Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5360 (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 5360 - 5301

  • Obama can tie Israel's hands? 'Shtuyot!' says Aryeh King
  • Kagan pushed regime change in Iraq, now says US must get over 'trauma' and do Syria
    • Certainly given Russia's presence in Syria, let alone Iran and Hezbollah, this casual, nothing to it attitude is mere posturing. I do not believe Hillary or the Donald would follow Kagan's advice. Rubio, something to worry about, but neither Hillary nor the Donald would do something like this, particularly given Russia's presence.

  • Israeli police shoot two scissors-wielding Palestinian teenage girls, killing one
    • It certainly is important in any analysis of the current intifada to give the context of the occupation (or to go further back to the Nakba) but especially the last few years (particularly since the war against Gaza of 2008 and the election of Netanyahu in 2009).

      But in fact to the Jewish people living in Israel or the West Bank they view their situation without granting excuses to the context and in fact the situation is intolerable and the context only helps to give it history rather than to describe the effect that it has on the Israeli population. (Granted that people in mondoweiss comments feel that Israelis are not deserving of normalcy, but certainly normalcy is what every human feels is their just deserts.)

      I do not approve of the killing of stabbers once they have been disarmed, but to pretend that this situation is somehow normal as the commenters here seem to be indicating, is totally off base. The lawlessness involved with killing a would be killer after he/she is no longer a threat is something that should be emphasized, but certainly let us admit that this is no normal situation.

  • Israel isn't worried about ISIS
    • What are the various actors hoping for?
      Russia and Iran are hoping for a return to the 2011 status quo, Assad in power. Israel is rooting against that. The US seems to be split: against Assad and against ISIS as well. Is this a feasible position? Does it require too much finesse? Does it require boots on the ground where the other (leaving Assad in power) does not involve any boots on the ground?

  • 'Jewish Communal Fund' seeds Islamophobia as toxic as Trump's
    • "Plainly Jews have a strong need for community, as so many other American minority groups do. But that community definition has been so circumscribed along Israel lines that virulent pro-Israel groups like Pam Geller’s or the neoconservatives have been included as brothers and sisters. The inclusion of militants led to fatal mistakes in the community, as when the Reform Jews endorsed the Iraq war; because they’d heard from friends and relatives that it would be good for Israel."

      Firstly: many Jews have a strong need for community. Not all Jews. Some Jews like to move out into areas where they expect to meet no Jews at get togethers and other Jews try to mingle and hide the fact that they're Jewish. Some Jews never tell their kids that they are Jews, so that their kids can grow up unaware of any handicap, so that their kids will not be held back by the Jews, by the small pond that is the Jewish world and declare the wide open world to be their true family and their roots as mere encumbrance.

      Second: the reaction to the abyss that was the genocide in Europe required a very visceral reaction to those born in the immediate aftermath of that experience. Some reacted, as I just said, by converting and telling their kids nothing of their ill fated roots. Those who take history seriously and who refuse to "pass" have a specific incentive to figure out what community means. Those who arrived on American shores over a hundred years ago, for the most part stayed in big cities and then followed the move to suburbia to overwhelmingly Jewish suburbs and the intermarriage rate was low for many years. Obviously this changed to today's high intermarriage rate and raises real questions on whether community is a real concern or merely something to be mourned. (Too late to close the barn door. The horse has bolted.)

      Religion remained as a primary memory for a generation or two, but by now has for the most part faded into photo album memories. With the Holocaust fading as a memory as well, Israel has replaced the Holocaust and Eastern European roots as the only focus of community that many Jews can feel, given their alienation from religion.

      The primary push of the nonOrthodox Jewish American religious community has seemed to be: Tikkun, as in fixing the world, as in liberal to further left politics, which is certainly at natural loggerheads with the Netanyahu government, if not with Zionism in total. The development of JVP as a community can be seen in that context.

      My background is of those who came to America relatively late (my paternal grandparents arrived in the 20's and my maternal grandparents arrived in the 40's) who were much closer to tradition/Orthodoxy/Torah (more ancient expressions of community than recognized in this article) than the norm which views all replacements for Torah: even Israel and Holocaust memories as secondary to the texts and observances of Jewish rituals. As such almost all the types of community other than those that stem from the texts and the mitzvos seem signals of decadence (decay/weakening/impoverishment/mistaking the superficial for the essence).

      Pamela Geller is a symptom of this decay that thinks that nationalism can replace mitzvos, Torah and God. Nationalism is at times as necessary as eating, but Geller's type of nationalism is a type of eating disorder of a 400 pound circus freak. There are plenty of offensive nationalistic trends in the Torah and Talmud and it seems that these (emptied of all positive content) have become the new god of Jews like Pamela Geller.

      Five days ago Phil Weiss's headline read that the best response to Paris was a repudiation of Jewish nationalism. Today Weiss endorses community as his replacement for Jewish nationalism. But his community not only rejects Pamela Geller it rejects all nationalism and has no place for attitudes towards Israel that are to the right of JVP. Weiss said something valid: A belief in community that accepts all nationalism, accepts Pamela Geller who needs to be rejected. But Phil Weiss's belief in Jewish community is limited to those who agree with him and Norm Finkelstein and Max Blumenthal and Noam Chomsky. If you disagree with them, you best off realize that you are on Pamela Geller's side, automatically, in his book.

  • Hillary Clinton equates ISIS and Hamas
    • Another false exaggerating headline courtesy of Phil Weiss. Hillary did not equate Hamas and Isis. She said that the causes of defeating Isis and defeating Iran (Hamas) are interwoven.

      Hillary's claim on the White House is exactly her foreign policy credentials when compared to Trump or Rubio. She is serious.

  • Israeli troops detain and interrogate 6-year-old Palestinian boy in Bethlehem
    • light- Discourages Palestinians from self reflection or trying a different approach. What would be that different approach?

      In the immediate aftermath of Paris the dangers posed by Isis and Middle East refugees are front and center with Americans and Europeans. Those obsessed by the Palestinians versus Israel conflict are certainly not besides the point. Any discussion of the Middle East that omits Israel v. Palestine is lacking, but when every discussion of the Middle East cites Israel v. Palestine as their main focus, something is revealed about the narrowness of vision.

      Those of us who support Israel's existence (particularly embodied by UNSC resolution 242) are at a loss given the Israeli policies that contradict that UN resolution and certainly with the personality and philosophy of the Netanyahu government. The latest eruption of Palestinian violence cannot be seen removed from the context of the failure of the Israelis to prosecute Israeli settlers in the aftermath of Duma, the shootings of demonstrators at the Nakba Day rallies in 2014, the reelection of Netanyahu spouting "Arab droves" on election day and there will be no Palestinian state under my watch in the election campaign and the thousands killed by Israel in Gaza the summer of 2014 and seven years ago.

      The strategy of Netanyahu is protected at the moment by the crisis of Isis and political considerations in the USA. I suppose the crisis of Isis may continue forever, as in the vacuum created by Bush when he defeated Saddam and did not let the Baath party morph into the ruling army of the newly freed Iraq but instead pushed them into the opposition, which was valid on grounds of "democracy" but anti the physical laws of space and vacuums and geopolitics, Bush created the current dynamics that are at the basis of Isis's success. Not that the subsection of Islam referred to as the Arab world is healthy. The Arab countries of the middle east striving to emerge from lines drawn in the sand by the French and the Brits a century ago are really living in the past and trying to emerge into the future. Israel policy is not oriented in helping them and this is an added obstacle, but something is deeply wrong with their culture in terms of being stuck in a rut of history. So it is not only Bush and the vacuum that he created by pushing the Sunnis into armed opposition to the Shiite domination of the new Iraq. It is also the backwardness of their polities.

      But it may be possible for Hillary to defeat Isis and then Israeli policy on the West Bank and regarding Gaza will no longer be able to hide behind the headlines provided by Isis.

  • ISIS as a fascist movement
    • attention annie robbins- kris's comment here is precisely what I was referring to when I referred to comments (in the aftermath of the hyper cacher kosher store) that excuse killing Jews in Europe. You are not on the same page as kris- but Kris's comment here precisely epitomizes the type of comments to which i was referring.

  • To help prevent future Paris attacks, stop stigmatizing Muslim communities
    • What do we know about the murdering terrorists of last Friday night in Paris that tells us that they have been traumatized in any way?

  • West's war against terrorism is Israel's war, Chuck Schumer says
    • I do not see the causality between the world's tolerance (making excuses for) the terrorism against Israel and the "resultant" attack on Paris. Terrorism in the middle east existed before the PLO and its spread to the west is almost unavoidable given the chaos in the aftermath of the war against Iraq and the large unassimilated easily radicalized youth of France.

      But I cannot resist commenting that when Islamic murderers killed journalists at Charlie Hebdo and that was followed by the killing at the kosher store, the excuses for killing of Zionists was not missing in this very comments section and somehow now, those excuses* are not heard when the victims of terror are just regular random Parisians rather than the specific targeted Jews in the Hyper Cacher attack. (excuses may be too strong a term, more like: blowback, the mainstream is in fact Zionist so they really are reaping what they have sowed.)

    • To suggest a world war shows the exaggeration so essential to Weiss's anti israel rhetoric. The war against ISIS, which may begin after Obama leaves office, is a fight against a small group with a small territory and with a minor league army. It is Russia and US and France against ISIS and Weiss calls this a world war. It is not a world war. It is probably a necessary war that will involve the US holding its nose and accepting a Baathist head of state in Syria (after Assad steps down so the West does not totally lose face) and boots on the ground to wipe out ISIS. The problem is that aside from religious extremism there is a political cause of Sunnis in Iraq losing power that lies at the political basis of the existence of ISIS, but it will not require a world war to defeat ISIS, it will require some hardship but nothing compared to the two world wars that are accepted by historians and not practitioners of hyperbolic rhetoric.

  • Theocratic Israel
    • The upshot of this post in the aftermath of Paris: Sure, Muslims shoot up and kill people in the streets of Paris, but don't forget that Israel has religious courts ruling marriage.

      Another case of Phil Weiss preaching to American Jews: you should feel no kinship with the Jews living in Israel.

      The first paragraph of the post has absolutely no basis in the text of the letter that is visible. It seems to me that the context is a woman who has converted to Judaism and whose conversion is under question. That seems the most likely explanation of what this refers to. And the first paragraph is something that Phil's friend informed him about but is not alluded to in any way in the actual visible text of the letter.

  • The way for Americans to take on the Islamic state is to end support for Jewish nationalism
    • Israel's dependence on American power and protection as a counterbalance to its enmity with its neighbors sums up Israel's essential strategic flaw.

      I don't think the vision of chosen-ness is really central to the problem. Admittedly, there is a religious aspect given to the Holocaust through the vision of the state of Israel as an act of redemption after the abyss of the gas chambers. But the practical human reaction to something like the debacle in Europe is neglected. Those who separate themselves from their Jewish identity, can compartmentalize the Holocaust, as Otto Frank did to his daughter's words: turn the tragedy into a human experience, of course is good, but to deny its specificity is to deny the facts and the raw mechanics. Those who do not separate themselves from their Jewish identities are left with a great gaping wound from what happened over 70 years ago. Many attempt or have attempted to cover up this wound with loyalty and devotion to the establishment of Israel. The new Jew to make up for the old murdered Jew.

      It's complicated enough and interesting enough without the issue of chosen-ness and to emphasize the issue of chosen-ness and to neglect the human side of the post Shoah experience shows Phil Weiss's bias against those who value their Jewish identity in a different way than his universalistic philosophy is able or willing to recognize as human.

  • Zionism, anti-blackness, and the struggle for Palestine
    • MDM- It would have been more accurate to say his childhood experiences in a Muslim dominant society. From 1967 to 1971 Obama lived in Indonesia. His stepfather was Muslim.

    • lysias- Opposition to an American president who is closest to Jimmy Carter in regards to American foreign policy, was an automatic with the election of Obama who is closer to Jimmy Carter than any other previous post war president. I once looked at Obama, I think it was the cover of the New Republic that turned his photo into two- one white and one black and I thought, how would I feel about a white candidate who palled around with thinkers like Jeremiah Wright and Rashid Khalid and Bill Ayers and I realized that I would feel very uncomfortable as a supporter of Israel with such an American president. I think Obama's race/color adds a different aspect to the natural hostility that Israelis would feel towards any Carter like foreign policy attitude. It gives it a certain toehold as certainly does his roots in Muslim childhood experiences and a middle name Hussein.

  • Why do Palestinians burn Jewish holy sites?: The fraught history of Joseph’s Tomb
    • On the topic of Hebrew: first the alphabet. Is there a more ancient alphabet in use today that is an ancestor of our Roman alphabet?

      Jews in Arab lands for many years were not allowed to write in Arabic and were forced to write their books in Arabic using the Hebrew alphabet. transliterated, because Arabic was the language of the Koran and that alphabet should not be defiled by nonbelievers.

      The languages of the Exile/Diaspora: Yiddish and Ladino were written with Hebrew lettering despite their nonHebrew roots.

    • Regarding the wall's builders: Just over half the wall's total height, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, and is commonly believed to have been built around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, although recent excavations indicate that the work was not finished by the time Herod died in 4 BCE. The very large stone blocks of the lower courses are Herodian, the courses of medium-sized stones above them were added during the Umayyad era, while the small stones of the uppermost courses are of more recent date, especially from the Ottoman Period.

      Regarding Jewish prayer at that spot: Jews were not allowed to pray nearer the spot of the destroyed Temple, either by soldiers of foreign armies and their local allies, or by Jewish law and therefore the Kotel became the focus of prayer in that neighborhood.

  • Israel gets to use violence. Palestinians don't. That's the rule
  • Rigged Netanyahu 'conversation' at Center for American Progress shows it's twilight of the Israel lobby
    • Tell me kris, can you discuss any topic without coming off as Little Miss Goody Two Shoes?

    • Phil Weiss making predictions again, including: "Support for Israel is bound to come up in the 2016 primaries in a more urgent fashion than ever." What does this mean? Does it mean that all candidates with more than 4% support in any polls will declare their support for Israel? But that can't be what Weiss means, for in the final sentence he writes: "The real conversation has moved out of the margins," which says exactly the opposite, so he must mean that support for Israel will come under attack in a more urgent fashion than ever. That is not a prediction that he would care to define or back up with dinero, is it?

  • Saddam was just a 'neighborhood bully,' Netanyahu says-- 13 years after saying Saddam threatened 'security of our entire world'
    • Palikari- Saddam was a bloodthirsty dictator. Getting rid of him was theoretically a good thing, but in fact the consequences have resulted in more chaos and more dead than anyone anticipated at the time and therefore I would not say that I am very glad that he was overthrown (as a result of an American invasion). It was probably a bad move. Quite possibly a very bad move.

  • I went from Bar Mitzvah to BDS at Temple Emanu-el
    • bumblebye- you wish to use history to confuse matters and not clarify. clarity is rare and confusion is rife. congrats with adding to the mix in a negative fashion.

    • Bumblebye- Using the term shtetlers to refer to the settlers, what is that about? Are you trying to say that they are Jewish and just poking fun of them by using a Jewish term to describe them, (something akin to calling them settlerovitzky's or settlerstein's). Otherwise, I assume that you consider the settlers to be evil. Were those who lived in the shtetl evil? So in effect you are making the settlers less evil by calling them shtetl'ers. Or is there in fact no useful point here other than the fact that you are juvenile, thinking yourself a comedian?

  • Jewish American activists unfurl banner in support of BDS at the Western Wall
    • talknic- Interesting. you state: " the west bank... was legally annexed at the request of the majority of the legitimate residents." Was a vote taken? if not, what form did the request take?

  • Dana Bash and David Gregory are warmup acts for Netanyahu at pro-Israel conference
    • annie (bla, bla, bla, yawn, bla, bla, bla) robbins. the expert on dialogue.

    • What is the foremost Jewish organization in America? I believe it is the Jewish federations. Yet Phil Weiss wants everyone to boycott them. When it comes to letting antiZionists into Hillel, Phil is all in favor of participation. When it comes to talking to the largest Jewish organization in America, unless you agree with them 100% you are forbidden to talk to them. (The specific case of MSM media biggies like David Gregory in fact raises some questions, but the attitude of Weiss is boycott all the Zionist Jews, whether Lubavitch or the Jewish federations, we must treat them like pariahs. This might play to the choir, but it is not a strategy of communication, but one of antagonism, which betrays the bias against real dialogue.)

  • Obama friends Netanyahu with one-sided statement
    • Reminder: I do not suspect Netanyahu of being anywhere near negotiating anything of substance with Abbas or Hamas.

      Any peace agreement should include all issues including the Palestinians living in Israel. They call themselves Palestinians and the flag of the new state of Palestine will certainly be a flag that many Palestinians living in Israel will consider their flag and thus some kind of understanding of the nature of the Jewish flag of Israel vis a vis those whose flag will be the Palestinian flag, well such an issue is not out of order by any means. To use the "Jewish state" issue as a first step in negotiations seems to me to be totally out of line and a means to avoid negotiations. But the "jewish state" issue is relevant vis a vis Palestine in a way it was not relevant in the negotiations with Egypt and Jordan, for example.

  • Netanyahu flips the bird to Obama -- 2200 more settlement units!
    • No, Lysias, there is no similarity between JFK and RFK, one was shot by a rifle and one was shot by a pistol in a room where he was immediately tackled by security people. whatever questions exist regarding RFK and Sirhan Sirhan, they are nowhere near in similarity to questions about a rifle shot at a moving car. To say they are the same or even similar betrays your bias.

  • Chicago Reform temple welcomes rightwing rabbi from sexist group -- why?
    • Once upon a time there was the issue of Soviet Jews that might have united Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews, but it is true that today the only common ground Reform and Orthodox share is support for Israel.

      (To term support for Israel as anti Palestinian glue is further evidence of the ever present soap box.)

    • Let: Reformist Islam exist. Let: Reformist Islam sit at the same table as misogynistic Islam. Let: some nonIslam condemn Reformist Islam for such breaking of bread. Prediction: Phil Weiss would condemn that nonIslam for Islamophobia.

    • I am no fan of Boteach, nor of the attitude he displays regarding the occupied territories, but to infer that his offense is that he belongs to Lubavitch, this displays the zealotry of Phil Weiss, only concerned with his corner of the Jewish community, but at large offended by the idea of letting a Lubavitcher (Chabadnik) speak at a Reform Temple.

  • All Israeli politics is local -- it's American
    • "As the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination and the odds-on favorite to win the presidency, Clinton is the one to watch." - See more at: link to When did Marc Ellis move to Vegas? By the way, what are the oddsmakers saying about the presidential hopefuls?

  • The idea that people living under violent military occupation must be instructed in nonviolence is problematic
    • The mechanics of the civil rights movement in the US was to goad the southern whites into attacking blacks with fire hoses, billy clubs and dogs (and murder: Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman) and thus incite the northern whites to impose desegregation on the south. In fact Stokely Carmichael was wrong regarding the goal of desegregation, which was in fact achieved by the triangulation I have thus described. (A triangulation that is not achievable in Israel, where the imposing party needs to be the US and the US is too far away to really care enough to impose anything, certainly in the short term.)

      But who knows Kwame Toure's true focus, since his public image was more of a revolutionary than a reformist and more of a nationalist than a universalist. (His antiSemitic rhetoric where he hopscotched between antiZionism and antiSemitism is also worthy of mention.)

  • Beinart says 'Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed' with Palestinian violence
    • Liberal Zionism- The belief that the original partition plan of 1947 advocated by the United Nations was justified by a historic analysis of the vulnerability of the Jews and the development of events in Palestine. Unfortunately the nakba of 1948 added a second element to liberal Zionism: an acceptance of the necessity of resolving the conflict without a major repatriation of the Palestinian refugees.

      The current liberal Zionist dilemma is the antipathy they feel towards Netanyahu and the occupation and the value they feel towards the existence of Israel. Gideon Levy's bifurcation: apartheid or one state is rejected by liberal Zionists without offering the path towards the middle road that they envision.

    • Mooser- If i am disciplined in the future, I will refer to the violence that I am envisioning as sectarian warfare rather than civil war.

    • RoHa- The value (that I assess for Jews in Israel) is certainly influenced by the history of 1881-1945 in most of the world where there were Jews (not including US, UK and Australia, but certainly including all other Jewish populations in Europe.) It is also influenced by the history of vulnerability during other periods in nonEuropean settings. (I think most Mizrahi Jews who live in Israel, would consider sovereignty a value, based upon the current situations and Islamic dominance mindsets in Arab countries that are the places they emigrated from.)

      As far as civil war. The civil war in this new one state would be between Arabs and Jews.

      Those proposing a one state solution forced upon the Jewish Zionist population of Israel must be envisioning an army of some sort taking over Lod Airport and other access points and thus it will not just be a war as a result of the one state solution, but also a war in order to impose the one state solution. The alternative to coercion would be annexation of the West Bank by Israel. There is not a critical mass in Israel to accept such a solution, but a solution that was initiated by Israel's right wing (that would eventually entail full citizenship) would not require coercion to achieve it. Then the only civil war danger would be as a result of the situation rather than war as a means to impose the situation.

      (I realize that a full solution to the Palestinian versus Zionist Jew conflict would have to entail some solutions to Gaza and the refugees as well, but the right wing Zionist that is willing to talk about full citizenship resulting from an annexation of all the West Bank (not the Area C annexation advocated by Bennett, but the full annexation advocated by others) are not at all on the same page regarding Gaza and the refugees.

    • Gideon Levy has declared that there are two alternatives: the apartheid of Netanyahu and the one state solution and between the two Gideon Levy chooses the one state solution. Beinart sees the one state solution as no solution. Beinart quotes Marwan Barghouti that the one state solution is no solution but a recipe for permanent civil war. Beinart values Jewish statehood and since such statehood existed between 1948 and 1967 without the "territories" he wishes to return to pre 1967. There is nothing pristine about the Zionism of between 48 and 67, but there is something valuable in Jewish statehood and when the alternative is the civil war described by Marwan Barghouti, the combination of the two factors overrides all arguments.

      Beinart's weakness is the lack of a path to the two state solution given Israeli politics and American politics. Beinart's limited boycott of the west bank is an insufficient act by a tiny movement that has no power to change the geopolitics so that a two state solution can be reached. It is not Beinart's goal but his method that is faulty.

  • Bloomberg's int'l editor to host event on 'incredible courage' of Israeli soldiers (including Netanyahu)
    • Elliot- Phil's major contribution to the Palestinian cause and to the anti Zionist/anti Israeli cause is this web site. The about page is clear, or confusing regarding what this page is about and its relation to the community, specifically the Jewish antiZionist community.


      "Founded in 2006 as a personal blog of journalist Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss grew inside the progressive Jewish community and has become a critical resource for the movement for justice for Palestinians. We continue to follow debates over the role of Israel and nationalism in Jewish American life while seeking to reflect a diverse community of views on issues of international importance. We recognize that Jewish voices are often prioritized in discussions of Israel and seek to challenge that dynamic by bringing a universalist focus to an issue that is commonly dominated by narrow points of view." - See more at: link to

      I do not have a cached copy of the original "about" statement of this web page, but it was different.

      I actually find this "about" statement murky and strange. I find Phil's claim that he organizes chiefly in his community, (even accepting that he is referring to the antizionist Jewish community) rather than in America and the ether velt, I find that strange as well. I find it fake, but i cannot prove that. But I certainly find it strange.

    • and that’s why I organize in my community chiefly. - See more at: link to

      Far be it from me to tell Phil Weiss where he organizes, but I assume that this web site is his primary contribution to the Palestinian cause and this web site is not organized as part of the Jewish community, unless I have misread the newly revised about page or something.

  • Coffee at Isaac Bashevis Singer Boulevard
    • Abba Solomon- There was a group called Hovevei Zion in the 1880's. The translation is normally given as "Lovers of Zion". Assuming this is the group to which you are referring, why do you offer this new translation of the group's name?

  • Glen Weyl's agonizing journey to boycott the country he loves
    • Compliments for Phil Weiss for presenting Weyl's views without disparaging remarks.

      As for the reactions of the comments section I recall that there were two different attitudes expressed by two different books of the gospel made by Jesus regarding those who were not in his camp. One was "he who is not with me is against me" and the other is of the type "he who is not against me is with me". For the crew here: he who is not with me is against me is definitely the prevailing attitude.

  • Park Slope Food Coop censors letters on BDS
    • I visited the store a couple times as the guest of a member of the co-op. It is rare for a co-op to print a newsletter and because of the heat produced by the BDS issue I can see that this is a thorny issue for those who wish to keep the issues of food and politics separate. Park Slope is centrally located and not far from predominantly Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods. (It's not in Seattle, it's in Brooklyn!)

  • 'Why I am a Zionist'
    • pablemont- I am including a link to Isaac Deutscher's "The NonJewish Jew", link to
      an essay that includes apologetics for Marx's antisemitism , but also includes empathy with the will to statehood of Jews in the post WWII era, although a hope that this state of mind will pass and the Jews will again endorse the universalist ethos of the optimistic Non Jewish Jews that is his focus and ideal. It is probable that Deutscher's sympathetic tone of the 1950's or '60's was highly influenced by the proximity of the debacle of WWII and fifty years later he might have lost his patience with this Jewish inclination and been as condemnatory of it as you are. But then again maybe there is something that you might learn from his tone.

    • Some comments regarding the 1960's as it relates to American Jews, blacks and Israel. Among American Jews support for Israel was different than it is today: more widespread. Someone on one of the threads quoted Howard Zinn which prompted me to read quotes of his regarding Zionism. He was never really a Zionist but his consciousness of the damage done to the Palestinians seriously lagged behind his consciousness on other issues in 1967 and I suspect that there was greater support for Israel, more genuine support rather than trained and habitual support than there is today among American Jews for Israel. Although the issues of Shoah and Jewish statehood are two separate issues, I think the two issues particularly in 1967 were very intertwined in many American Jewish minds and even if the fears of Nasser were exaggerated, I don't think many American Jews considered him a reasonable man and even if Israeli military actions in November 66 and April of 67 can give us perspective on the causes of the crisis of 67, very few were aware of those causes and instead focused on Nasser and the drumbeat towards war initiated by the Arabs in May of 67 and thus the overwhelming support for Israel among American Jews before that war was quite genuine and should not be underestimated.

      The enmity of black radicals towards the Jews in the civil rights movements can be studied in the person of Kwame Toure, (slave name Stokely Carmichael). The Black Power movement and the scorn thrust in the direction of white participants in the movement cannot be ignored when trying to understand where MLK's stance was coming from and the type of rhetoric in the movement at the time. The anti Zionist rhetoric of the Soviet Union was parroted by the likes of H Rap Brown and was contiguous if not continuous with the anti Jewish rhetoric of the Northern urban riots that hit the Jewish businesses in the ghettos with arson and ruin. It was in that context that King was rejecting the anti Zionist rhetoric used by the radical part of the movement.

    • And while I approach this discussion as an anti-Zionist, I believe that only by respecting these individuals will they open up; and only when they open up will Americans get to examine the ideology– and will Zionists be able to let go of Zionism.

      Phil should have written: I believe that only by faking respecting these individuals will they open up. This paragraph itself shows the lack of respect and in fact just a week ago when some featured Zionists wrote in the Washington Post: we love Israel, Phil flattened all Zionists into one mold and stated that they must fear that America is going to get hot (for Jews) and thus need a place to escape to and that was the reason for their love for Israel. Nothing they wrote indicated that that was the core of their love for Israel, but Phil assumed it was. Total lack of respect.

  • Palling Around with Nazis: Netanyahu's political ancestors are also guilty by association
  • As Congress heeds Israel lobbyists, press blacks out Abunimah, Munayyer and Blumenthal
    • 1. The Arab world is aflame and pouring refugees onto foreign shores. This low level violence in Israel Palestine is really minor in comparison. This does not reflect on right and wrong, but it must be mentioned if you are focusing on the battle for public opinion and for that fact to go unmentioned reveals the wishful thinking of the Palestinian advocates. i speak primarily of American public opinion, but European opinion, from what I read is focused on this influx of refugees and some headlines from the West Bank are really quite minor in comparison. In fact the Middle East is in the headlines of Europe daily: it is at their borders in the form of refugees.

      2. Netanyahu's "we will live on the sword for the foreseeable future" is not a long range strategy that is going to get many fans from the Democratic party grass roots constituency. Being a "white" country beating up on brown people will continue to alienate the hard core of the Democratic party. Netanyahu is a public relations catastrophe at this point. The reality he describes and the politics he navigates will not change in a positive direction, but I wish the Likud would find the gumption to retire him.

  • Dear Chief Rabbi, your sermon on Palestinian violence failed tests of moral and communal leadership
    • I studied in Har Etzion and though I do not attribute my leftism (a rightist on Mondoweiss but the leftistest at every friday night shabbos meal) to my time at the Gush, as it is called, i have great respect for the two leaders of the yeshiva, Lichtenstein and Amital, and had great respect for them while they were alive and they were independent thinkers and established a yeshiva in a fashion that has hurt Israel in the long run physically and in the short run morally as you have pointed out.

      Question: is that soapbox handcuffed to an ankle bracelet or something?

    • Elliot- I'm sure that a percentage of the students spend time in the IDF on the west bank, but you imply that this is the only sort of military service done by hesder yeshiva student/soldiers and if that is your assertion, you'd have to back it up with some link.

  • Two establishment Jews (Harvard and Microsoft) endorse boycott of Israel and 'single state' in Washington Post
    • I also must add that I am attached to people whom I know who live there. I happen to agree that an Israel that is uninterested in changing the status quo in either the direction of annexation (aka a single state with voting rights for all) or partition (aka a resolution based upon UNSC resolution 242) is bad in the present tense and bound to get worse, but the question is why would one say that one loves Israel if one does not feel threatened as a Jew in America and I feel that there are many reasons why, including the people who one personally knows there.

    • annie, then let me express where my support for Israel comes from. it comes from the fact that the Zionist movement saved the lives of 300,000 Jews who moved to Palestine between 1920 and 1940. it comes from the fact that the declaration of a state by Ben Gurion in May of 1948 was the culmination of much effort and blood spilled and a historic event at a moment in time that cried out for a Jewish army. It comes from the fact that 5 million Jews live in israel today. There are no guarantees in this world, but I certainly don't trust the sentiments of you and Phil Weiss to really care about the world's Jews. You care about America and that's it. you root for the underdogs, the indigenous and your disdain for history leads you to lie about the people of Syria (supporters of Assad, you call them) and disdain anything about the Jews, unless it is part of American history or to be specific the part of world history or American history that you favor.

    • "I assume the authors’ professions of love for Zionism/Israel are purely tactical, I can’t imagine it ever crossed these guys’ minds that they needed a Jewish state when things got too hot in the U.S ."

      Poor logic.

      Phil Weiss assumes that the only possible reason American Jews might love Zionism/Israel is as a refuge in case things turn hot in the U.S. Jews might love Israel for many reasons: the cherry tomatoes for example. (This is a joke for the Israel bashers here. Israel offers an alternative culture to American Jewish culture, a Hebrew culture, a Saturday off rather than a Sunday off culture. There are many minor things about the existence of Israel that might inspire a wish for Israel to exist and not disappear.) Or they might think that America is sufficient for them, as having been born in America and are thus protected from anything except American heat, but is insufficient for the other half of the world's Jews, who have no guarantee of American protection.

  • The effectiveness of the pro-Israel lobby to intimidate our press has reached new heights
    • A Hillary versus Mark Rubio or a Hillary versus Donald Trump will add nothing to the discussion and I don't see how this election of '16 is going to really raise the topic in any way. The most blatant insertions of Israel into any election cycle was the candidacy of Jesse Jackson in 84 and 88 in the democratic primary season. Can you cite any other significant discussions before or since?

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