I'm sure it was a mix and that not everyone who participated in attacking Greta was part of an organized effort. Annie said that she perceived widespread and intense criticism of Greta online, that she opposed (logically) Greta's tweet, and that she then concluded that MW must also denounce Greta, or else MW would look bad for not denouncing Greta.

      In other words, it became a kind of mix of opposing Greta's incorrect tweet of a slander of Zionism and people's fear of being tarred for not participating in the denunciation. Thus, it built up like a bonfire, which grew and spread to scorch others like Col. Ann Wright, who was disinvited from Gaza's Ark for being associated with Greta. Eventually, it kept going and MJ Rosenberg made numerous posts about how MW and Ali Abunimah were antisemitic because of the repeatedly negative tone Ali uses to refer to Zionists.

      After a while it died down, but now it looks The Machine is revving up again, exposing Weir for being on the same talk shows by offensive radio hosts that Pappe and the Corries have been.

      It would be helpful if Alex and Max B. explained more about why they feel this way. Perhaps they reject Weir's excuse that she tries to get on a very broad range of radio programs, but I am doubtful that they would also like to see Pappe and the Corries denounced for the same reason.

    • Ritzl,

      Phil did not write much about Weir on Mondoweiss. However, Phil was an important speaker at the National Summit last year that was organized by the Council for the National Interest, of which Weir is the president. Much of that Summit focused on the role of special interests in IP-related politics.

      This is why my best guess is that the underlying motivation behind JVP's letter is really Weir's work on lobbying and special interests, not that, as JVP's letter says, she has been on the same radio programs that others like Pappe, Lowenstein, and the Corries have been.

      Otherwise, back in 2008, Weiss wrote an overall sympathetic post on Weir that included a few biting criticisms of her for what he saw as advocating in too one sided a manner about Palestinian casualties.
      link to mondoweiss.net
      Afterwards, he followed it up with a more conciliatory post:
      link to mondoweiss.net

      Alex Kane wrote in a post that he agreed with JVP's statement:
      link to twitter.com

    • Rocky:
      Here you can find the answer to your question to me
      link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org

    • Hi Sibirak and Rocky.

      I know what you mean. Bu you could see it coming when Greta Berlin got her head ripped off.

      She tweeted a clip that offensively slandered Zionism, but not Jews in particular. She claimed that by tweeting the clip that she was not endorsing it and she apologized thoroughly. But to no avail, she got a declaration signed against her by a long list of Solidarity activists. It just shows that it takes little for someone who takes the a dissident position on the issue- in her case leading Gaza's "ark", to get mobbed and ousted.

      Of course, with Greta there was also the criticism that she temporarily allowed a clear antisemite on her thread, while reprimanding and then, I think, banning him. Or the criticism that she said her tweet was an accident because she was taking a train, but then later said she had been taking an airplane, which the critics would claim meant that she intended the tweet all along. ◔_◔

    • Hi Ritzl.

      Obviously, the fact that she appeared on Douglas' show could be criticized, but Pappe's appearance on it too means that it's not the real issue. And obviously, she is not driven by antisemitism but by the fact that she is a journalist who likes issues that are avoided in the media, which was her explanation.

      My guess is that some people in JVP particularly don't like it that she talks about the lobby. Stephen Zunes and Chomsky(a JVP leader) have gone out of the way to downplay the lobby. But it's just logical that a lobby exists, just like on any major issue. So journalists should cover it too.

      You said you want to reassess people's motives. But Chomsky already said his motives were personal. I am sure that generally he, like JVP, is sincere about helping Palestinians. But just because someone is sincere doesn't mean that they get everything perfect or dont bring any biases to the table, like Chomsky's articles against Palestinian refugees returning.

    • Too off topic to go on, but I feel a top-to-bottom personal rethink coming on.
      You can tell us more about this.

      On Weir:
      link to twitter.com
      "Just because the Israel lobby relies on fake anti-Semitism charges doesn't mean we can't drum bigots out of our ranks " - MB

      "sorry, their problem is that she consorts with bigots, not that she is one." -One of the commentors.

    • It's a very strange incident. The main accusation from JVP appears to be that she is associated indirectly with intolerant people, first of all by appearing on Clayton's radio program like Ilan Pappe did.

      It's very weird, and I would like more commentary on this strange incident from others in the Solidarity community.

  • 'You have to go'
    • How many more mass murders will we watch on TV before the United States has the guts to pass gun-control laws?
      Or you could have the opposite reaction and suggest letting law abiding citizens in an audience protect themselves.

      Members Carry Guns to Church in Minnesota - NBC News
      NBCNews.com
      Members from a church in Minneapolis act as security guards and carry guns after past threats to the congregation. KARE's Adrienne Broaddus reports.

      Charleston Church Massacre Happened In Gun-Free Zone ...
      The Daily Caller

      If you ban guns for the citizens, the only people left with them are criminals and the state.

      Thank you for a generally good article, though.

  • The United Church of Christ and divestment
  • BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year
  • The Peter Beinart Double Standard: Why is this boycott different from all other boycotts?
    • Chomsky does this kind of thing too. I like Chomsky overall, and am glad he is still around.

      But for example he says it should not be called BDS but only BD because there are no sanctions on the horizon. But haven't a number of countries already put on sanctions, namely Arab countries? Would it be so surprising if one country in the next year decided to add its voice or even add sanctions just on settlements?

  • Once again, 'NYT' fails to tell its readers that many Jews support BDS
    • Yes, this is a strange incident, and it's odd that the two groups - JVP and Weir's weren't able to patch things up.

      Letter to Alison Weir
      May 5, 2015
      link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org

      Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Our Relationship with Alison Weir
      link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org

      1. Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew
      2. My Reply to JVP Leaders’ McCarthy-like Attacks Against Me
      3. Setting the Record Straight on some additional accusations
      4. If Americans Knew Response to Latest Attack by JVP Leaders

      link to ifamericansknew.org

      I don’t pretend that I am perfect and that all my responses will be flawless; all I can do is try my hardest. I apologize if there were cases where I should have done better. ~Weir

  • Obama says peace talks are pointless because Netanyahu won't see the 'best' in others
    • "The practical consequences I referred to, let’s be very specific, if there are additional resolutions introduced in the United Nations."
      United Nations?

      Didn't Chomsky say that they should just call it BD because sanctions are impossible, nowhere on a horizon?

  • Kim Philby's last straw
    • Hughes,

      Note the comment about how Phily's Dad was an Arabist.

    • Good point. If you look at it from the Soviet side, it shows that Socialist pro-Israelis can't be trusted. If you look at it from the US side, then you could ask why she kept it hidden all those years instead of helping the "good guys", suggesting she could not really be trusted. So either way you look at it, there's a problem.

    • For those of you who like these kinds of stories, one of the very curious parts of history was the relationship between Father Gapon, perhaps the main Christian religious leader in the Russian Revolution, and Pinhas Rutenberg, who later became a leading Zionist and the Haganah's chief officer.

      Officially, the story goes that Gapon was with the Socialist Revolutionaries and secretly cooperating with the Tsar's police. He spent a lot of time with Rutenberg, including in exile abroad. Rutenberg says he went to a cabin where Gapon tried to recruit him for the secret police, but other SRs were hiding in the cabin, overheard it, and killed Gapon as Rutenberg left the cabin on purpose. Meanwhile, one of the SR's leaders (unbeknownst to the rest of the SRs), named Azef, was a secret police agent himself. And Azef arranged for Gapon to get killed with Rutenberg's help.

      In reality it's true Gapon was cooperating with the Tsar's police, but he was probably doing that in order to play a game against them. Further, "the S.R. party leadership refused to assume the responsibility, announcing that the execution was undertaken by Rutenberg individually and the cause was a personal one and denied ever having sent their comrades to the meeting on March 26. Rutenberg was then condemned and expelled from the party."

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      If Rutenberg really was a good guy for the SRs and acting as they wanted, why did they expel him? Some years ago I read a Russian article casting intense skepticism on, if not refuting, the possibility that Rutenberg's version of the killing could have happened in terms of logistics. It might have had to do with the condition or location of the cabin. Gapon himself was killed by being tied to a doorknob at about waste height. It's a strange story, and the difficulty with pinning down a full explanation is that Rutenberg was the only one there for sure at the killing. I wonder what the personal motive could have been? Maybe he did not really feel apathetic about priests after all.

  • Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism
  • 'So wait, the Nakba is…?': Listening to Israelis discuss the Nakba
    • This reminds me of lack of recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Israeli government, which Israeli professor Yair Auron showed in his book "The Banality of Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide". He discusses times when the government has actively blocked private commemoration efforts.

  • Settlers Supporting Settlers: Towards an explanation of the US/Israel relationship
    • Hello, Jimmy, thanks for responding.

      The US and the Israelis both were or are settler societies, and since the pro-globalist US isn't so strongly anti-colonial, Israeli settlerism isn't a serious issue. I suppose if the US had an overt pro-settler world ideology, the US would not even pretend to object to Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

      But I think this isn't my main point, which is that the settler aspect of Israeli society isn't really what drives US support for it. I think it's more a matter of domestic politics and global dominance.

      First, it's true that the US supports Canada and other white settler societies, but I think that it's because they are seen as "white", and not because they are settlers. Even if Canada would be considered for some reason to no longer be a settler society, the US would still have an equally intense relationship with Canada because it's Anglo and "white."

      Second, as you said: "Israel wasn’t an important US ally until the 1960s (coinciding with Ashkenazi assimilation into whiteness in the decades after WWII)." That leads one to conclude that prior to the 1960's, the US was not helping the Israelis for being "white". And in fact US help to the Israelis was a serious phenomenon, because Truman went against his state department over the issue, seriously damaging American interests in the Middle East. If the US wanted to carry out a settler policy in the Middle East in the 1950's, this was counterproductive because as the State department saw, it damaged US influence in the region. Arguably, it still does, despite all the wars we have had there.

      In any case, thanks for an interesting essay.

    • I am skeptical of the claim that the US - Israeli relationship is based to a major extent on US history of its own settlement. Back in the 1950's, was settler ideology a major open aspect of Roosevelt's and Truman's thinking on supporting the Israelis? It seems rather that it has been based on justifications like domestic politics, the Holocaust, and geopolitics in the Middle East.

      Meanwhile, back in the cold War the USSR also supported the Israelis in 1946-1949, helping to found their country militarily and at the UN, even though the USSR was not a settler colonialist. In both cases the US and the USSR were driven by other factors like geopolitics. The Israelis though chose to be with the more powerful US, and the US more than accepted that relationship. I suppose you could say then that the relationship was chosen because of US power, and note that modern settler states like the US, Canada, and Israelis are often quite powerful, their successful settlement enterprises being a reflection of that power.

      Furthermore, to emphasize shared settler colonialism as a driving force behind the "special relationship" would not explain why the US took a much different position on India's independence due to the US' ideological opposition to colonialism, when around WWII

      serious tension erupted over American demands, led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, that India be given independence, a proposition Prime Minister Winston Churchill vehemently rejected. For years Roosevelt had encouraged Britain's disengagement from India. The American position was based on principled opposition to colonialism, practical concern for the outcome of the war, and the expectation of a large American role in a post-colonial era. However, in 1942 when the Indian National Congress launched a Quit India movement, the British authorities immediately arrested tens of thousands of activists.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      I do think that the way the Israelis present themselves to the US as a western-style, modern "democracy" with European/Western non-Oriental culture goes along with preferences in the US toward other "Western" "modern" societies. However, the fact that the Israelis are colonists doesn't necessarily mean that they receive greater favor than if they weren't. I don't think for example that the French or British would receive greater US sympathy if they were settlers on their own territory.

      Alternately, I don't think that the Chinese would get greater empathy from America because of any settlement projects in Tibet or Southeast Asia. The fact that the Japanese tried to colonize lots of nations in the Pacific by force actually gave them a more negative view in America.

      So while I think that the Israelis' self-presentation of being a European-style Western nation (a bit ironic for a settler group whose claims rely on partial Middle Eastern origins) plays a big role in campaigning for US support, I am quite skeptical that whether the Israelis are settlers or not is a factor increasing that support. Instead I would look to both domestic US politics and geopolitical power and strategies.

  • In Israel, racism is standard procedure
    • I was using some humor in the first part.

    • She looked over it without a second thought and my female friend was given the same treatment. We were quickly waved through to enter the party. As soon as she saw our male friend’s ID, she clucked and shook her head slightly. I knew exactly what had happened; she saw his city of residence and his name, both of which are distinctly Arab.

      The more important question is what you are doing with an Arab male in the first place. Don't you respect the anti-miscegenation campaign?
      link to youtube.com

      Actually, it's neat that your friend is from the Christian village of Taybeh. If the Israelis' conflict was against Muslim radicals, why are they discriminating against Christians?

  • Spanish Jews resisted oppression in tunnels and, exiled, clutched their keys
    • I thought it was an interesting article with some good pictures and I liked the allusion to keys and mention of Ali Abunimah. But I worry about what Laurent Weppe mentioned above: merely showing the history of Jewish past persecution is insufficient, because as Laurent mentioned in his comment above, Israeli nationalists are aware of that history and drew the opposite conclusion: that one must oppress in order to avoid oppression. Indeed, the story of past Jewish oppression, while important to remember, is also a key staple of conservative Israeli ideology. Netanyahu's father even wrote a book on Spanish persecution of Jews. It's necessary to explain in such articles and flesh out all the analogies in order for people to make the right, ultimately humanitarian conclusions. I understand that the story has a lot of personal meaning, but without the full fleshing out of analogies, it can easily become a reinforcement of the Israeli nationalist narrative that we are feed with movies and news reports ranging from Netanyahu's father's book, all the way to movies portraying Muslims as villains.

    • I have a hard time arguing against you. Herzl's idea was that Jews were oppressed in Europe as a national minority by nationalist governments. So his answer was for them to go and make a nationalist state of their own, ignoring whatever people lived in the territory he claimed.

      For the Europeans I suppose the Zionists were refugees who didn't like Europe, but for the Arabs, they were colonizers who came to conquer and rule as a governing religious community.

    • ". The Jews who fled to safety in places like Tunisia and the provinces of the Ottoman Empire held onto the keys to their homes along with the hope that they would someday return" - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      One of the staples of rightwing Israeli cuisine is that the Muslims and Arabs always persecuted Jews. I suppose this example serves as a counterpoint, when Muslims and Arabs provided tolerance.

  • Sanders is leftwing on economic issues, but sees Israel as up against ISIS
    • In that video, Sander's face is red, his voice is halting and tense. He is not a happy camper hearing liberal objections to Israeli abuses and has difficulty handling it.

    • "I think the answer is generational: Sanders is an old"...
      Correction, you hope the answer is generational. What politician from a young generation could run for president and openly go against Israeli abuses?

    • Mostly you could get that kind of pass in the US based on income levels and systemic prejudices. For example, whether you can hire folks like PEP Dershowitz or not.

      There was a writer on this site maybe a month ago who wrote a glowing article on Adelson and talked in the comments section about his generally well endowed liberal pro-Israeli demographic makes, say, 60% of Democratic party donations. Probably he and Adelson are the kind of folks more likely to get free passes, but they would not admit or maybe even realize that. Lots of unrecognized free passes out there.

  • David Horowitz to OSU: 'Jews didn't expel the Arabs in 1948' and 'the occupation is a huge lie'
    • Apparently Horowitz introduced a friend, who was an book-keeper, to some individuals who were at the periphery of the Black Panthers. This friend’s murdered body was later found in the Bay

      So what's the real story?

    • Horowitz, like many pro-war Neocons, enjoys seeing his opponents crushed. I wonder what really made him go from being Leftist to joining the Mcarthyist camp? Was it when the Left decided that the 1967-? Israeli occupation was wrong?

    • Mooser,
      Considering he is pro-war and teaches that the occupation is a lie, is he perhaps teaching martial artifices (c)?

      Would you, as the discoverer of Ziocaine Syndrome, consider OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Dishonesty) to be one of its chief symptoms?

      If so, what is curious to me is how long he suffered from OCD and whether it went back to before he began taking Ziocaine.

    • I suppose it's like the hardcore PEP folks. On the outside it seems like they are nice moderate liberals, but in reality they are ultra conservative on Palestinians as Horotwitz is. One example may be Dershowitz, who copied Joan Peters' book. They have this same information you are talking about, but how much hjonesty does Dershowitz have? It makes one wonder what to think about their liberalism and what it's really like to work with them personally. Do you know what I mean?

    • Pabelmont,
      What does that mean about when he was a Trotskyist though? Does that mean that back in the 1960's some of the Trotskyists were really pathological liars instead of honest heroes opposing the Machine? It's strange.

      I know that back in the day there was much more support for the Israelis among the socialist Left. But the Israeli narrative as you see says things like Palestinians don't exist, and justifies the Nakba. So were those leftists secretly very dishonest in other ways, on just on the Israeli issue? I am confused now.

    • What was Horowitz like in person as a Trotskyist, I wonder. He wrote:
      From Yalta to Vietnam (1965)
      The Free World colossus. A critique of American foreign policy in the cold war.
      By: Horowitz, David. Published: (1965)

      He did a 180. What a backflip to go from Trotskyist to hardcore Neocon?
      And not only that, but look at the kind of (plainly dishonest?) things he says now, like "the occupation is a lie".
      It makes me wonder what he was like inside Trotskyist circles back in the day in person.

  • Night of horror at Ben Gurion airport for two French music students
    • Western countries don't usually wash the mattresses?

    • ". Here we are locked up, with no notion of time in a dirty place, covered with fleas"

      The fleas thing was something new for me to hear.

      Every ay you can learn something new about the Israeli system.

  • Adelson told Jeb Bush that Baker's speech to J St speech cost him 'a lot of money'
    • I can see that the super-Pro-Israeli groups may want to fund Jeb Bush less for Baker talking to a liberal, "pro-peace, pro-Israeli" group.
      To give an example, facebook is certainly an influential company nowadays.
      link to communitarian.ru

      The meme of "standing with Israel" sounds much more conservative and uncompromising.

  • Combatants for Peace responds to Memorial Day report
    • No, because armed conflict with Palestinians, blockades of Palestinians like in Gaza, serious yearly casualties, etc. are ongoing. Can Palestinians get tax free status for being deprived of their homeland? And at least conservative pro-Americans today realize Amerindians "exist" as an ethnic group. I would definitely rather be an Amerindian at a memorial for US soldiers from the Indian wars, and find ways like "military honor" or modern "romanticizing" of Amerindians to make it more palatable.

    • I appreciate CFP for at least writing here a response. But here is another thing I don't understand the original interview about the CFP event says:

      Retired Israeli police officer Haim Blair, 60, from Gan Yavne criticized the Israeli Jews in Combatants for Peace as naive and that the presence of Palestinians at the event was inappropriate. Wearing a white muscle shirt that read “I ♥ Israel,” he explained, “Today is meant to remember IDF soldiers and the warriors of the underground groups (a reference to pre-state Zionist militias Lehi and Haganah) … and everyone who lost their lives here and elsewhere by the terrorist groups, who they [the attendees] are now backing.”

      Isn't the police officer correct about the definition of the Israeli memorial day, in that it's for Israeli soldiers, not Palestinians?

      If so, I am confused what the purpose is of bringing Palestinian attendance for the holiday. It seems like bringing Amerindians to a holiday occasion memorializing US soldiers fallen in the battle against Indian tribes, war parties, raiders, etc.

      I think that the holiday is one of the main events for CFP? Or is there a holiday for Palestinian fighters (eg. who fell in the 1948 and 1967 wars) that CFP gives equal attention to?

    • The letter by CFP says that the original interviewer misunderstood their positions, and that their actual position is that:
      "Supporting BDS will undermine our efforts especially in the Israeli side, and in different circles around the world."

      However, did the original interview actually say that this was the opinion he got from CFP, and then state that he disagreed with this CFP position, which CFP has just reiterated here?

      Secondly, I assume that BDS will undermine any of CFP's efforts bringing in Israelis who support the occupation, since those Israelis don't want to be sanctioned for the occupation. However, is that really a reason to avoid supporting BDS? If you are in South Africa and you actually believe that your society is discriminatory and your goal is to reconcile ex-SA police and ex-ANC rebels, then why would you oppose or be lukewarm about the international community pressuring your country to follow international law?

      As for "different circles around the world", the only ones I can think of that would be seriously hurt by your message as a result of BDS would be conservative pro-Israeli ones like CUFI, AIPAC, etc.

      Now, I suppose if you are the Red Cross it makes sense that you don't want to take a position on BDS or other political issues because you have a vital job to do about being totally apolitical to cross borders and give humanitarian aid. But CFP is not the neutral Red Cross, it's a self-proclaimed organization of those who are against the occupation - unless I am mistaken and CFP doesn't even have a position on that.

  • Marking Memorial Day in Tel Aviv with Kahanists and Combatants for Peace
    • There is so much irony in that. CFP is an ex-combatants group, right? So it is made of people who thought it's wrong to fight, right? So why are they going to a memorial for people on the conquering side only who died for making that "wrong" choice?

      And isn't this memorial one of the main events for CFP? Are they also bringing Israelis to a memorial for Palestinian fighters?

      So what is the purpose behind an "anti-combat" group doing that for the conquering side's combatants only?

  • The moral hypocrisy of American Muslims for Palestine on the Armenian Genocide
    • Dear SAMI:

      The argument I would make from a pro-Palestinan perspective is this:

      Large numbers of Armenians came to Palestine as refugees from their homeland and composed a large portion of the pre-Israeli population. Then when the Israelis conquered Palestine and imposed the Nakba, the Israelis deported thousands of Armenians. You can find photos of Armenians in "transit" camps in Haifa awaiting their ethnic cleansing out of Palestine by Israelis.

      Next, I would point out that the Israelis impose discriminatory policies on the Armenians in Jerusalem even though there is a historical Armenian quarter. As a result of these harsh policies, the Armenian citizenry there are dwindling.

      So the argument you should make to Palestinian organizations is that Armenians have borne the impact of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine just like other Palestinians, both in the Nakba and today. In fact, based on the Palestinian Authority's definition of "Palestinians", Armenian inhabitants are "Palestinian" too, since the P.A. defines Palestinians as the people living there before the time of the mass Israeli settlement project in the 20th century. The Armenian quarter long predates that. As a result, Palestinian organizations have a duty to respect the hardships imposed on Armenians not only by Israelis but by the Israelis' ally, Turkey. One of those hardships has been the persecution of the Armenians by Turkey which forced them to move to Palestine in the first place.

      Please let me know if you read this.

      Regards and Respect.

  • Leading American rabbi issues first public criticism of apartheid conditions in Jerusalem
    • Yes, Mooser.
      I know personal cases of that with Palestinians and either their families or their own fears and prohibitions about others knowing their human rights concerns on the topic. They don't want to get under government surveillance for supporting other Palestinians- a concern the rabbi wouldn't have.

      Phil is right that they don't have to worry about family members shunning and hating them for being "wrong", but they have other more problems and risks that can be worse like Odeh had.

    • These rabbis are deeply immured in a communal conversation, which is why I think people should respect for Ellenson making this public break. Obviously it gives him pain to issue the criticisms that he does. (BTW, Palestinians who support the right of return don’t have to break with their siblings, parents and grandparents; no, they affirm that community by doing so.) - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      I take umbrage at that. The statement is true that they don't face pressure from close relatives on speaking out if their relatives are other Palestinans. BUT Palestinians have tons and tons of pressure from speaking out publicly about Palestine in a way that people raised in "pro-Israeli" communities do not. Namely, when the Palestinian says it, their opponents, who can be very hardcore PEPs and Neocons, may label them as being supporters of terrorism, Hamas, etc. etc. This libelous charge of being an Arab "pro-terrorist" can damage them in a wider American "pro-Israeli" society both in terms of reputation, job loss, fear of criminal charges, etc. in a way that a mere "ex-pro-Israeli" or rabbi would not face. A good example of this is the case of the "Holy Land" society in the US where Arab Americans were charged with supporting Hamas terrorism when they gathered humanitarian support for Gaza.

      So the good rabbi has it backwards when he says critics coming from the pro-Israeli community have it harder. While yes, Palestinians don't have to deal with relatives' support for Israeli abuses, their relatives actually have in some cases demanded that their children not talk about Palestine for fear of serious recriminations in the US.

    • Israel: The Danger of Idolatry
      Rabbi Arthur Waskow | 2/20/2015

      After looking at the specific question of the Netanyahu Speech, I will look more deeply into the distinction between seeing the State of Israel as an achievement to be celebrated and criticized, or as an idol to be worshipped.

      The Talmud also tells the story that the ancient rabbis hunted for the yetzer hara, the evil impulse, of idolatry. They thought that if they could find it, they could kill it – and end idolatry. They did finally find it – hidden in the Holy of Holies, at the sacred center of the Holy Temple.

      It is easier to make an idol of something greatly valuable than of something trivial. We face a choice between celebrating Israel when it is a worthy instrument for justice, peace, and Jewish culture — or worshipping it as an idol no matter how it acts. Idolators do not criticize their godlets. Torah sees idolatry as the worst of sins, for it leads to all the others. Greed. Lies. Slander. Robbery. Murder. God forbid that we turn the State of Israel into a Jewish idol.
      link to theshalomcenter.org

  • Jewish and Palestinian women are segregated in Israeli maternity wards -- Chomsky
    • Maxine,

      The problem with (a) mixing up the babies is that it creates the prince and the pauper "tragedy". The children in the Prince and the Pauper analogy have the same ethnicity, but due to noble birth, one is selected to rule the land and the people in it. Palestinians and Israelis very often do have the same ethnicity. There are many cases of Jews and Arabs converting to eachother's religions over the centuries and interbreeding. However, in the Israeli ideology, one cultural-religious community is the "rightful" owner of the land and thus those of "correct" birth must be kept separate from those who are born to be the ruled/dispossessed. That's the ideology. If you are Israeli, then God or the Balfour declaration or history has made you the "rightful" ruler of the land and your state must be dedicated to your group alone, after which over 50 laws have been imposed that separate you from the other groups who are ruled.

    • Anyway, it's obvious why they do this. They would not want even the possibility of a mix up where Isr./Pal babies are switched at birth like in the movie THE OTHER SON. You could risk the possibility of a baby with Israeli background being raised in a Muslim home, brought up in Islam/Christianity, treated as a Palestinian Arab / second class citizen by Israeli society and its law enforcement, etc. That should not be allowed to happen.

    • What's up with DaBakr and MAYHEM writing in to deny clearly established facts (see below) without actually providing evidence that specifically refutes Chomsky's claim?

      (eg. just because Dabakr says that the doctors aren't segregated doesn't mean that the patients aren't)

  • There is no better way than boycott
    • Some liberal forces had proposed that the "answer" was to replace Netanyahu with a liberal candidate for the prime minister's office, and they put their hopes on Livni/Herzog. However, Netanyahu is still considered the winner of that election.

      Their expectations of that election are a bit confusing for me. They should have known from the poll numbers that Netanyahu would either win or have a close enough outcome that he could rule with a coalition. Yet, to make a coalition, he would have to ally with some forces to his Left.

      My question is: What happened to the parties to Netanyahu's Left so that Netanyahu still was able to form a coalition with some of them? Did he form a coalition with Kahlon or Herzog? If not, then did Herzog and Kahlon consider forming their own coalition of centrist and left parties that would have more votes than Netanyahu and could rule the government?

  • Fingerhut boycotted J Street because 'millions of dollars' were on the line
  • Calling out Pamela Geller's hate speech in Philadelphia
    • Does anyone think the city's response and that of the interfaith center were adequate?

      I don't know what more one could expect. I suppose they could include discussion and criticisms of Geller's ads, but actually they did to some degree.

      To do more they could have called out "pro-Israelis" and how they have been pushing us to war and conflict with Muslims, but that's a lot to expect.

    • If you combine the two rulings it means this:
      1. Ads attacking Muslims do not cause a reaction of security threats.
      2. Ads criticizing Israeli abuses can cause a reaction against those displaying the ads. (eg. threats were called in to the bus company)

      Thus, the court rulings lead to the conclusion that pro-Israeli forces are an actual threat, while pro-Muslim forces aren't enough of one to censor speech.

  • Approaching Easter and Passover
    • As with Passover for Jews, the triumphal language surrounding Palm Sunday and Easter should be toned down. -Marc Ellis

      Israeli security forces are doing a fine job of that blocking native Christians from Easter in Jerusalem.

      "Remnants of Christendom continue apace in Christian Zionism and beyond."
      Aren't majority "Christian" societies from Russia to Argentina "Christendom", not just Christian Zionism. No need to overgeneralize or conflate everyone with that. Christian Zionism is probably a fraction of all Christendom.

      It is curious, though, how the most obvious aspect of Jesus confronting the contemporary occupation of Jerusalem is highlighted while Jesus’ Jewishness is barely acknowledged and rarely, if ever, emphasized.

      Jesus' Jewishness is acknowledged over and over again by basically all Christianity, the theologians of all denominations, Church fathers, etc. It comes up whether you read St Jerome in the 4th century or Fr. Meier's JESUS: A MARGINAL JEW in he 20th.

      BUT he did have views different than the religious mores of his community in terms of, say, observance of the Torah. The concept of ritual cleanliness did not seem very strictly enforced. He did have his followers do the handwashing ritual of phariseeism and modern Judaism, for example.

      The other thing is that Christianity teaches that we are to all be one in Christ whether we are Jewish or not. So in that sense, what is the spiritual need of emphasizing Jesus' Jewishness far beyond the way that our scholars and preachers and writers repeatedly already do?

  • Video: Max Blumenthal on the ways Zionism exploits anti-Semitism
    • Hi Yonah,

      If someone is against Jews simply for being Jews, particularly in their ethnic make- up, then they are anti-semitic. Anti-semitism, after all, is a form of racial enmity. They could express this different ways.

      I might as well ask you the same thing I asked Hophmi. Don't you think actual anti-semites and hardcore pro-Israelis are some of the most intense, often unhinged posters on the internet?

    • Hello, Hophmi.

      I did seriously ask for other peoples' views on this for more ideas and information.

      But as to you, it would be interesting to know whether you would agree that many pro-Israelis are really really really really intense about being pro-Israeli and avoid criticizing their political system and policies.

    • OK, up until 2:34, it was good, and it's important to be against anti-semitism like he explains. But then he says Gilad Atzmon is inciting against Jews. However, if Max is wrong and Atzmon is not making incitement, then Max is unfortunately also misusing the term anti-Semitism and labeling people who aren't.

      In reality, Atzmon (who is Jewish) does not criticize all, Jews, but directs much attention against those who create secular nationalist organizations because he believes that solidarity organizations should not be divided based on one's nationality, and that to do otherwise is exclusionary (what he calls "tribalism"). Now I think Atzmon is too strong in his criticism, but in any case, do you actually think that he is inciting against people for being Jews?

  • White House will go after AIPAC next -- Newsweek
    • "But in a January court response to IRMEP, the Defense Department said it was seeking Israel’s OK before releasing the document."
      Right. Because the Administration needs approval from the higher-ups before it can take such steps.

  • CUFI Leader John Hagee confirms Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic
    • For better or worse, JeffB is generally right on this one.

    • Ben,

      You wrote:
      Farah resolutely maintains that Christian Zionism is, in its very essence, an anti-Semitic ideology, as, in his view, it is an “anti-biblical position” to claim that Jews are not automatically damned to eternal suffering in a lake of fire merely by virtue of their being Jewish.

      This of course is incorrect. It is not virtue of merely based on being Jewish that the "Christian" Zio Evangelicals think this happens, but rather on whether one believes Jesus is the Messiah or not. Certainly, they would not consider Messianic Jews to be condemned. The parallel to this kind of thinking are Israelis who believe that Christianity is idolatry and that Christians get condemned.

      Thus, the Christian Zionists are not so much anti-semitic as intolerantly anti-Judaism, and unfortunately there are parallels on the Israeli side.

  • American Jews are taking back their power from Israel
    • Why is this rupture happening now? Why didn’t it happen during any number of earlier provocations, from the building of Har Homa settlement outside Jerusalem to the fomenting of the Iraq war to the slaughter of Cast Lead?

      One reason was how brazen Netanyahu was. Obama wants peace with Iran, and Netanyahu decided to run a full-house concert style applause session against Obama. There are other things, but that definitely played a big role.

    • Phil is the best regular writer here (no surprise, I suppose) with the way he writes about insider politics.

  • Netanyahu's victory ‐ what is the cost?
    • UNVERIFIED,

      In some ways it's better than Alabama, in other ways worse. It's better because slaves were directly owned by the whites. But it is worse than the slave days because Alabama wanted a black population to do work, and thus it had to avoid ethnic cleansing.

      So in some ways it's better, in others worse.

  • An American translation of Netanyahu's racist get out the vote speech
    • Thanks N’yahoo for taking off your mask and showing the world what you’ve always stood for. Now no one can pretend they didn’t know.

      What more could you ask for about him revealing himself? Coming to the US Congress and literally saying something like "I am your Prime Minister"? That would be too much. Although he could have said "Right now I am the 'leader of the free world' because we are on the front lines against Muslim extremism", and I think the Congress would have applauded.

    • Yes, it's huge.

      I think FInkelstein was previously parroting Chomsky on BDS because he said Chomsky was his ideological mentor now that he left Maoism. For him, the affect of such a strong mentor could be like reading that George Washington, the Bible, and Lenin were all against BDS. (and BTW this is not to denigrate Chomsky's good contributions otherwise)

      So I am simply skeptical that Finkelstein was so opposed to BDS all on his own. I think that someone who studied the issue so well as a radical should know better. But then, who knows. He used to be starry eyed about the peace process (to the extent that he thought it was realistic even if not ideal). Now Netanyahu has crushed Finkelstein's faith in the Israelis achieving the 2SS.

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
    • Take comedienne Sarah Silverman for example. who tweeted last week “ISRAEL! If you are a Meretz supporter you NEED to VOTE MARCH 17. Every vote counts. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” Now, I love Silverman and her sick comedy really speaks to me. And Meretz was one of the two parties I considered voting for. I certainly didn’t want this essential player in Israeli politics to fall beneath the electoral threshold. But there was something so insulting about Silverman’s tweet that I was glad I had already decided not to vote Meretz.

      Silverman, like every other person in the world, can express a view on another country’s internal politics, but going as far as to suggest to the citizens of that country how they should actually use their vote is crass and in extremely bad taste.
      (Anshel Pfeffer, "Diaspora Jews butted in but Netanyahu won the elections anyway")

      I don't get it. The Israelis call themselves the state of the world's Jewish people, so how is it crass for Diaspora Jews to weigh in on "their" state's elections? After all, Netanyahu says openly that he represents the world's Jews.

    • Nice article.

  • Netanyahu's victory marks the end of the two-state solution
    • Drug use has in some cases like early industrial China ruined societies and made them very weak.

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • Citizen,

      Net's popularity went up 2 percent points among republicans and down by what, 10 among Democrats.

    • Typical. Calling them sir probably isn't enough. They are just second class citizens and should be treated as such without it being formally recognized, according to this thinking.

      Do you think JeffB falls into the class where criticizing Israeli policies is opposed as a rule?

      Hophmi and some others seem to.

      link to theshalomcenter.org

    • Mooser,

      What is MRW referring to here: "You should have listened to those us who tried you the truth many months ago."

      Does he mean that Phil was predicting Netanyahu would lose and now Phil is finished as no longer credible because Net. won?

      I feel like I find Phil's reporting credible, just his predictions as too optimistic often.

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