Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4935 (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 4935 - 4901

  • Love letter to a Zionist: NYU project seeks to bridge Israel divide within Jewish families
    • MHughes- Thanks for clarifying your familiarity with Alter's scholarship and defense of Israel on previous occasions.

      Was Judah Magnes a Zionist? Was Buber a Zionist?

      A definition is either accurate or inaccurate might not apply to an ideological term. What is the definition of a believing Jew? One who believes that God and the Jews have a special relationship? One who believes that the Torah is word for word dictated by God? One who believes that God gave Moses both the oral law and the written law? One who believes in the resurrection of the dead and the other 12 dogma delineated by Maimonides?

      But back to Zionist. If one opposed the Nakba or voted in favor (in the cabinet) of letting the refugees back in, did that make one not a Zionist? I think precision is not necessarily a useful term in regards to ideologies and minimal versus maximalism is precisely the best way of relating to a definition.

      of course definitions are not the be all and end all. ultimately Israel's actions will be judged rather than the validity of Zionism as an ideology of uncertain definition.

    • MHughes- Robert Alter was not defining his brand of Zionism. He was defining the minimal definition of Zionism. Was Judah Magnes a Zionist according to Alter's definition? Not sure. Maybe Magnes's concept of a binational confederation would not have fit Alter's definition. But to say. "I don't think Alter would be satisfied with that" is first of all, unseemly, because you don't know anything about Alter's stand on Zionism, but also irrelevant, because he was not defining his own brand, but the minimal definition.

  • Just like the Nazis, Iran 'plans to exterminate six million Jews' -- Netanyahu
    • Keith- It is certainly possible that many of those who favor a militaristic policy regarding Russian intentions in the Ukraine also favor Israel's existence. But to promise a complete reordering of US society with its implied threat, based upon the fact that there are Zionist neoconservatives who view a battle in Eastern Europe through lenses that are too hawkish for your taste, is in a totally different realm than the furor about Israel lobby and the Iranian nuke program. If you wish to blame Zionism for the US policy towards Russia vis a vis the Ukraine, you are out to lunch. If you are merely reminding me that a militaristic attitude of Zionists is not limited to the Middle East, then fine, point taken.

    • Giles- Your inclusion of Ukraine as a goal of war by the Zionists is the tip off. you're unbalanced.

    • I disagree with Netanyahu's logic in comparing Iran with Nazi Germany. This web site would have more credibility condemning Netanyahu if you would admit that there is something for Israel to fear. Netanyahu takes a reasonable fear and pumps it into unreality. This web site treats a reasonable fear as if it were paranoia.

  • Obama's long & passionate Monday with Saban, Foxman, Hoenlein and other Jewish leaders demonstrates power of Israel lobby
    • If you had asked Yitz Rabin why he pursued the Oslo agreement, he would have told you, because the Palestinians don't pose an existential threat, Iran's nuke poses the existential threat and to meet the existential threat we must make movement on the Palestinian issue.

      The Iranian nuke is a highly unusual circumstance. Netanyahu's gauche unthinking visit to the Congress served notice at least of this: the Iranian nuke is a highly unusual circumstance.

      My own reaction is precisely (like Peter Beinart's) that the American people's opinions should be reflected by their elected representatives. I also must insist that the war against Iraq weakened American strength and resolve and if the Axis of Evil speech had been truly serious (it wasn't, it was merely an excuse to go to war against Iraq, but if it had been) that would have been the moment to declare the necessity of Iran agreeing to dismantle its nuclear program. Resolve at that moment would have paid off more handsomely than this agreement which seems to make Iran a threshold state in 13 years.

  • Marco Rubio and AIPAC allied in effort to insert poison pill into Iran deal
    • The Israeli fear of an Iranian nuke seems normal rather than right wing to me. The Israeli tendency to see the cure to an Iranian nuke through military means is militaristic and you have termed it as right wing. But right wing usually means something a little bit more than just militaristic.

  • Gunter Grass became 'persona non grata' for 2012 poem exposing Israeli nuclear hypocrisy
    • I suppose a journalist would know best as to what should come first in an obituary. The Iran-Israel conflict on the issue of nukes is on the front page and its timeliness might have propelled the obit writer to include it early in the article. Because the Waffen SS fact and hiding of the fact was a major stain on his career and had to be mentioned early on, the Iran-Israel poem fit into that kerfuffle (if only as an accusation) and thus was included early on in the obit.

  • My personal journey of transformation
    • Anyone who thinks that the new Palestine after the dissolution of Zionism is going to resemble the US is living in a dream of unicorns and candy canes and rainbows and happy pretty people singing kumbaya.

  • Israel could reduce anti-Semitic violence by not calling itself the Jewish state, Finkelstein says
    • Walid, I don't think Shmuel was offended. I did not mean to offend him and I don't think he was offended. It's kind of like two blacks (in America) calling each other , Hey Nigger. kind of like that. something that white people can't get away with, but african americans can and do.

      but it could be that I did offend Shmuel, who knows. it was my way of saying hello to a fellow Jew.

      I had a friend in Jerusalem who wished me a happy yom hashoah once and i did not take offense and it was offered in the same vein, with a self deprecating smile.

    • Shmuel- It always adds to have more information and your input regarding those who marched in support of Palestinians who suffered violence is useful knowledge. But the topic discussed by Norman Finkelstein was the question of the violence suffered by the Jewish community.

      In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo killings (or in the latter phases of the killing before the killers were apprehended) a kosher market was attacked and four Jews were killed there. These were not people who were demonstrating their political preferences (something that should be assured by the police in a society that believes in free speech) but they were killed because they were Jews. In Jeffrey Goldberg's article re: should jews leave europe, he includes the fact that he was hanging out (interviewing) Alain Finkielkraut at the time that the news of the killings (or the hostage taking) had occurred at the kosher market and Finkielkraut commented, "But of course". But of course at the time of murdering cartoonists for their anti Islamic cartoons, but of course, some supporters of that frame of mind would jump on the bandwagon to express their alienation from society by going into a kosher store and shooting up some Jews.

      This is the frame of mind on one side of Finkielkraut on one side and Finkelstein on the other side.

      I don't take Finkelstein's comments seriously on this issue. Israel is not going to announce tomorrow that it is not a Jewish state. In fact, its policies of immigration are explicitly oriented towards its Jewish status and is Finkelstein expressing a desire to see Israel change its immigration policies? Of course not. He is merely speaking his mind and not proposing anything that anyone is really going to consider.

      Most Jews support Israel at least to the extent of rejecting BDS. Are they all worthy targets? Certainly it would be useful for those Jews (in Europe, it's not really an issue in the states yet) who oppose BDS to wear a "Not in my name" symbol, so if they ever go into a kosher market or take their kids to a Jewish school or attend a Jewish temple, the murderers will know to avoid killing them. but of course I jest. it is not serious. the murderers are out to kill Jews and if they kill a BDS Jew, it won't bother them so much.

      yes, it would be ideal to separate between Jew haters and haters of Zionism. But there is no practical means of doing so at this time.

    • In Roman Polanski's "Fearless Vampire Killers" of '67, there is a Jewish vampire. when someone tries to protect against his advances with the help of a crucifix, he says, "boy, have you got the wrong vampire."

    • hey Shmuel. i'd wish you a happy yom hashoah, but some would take it the wrong way.

      i think the dynamics of france are decidedly different than the dynamics in Italy. I don't have the figures for accurate demographics right off, but i'm quite sure that france's problem of assimilating a large north african muslim population dwarfs the issue in italy. as far as violence, there's been more violence in the u.s. with the attack on the jewish community center in kansas two years ago than there's been in italy. (true paris is probably closer to rome than kansas is to brooklyn.)

      jews in the diaspora in the main are going to be supporters of Israel no matter naftali bennett and avigdor lieberman etc. if one cannot separate antizionism from attacks on Jews in Europe then we cannot expect the change to come from policy statement by Israel or by the mainstream jewish organizations. there might be some ideal that can envision a different world in this respect, but it won't take place anytime soon under current conditions.

    • Finkelstein told us on a previous occasion what he thinks about European Jews of 2015: link to "In the face of so much ineffable suffering in the world today, I couldn’t care less about the “state of Jews in Europe”. So obviously whatever suggestions that he is making are offered as a form of argument, but not out of any concern with the fate of European or Diaspora Jews. But somehow we are supposed to take his suggestions seriously.

    • annie- here's what walid wrote: It’s somewhat as what happened in Sabra Shatilla to the Palestinians. Technically, it was the Lebanese militia that did the butchering but they were able to do it only because the Israelis held the Palestinians down, provided night lighting and other logistical support that made the butchering possible. So you could say that it was actually the Israelis that were responsible for the massacres even though the Lebanese did the killing. - See more at: link to

      It is true that Walid was not commenting on Zionism but on the specific acts at a particular time by Israel. But although the implications of the analogy are indeed unclear. It seems clear that Walid seemed to be saying, just like the Jews at the time of Jesus were ultimately responsible for Jesus's death, so the Israelis at the time of Sabra Shatila were ultimately responsible for the killings by the Phalange.

      my first intention is to communicate with Walid, who seemed to have no problem with the question that I posed. then, if you want a quote, in my good time, that's how this delayed communication works with me. i write, i wait a day, i read, i add a quote, i wait a day. you call me poisonous. i react. i wait a day. it's very zen, annie. this is the pace that works for me. sorry.

    • Walid- No, from reading your comments in the past I would say that your hatred of Zionism measures between 99 and 100 on a scale of 100 and your hatred of Jews measures somewhere between 5 and 20 on a scale of 100.

      Utilizing the Christ killer meme to attack Zionism is classic antisemitism in the service of anti Zionism.

      By the way: Luke is filled with certain pro Jewish comments that are missing from the other gospels: primarily: some of the pharisees warned Jesus that the Herodians are out to kill you and Jesus said, "nonetheless I cannot hide my glory out of fear". paraphrase.

      also: the thief was a freedom fighter. Barabbas fought for the zealots and the term thief was used to denigrate, like terrorist today. the zealots were famous in Jerusalem and Jesus was an unknown. the Jews voted to free Barabbas, a freedom fighter and not some magician enigmatic preacher rabbi from Galilee. That's called all politics is local and freedom fighter wins out over multiplying loaves and fishes.

      Those who cite the new testament to condemn the Jews display an awesome blindness regarding the politics of the day in Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin, even if the gospel reports are accurate about their culpability, were nonetheless status quo politicians backing Herod and the rule of Rome. These were quislings, not representatives of the people. If a similar situation occurred today anywhere in the world you would right away pick up on government and anti government dynamics and tell a full story with all the politics complete. but the new testament and its tendency towards hate allows you to skip any political analysis. bravo stupidity and ignorance. long may you reign.

    • walid demonstrates precisely the overlap of jew hatred and antizionism. this one belongs in a picture book: behold the overlap.

  • Stanford Hillel defied Hillel guidelines by hosting Gottlieb -- 'and no one burst into flames'
    • Phil- Obviously just complaining about your use of [gangster[ is insufficient. Let me try this. Could you provide us with other current or historical politicians that you would also use the word [gangster[ to describe them, then I might be able to get a better handle on your use of the term. It doesnt have to be a politician, just someone whose name I recognize so that I can get an understanding of what you are getting at.

      heres the quote
      It’s happening, no matter what the gangsters at Hillel International want students to think or say. - See more at: link to

  • Who cares what Jeffrey Goldberg and Netanyahu don't like about the Iran deal?
    • Actually at this point all we/they have is a framework and there are many details needed to be filled in. Read David Ignatius in the Washington Post. link to A delicate path ahead on Iran. Those who wish to exert pressure might be best advised to take the framework as the starting point and pointing out: well, if the final agreement based upon this clause is x then Obama has appeased again, but if it is y then we will see that he did his best.

      I still assert from a 20-20 hindsight point of view that the US should not have attacked Iraq in 2003 and should have used the world's empathy and its own citizens' rage for a targeted sanctions campaign against Iran that would have resulted in a much more severe limitation on Iran's nuclear program. It is the weakened fatigued US of 2015 that is negotiating this agreement and thus the brevity of the period of severe limitations on Iran.

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • Donald- The Palestinians of Gaza want an end to the siege. Israel wants assurances that weapons are not imported into Gaza. Would you be in favor of trying to satisfy both these wishes?

  • Italian BDS activists call on Unicef to pull out of cartoon festival honoring Israel
    • Walid- 1. The decision of the Jewish Zionists in Israel to pursue statehood in 47 and 48 is understandable and even today if I was standing next to them I could not tell them to do otherwise. By that point in time they had achieved sufficient size and confidence that there was really no turning them back. I admire Judah Magnes and his predictions about the nature of statehood have proved true. But I could not tell Ben Gurion "You are wrong. Magnes is right." Not that my saying it would have made any difference, but the moment of history had arrived and Ben Gurion grabbed it.
      2. The decision to pursue statehood and the Nakba, that is the exile or expulsion or ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from the new state of Israel cannot really be separated from one another. That is: the state that Ben Gurion wished to proclaim was not going to be one in which there would be a significant Palestinian population. It is feasible that had someone else been at the head of the Zionist movement that the war of 47 to 48 might have been fought without the goal of exiling the Palestinians. But this was one of Ben Gurion's goals of how the new state would come into being: with the expulsion of the majority of Palestinians.
      3. I see Deir Yassin in that context.
      4. Without that context: I see the battle for Jerusalem to be a battle for the survival of the large Jewish population in Jerusalem and the battle for Deir Yassin in that context.
      5. The trained, disciplined soldiers of the Hagana and the Palmach were capable of cruelty and were cruel on different occasions. the untrained troops of the Irgun and Lehi (Stern Gang) had their own histories of cruelty and included in that history is what occurred at Deir Yassin.

  • Iran is 'congenital cheating' 'Islamic power bent on world domination' -- Netanyahu tells US media
    • marc b. - It's theoretical at this point, but the US squandered a lot of good will from European allies and others by attacking Iraq. Making an effort to curtail the Iranian nuke program would probably not have involved an attack, but sanctions are a form of aggressive policy and that policy might have yielded better results if the US had not already expended its energy on a war with Iraq.

    • Let me present my overall reaction to the story of the proposed framework:
      1. I think it is natural for the Israelis to fear Iran. Obama agrees with me. (I am assuming that Obama was not lying when he spoke to Tom Friedman.)
      2. The US shot its wad in 2003 on the stupid war against Iraq. If not for the natural fatigue that has followed that debacle, if instead the US would have garnered its strength and anger after 9/11 and focused on Iran, then there might have been a much better agreement with Iran.
      (My definition of a much better agreement is a first phase of 20 to 30 years instead of a first phase of 10 years.)
      3. It is not clear what the Congress can do to block the agreement. (The agreement is not a 100% done deal, but it has to be given an 80% likelihood to be signed approximately on July 8th.)
      4. The Iranian regime is not nearly as apocalyptic and dangerous as it was in its early stage when Khomeini was alive. (Nonetheless their rhetoric is still in the cesspool too much of the time and it is difficult to prove to those who have valid fears that the words of Iran's imams are innocent, when in fact, they are not.)
      5. I do not have sufficient knowledge to allay my own fears vis a vis Iran's nuke, let alone to compete with Ari shavit and Jeffrey Goldberg who know more than I do about nukes and war games and balance of power. I did not sit at the Passover seder with people who are to my left, but with people who watch Fox news and who consider Obama an enemy to Israel and there is no way that my dependence on Barak Ravid's "it's not such a bad agreement" can allay their fears.

      6. There is a wide gap between the interests of the US vis a vis the Iranian nuke and the interests of Israel vis a vis the Iranian nuke. If I felt those interests were identical I would be willing to fight the agreement, but I will not do so because if it is in the US interest, but against Israel's interest, I don't feel right lobbying my congressman and senators to fight for Israel's interest rather than the US interest. I envy neoconservatives who consider the US and Israel interest as identical, because they are free to fight this agreement without reservation, but I cannot.

      7. I am not sure what role American Zionists who are opposed to the settler movement should play in the Iran context. Peter Beinart seems rather sure of himself and whereas on the issue of settlements and resolution 242 I am not far from Beinart, I have nowhere near sufficient self confidence on this issue to go full steam ahead and say that this is the best possible agreement.

  • 'NYT' describes Congress as Netanyahu's wind-up toy
    • traintosiberia- you have misspelled Shlomo Ben Ami. Although the english version of this name is Solomon with a vowel between the "s" and the "L", the Hebrew has no vowel between the "Sh" and the "L".

    • The decisions to be made re: Palestinians, will revolve around the question as to Security Council resolutions, as in a new resolution to replace 242 or to be specific regarding 242's ambiguities, and as such is totally in the purview of the president (nothing can be done by Congress to block the president, such as sanctions in the case of Iran). Democrats in Congress will by a wide margin support Israel and oppose Obama if he indeed backs a new UNSC resolution. Only a handful of democrats will back Obama on that issue. Iran is something different. First the role of Congress because of sanctions is much more central than regarding UNSC resolutions, and very few democrats will back Obama if he tries to reshuffle the decks in regards to 242.

  • Now Obama needs to 'compensate' Netanyahu -- NYT pipes Israeli propaganda (Update)
    • annie- "There's nothing american about her" apparently is an innocuous sentence that deserves indifference or respect. it is i who am bloviating when i consider it an act of exclusion.

      Listen. mondoweiss touts itself as the war of ideas. but you fight your war, in the comments section, by not allowing me to comment in real time and then you accuse me of hopscotching and ad hominem attacks, when i have only attacked words, ideas and policy statements and not people. How can I hopscotch when you determine when and if my comments are published. how is this a war of ideas, when you insist on fighting me on your terms and not on level (real time) playing ground. you are incapable of fighting an even field war of ideas. only by tying one arm behind my back (delaying my comments) are you able to fight me. your idea of a war of ideas, is playing childish games and pretending as if you are about ideas.

    • Back in the day, 1968 or so, if some student screamed "Ho, ho, ho chi minh, ho chi minh is going to win," that student could be accused of treachery of being a traitor. but i would not go so far as to say, "there is nothing American about her". Do you really think that rudoren's disrespect towards the president by going into a narrative voice that accepts them both as leaders as the understood and wishes to label them purely by their nationality rather than including their leadership position, do you really think that this is worse than "ho, ho, ho chi minh..." or do you think that student can be described as "there is nothing american about her." i think such a description is a mark of intolerance, a mark of someone who does not accept nuance, who is so intent on "whose side are you on?" that he has gone into the language of hatred, exclusion and excommunication. by law rudoren is american, by culture rudoren is american, but citizen now is not only citizen but in charge of who gets to keep their citizenship and who gets to be called an american. and you defend him?! or maybe it's only my awkward phrasing that you are attacking and you too realize that citizen's words are words of intolerance.

    • citizen tells us: There's nothing American about her. As if American is a purely militaristic state of mind. ultimately the charge of dual loyalty is whose army and whose bullets do you favor? america's or israel's? and if you favor israeli bullets then your loyalty belongs there. but now citizen tells us that there is nothing american about her. thus it is revealed that bullets is all that counts to citizen. there is nothing cultural about america, there is no content to america except that american bullets are citizen's bullets and american bullets are not rudoren's bullets.

    • The implied story is that Bibi is threatening to do his utmost to undercut the treaty in the Congress, unless Obama promises to cease and desist on his plans to impose a two state solution through a UN security council resolution. The idea of punishing Bibi might provide some of the emotional energy of the administration in the direction of a new UN security council resolution, but in fact 242 was a failure and a new resolution is in fact necessary. This article in the times is a reflection of a type of negotiation that's going on about the content of that UN security council resolution. akiva eldar and others including the late david landau in rather colorful language are in favor of imposing a solution on israel (and on the palestinians) and bibi's misplaying of his cards has created a golden opportunity for the US to step into the breach of the historic moment and pass a new UN security council resolution that has the specificity that 242 lacked. how specific can obama and the french, who will be the primary negotiators, get? i don't know. but that's the scene behind the scene.

  • When occupation becomes apartheid
    • tree- If I say your mother comes home late every night. She oughta watch herself. A lady that age going out so late in this neighborhood. She ought to take better care.

      If I am the local cop telling you that, then it's one thing. But if I am the local thug telling you that, it's quite another thing. You think Lindbergh was some innocent and the interpretation of his words is irrelevant to his heart. I do not care about his heart. I care about the threat implicit in his words.

      The Des Moines speech was the lowest point in American Jewish history in terms of a famous public figure threatening the Jews.

    • tree- you are an intelligent human being plus you are an American and you believe in the unity of the human race. three bravos.

      anyone who defends Lindbergh's infamous Des Moines speech of september 1941 in the disingenuous fashion that you at first attempted until scaling back to merely obnoxious falls into the antiJewish category. (i'm sure that out of every 1000 people who would defend that speech at least 3 of them don't have a jew hating bone in their body. but i'll bet you're one of the 997.) if only your refusal to see that speech from the standpoint of American Jews it paints you as someone who refuses to see things from the vantage point of the Jews. I asked you what people you belonged to in an attempt to fathom the variety of Jew hatred that lies at the basis of your opposition to the Jews. There are 31 varieties of ice cream at Baskin Robbins and there are many varieties of Jew hatred, some attached to ethnic origin and I was curious if you learnt your Jew hatred from the newspapers or from your grandparents or from Toynbee or Voltaire or the New Testament or from your concept of the better world where the past can be dismissed as so much flotsam. In the good old days when i used to haunt the pro Palestinians on east 14th street on saturdays in manhattan, I was able to meet the haters face to face and i got all kinds of input to add to the words they spoke. the nature of written communication is different.

      at this point of time there is no real problem with antisemitism in america, as in: it does not measure up to the occasional killings in western europe and certainly not to other eras of recent history, so your hatred of the Jews is relatively harmless.

      (I use jew hatred because antisemitism is not specific enough and judeophobia is a silly word. in fact jew hatred is probably too harsh a term, antiJewish would sum it up in a less loaded way. )

    • tree- The way you linked to the Salomon Morel wikipedia article spooked me out. How come you have a whole file on despicable Jews? I suppose as a polymath maybe the file of disgusting jews only represents .1% of your knowledge.

      To get upset at the Jews of Eastern Europe of 1945 or 1946 for taking vengeance on innocent German children, well it's great to be a universalist, is all I can say. my use of comeuppance rather than vengeance and your picking on that and your swift: gaze your eyes on this despicable Jew, well, I reacted to that.

      No America Firster from 1941 ever is criticized by you and no Jew is ever praised by you unless they work against Zionism. So I am curious about the source of your attitude.

      But now I see: it's your love of truth and universalism that explains your politics. you are good and I am evil. as simple as that.

    • tree- tell me again. from the perspective of 2015 are you in favor of US involvement in World war II?

      I should have said vengeance instead of comeuppance.

      how many relatives suffered in world war II for you, tree? any?

      and if you consider yourself american, what was the most traumatic event of your people since the civil war? and if you consider yourself some other ethnicity, what was the most traumatic event of your people?

    • tree- certainly you should apologize for the "simply". there's nothing simple about gaza. gaza sux, as in it sux. that includes hamas, but mostly everything since 1948 and i'm sure you can tell me precisely what month the area around gaza was emptied of its people and gaza became such a heavily refugee population. and i suppose that any negative word that you use regarding gaza is insufficient because it will not stop the next round of idf versus hamas that is probably coming in a year or two and that just plain sux. so i guess bantustan as a type of cant is appropriate because when people die cant is born.
      egypt, al sisi, a seaside, i would think that israel and the us could come up with something that could avoid the next round. but it sux. but bantustan is a word that is an analogy. and i've been thinking about your last analogy of jordan: egypt, israel. britain poland deutschland and it really reflected some contused and simplistic thinking on your part. but clever argumentation.

    • Although Rabin's career previous to his second term as prime minister was filled with negative acts against Palestinians, he was making strides in attempting to bridge gaps both with the Palestinians of the occupied territory (and as far as Arafat represented the Palestinian Diaspora, as well) and the Palestinians living in Israel. I think he was superior during the three years of his service as prime minister between 92 and 95 until he was assassinated than any other prime minister. This attempt to blur all the parties together, Likud and Labor, may have its flashes of truth, but there is a need to insert this contrary fact of Rabin between 92 and 95.

    • Page: 49
    • irishmoses- the ethnic germans were moved out of those countries after world war II for purposes of future domestic tranquility, or as comeuppance for supporting the nazi invader. It had nothing to do with the death of Jews, except as an excuse.,

    • tree- How many East Jerusalem Palestinians have applied for citizenship and how many have been approved?

      Gaza is not a bantustan. (certainly not simply). It has a border with Egypt. No matter the motivation of Egypt, you can't be a bantustan if you have a border with the nonoccupying power. you are misusing the term bantustan.

  • Bibi talk: 'New York Review of Books' trivializes Israeli fascism
    • Roha- My reaction to the word "Jew" is a personal one rather than something that I have read as a commonly held notion. You can keep calling us Jews, as in the theoretical sentence, "If only the Jews would have acceded to the czar's demands that they behave like good Russian citizens and would have given up their identity then history would have treated them better." Like that.

    • Other famous world leaders referred to by their first names: Saddam Hussein. Hillary Clinton. Although I'm sure the NY Review of Books would use their first names reluctantly compared to such media outlets like the NY Post. Then there's the use all three names phenomenon as in Barack Hussein Obama. Or the acronym usage of JFK, RFK and LBJ.

    • For headline writers Bibi (four letters) is much easier to print than Netanyahu (9 letters). In fact it need not imply anything other than convenience. (I use the term Bibi rather than Netanyahu for that reason. in regards to Pals rather than Palestinians, I push myself and use the longer word, but it is traditional to avoid using shortened terms for peoples, when shortened terms are considered an insult. I personally prefer Yehudim to Jews, for this reason, but succumb to the easier terminology.)

  • How Obama won on Iran
    • annie and shingo- here is what annie wrote, i paraphrase. It would be best if Israel would dismantle its nukes, but since it won't it is best if a regional power would develop nukes.

      Here's what I wrote: annie wants iran to have nukes.

      In fact here's what I should have written: given Israel's possession of nukes, annie wants Iran to have nukes.

      because i did not write this more careful sentence therefore according to shingo and annie robbins i deserve to be labeled as a liar and a cheap adhominem attacker.

      clear now? accurate now? or did i leave something out.

    • shingo- are we playing games here? whom do you think annie was referring to as a regional power, when she wrote: "in fact, the safest remedy for that is for them to dismantle it, but since that won’t happen the next safest thing is probably for them to know if they try using it they’ll get squished. and that means having another regional power with a nuke. - See more at: link to

      i made the logical fill in the blank as to which regional power she might be referring to. and based upon that leap, that tiny step, that logical fill in the blank, i get called strawman and ad hominem and bile. c'mon. you're playing games.

    • annie- You write: "but since that won’t happen the next safest thing is probably for them to know if they try using it they’ll get squished. and that means having another regional power with a nuke." - See more at: link to

      this is an opinion that i hear from you and i know where you're coming from. but it is precisely this opinion of yours which disqualifies you as someone who has the interest of keeping a nuke away from Iran. You favor Iran having a nuke (for your given reason). those who oppose iran having a nuke (for whatever reason) would be foolhardy to listen to you. you are establishing us on opposite banks of the river with opposite objectives. difficult to communicate with anything approaching the concept of dialogue or understanding under these circumstances. do you not agree?

    • just- 30 or so years ago i worked with an iranian who left iran. he actually was armenian, but he was an iranian citizen.

      do you know any iranians who live in iran?

      do you think cuba is a free country? do you think china is a free country? do you think iran is a free country? where does iran rate compared to cuba and china?

      I understand that you disqualify my opinion because of my support for Israel. granted. but your opinions are based upon what? hatred for Israel? isn't that a slim reed to base your politics? tens of millions of people live in Iran? hundreds of millions of Arabs live in the region as well. and your only organizing principle is hatred of zionism. it gives you credit here amongst your fellow believers, but it really ain't enough to give you credence outside your little church here.

    • As to the major question: is this a good pact or a bad pact. My fears are not calm, but because Barak Ravid was the one who guided me against Obama in 2008 (because he was weak on Iran), which led me to abstain (although as a resident or citizen whose last residence was New York, there was no need to vote in the electoral college system of the United States) rather than vote for Obama and because he had that credit with me as a skeptic, now that he writes: It's not a bad agreement, I accept his word. Otherwise this is a topic that I do not have sufficient knowledge about: neither technology, nor the world of nuclear exchanges or threats of exchanges, therefore I feel a need for some "Expert" to help me decide and because of the scariness of nukes, my knees will waver from time to time, but I support this agreement.

      I think that the position of this web site vis a vis Israel and US campaign finance laws or lack thereof leading to a dishonest American conversation on the topic of Israel are well known. But this web site's position on Iran is nebulous. Do you give zero credence to the accusation of Iran participation in the bombing in Buenos Aires 1994? There is a war going on in Yemen and in Syria and Iraq involving Isis and what is reported as a Shiite Sunni schism and warfare. Do you know enough about that to feel that Iran is a positive influence. my zionism allows you a quick fix. I know you are, but what am I? okay. good. I'm no one to throw stones, cuz i live in a glass house. accepted. but what is this site's stance on Iran and the sectarian warfare going on? Phil knows as little as I do about that aspect of Iran's regional influence. As far as Iran's lack of democracy, I think that is a given. But my googling a list put out by some think tank of the ranking of democratic values in the world's countries is sometimes denigrated as some kind of a Zionist plot, so we can go to the list of countries and do a little research and see how the human rights people rate Iran. (israel is worse, i hear you say,) but that is not the point that will undo the negligence by this web site of the issue of freedom in Iran.

    • Because of the "natural" opposition of this site to Israel there is no balance here in regards to Iran's government and the trouble that it is responsible for throughout the region (and the world). I accept that opposition to Israel is part of the dogma of this site and the commentators. And I also accept that the US (in particular in 1954 and in its support of the Shah) has been destructive to Iran's best interests. But 1. Iran is not a democracy. It is ruled by the ayatollahs, who say who can run for office and ultimately it is not the Iranian people and their elected (from a slate of preapproved) representatives who run the country, but rather the ayatollahs. 2. It is fighting wars in the region. It is by no means a peaceful influence in the region. (it is a player and thus bringing it to the table could be useful compared to ignoring and sanctioning them. but it is not a peaceful player.) 3. The accusation of iran's culpability in the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 is something that cannot be dismissed.

      If this site dealt with any of these three issues ever with any balance, then this site's attitude towards Iran and its nuclear program might have some credibility.

      At this point, now that the pact's framework has been signed onto, Iran's nuclear desires are "besides the point". Nonetheless, this site's credibility is not "besides the point."

  • DEAL!
    • that was my first reaction. then i read barak ravid in haaretz and he says it's not a bad deal (long range) and i trust ravid.

    • This is the third most historic day in the historic Obama presidency: First election day 2008. Second: Passage of the affordable care act. Third: this pact with Iran.

      Next: "Tighten your seat belts it's going to be a rough ride."

      (Excuse me if I am speaking as if I am an expert, when I'm not. I assume that some of the commentators here are closer to expert status than I am and others are actually further from expert status than I am and that doesn't stop them from commenting.)

      The deal seems decent for the first 10 years. After that it seems like a very mediocre deal.
      (The US shot its wad in fighting the war against Iraq in 2003. This deal reflects American fatigue on the international scene. Those pro Israel people who pushed for the war against Iraq in 2003 have now been proven wrong, because Iraq was a tiny threat in 2003 compared to the threat that Iran will be in 10 and 15 years. The stupid war against Iraq was the cause of this mediocre treaty.)

      Will congress pass sanctions in reaction to this pact? Yes. Will the president override those sanctions? yes. will congress override the president's veto? Time to start counting heads.

      Where will Hillary come down on this? This will play a large role in 2016.

  • Trevor Noah, next 'Daily Show' host, is no fan of Israeli attacks on Gaza
    • atrocities throughout history. what before zionism? killing kids for their blood for our matzas. squeezing rent money from our slums? sounds like we've got another great contributor to anti Jewish sentiment here. welcome, hater.

    • Jon Stewart is the most prominent critic of Israel in American show business today (this side of Mel Gibson). His replacement by an unknown is NOT going to help the anti Israel movement in the short range.

  • The Jewish establishment has banned these four valiant Jews. Why?
    • Anyone who is not turned off by phil's use of gangster in this context is already converted to the cause. Phil is preaching to the converted. He seeks to rile up his own troops and those converted choir members will steamroller the unconvinced. I realize that very few people who log onto this site are unconverted and so therefore there is no harm done.

      But despite the quality of the readership of this site, here is a suggestion for open hillel. the famous hillel sandwich, (not as famous as "if i am not for myself...", but still part of the text of the passover seder, a famous jewish occasion) puts all the elements in one sandwich- the paschal lamb, the matza and the bitter herb. so too, hillel the organization should welcome all elements into their sandwich and even if BDS people are bitter herbs, they should still be included.

    • amigo- I would answer in a timely fashion, (in fact i already have answered in a timely fashion) except there is a time delay imposed by the blind bullying dictator moderator.

    • I bet you have a thesaurus on your desk, Phil. If not I bet you can google a better word. Bully, blind, pigheaded, dictatorial or that old standby McCarthyite are all sufficiently negative without gangster with its criminal connotations.

    • The gangster who runs Hillel... worse or better or the same as the atrocity of netanyahu speaking before congress. The same. the language of agit prop.

  • Video: Max Blumenthal on the ways Zionism exploits anti-Semitism
    • mooser asks- "Yonah, the greatest number of Jews, the largest proportion by far, are Reform, or secular, and not very observant, and intermarry Gentiles freely. Are they “anti-jewish”? - See more at: link to


      christian antijudaism that i reference comes in various forms: 1. the jews are those that rejected Jesus and therefore all the s*** that falls on them is punishment for that rejection. 2. the jews crucified Jesus, they are christ killers and insufficient s*** has fallen on them so far, just you wait, more good stuff to come, christ killers
      3. judaism is a parochial tribal religion that was meant to fall away once jesus came and opened belief in our one father in heaven to the world. judaism's refusal to accept its obsolescence is a fossil and an impediment harming the world and the jews relationship to god. if only they would embrace christ and christianity the world would be on a path to the better world.

      those are some examples of christian antijudaism. how that would impact my feelings towards reform Jews or intermarrying Jews, I don't know. i would think that an educated jew who marries a christian and attends church once in a while for shalom bayit (domestic peace) should realize that much of the history of that church is hateful and disdainful towards judaism. but today's church as a rule, although its text still contains antiJewish passages and sentiments, is not in that vein, so you might consider such realization a type of not living in the moment of being obsessed with the past.

    • The topic of conversation is Atzmon. Such a conversation is hijacked already, we're heading to cuba, baby. but i want to go to guantanamo and not to havana. big whoops.

      here is the link to Atzmon's trash. sorry that you have to wade through other trash to get to Atzmon's to

    • Keith- What do you think of using the Jews killed Christ meme against Zionism? do you consider that kosher?

    • w jones- you define antisemitism as racial opposition to the jews. thus cultural opposition to jewish culture fits into some different category, apparently. thus torquemada who wished to convert the jews by force was wrong only regarding his means, but his ends were A-OK. thus Americans who wanted no more Jews to come to america in the 20's and the 30's, (not for valid reasons of unemployment, but) because they objected to Judaism, Jewish clannishness, or Jewish nongenetic prevalent behaviors were not antiJewish.

      in fact I consider christian anti judaism to be in the category of antiJewish. (antisemitic was a racial term, and so therefore you may be right, but antiJewish covers more territory).

      as regards to the heated nature of advocates or opponents of zionism, i really don't know. i'm not much of a reader of comments on other web sites other than this one.

    • W. Jones- Atzmon is an anti Semite. What precisely does someone need to say in order to qualify for that term?

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • pessin's statement was quite explicit, whereas salaita's statement was ambiguous (or more precisely a double entendre). that is the essence of tweeting 140 characters, saying something half humorous half bloodthirsty and sounding like a comedian. those who pretend that he was only being humorous and not bloodthirsty are liars. to deny a tweet its essence by saying, but it can be taken both ways, is disingenuous. but all for the cause, so that's okay. not. honesty is the best policy, even when there is a cause involved. why do people lie? because it's easy and convenient and because it's habit forming.

  • 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)

Showing comments 4935 - 4901