Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4878 (since 2009-08-12 22:27:08)

yonah fredman

"i am a zionist who believes in a two state solution." This was my profile sentence for the last three years. Here is my update: The two state solution is striking in its simplicity and its legal basis on the 1947 partition resolution and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967. A US president should certainly pursue this direction. But unelected to the US presidency, I am not so limited. Recent calls from various parts of the Israeli political spectrum to grant the right to vote (in Israeli elections) to West Bank Palestinians appeals to me. The trick is to turn this idea into a policy of the state. Granted this would not solve Gaza or the refugees, but it would be a giant step, if not a leap. Another addendum: Shlomo Sand is the last person I thought would "buck me up" in my Zionism, but he has. The attempt to dismantle Israel in the one state plans offered will not result in a solution, and I think that at some point the situation will clarify itself into forcing israel to turn itself into a nation of its citizens and to get Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. As Sand says things don't look good from here.

Showing comments 4878 - 4801

  • In Israel, the mask is finally off
    • Israel did not face up to what peace with the Palestinians might entail until Camp David 2000. The negotiations after the Clinton parameters from december 2000 until January 20. 2001 was serious but short lived because Clinton left office and Ehud Barak was voted out of office. There was much propaganda involved in blaming Arafat for the failure of Camp David, but Barak was serious until time was up.

      The olmert abbas negotiations were serious as well. actually more serious. but again olmert's time was limited.

      These efforts were shortlived and sporadic. But they did exist and not acknowledging them turns this piece by David Glick into a piece of propaganda rather than historical analysis.

  • Washington 'sits shiva' for the 2-state solution
    • If the talks with Iran fall apart, then Obama will be free to create a policy he feels will resolve the Palestinian Israel conflict in the future. But if the talks with Iran hang in the balance, the legacy of a rapprochement with Iran will be much greater than dubious future resolutions of an intractable conflict and then all the Obama negative energy towards Bibi will be focused on protecting the Iran rapprochement from being messed up by Israel supporters.

  • The liberal Zionist lament: Joe Klein and Jodi Rudoren try to explain away Israeli racism
  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • if mister douglas had come from the former soviet union, then he would be allowed to make aliya, but immigrants from north america are not treated as leniently as the "Russian Jews",

    • Mr. Douglas is not allowed to make aliya. He is not Jewish according to Halacha and would not be granted the right to move to Israel.

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • We should only anticipate an Obama move such as a Security Council Resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank by a certain time (or even something much more toothless but still something that Israel supporters will view as worthy of a fight) only if the talks with Iran collapse. at that point obama can give full attention to the Palestine issue. but if the talks with Iran do not collapse then Obama's attention will be on fighting off the Congress that will be fighting to oppose the deal with Iran. He will not have the luxury to deal with the Palestine issue.

    • Donald- my second paragraph is quite explicit. i'm not allowed a few sentences of displacement even if I add something of substance afterward?!

    • oldgeezer- i think sporadic is the key descriptor that i would use. i think that both ehud barak and ehud olmert were serious about peacemaking. but their efforts were difficult to sustain because the israeli public is not prepared to go nearly as far as necessary. i think to say that netanyahu was not serious in his efforts is accurate, but to say the same about ehud barak and ehud olmert and yitzhak rabin and shimon peres, is inaccurate and ahistorical. i think until camp david 2000 israel had not faced up to what would be necessary to get near to an agreement. once it was revealed it was not something that the israeli public was willing to approve of and they voted barak out before he could reach an agreement. ehud olmert's election was a fluke the result of sharon's near death and coma. and i think he came close. or close enough to call him serious. to call olmert unserious when abbas thought him serious is clearly ahistorical and coming from a propaganda point of view.

    • Singo- you're correct. it goes much deeper than PR.

    • seafoid- tell me one more time about kastner.

    • Phil Weiss's coverage is breathless teenager, gushing and hoping one moment and now absolutes: Israel was never serious about peace. (In fact Israel's seriousness about peace was sporadic and insufficient, but such nuance is anathema to the teenager.)

      But that is largely besides the point, for Netanyahu's rejection of the two state solution and his racist rhetoric are in fact the point. The man of the hour is none other than Barack Obama. I'd like to see Obama call Beinart and decide on a policy together with Beinart. It will be tough for me and Israel supporters like me who oppose the settlement enterprise to adjust to the necessity of American pressure. And it will take people like Beinart (plus Derfner and Bradley Burston) to lead the way for American Zionists like me. But it will take Obama to turn this into something real.

    • My preference today would be for Bibi to disappear and for Gideon Saar to take over. bibi is a PR nightmare.

      thinking today of the barak netanyahu election of 16 years ago when the results were much more favorable to a zionist of my ilk. the liberal zionist will warn the israelis that their path leads to pariah-hood, but will not participate in creating that pariah-hood.

  • Why I hope Netanyahu will be crushed tonight
    • jon s- Phil has been very clear for quite some time that he does not give more than half a shrug about the Jewish people. Here's a quote from Hannah Arendt that clarifies the difference between someone who cares (Arendt) and someone who does not care (Phil Weiss).

      In the aftermath of publishing her book (or articles) on the Eichmann trial as a result of the furor of the reactions of many Jews, The American Council for Judaism (much praised here on mw by phil w.) invited Arendt, offered her protection and a public forum in which she could reply to her critics. She refused and wrote to the council:

      "You know that I was a Zionist and that my reason for breaking with the Zionist organization was very different from the anti-Zionist stand of the Council: I am not against Israel on principle, I am against certain important Israeli policies. I know, or believe I know, that should catastrophe overtake this Jewish state, for whatever reasons (even reasons of their own foolishness) this would be the perhaps final catastrophe for the whole Jewish people, no matter what opinions every one of us might hold at the moment."

    • When JVP has Angela Davis addressing them with such a rousing reception, it shows that JVP is not ready for prime time.

  • The farewell party of the mezuzah-kissers
    • Walid- If you are truly curious I can find you the exact verses that are inscribed in a mezuzah.

    • kissing the mezuzah is not something that is a mitzvah, but putting a mezuzah on one's door is a mitzvah and a way to identify oneself.

      (mitzvah- a commandment in the torah)

  • Even if Netanyahu loses, he can still win
    • seafoid- how many haredi girls do you know? when was the last time you spoke a word to a haredi person?

    • mooser- I am fine with a unity government and i am actually fine with a left wing government that does not represent the will of the people that acts against the will of the people and negotiates an end to the occupation. but given that the population 49 to 36% prefers bibi over herzog, the unity government or the right wing government would represent the will of the electorate.

      i wish all israelis agreed with me and gave meretz 120 seats or 107 seats and 13 seats for the United List. but they don’t. my hopes reflect the political reality.

    • Personally, I would apply conscription to Haredi girls (they are not obliged to study Torah, are they).

      Is this an attempt at humor?

      the haredi phenomenon and its demographic growth particularly in the city of jerusalem is of particular interest to me. I never heard of Randians before.

      Haredi parties are a different entity than the community. Give me a piece of the pie politics and the dependency of the community on subsidies are of course part of the culture rather than just part of the politics.

    • piotr says: "It is more like military service has some religious or quasi-religious significance to most of Jewish Israelis, and to many of them avoiding the service is like a heresy — one true faith has to be defended whatever the cost."

      The role of military service as some kind of religious significance is an interesting topic, but irrelevant to the reason why secular Israelis want religious Jews to serve. military service is a large burden and those that serve feel that all should bear the burden. as simple and as basic and as fair as just that.

      bibi's 49% come from the people who feel that the danger of the Arabs is sufficient to justify Likud policies. Haredi's fear for their lives just like all others. Their suspicion of the Arabs is one of the highest of any demographic in Israel.

    • seafoid- at least on this thread you have offered the words of others that are of interest and have some meat on them.

      I think anshel pfeffer caught the essence of israel's lack of normalcy in his friday column in haaretz: Israel has no constitution. Israel has not defined its borders. Israel has ruled the Palestinians of the West bank for close to 50 years without figuring out how to do this while claiming to be a democracy. bibi is the most obvious symptom of abnormalcy but the lack of normalcy is much deeper than bibi.

      w. jones- i think/hope that the "center" parties of deri and lapid, who are naturally of the right wing variety, will pressure likud to fire bibi, so that they can form a right wing government but be true to their word (and their hearts) that they don't wish to join bibi.

    • "By the polls what is clear now is that more Israelis want Netanyahu out of office than those who want him to become prime minister for a fourth term. But who Israelis want to run their country may not be who they get."

      What a misleading sentence! The polls say that given the choice between Herzog and Netanyahu, the voters choose Bibi over Herzog by 49 to 36%, so technically since less than half would choose Bibi to continue, Allison Deger's statement is not a lie. But please, really, this is reporting?! This is journalism?! Bibi is preferred 49 to 36%.

      This is not news reporting. It is twisted.

  • Separating anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism
    • for clarity sake- I am not a supporter of Meir Kahane. I support Meretz in the present elections. I think that Kahane played a role in getting Soviet Jews on the consciousness of American lawmakers. I would not begrudge him that. But at the same time he killed a secretary working for Sol Hurok, so his means even then were wrong. His work in Israel was abominable and negative. His stance in regard to protecting Jews left in dangerous neighborhoods in urban america of the late '60's was not exemplary, but no other group stood up for those who were left to suffer urban blight's crime wave and I have yet to hear from anyone on that issue to my satisfaction.

      Tony Greenstein's proprietary stance of the words never again was stupid and ignorant. if he had expressed his opinion on the basis of those two words alone and said, here is how we the enlightened interpret this phrase (which belongs to everybody) and here is how bibi interprets the phrase, then i would not have objected. but his contention that the right stole the slogans of the left feels like some kind of ignorant posturing. and your contributions have moved the conversation here in the same ignorant direction.

    • my original statement: that the JDL popularized the phrase still stands until it is disproved. greenstein's propriety of the phrase on behalf of the left wing of britain sounds like something convenient or circa 2015. I am sure that the two words occurred in the garden of eden. and if two dogs' conversation could be translated i'd bet you it precedes the garden of eden.

      old geezer- good to see you haven't run out of spitballs.

    • JDL was founded in 1968 with the motto "never again". cite me an earlier usage of the term.

    • tony greenstein- Your interpretation of "never again" is admirable and better than Bibi's interpretation. But who popularized the phrase "never again". was it really the left? here in brooklyn if memory serves me, it was Meir Kahane who popularized the phrase. this does not treif the phrase nor does it make Kahane's interpretation superior to yours, but " the racists always take our slogans" is not quite true. It was the racists' slogan to begin with.

  • We may not have Netanyahu to kick around anymore
    • seafoid- another conversation starter. Not.

    • I think/ hope that there is another possibility. Those who want Bibi out, but whose natural constituency are of the Likud frame of mind, will let the Likud know: get rid of Bibi and we will make a government with you. Thus Deri and Lapid will be the ones to force Bibi into retirement, but it will be a Likud government.

    • seafoid- nice way to start a conversation. Not.

    • just, why should i answer a personal question from you?

    • Pipe dreams. 49 to 36% of Israelis prefer Bibi to Herzog. the center party- Kahlon will not back Herzog. Deri said that he will NOT support a narrow left wing government. if you add up the numbers how does the left wing add up to 61 seats without kahlon. recall that lapid and the ultra orthodox cannot sit in the same cabinet. the numbers are not there.

      I'd be quite happy to have herzog rather than bibi. i don't think it's likely. a labor likud coalition is far more likely than a narrow left wing government.

  • UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as 'triggering, terrifying'
    • I can't comment on the etymology of "canon". But I can add that Ben Gurion used to refer to the "Holy Cannon".

    • Ms. Din herself gives two explanations for her usage of the word: 1. to denote an antiestablishment position: resistance to the status quo and 2. solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Certainly with this second reason she has made it clear she is not just using it generically, she is using it to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause and as such it is not an "innocent" word. It is a political word with specific connotations especially for those who are aware of the history of the first and second intifadas. (Usages by journalists are interesting, but not to the point here. If she had only said reason #1, I have come to shake things up, that would mean that journalistic usage would be the only consideration. But she has used the word to spark ethnic pride or ethnic identity and thus those at the receiving end of the intifada are also going to have associations with the word. Thus it is not an innocent word.)

      Should Jewish students feel attacked by the use of this word? No. Are they wrong to point out the bloodiness of the second intifadeh? No. They are allowed to give the history of the word. Should the school ban the use of the word? No. But neither should you get all huffy about the campaign to point out the history of the second intifadeh.

  • Israel's Foreign Minister calls for beheading Arab citizens and it's not anywhere in the New York Times
    • oyvey, first don't call me dear, honey.

      Jewish nationalism is as kosher as black nationalism and Arab nationalism and treif as white nationalism. It is amoral when used against others and moral when used as a means of survival and striving. the violence used by Jewish partisans fighting the nazis is obviously good jewish nationalism and the violence used by jewish settlers against West Bank nonJewish children is obviously bad. nationalism is to nation as egoism is to the individual. destroy an individual's ego and the result is pathetic. let an individual's ego get out of control and the result is pathetic. the same is true with nationalism.

    • you have proved that i have never on mondoweiss referred to max blumenthal as akin to david duke. there are many antiJewish comments here on mw and if I have referred to some of them as being akin to David Duke I am willing to deal with that analogy on a case by case basis and if i was wrong, i'll be the second to admit it.

    • max blumenthal is dennis the menace. that's what i said and I stand behind it. (i bet i have read more of 'goliath' than mooser has, but that's neither here nor there. blumenthal's inclusion of passover in the nationalistic jewish/israeli holidays of the springtime without seeing anything positive in passover or any aspect of Jewishness more nationalistic than lenny bruce, indicates his uselessness in terms of constructing a new Jewish identity apart from Zionism,

      as far as comparing him to david duke, if you provide me a quote that would be fair, but fairness does not predominate here, even if the moderator has stepped forward and asserted as much.

  • Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not 'nation state of the Jewish people')
    • crone- here is the part of mooser's comment that seemed hate filled to me:
      What it comes down to Yonah, is pretty clear: you would see Judaism die, and dance at its grave, if Judaism doesn’t dance to your tune. Well, pal, that’s your problem, and you can’t make it anybody else’s. Or are you deigning to tell us what G-d wants for Judaism? Has He told you? -

      What precisely is my tune that mooser is referring to. and i suppose to a nonjew dancing on judaism's grave is as innocent as buying candy at the grocery store, to me it is the height of hatred to accuse me of wishing to see judaism die and dance on its grave.

      and to invoke god in the conversation is the ultimate act of hatred. i am deigning to tell anyone what god wants. that is just a pile of feces. maybe you enjoy getting feces thrown at you, crone. i don't. maybe in your secular family invoking god is as innocent as invoking santa claus. not to me. invoke god and you are playing with fire or feces.

      crone- if you wish to discuss something of some substance i am willing to, but your defense of mooser will have to continue without me.

    • crone- if you feel that mooser's comment was apt, please cite my original comment and his reaction and show me that his is a rational comment. i don't think you can. i'll bet you a bud that your defense of mooser is only on general grounds not on the comment that i was reacting to.

    • RoHa- Yes, I understand that you assert that the Jews are not a nation. but the russians, meaning the Czars and many of their subjects asserted through the force of laws (the czars) and arms (the populace) that they considered the Jews not to be part of the Russian nation. You might from this perspective tell the Russians that they were wrong, but they can't hear you from here. And to assert the non nationhood of the Jews by referring to countries that did not explicitly view the Jews as some kind of alien presence and who at least on the books considered all citizens to be equal, while ignoring the largest single population of Jews in 1881 where they were considered alien and where they suffered as a result of that ideation, where even after the revolution their papers always noted that they were Jews, to not mention Russia in your list of countries from 1881 shows that you are not interested in the truth, but in obfuscation.

    • Roha conveniently mentions the Jews of America Australia and France in 1881 and omits Russia. Does Jewish nationalism make sense in 1881 in Russia, Roha?

    • moderator- Do you really think giving mooser a free rein here in mondoweiss really helps the Palestinian cause. Letting him foam at the mouth really helps the situation in Gaza, the West Bank or in Israel? You really think so.? The message here is: Mooser hates Yonah. This is 7th grade freak out given a free rein.

    • Jewish nationalism circa 2015 is essentially different than Jewish nationalism circa 1881 or circa 1939. Because of the lack of a common language and a common land (other than the common language of the Bible and the common land cited in the Bible) it is easiest to assert that Jewish is a religious rather than a national construct. With the destruction (from 11 million in 1939 to less than 2 million today) of European Jewry, there are now two locations for major Jewish presence: North America and Israel. The national inclinations of Israelis has been commented upon and will continue to be commented upon. The national inclination of American Jews indicates that for the most part this inclination is dying (among the majority, whose Jewishness is atrophying, certainly the national inclination aspect of the Jewish identity is atrophying at a similar or even accelerated rate.)

      Thus any attempt to evaluate Jewish identity today among American Jews must note this decaying identity. Yet, the past is a stubborn thing, especially for students of the past and to pretend that the nature of Jewish identity in the last 140 years is somehow dismissible, based upon some dictionary definition of "what is a Jew?" shows the arrogance of amateurs and outsiders. Not every jewish individual dives into the history of the Jewish people over the past century and a half with anything approaching the seriousness that would jar their identity out of the easiest path of considering history as irrelevant. this is the american way, for the most part. america- the land of the new, leaving the past behind. so americanism discourages historical consciousness. but a jew who chooses historical consciousness would recognize the nuances of Jewish identity over the last 140 years and would not dismiss it because of some dictionary definition.

  • On 'Birthright,' a checkpoint is called a tollbooth, and Jews have E-ZPass
  • Palestinian leaders vote to end security coordination with Israel, a cornerstone of Oslo and the occupation
    • seafoid- To be very frank dealing with the specifics of the Kastner case is deeply troubling for me and i envy cold hearted people who probably have very little psychic energy involved in the genocide who can discuss this thing at the drop of the hat. Kastner's sin was not the destination of the rescued Jews it was his abandonment of the others. Jewish history is very sad in spots and because this is an antiZionist site you can bring the topic up to make your analogies of questionable worth with impunity by the other commentators and even with encouragement from Walid in this case. i know you are devoted to the dismantling of Zionism and because Kastner was a Zionist he is as game as Dershowitz, say. but i have never heard an attempt by you to really deal with Jewish history on the grand scale other than as backdrop to your opposition to Zionism.

    • Not the first time in jewish history so many have sacrificed for a hardcore of blatant freeloaders. - See more at: link to

      seafoid- Kastner and his negotiations and his agreement is a dark spot on Jewish history, as is any agreement reached between the Nazis and the judenrat's. but these were not freeloaders. these were people who used their connections in order to survive a murderer and sacrificed the rest, so that they could survive. there was nothing free loader- ish about those that survived. it was purely an act to survive and to bring it up here in the context of Yesha is not appropriate. in fact it's the analogy of a simplistic person.

    • seafoid "Not the first time in jewish history so many have sacrificed for a hardcore of blatant freeloaders." Please offer one historical precedent, so that I know that you are talking rationally and usefully, rather than my fear that you are parroting antiJewish propaganda.

  • 'NYT' reports 'surge of hostile sentiment against Jews' nationwide -- on what basis?
  • Pelosi blasts Netanyahu speech as 'insult to intelligence of U.S.', Amanpour calls it 'dark, Strangelovian'
    • I have no desire to research precisely what I said. If i get taken to some fictional court of law to determine what exactly I said and what elicited the comment, then I will spend the time to reconstruct precisely the "discussion" between philomen and me. but this is a comments section and thus I really won't spend the time to figure out who said what when and why i reacted.

      I've been reading Clive James' "Cultural Amnesia" and some essays from George Steiner collected from the New Yorker, and I am impressed by the centrality that Nazism plays in James's descriptions of the 20th century and Steiner's statement (paraphrase) that one cannot understand Hitler's actions without understanding that antiSemitism was ultimately at the base of his decision making.

      It is feasible that commentator x or commentator Y was merely insulting me and not the statement that antisemitism is a hardy disease. in fact antisemitism is a very hardy disease and even if it is nowhere near a central motif of american history it is certainly a central motif of the last 130 years of Western (white man) history. And those who treat history as if it is a comic book or a joke do not belong in the company of adults.

    • here is the original comment by philomen which drew my response regarding his ethnic group:

      "Per Yonah: “… antisemitism is a dangerous and hardy disease amongst some nonJews.”

      But Yonah, how do you know which nonJews? I mean, it might strike the most philosemitic nonJew at any time!

      Yeah, “some” versus “all”, but what are the tell-tale signs? How do you tell who among nonJews is infected with this dangerous and hardy disease, and how can you tell if, even if previously they were free from all taint, it might not be lying dormant, just biding its time, as it were.

      I’d be careful if I were you, Yonah. You never know what might set it off.

      Will somebody please tell the folks at the asylum about Yonah." link to

      My original comments were elicited when american accused me of saying that all nonJews were Jew haters and I retorted that I said, some nonJews are Jew haters and philomen accused me of "how do you know. you must hate all nonJews." thus treating the subject of Jew hatred like some silly game. and such frivolity in regards to Jew hatred is most often the province of real Jew haters and usually (on this web site) white Jew haters, so because of philomen's disgusting remarks, i questioned his ethnicity. if he had not said something stupid, frivolous, anti historical, anti human about the phenomena of Jew hatred, I would not have struck out at his ethnicity. so let me retract this and say that philomen is beneath contempt no matter what his ethnicity. fair enough, philomen?

    • Walid- referring to me in the 3rd person is rude. is this what the dictates of non normalization look like?

    • philomen- i'm betting you're white.

      you come and diss the Jews. I wonder what your ethnicity is. I try to categorize you, who are a Jew hater, what type of Jew hater you are. It is easier for me to see you as a white man hating the Jews for old reasons than a man of color hating the Jews for more recent reasons.

    • I would probably vote for Meretz if I were in Israel. On the issue of Iran and its nuke ambitions I am more 'conservative' than I am on the issue of the Palestinians. On the issue of Iran I would want to be represented by a speech by Herzog rather than a speech by some Meretz person. On the issue of Palestinians I am to the left of Meretz. I would not feel comfortable voting for the United Arab List, but on this issue I am more apt to tend towards Avrum Burg's experimentation than I would be on the issue of Iranian nukes.

    • I have not read the whole speech and it contained rhetorical excesses that I would personally avoid. It is a speech delivered by Bibi Netanyahu and not Herzog, who I prefer, and not Avrum Burg, who is no longer running for office and thus can suggest radical answers rather than predictable stratagems, so no, I do not agree with it. But when it comes down to the essence, it was the fact of the speech rather than any content that will be remembered.

    • The primary problem with the speech was that it took place, not its content.

      I'm sure that one or two of the commentators here are experts in nuclear war theory and in negotiations history and can actually give us information about what could be expected if this current deal is approved by Obama and Kerry and rejected by the congress. But they have not made their presence known yet with any thing approaching erudition that convinces me that they have such knowledge. Until then I believe that it is entirely feasible that the US can get a better agreement if they apply sanctions for a few more years. I doubt that the world, meaning the other plus 5 are really willing to push for a better agreement. Netanyahu is saying that the alternative is not war but a better agreement.

      But if you have erudition to show me that I'm wrong, I'll listen.

      I think if the US had not attacked Iraq in 2003 it would be in much sounder shape in terms of being tough with Iran in these negotiations. The war weakened the US and if an agreement is reached with Iran it will probably reflect that weakness.

      And btw Iran is a very real issue and not just a fake issue used to cover up the only thing that matters: the West Bank. This is just rhetoric. Netanyahu is truly concerned about Iran and the bomb.

  • Why Iran is not and has never been Israel’s #1 enemy
    • Note to self: never give mooser an excuse to spit some spitballs. He does it without an excuse. But give him an excuse, and what do you expect when you play games next to a khaleriya dreck.

    • Note to self: never give mooser an excuse to spit some spitballs. He does it without an excuse. but give him an excuse, and expect him to act like his spitball self.

    • Kay24- Jewish boys do not grow up dreaming of being President of the US. There has never been a Jewish president. Jewish boys dream of being Secretary of State or they dream of being rich enough to tell the president what to do if he wants campaign contributions.

    • Iran 2015 is not as bad as Iran 1979. Iran 2015 is not as an immediate a trouble maker as ISIS 2015.

      But Iran with a nuke is a threat to Israel. Iran supports Hezbollah. I support Israel making "peace" or cease-fire with Hezbollah (and Hamas), but do not pretend that Iran is not a player in the immediate battle that Israel is arrayed with against Hezbollah (and Hamas). [Because Gaza was occupied for so long and is still besieged, Hamas's struggle against Israel is of a different nature than Hezbollah's threat against Israel.]

      I have not studied the evidence, but I assume that Iran was connected to the terrorist attacks in 1994 against the Jewish center in Buenos Aires. If this is true, Iran is not only an enemy of Israel's, it is an enemy to any Jew anywhere who walks into a Jewish community center.

  • Journalists Goldberg and Gordon once again try to 'drag us into a war'
    • Annie- If Iran was involved in the murders of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 94, then it should certainly change. And not foreign policy, but internal policy, there are many areas in which Iran should change.

  • Bipartisanship is dead, as Netanyahu, AIPAC, and GOP square off against Obama over Iran
    • Bibi wants to stop this deal between the US and Iran. Was this speech the best way to try to accomplish this? I doubt it. I don't trust that Bibi's judgment was unclouded by the election campaign in Israel, his animosity for Obama and his habitual desire for the limelight, his propensity to think with his elbows. All these might have played a larger role in this decision than his strategic thinking.

      Meir Dagan, ex Mossad chief, who is someone who opposes a deal with Iran, (although he himself could tell you precisely what kind of agreement Israel would be able to "live with" and I would not know precisely how many centrifuges and kilos of enriched uranium is acceptable to Dagan's conception of a feasible agreement.) But Dagan certainly opposes a deal with Iran that would lead to an Iranian bomb, was quoted in Haaretz as saying that he felt that Israel should not be the prime mover in trying to stop this deal. My gut tells me that Bibi is wrong on this. I think this moved the Democratic party a few years closer to its inevitable break with Israel. (Something that can't be proved. Especially because a real break between the elected officials of the national Democratic Party: president, congressmen and senators, and Israel is still closer to 10 and maybe 15 years away than it is to 2 years away.)

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • Elliot comes from the ethnic group in question and thus his comments must be accepted. Those of you who won't even fess up what ethnic group you belong to, and all your grandparents and great grandparents died in bed or in a hospital speaking on behalf of other ethnic groups, when your (hidden) ethnic group have skated through history, fooey on you.

    • oy vey- Attacking Jewish influence vis a vis the Israel lobby is totally acceptable. Attacking the Jewish acceptance rate in the Ivy Leagues puts you in the category of something akin to David Duke. Two totally different ideas. Can you prove nepotism is the cause? No. You're just attacking the Jews.

    • Elliot- What do you think of people who were in the same time frame as the Holocaust who were traumatized by the event? I'm thinking specifically of Saul Bellow. I consider his move towards neo conservatism a result of the Holocaust (rather than old age and financial success) and his specific formulation of the shame of the Khurban as necessitating a masculine response (of militaristic Israel).

      I was raised with a heavy dose of Judaism, much heavier than the average American Jew. My people came over relatively late: in the 1920's and in 1941. I am also born not long after the Khurban and branches of my family were lopped off and it was not that distant from the adults in my childhood life. So it could be that some Jew born in 1995, should in fact deal with it as ancient history.

      On the other hand, if a Jew is attracted to Judaism, that is, he finds something in the tradition that calls to him, that person will study the history and identify with something that occurred only 70 years ago. In the history of America 70 years is 30% of America's total lifespan, but to a Jew who takes tradition seriously enough to make it a major focus of their lives, 70 years only represents 3.5% of the post Temple period.

    • There is no inherent contradiction between power and vulnerability. Israel's nukes could not stop the second intifadeh. A millionaire's son can be kidnapped. If some Jews are incapable of holding both ideas: power and vulnerability, in their minds at one time, this is no excuse for antiZionists to blind themselves to the reality that both situations can exist at the same time.

    • here's the link to the sternhell article:
      link to

    • lysias- Phil was referring to the period before WWII and as such your cold war reference is an anachronism. But I could see where someone in 2015 would use 1963 terminology and not 1939 terminology, even when referring to 1939.

    • Zeev Sternhell, wrote in Haaretz a few weeks ago that a change in Israeli policy vis a vis the territories will have to wait until pressure is exerted by the United States. I defer to his judgment. As such it will require very uncomfortable tension between the US and Israel in the near future.

    • Nixon's effort to institute a right of return is questionable: the quote is: Nixon told an NSC meeting in June 1970 that failure to solve the Palestinian refugee question was one of the “major lapses” of the post-World War II era. - See more at: link to
      This is not an effort to institute but a historical condemnation of the failure to institute.

    • I'm unsure of the official nomenclature, but where I come from Vienna and certainly Berlin and even Prague are considered Central Europe, you have to get to Warsaw before it's called Eastern Europe.

  • White House says Netanyahu offers no alternative but military action (and Liz Warren won't say if she's attending speech)

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