Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 4294 (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 4294 - 4201

  • Zionism's tailspin: Stark minority of young California Jews are 'comfortable with idea of Jewish state'
    • Roha, is the casual inclusion of the questionable line "clutching to the cringing Jew" supposed to impress people with the mere accidental reference or would other inferences be more appropriate?

    • if communication is not an ideal, not even a value, it becomes difficult. you excel at talking at someone and about someone. but people who are on the opposite side of you on the israel palestine issue, you are speaking to your choir and not to me.

      which is fine.

    • my zionist cousin says the democratic party already abandoned israel by not attending netanyahu's speech and backing the iran deal.

      san francisco is a useful measure of the so called grass roots progressive wing of the democratic party.

      the bifurcation of american jews into orthodox versus intermarrieds, with a small portion in the middle ground does not bode well for american liberal jewish support for israel.

      the turmoil of the arab world works against the arab world in the american mind, therefore as long as israel does not start a real war against iran, the issue is likely to simmer and appeal to activists, but the broad swath of america does not care. the world is messy and the middle east is even messier and the pentagon is bloated, but if we're spending money on a military in any case, then middle east realism should be the way to go. pro palestinians might have a case to make to the realists, but the region is so messed up, that their cause is lost in the general chaos. It is not realism but anti colonialism, to use a phrase, that is the ideology that appeals to more people on the palestine issue. and anticolonialism would fit in an "identity" category rather than an "american" category.

    • I've been following this since Jesse Jackson and Hymietown and at the time, particularly with his successes 4 years later in the early primaries, it seemed that the democratic party was moving in an antizionist direction in a big way. It didn't happen.

      I think the best thing that happened the last 9 years in the middle east is what didn't happen, an open war: attack by israel on iran's nuclear program by bombs released by Israeli jets. the avoidance of that was an accomplishment, certainly one that still threatens in the looming future and in the proxy (?) present.

      i never thought that frisco was the harbinger of the future for either america or american jews. i think of "if you're going to san francisco" and shlomo carlebach (google him) and his house of love and prayer and my year in southern california and one visit up to frisco. i do not consider san francisco the wave of the american future or the american present. gadfly, most likely. model, since when?

  • Israel’s Justice Minister endorses apartheid -- the Jewish state 'at the expense of equality'
    • What right do you have to demand my comment?
      None. If you wish to speak to me or just speak, the right is yours, if you tell me what I must not ignore you have dropped civility down the drain. I ask myself why. I answer, cuz he has a screw loose. So dude, wanna talk politics to everyone here at mw, go right ahead. But if you come to me and command me to talk, you're one screwed up dude.

    • amigo - I was born to this discussion. How did you come to it?

    • Put Peter beinart, Larry derfner and Avraham burg and zeev sternhell in a room and I'm sure I will find much to agree with.

      The fact that shaked is in power and the four I mentioned are not in power is a lamentable reality. The fact that my siblings and nieces and nephews are closer to shaked's position than to my own is also a lamentable reality.

  • Israeli publisher slams US ambassador for 'perpetuating apartheid' in West Bank
    • ritzl- nonorthodox Judaism in America is on a steep downhill decline demographically and I was offering vibrant Jewish identity as an opposite to this decline.

      In response to your comment I looked up the etymology of vibrant ( half expecting something akin to vivacious, as in alive), but of course vibrations as in agitated and swaying was the actual derivation. Swaying, of course, reminded me of how orthodox Jews pray, Swaying back and forth, in yiddish the word is, shokeling, thus it put me back in mind of the aliveness of the orthodox community and the disappearing-ness of the nonorthodox Jewish groups.

    • I am not sure where chuck Freilich stands on the issue of territorial compromise regarding the west bank, but there is little question that giving back the west bank would lead to extreme intra Jewish conflict. And regarding jerusalem, specifically the temple mount, aka Haram El sharif, the ceding of that spot to the Palestinians would be traumatic to large number of yehudim. Personally I favor ceding the temple mount, there cannot be a 2 state solution that can avoid such an outcome. A Palestinian state that allows Israeli soldiers to stand in the path of Muslims who wish to visit the Haram will never be accepted under foreseeable circumstances. But such a ceding would cause widespread turmoil, particularly for a peace that Israelis of all zionist gradations, and even nonzionist gradations would view as dangerous and far less than a sure thing. Giving up the temple mount would be a blow to many yehudim and would in all likelihood require unprecedented American pressure.

      A calm analysis of the Israeli voting public is important and given such an analysis, freilich's use of the term existential is close to the mark particularly in regards to the temple mount. Pessimism regarding a 2state solution is well placed, and partially because of the temple mount.

      How the US should handle the situation and how the assimilation of American Jews and their loss of vibrant Jewish identity play into this are separate questions. But using the term existential is accurate or certainly quite close to accurate in regards to the temple mount.

  • Englander's new novel is high entertainment, with a grim view of Israel
    • I have a fiction list that is not judeocentric.

      Btw, what do you think of the quote, "antisemitism is the socialism of fools"?

    • Few in this comments section will read this book from the Judeocentric reading list. Englander's view of Israeli politics and mindset is as negative as Weiss indicates, but Weiss omits englander's love of the city of Jerusalem and the actual land, that deserves mention. Any book with comatose Ariel Sharon as its central character or hub is a negative appraisal of israel's current state of affairs. It ends with a localized apocalypse, lovers in a tunnel, a bomb shelter as final destination.

  • 'Death to Ahed Tamimi': Israeli settlers vandalize Nabi Saleh
    • Cazador- the letter's purpose was to discourage American zionists, American Jews and American nonjews from giving support or welcome to Begin. No presidential visit is mentioned. And to inject that nonhistory is not truthful.

  • Pro-Israel Democrats concede 'human rights' issue is killing the brand
    • I happened to be reading " the Jews of odessa" by zipperstein, which is why I cited that specific pogrom. The response has been gratifying to those who like to revel in the overlap of venom towards zionism and the other venom.
      Israel will need to fix its problems with its neighbors despite the facts of history.

      The yehudim succeeded in odessa in the 19th century and were curious about russification. But riots of this sort put a bit of a damper on the russification project. Blithe comments from the peanut gallery. True colors come shining through.

    • Status quo does not necessarily imply a stable nonviolent situation. I think a cold eye would look at the region and see turmoil. The idea that the withdrawal of us support for Israel would bring forth some world of peace and prosperity is not argued by anyone. Thus it is change for change sake as the bias.
      I watched "land of pomegranates" recently. And "the settlers" too. I think a rebellion against Netanyahu is an appropriate human Palestinian response and empathy for them is an easy choice. But the chaos of the region turns most people off and they don't want to hear it. But the young 'uns are oriented to favor change.

    • The Jews of Odessa suffered a pogrom in 1871. Their economic role in society did not translate into equal protection under the law. The Jews had a higher median income, but were subject to the caprice of the police.

    • Regarding dynamics of change: Israel stands for the status quo and Palestinians stand for change, and certainly young Democrats grass roots advocates are change oriented in their political philosophies, thus in the conflict, the natural youth position, even before appeals of identity and colonialism is tilted against israel.

      The American public in general though, is rather apathetic towards foreign policy, which changes only at time of war.

  • Thomas Friedman justifies slaughter of Arab civilians by 'crazy' Israel
    • Nasrallah has wised up lately (last decade or so), but early in his career he spewed his venom at both Zionist and yahud. ( There seems to be some controversy about the quotes attributed to him.)

    • Donald- the mw article emphasizes journalistic flaws, but it implies that as a result of Israel's behavior, it only reaps what it has sown. It suggests that until israel's behavior matches the goals of the bds movement it should regard Nasrallah's threats and missiles as requiring self criticism. This is not realistic.

    • This reminds me of MAD Mutually Assured Destruction, the doctrine that explained the reason last century's series of world wars stopped at two not despite nukes, but because of nukes. The primary difference is the proximity of the warring countries and the reality of the friction. Big power friction particularly between US and USSR had no roots other than two empires and one globe, whereas the zionist versus arab/ Muslims friction is far more local and real.

      MW wishes for Iranian hezbollah violence to force Israel to fold up its tents and disband. Not going to happen on the near horizon.

    • Lebanon is a sovereign country ruled by Hezbollah's army.

      Derfner made a distinction between Israel's conduct towards Gaza, a noncountry where the full fledged occupation only stopped 12 or so years ago and where there is a siege as the "normal" situation versus Lebanon, which is a sovereign state that does not have a monopoly on the use of power, so in effect it is controlled by Nasrallah and Hezbollah. Nasrallah's admission that he would never have kidnapped the soldiers if he had known the damage that Israel would inflict is the only proof Israel needs that their policy is sensible.

      I am far more concerned morally regarding Israel's behavior vis a vis Gaza. I have not studied the laws of war, but Lebanon and the man who controls it, Nasrallah, can author its own fate, whereas Gaza does not have the same freedom.

  • A Jewish 'sickness': Israeli journalist explains young American Jews' support for Palestinians
    • I was clear. JVP is an enemy to Jewish statehood. Most synagogues don't want to hear from enemies to Jewish statehood. (I myself enjoy mud wrestling with neturei karta and jvp, at times, but if I were scheduling speakers, I would consider my customers' preferences, not my own.)

    • "If Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch had any intellectual integrity he would invite these young Jews and JVP, the people he said are succumbing to lies, and Yemini said are sick, in to his synagogue to explain themselves. Let’s see. . . ."

      There may be some synagogues or temples where such a conversation would be useful. But for the most part, the heavy duty participants in synagogues and temples, whether it is to attend services, perform rituals or discuss politics, are really antipathetic towards JVP. For the most part people participate in the ritual of hearing speakers, in order to confirm their own biases and it is rare that people wish to hear from those they consider enemies. And JVP is an enemy to Jewish statehood. It does not seek to ameliorate, but it seeks to overthrow. So, in rare cases synagogues may seek to enlighten its audience about the reasons for the generation gap, but most synagogues and temples see no reason to give a platform to the enemy.

  • Zionists should be excluded from left-oriented protests
    • As a person who does not generally participate in left wing protests, this does not directly affect me. Whenever I participate in some general protest and listen to speakers, inevitably i disagree with every speaker to some degree and quite often i disagree with most speakers to a large degree.

      The nationalist Jewish urge seems quite natural if only because it was born in a storm. For the past 70 years (almost) the Zionist movement has ignored the need to attempt to assuage the Palestinians and has emphasized its own needs and wishes above the need to attempt to make peace with the Palestinians.

    • Zionism is no longer a theory but a practice and as such it is a practice which harms Palestinians, as such opposition to Zionism should be expected.

  • I'm blacklisted and banned from Israel, but for many others this is nothing new
    • It is not a ridiculous idea, but a litmus test on BDS as a requirement for entering JTS seems to me a little extreme.

  • Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is 'right choice,' and will lead to 'significant exodus of Jews' -- Henry Siegman
    • Brewer- My curiosity regarding the earlier stages of Judaism is limited. Regarding the polytheistic roots and vestiges in early Judaism, the multiple names of God- elohim, versus the Name, are well known as are the various Bible passages that emphasize one name over the other. The study of Bible from a Kabbalistic perspective is of some interest, and of all current streams of Judaism, Kabbalism is the most polytheistic dividing God the merciful from God the just.
      The lived day to day world that existed before the modern era will not return on a large scale and as such the influence of the religion will take place on a smaller scale in communities and in individuals in many different hearts and minds studying the books and the traditions. whether these studies lead to "progress" is "hit or miss".

    • Henry Siegman is an important dissenter. The exodus as a result of equal rights that he predicts gives him no obvious pause, for the Israelis will reap what they have sowed. But he is a serious thinker on modern israeli/Palestinian peacemaking efforts and ideas.
      Having received his semicha (ordination) from torah v'da'as, he has Jewish credentials.
      I was put off by his " Jerusalem was merely a spiritual, end of the days destination". I think the development of identity consciousness as in the emergence of nationalism calls upon all elements of emotion and to draw a line of barbed wire between the Jerusalem of animal sacrifices and the Jerusalem of imagination is artificial. The inclusion of his rabbinic interpretation of what is Jerusalem to the Jews as a national unit versus the Jews as a religious tradition is the weak link in the article and undermines respect for his political analysis.
      The status quo whether called any specific term like apartheid, is a system of suppression, which is inherently unstable. The militarism that was logical in1948, seems like a mindset of nightmarish quality 70 years later, certainly when viewed at a distance.
      The reaction of the Jews of nationalist inclinations to the situation presented to them in1945 does not seem outlandish, despite the catastrophe to a vast number of palestinians. Yet logic dictates that something should have been done to dilute the insult and injury since. This hasn't happened. I understand the elation of1967 but to engage in a settler enterprise was foolhardy. Military occupation would still have been ugly, but a settler occupation is clearly heading in a specific direction.
      I first arrived in the west bank in 1972, less than 5 years after the 67 war.

  • Fearing breakup of Israel lobby, liberal Zionists stress the power of Jewish unity
    • Annie- first of all deutscher was referring to Polish gentiles' apathy and his assertion stands, while your question mark is ignorant.

      Second- I did not mention one Palestinian in my comment . Accusing Palestinians of antisemitism is not my thing. You'd be hard pressed to find that as my theme. (Hard pressed but not impossible.) But I do discuss white Americans and their obliviousness to antisemitism, black Americans and their occasional (kwame toure and brother Louis Farrakhan and jesse jackson) indulgence in jew hatred.

      What drew me to this post was Phil Weiss lecturing liberal zionists about what to do and the either/or of the situation and my statement, that his casual use of antisemitic language and indulgence of antisemitic motifs means that lz's of good hearts and or of questionable motives can dismiss him.

      For this I am scolded and told that I revel in jew hatred, by ideological soul mates of Kevin Macdonald and those who marry socialism with jew hatred and think they are wise men and not fools. (August bebel once called antisemitism the socialism of fools).

      Deutscher, in fact, is no zionist despite his obvious feelings for the slaughtered, and despite the analogy of the man jumping out of the building, escaping from a fire. He asserts that zionism was a middle class eastern European Jewish hobby, whereas deutscher's working class comrades of Jewish persuasion were foes of zionism and he dismisses the equation out of hand.

      I am not asserting the equation, merely asserting that if Phil Weiss were interested in winning minds and hearts he wouldn't indulge in childish silliness. But though Weiss claims the importance of the liberal zionist, he can barely deign to talk to them/us, because he'd have to take time out from his scorn and petty adolescent spitball indulgences. He has his own Web site and he doesn't feel like acting and he truly disdains Jews who care about Jewish continuity and so he let's us see into his heart. Liberal zionist might or might not be the key here, but Phil Weiss won't waste any emotions trying to prove his sentimental credentials. He has none. He is happy to watch the Jews and their languages disappear.

      Jeremy Haber, who shows no such disdain, does not convince many liberal zionist to think twice, so Phil is probably right that censoring himself won't win many hearts or minds.

    • From remnants of a race:
      "It was in Poland and Romania with their 4 million Jews that the Jewish issue was most acute before the war. Much more than in other countries, and even of Germany, anti semitism was a popular movement. It embodied all sorts of moods and motives: the jealousy felt by the underdeveloped Polish middle classes for their Jewish rivals and competitors; the socialism of the ignorant and especially the declasse, in which Jews were blamed as a sinister and mysterious capitalist power; the deeply rooted clerical hatred of the Jew as " Christ's enemy"; and finally the fear of the Governments of Communism spreading among the vast mass of utterly impoverished Jewish artisans and outright paupers. The gentile working classes and the peasantry in those countries, on the whole, remained unaffected by persistent antisemitic propaganda. But they also remained aloof from the Jews and more or less indifferent to their fate. The Gulf of separatism between jew and gentile, was at least in part, responsible for the uncanny passivity and indifference with which the mass of gentiles watched the apocalyptic slaughter of the Jews.

      "Nor is this the whole picture. The grave of the Jewish middle class became the cradle of a new gentile middle class in eastern europe. At the height of the slaughter a Polish paper wrote: "The Nazis are solving the Jewish problem in our favor in a way in which we could never have solved it."

      This was written in The Economist in January of1946. "The non-Jewish Jew and other essays" was published by Verso press in 2017 on the 50th anniversary of deutscher's death in 1967, at the age of 60.

      It is fine to draw distinctions between anti zionism and anti semitism. But to draw these distinctions one certainly should have some history under one's belt. To deny the new antisemitism is a valid stance. But to belittle the role of antisemitism in the first half of the 20 th century is just plain ignorance and to assume that 2017 America reveals the true nature of the world or specifically of 1940 eastern Europe is stupid and malicious.

      Deutscher cites causes and effects. None of which are: it's an inborn trait of esau to hate jacob. As a socialist and as a jew he condemns jew hatred as the socialism of fools. As a pessimist and a skeptic regarding capitalism he sees the decay of capitalism ending in ruins with the possibility of grave consequences for the jews.

      Kevin macdonald- old or new antisemite? Pat buchanan? Louis farrakhan? Stokely Carmichael? I'd argue a mixture of both.

      Penetrating analysis alone cannot predict the future pitfalls in America or elsewhere. But avoiding analysis is malicious nonsense.

    • Keith- your answer and attitude suffice to impress those who are familiar with deutscher to label you accordingly.

    • Jerry haber is a cultural zionist. There used to be a term post zionist, you don't see it much, I don't think.
      I am far less zionist today than I was before cast lead. In the following way: I get a perverse kick watching zionists get apoplectic about Gideon levi.
      I think ehud olmert or tzipi livni could have negotiated a 2 state solution, so I see the problem as bibi.
      Jeremy haber is far more tolerant of Jvp than I am. I react emotionally to the pugnacity of max Blumenthal and Norman finkelstein... has he grown up since seig heiling in defamation, I hope so. I suppose gershon Baskin is a zionist, but his involvement in Gaza negotiations gives him cred. I think gaza is a foul up by israel and blame is first to bibi, but I can't help but think how dysfunctional the region is. And can't anybody play this game of politics and diplomacy? Doesn't seem so. I think kissinger in 73, 74 had a tougher gig than negotiating some modus operandi in gaza, but Kerry and Obama didn't have the weight of Nixon kissinger and of course bibi loves the status quo. And now trump. It's down the drain for at least 3 more years.

    • To mooser a war of ideas question: who was greater buddy Hackett or don rickles. A war of ideas question over his head: is Isaac deutscher guilty of anti gentilism? How does deutscher explain jew hatred?

    • mooser- who needs to google isaac deutscher to find out who he is.

    • Eljay- didn't anyone teach you how to act like a mensch?
      I have 4 siblings and a dozen or so nieces n nephews living in what I call falestin. Does morality require me to care about them? Actually it's called biology not morality. Does morality require I put them over my thoughts of self? You seem to think so. I disagree. The individual is encouraged to seek his fullest self, that is the modern commandment.
      As far as antisemitism, I do not think fleeing David duke and the cockroaches of the alt right is a wise strategy and your suggestion is slimy in regards to the strategy you advise for me.
      I think the hatred I saw in Charlottesville was scary, but I think the powers of light should not succumb to those who smirk.

    • Keith. Bien sur, as they say. But spare us 3 words for Isaac Deutscher.

    • Isaac deutscher, btw, keith, wrote in "who is a jew" that he fears that antisemitism is not through in the welfare states of the west. When they fail, the socialism of fools will marry the proletariat to the lower middle class as happened in Germany in the 20's and 30's. I do not fear the near term failure of the American economy, and the more familiar (American) scapegoats of anti immigration and racism are the first reactions rather than the old time European familiar scapegoat. But you have your cut and paste yuri slezkine quote handy to avoid all serious thought on the subject.

    • Actually, keith, one of the keys here is perception. The choir sees no antisemitism. But liberal zionists probably will. If Phil cared about talking to lz's, rather than preaching at lz's, he would care how he would be perceived. But he doesn't. He only cares about communicating with his choir, who as in your case couldn't care less.

    • Here's phil's most famous antisemitic post.

    • Larry Derfner, Bradley Burston and even Gideon Levy are liberal Zionists that I listen to, although they ruffle feathers from time to time.

      If Not Now is a bit further than me to the left, but I listen to them, to see their take.

    • Jerry Haber is not someone I listen to, necessarily, but he is someone I respect in a way that I don't respect mw.

    • I like Phil Ochs's song, "love me I'm a liberal", but he hanged himself and so I don't take his dogma as life affirming.
      Regarding Zionism, I've been reading a collection of essays/interviews of Isaac Deutscher, released under the name of the key essay, "the nonjewish jew". He is not a Jew lover when he talks of the Yahudim of the west who have much money and a few taboos, but I do not react to him as strongly as I do to Phil's occasional forays into scorn of Jews with money. I suppose the biographer of Trotsky is allowed some leeway that I don't allow Phil. Also Deutscher was raised orthodox and rebelled and so his rejection of tradition was done by himself based on knowledge rather than done by his grandparents leaving him with no language in common with the tradition. Also his ideology is socialism and Phil's ideology is assimilationism and whatever the weekly progressive or dominant zeitgeist happens to be.

      I'd be interested in the reactions of the local Marxist "jewhater" to Deutscher's writings.

      Deutscher also mentions that 100 years after his death people (Leibniz) still could not mention Spinoza's name. Who's to blame for that? Surely the Jews who excommunicated him, the denizens of mw comments would have us believe.

    • annie- Here's phil's quote: "My host and I went for a walk and you could trespass on the big estates because no one was there, and at one sprawling compound with a Jewish name on the sign out by the road, we stuck our noses in the windows to check out the (garish) furnishings, and someone came to the door to ask if we needed anything."
      I can't comment on the double murder. don't know much about it.

    • I suppose, "Whose side are you on?" is the ultimate question to be tossed at liberal zionists. But then why does mw's editor indulge in petty cultural antisemitism: we snuck up to the rich Jews' windows and saw the garish interior decorations. Why does mw publish antisemitic motifs, judas's kiss? Why does mw publish screeds calling all zionism a cult?
      Why? Because it is self indulgent and feels good. Why? Because mw's antizionism is part of an assimilationist package deal. Why? Because mw preaches to its choir and preaches at and disdains anyone not in the choir. Yes leftist zionists are in a tough spot. But no. MW has disqualified itself from helping them to decide how to proceed.

  • Netanyahu has taken a wrecking ball to Israel's favorability ratings among Democrats
    • I think it will take more than 7 and less than 19 years before a sizable portion of congressional Democrats will reflect this change. Because bernie showed that presidential candidates can raise money from the masses, a presidential candidate with pro palestinian inclinations could find him or herself in the white house without congressional democratic support like Barack Obama. Thus the change in Congress would be the true key to changing the Democratic party.

  • Israel’s expulsion of African refugees - betrayal with a kiss
    • Jonathan Ofeer, Never have I seen a more perfect example of someone proud to be tone deaf.

    • The overlap of antizionism and antisemitism has gotten a couple new samples in the last few days: first Phil Weiss ragging on the garishness of the rich jew in upstate new York at christmastime, (as if to say: not only are these people retrograde regarding marriage and colonialism, but they have bad taste too and their aesthetics of interior design certainly revoke any claims regarding nation state status) and now this gratuitous invocation of Christian antisemitism by invoking judas's kiss of betrayal.

      Btw, regarding judas, amos oz has written a novel about judas, intercutting the story of judas as studied by a young Israeli in a young Israel of 1959, with the story of a zionist who was called a judas because of his opposition to statehood in 1948 (reminiscent of Judah magnes''s attitudes).

      Of course mondoweiss is more concerned with the interior decorations of rich Jews and not the novels of amos oz. And it calls itself "the war of ideas"!

  • Documentary on Israeli-Palestinian dialogue -- 'Pomegranates' -- leaves the viewer even more despairing
    • Rimon in Ivrit means pomegranate and grenade. Saw the film. The anger of the young Palestinians was the lasting impression. My takeaway is also despair.
      The film's selections of the surrounding materials was interesting. The surgery human interest story was the most extraneous. A few clips of Israel harel and "the temple mount is on our hands" was interesting in its selection.
      The woman and her kids next door to Gaza and the ptsd Galilee man were poignant.
      I like the way the Palestinian organizer says his aim is to affect 5out of 60 Palestinians. He was a revelation.
      The dialogue Phil Weiss proposes in the last paragraph in this post does not ring true. It's the only important dialogue? And you're a dialoguer?

  • What MLK's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' tells us about Ahed Tamimi in a cold Israeli cell
    • A slap would not have been considered nonviolent by those trained in nonviolence in the struggle for civil rights. And if Ben ehrenreich considers stone throwing as legitimate, it certainly is nowhere near nonviolent. (Throwing stones at soldiers is not terrorism; but it is not nonviolent.)

      The occupation of the West Bank is in many ways worse than Jim crow. But the goal of the tamimis is not as innocent as the goals of mlk. Their specific goals in Nabi Saleh are indeed as innocent as the goals of MLK, but the overall goal is entwined in a nationalist struggle that might be legitimate and justified, but certainly also involves concepts like armed struggle and questioning the rights of the jews to self determination. These ideas come from real grievance, but to confuse them with the black marchers who were waving the union (US) flag 100 years after the civil war was won by that flag, has an entirely different dynamic than waving the flag of Palestine.
      Too many justify the occupation. In my view the impatience of yeshayahu leibowitz and if not now protesters are certainly on the right track compared to those barely troubled by the status quo, but facile analogies still irk.

  • Israeli Jews will never accept Palestinians as equals -- Klutznick, chair of Americans for Peace Now
    • Donald- I think proposing analogies is part of the thought processes of argumentation. And they have some use, but limited use. The black slave situation which by 1963 was the century old former black slave situation is quite different than zionist yahoods versus palestinians, which is more analogous to white settlers versus native americans.
      It is natural for palestinians to view basel 1897 and Balfour 1917 as catastrophes and injustices. When I try to envision the state described by omar barghouti and abunima I don't succeed. Thus their tone of voice is real, whereas their ideas are theoretical.
      I don't know if phil's theory of Jewish American liberal zionists being the key to the issue is accurate, but it could be. In 1987 the first intifada broke out and it is now 30 years later and I did not expect democratic party support for Israel to last this long. In that time jesse jackson was a major star and he combined many layers: farrakhan, hymietown and viewing zionism as a poisonous weed. No one has been as powerful since in the pro Palestinian democratic party camp, although Jews feared and others hoped that Obama would claim the pro Palestinian mantle. And it seems like he wanted to, but poor timing (coming into office when bibi replaced olmert) and forces in the Democratic party limited his influence to the Iran deal, something achievable and away from Israel palestine.
      The American public at large don't think much about Israel palestine, but grass roots Democrats do.

    • Muhammad awad, mass movement?

    • Donald- I have little doubt that if unopposed the Palestinian majority would vote in an Islamic government and the "young Palestinians" that you cite will have as much power as the "young Egyptians" had under Morsi or have under al Sissi. There is no reason to assume that Palestine would be more tranquil, more democratic, more liberal than the countries that surround it.

      Obviously they are not unopposed and the Jewish Zionists of Israel are involved in the power that will determine the future.

      Insofar as the war of ideas, what I am suggesting is that the "young Palestinians" are proposing something new. Not kicking out all pre 1917 Jews from all of Palestine (which was the PLO charter pledge for the longest time) not kicking out all israelis from the west bank, which is the current pledge, but living together. Obviously "israel" and the blue and white flag do not represent their true aspirations, but somehow there will arise a new spirit of brotherhood and equality and that will rule because everyone, Palestinians and Israelis will be infused by this new spirit. If you don't see how radically new this is compared to the previous pledges, then I can't help you. And i believe in order to take this radically new idea to heart, it needs a flag.

      Or a spokesman. The general tone of Abunimah and Omar Barghouti is not infused with this spirit, even though their enunciations of principles is dedicated to these principles. But as I said, I do not believe that electorally they would succeed to be the new leaders.

      In this weekend of Dr. MLK it is worth noting the long path from slavery to Selma '65. Slavery, civil war, reconstruction, jim crow and then the harry truman announcement to integrate the army. then the movement culminating in lbj's "we shall overcome" and US troops protecting marchers and Nixon enforcing the 1954 decision so that de jure segregation became an artifact of history.

      The ebbs and flows, contributions of various presidents: lincoln, truman, lbj and nixon, the willingness of the marchers to march under the american flag as their inspiring spirit, the slow march of history indicates the long march that history usually must travel to achieve the distance between emancipation in 1863 and LBJ's "we shall overcome". the dynamics that the palestinian movement as exemplified by mondoweiss seems to be advocating is that Israel is the south and the american political class is the north that will react to the injustice to the palestinians by enforcing the rule of american imposed self interest (and altruism) against the israelis, just as integration was imposed on the US south. because the US populace as a whole really does not care about justice in Palestine, the primary movers seem to be the grass roots of the democratic party and that is the target audience for this website and the movement's rhetoric. the involvement of american jews in the democratic party, certainly on the funding aspect, but also in the organizational and ideational aspects, makes american jews an obstacle or an objective of the rhetoric of this web site. and as such, I assert that the "equal rights" new tact, new objective, is vulnerable, because it does not represent the true political realities on the ground in Palestine or the tone of the "young Palestinians" that are represented by Abunimah and Omar Barghouti. And you can show films of Israeli soldiers beating Palestinians intercut with Charlotte marchers all you want and maybe the grass roots of the democrats will make american jewish sensibilities irrelevant as time goes on, but in the meantime, the rhetoric of "equal rights' is not believable both on the ground and in the general tone. (the tone is the same tone of rejection of the Jewish zionists and merely a concession to political reality, it is not the tone of reconciliation, it is the tone of nationalism and separatism/rejection.)

    • I have waved the blue and white flag, but I don't wave it anymore.

      This so called one state plan based on equal rights has not and will not soon be an expression of Palestinian mainstream thought. Palestine is devoted to a flag, and I get it. 1897 Basel, bad news. 1917 Balfour bad news. Blue and white is answered by Green black red and white. But if you wish to forge a new future...

      This one state equal rights campaign is half baked ideologically rhetorically politically communication of a new idea. It is empty rhetoric. The kick out the colonialist idea is well expressed. This new idea is not. The flag issue is besides the point.

      When will the Palestinians begin a campaign to get citizenship in jerusalem? Why not? Because the equal rights campaign has no strategy on the ground. It is empty rhetoric. Opposition to the zionists is well expressed and repeated by the choir. If you are proposing an equal rights campaign you need something more. The true haters: "we must get rid of the zionists." That s*** is loud. That equal rights s***? I can hardly hear it.
      (Please don't dwell on the use of the word "haters")

    • What flag do palestinians wave? the flag of equal rights? no. the flag of Palestine. come up with a flag, then you have a movement. until then, it's really not clear what you have. two leadership groups: fatah and hamas, neither of whom will come forward and say we want one state. unless it is the one state of pre 1967, that is: jews leave and we get our country back. which is clear enough, but that is not the cause of equal rights. or is that not yet understood. you can take the position of this land is ours and you are colonialists and must leave. or a position that everyone should be equal. and that position does not have a flag.

  • Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to 'Israel's might'-- Roger Cohen
    • It is difficult to imagine Jewish history without the establishment of Israel, but let's try. I think we'd need to eliminate the Balfour Declaration and imagine a British mandate in Palestine that gave some consideration to the multiple religions of the land of their mandate, but except for some minor protecting of holy sites, the mandate would have been to encourage financial growth and political maturity of the indigenous in the direction of self determination. Thus instead of 400,000 Jews in Palestine in 1939, we would imagine 120,000 Jews there; no Palestinian state yet, but no encouragement of Zionism.
      Then WWII occurs and in the aftermath of the war, Britain leaves Palestine, not in 1947, but probably closer to 1960 or so. In my scenario: a large exodus of Jews from palestine as a result of this independence in 1960, cutting the Jewish population from 120,000 to less than 40,000 primarily ultra Orthodox and those who are willing and able to blend into the ultra Orthodox milieu.

      Difficult to imagine.

      What degree of support was there for Israel in 1947 in America Jewry compared to in 1967. For one thing, the world shrank in the interim. The other side of the world (not quite, but more than halfway to the other side of the world) was quite distant in 1947 and not nearly as distant in 1967. transatlantic travel was not yet common in 1967, but tens of times more common than in 1947. Live television transmission was not a factor in 1947, but became a factor with morley safer videotaping the burning of the vietnamese village around 1967.

      Roger Cohen comes from Europe (certainly South Africa was a European colony and britain, despite the emotional nature of the relationship, is part of Europe.) As such his relationship to Jewish vulnerability is far different than american jews like phil weiss, whose grandparents left the old country back before world war I. as such he is much closer to the Holocaust and the European debacle and does not find the comfort or the exceptionalism of the American Jewish experience.

      Jews are more accepted in America today than they were in 1945. America is much more cosmopolitan today than it was in 1945 and the civil rights movement (in which Jews played a crucial supporting role) opened up society. I would not attribute the change to the existence of Israel.

      I think that the Holocaust and Israel are intimately tied in the psyches of many Jews.

      I think Phil Weiss is fortunate that when he was young his heroes were Vietnamese martyr burning monks and not concentration camp martyrs or Jewish partisans in the forest. I think his instinct is distinctly alienated from Jewish consciousness, that he thinks that when he was cracking wise against the rabbis in his bar mitzvah class that he was on the right track and all that Jewish stuff was a small pond that he was thrilled to leave. I think Judaism would have held him back and he only got as far as he did (before getting fired and then discovering the issue of antizionism) was because he really felt that shooting spit balls at the rabbis was the core truth of what there was to learn in hebrew school.

      There are many Jews who dismiss Jewishness and thrive as a result. They are Jews (part of a process of disappearing Jews, but still Jews as of the moment) and out of sociological curiosity it is interesting to hear how the grandchildren of those who were part of the old world of pre world war I have evolved over the last century. but my sensibilities are far closer to roger cohen's and he speaks to me in a way that phil weiss can not.

      I think that the conflict with the Palestinians is a god awful mess and that Israel had an opportunity to opt for a two state solution back in 2008 when Olmert was Prime Minister and Livni was heir apparent. They did not. out of hubris they thought they could win an election and they had all the time in the world. they did not. they handed the premiership over to bibi, who was not interested in a two state solution and thus we find ourselves 9 years later with no end in sight and thus the one state solution beckons.

  • From Spinoza to Vilkomerson, Jewish voices for peace have long been banned-- by Jews
    • (I contend that) spinoza's excommunication was undertaken because of the vulnerability of the jewish community in the netherlands. they did not want their own place in society endangered by a heretical jew, whose philosophy was inevitably going to cut christianity to ribbons. the only way to protect themselves against this vulnerability was to be cruel to free thinkers. tolerance might have meant wholesale persecution. better to excommunicate the free thinkers.

    • Chaim weizman's "wrong kind of jew" has been taken out of context by jonathan ofir(yet again). the british politician said, "all the jews I know are opposed to zionism" and this was true. the jews he knew were all upper class assimilating british jews who were uninterested in the long shot of zionism (which zionism certainly was until the balfour declaration). these jews had no interest in a long shot that was not designed with them in mind, but was designed for the teeming millions in eastern europe. these "upper class" british jews were interested in assimilating, in asserting that they were brits of the mosaic persuasion and waiting for british society to accept them fully as british (which was still a struggle early in the 20th century and even later). the Jewish middle class and working class and eastern european types (those still in eastern europe and those who recently immigrated from eastern europe to britain) had little to no interest in assimilation or alternatively had tasted the pogroms that put a lie to the ideal of assimilation, these were the millions that were supporting zionism. the british politician was polling an unrepresentative group. this was what weizman meant by the wrong jews. (like the person who says, I don't know how reagan won, not of my friends voted for him. well, you know the wrong people. wrong meaning, unrepresentative of the majority. your polling is off, not representative of the american people as a whole. the brit politician's polling was not representative of the Jewish people as a whole.)
      in a different context in 2018 if someone calls a jew the wrong kind of a jew it is condemnation, but reading weizman's statement in such a fashion is anachronistic and misleading.

  • 'Curricularizing Israel'-- the Hebrew program in suburban Chicago schools
    • Regarding Zionism's infiltration into Judaism: I think in the aftermath of the Shoah the creation of israel inevitably got all tangled up in the conception of God. If one believes in a God who stood silent during Auschwitz, there is a need for some sort of redemption and this is not only national but religious as well. And this is natural after such a shit storm to have some major convulsion.

      Personally, I think the shoah indicates a far more deistic god than a theistic god. but to those who cling to a more personal god, nay, in fact believe in a god who has chosen the jews to receive the torah and to suffer, such a god and such a belief is not going to treat the shoah and the establishment of israel as some historical blips, but as seismic events.

      to those who have never felt a religious impulse, though your humanism or political activism might have found a calling to be involved in this issue, but in fact religion is a major motif in the conflict and you sound like blind people discussing colors. there is more than religion in the conflict, but when you discuss religion, man. some of you, don't know what you're talking about. read william james.
      (or better yet read the bible and let the holy spirit take you. but seriously, deaf people discussing bach.)

  • Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of 'Jewish people' is assault on my religion -- Queens rabbi
    • Rabbi Shapiro- The ultra Orthodox are not ideologically Zionist, but they are right wingers. Yes, the reasons are individual survival rather than survival of the state, but they are overwhelmingly against the peace process and overwhelmingly suspicious of the intentions of the Palestinians. Nonideological, but yet the same political outcome at this moment in time. If the Palestinians wouldn't knife Jews in Shaar Shechem going to daven, maybe the haredi would think different, but the fact is most charedi want to go to the kotel, want to go via shaar shechem and object to stabbings.

    • Marnie- Ultra orthodox Jews fear Palestinian intentions and thus their opposition to the Oslo accords and the idea of plo or hamas becoming their new rulers. Can you assure them that their fears are ill founded? I doubt it. You can only tell them that whatever the rulers of Palestine will do to them is what they deserve. Small comfort. Actually zero comfort.

    • When David son of jesse, moved his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem, he made Jerusalem the capital city. This rabbi, whom Phil can't even bother to identify properly, exaggerates the lack of nationalism involved in the history of the jews. I think neturei karta, which seems to be who this learned rabbi represents, has some points, but let us not confuse insight with political relevance, or the orthodox viewpoint of 1939 with the orthodox viewpoint in 2018.
      The vast majority of orthodox jews accept zionism. Enthusiastically. Neturei karta and their position, is a small minority. Their influence is minimal.

  • Let the two-state solution die a natural death
    • I think there are some decent ideas in Professor Falk's presentation.
      the Edward Said recognition of the need for a Jewish element to the new Palestine is something that I hadn't heard before and it brought back his logical mind and sharp tongue and also his later years when he was not in the best shape.
      there is a piece by daniel kurtzer in haaretz: america can't save the two state solution. it added nothing new, but kurtzer is as mainstream american zionist as one can find and to hear him talking honestly about the future is quite an addition to the argument, from the point of view of an american zionist like myself.
      i do not see anything on the israeli horizon that gives me hope for the two state solution. do you expect anything new out of fatah or hamas? i don't.
      bibi holding on to power might mean nothing to the antizionist, but to the zionist it is an "interesting" moment, really unprecedented in my lifetime, for a prime minister to hang on so long and in such an ugly fashion. it is partially due to bibi's youth when he came to power, which is quite unusual in what has been primarily an old man's game. following trials and tribulations of bibi's political rough and tumble is unpleasant reading. there is no savior in the wings, but the ugliness of the play on stage is rather depressing.

      the withdrawal from gaza was not precisely a hopeful moment and i'm not saying that israel handled it in a way that promoted progress, in fact sharon designed it to be the new status quo. but the moment was far more hopeful than anything that's come since. when kadima was in power, i think that if the generals were seriously in favor of peace at that moment they should have gone to olmert and told him, "Do it! Now." they should have told livni. get this done now. it's now or never. and i think it could have been done. but the political will (lacking in the public) was lacking in the key generals at that moment and olmert and livni let the moment pass and it's not coming back. and i'll tell you one thing: if you think you're going to build a one state solution of reconciliation emphasizing the tone of voice predominant in this comments section, you're nuts. and that's why it seems far off. maybe as close as 30 years. of course if angela davis or cornel west takes over the democratic party... but i digress.

    • Likud led rightist parties have not ruled Israel throughout the 21st century. The Kadima party headed by Olmert was the exception to the rule. It was probably an anomaly, based on the momentary popularity of Sharon and pessimism is realism at least for the foreseeable future. (the best that can be hoped for is Yair Lapid, at this point). Nonetheless an internationally known jurist ought to include facts rather than sloppy inaccuracies in his published articles.

    • Richard Falk - Please link to Hamas agreeing to a 50 year hudna. I've never seen it and I'd love to see it.

  • Israel issues BDS blacklist against 20 organizations-- 'badge of honor,' Munayyer says
    • David Rosenberg in Haaretz claims that BDS is a monster that has died and that Israeli is reviving it only because of domestic politics. It gives an opportunity to right wing politicians to act tough. (Acting tough vis a vis rockets from Gaza might result in war, acting tough vis a vis BDS is a freebie compared to war.) He says that if these right wing politicians would shut up, BDS would remain a minor annoyance. I don't know economics, nor do I know David Rosenberg's reliability, but that's what he says.

  • If you genuinely back the Palestinian cause, you must support the right of return
    • A Palestinian living in Hebron under the Zionist occupation speaks of the future in a way that inspires a further loss of hope. Given the general ambience of hopelessness, it should barely register, i suppose, but it does. there is no reason for Mister Dwaik to wish to reconcile with the Zionists, his rhetoric of hostility is merely of a piece with the state of war, the state of occupation, so it merely reflects reality. When Herzl gathered in Basel in 1897 it was a dark day for the Palestinians, I hear you.

      I do not make an argument, moral or logical against Mister Dwaik's claim for the right of return. I merely predict: more war.

      those who point to the path of one state, it seems to be obvious that at the start of the process towards one state, that Palestinians need to demand citizenship in Israel. but Mister Dwaik seems to be making a two state argument. but the official story is that the two state solution is dead. is it alive or dead? i would have to call it in an induced coma with a bad prognosis. I would have to call the durability of the right of return question a nail in the coffin. so then onto the one state solution. and this: anyone who ignores process in regards to the one state question is being evasive. (the first step: demand citizenship for the palestinians in jerusalem.)

      The hope is that somehow Palestinians join the IDF and turn the IDF into a binational army and that's who controls Lydda. That's a century away. of course there would probably be a war before that, but there's no predicting.

    • Humor me: you're on a flight to lydda airport (which will not be called ben gurion airport, i presume) in this new palestine. Describe the army that controls the airport, describe the cause and effect that resulted in the changing of the guard. Describe the dislocations that pessimists were predicting and why the transition went smoothly.

      I cannot see such a new lydda airport, maybe your imagination can inspire me to imagine it.

    • I accept the desire of the Palestinians kicked out in 47-48 and later to return. But this acceptance does not translate into support.

      Those of us who have spent time in israel and who have close friends and relatives in israel adjust ourselves to the political realities on the ground. Not familiar with the Palestinian story, as much as I should be at least, I still have some adjusting to do to hear the story of the other side.

      To equate the netanyahu regime with the olmert or sharon or barak regime reflects the moment of crisis and distance from reconciliation that exists at this moment. there is much to be learned regarding the incomplete visions of reconciliation of barak and olmert and sharon, a man of action, left us with this current state vis a vis gaza, an occupation without one soldier on the ground, intermittent warfare since sharon's stroke has removed him from the scene. i think the deep state's desire to keep a much greater presence than the one envisioned in the geneva accord of beilin abed rabbo explains the handover of power from olmert-livni to netanyahu in the fall and winter of 08-09 and so there is something to be said for not blaming netanyahu, but something deeper.

      back to the right of return. it's a conversation stopper in israel. period. and given the context given it by most of its supporters, it is understandable why an imagined condition that has not existed for 70 years can be imposed without any attempt to even couch the return as a reconciliation, but in fact, it is imagined that the zionists will disappear with their suitcases and their passports and this is how it is described and imagined. and if there is a war of ideas and your idea is merely get your passports and leave, well, that's not a very deep idea.

      but again i accept the desire to turn back the hands of time, but time is one directional and so a description of the process and the mindsets, would create a vision to reach for, instead of the "go get your suitcases."

  • A foreign leader -- Netanyahu -- set Trump's agenda in Middle East, Michael Wolff book says
    • Netanyahu is proof that term limits for a head of state is a good thing. I read some columnist counseling Netanyahu to leave the stage with his reputation intact rather than drag it down with further machinations in the face of the current array of scandals. What has bibi accomplished? 1. He has solidified the occupation; made a 2 state solution more difficult to imagine. (I consider these mistakes, but to him, they're accomplishments.) 2. He has alienated American Jewish liberals, and American non-Jewish liberals. (Considering #1, this would have been inevitable, but hubris and autism has worsened the result.) 3. He has presided over: a war with gaza, an unsuccessful policy vis a vis iran, a us recognition of Jerusalem as israel's capital.

      Since the rabin assassination there have been five prime ministers, but bibi has predominated. His attitude towards change has been the most negative of the 5, most similar to shamir's attitude of doing nothing, which adds up to solidifying the occupation.

  • Israeli prosecutors try to make Ahed Tamimi a terrorist
    • Many Palestinians have recognized the importance of public relations, that a weak people cannot afford to alienate world opinion by utilizing any means of vengeance. Usually this recognition does not deny the deep anger that has its basis in the unjust facts, but nonetheless tactics should be guided by utility rather than vengeance. Some commenters here, see no need to think about tactics in this way.

    • amigo- the numbers in your cut and paste are wrong.

  • 'We have taken Jerusalem off the table' -- Trump bullies Palestinians
    • Trump's tweet was incoherent, which is maybe for the best, because what would lucidity plus trump add up to?
      Meanwhile fatah and Hamas do not seem headed towards reconciliation. Gaza's rehabilitation seems doable, but not without the political will of Israel and the Palestinians and the Egyptians. A steady hand at the helm of the white house would be useful, but the 4 parties of Israel Hamas fatah and Egypt are the primary parties.

  • Jewish activist who counseled Lorde on BDS gets the full 'kapo' treatment in the Israeli press
    • Jonathan Ofir- Far be it from me to tell you how to react to my reaction. But your heat is way off the charts and indicative of single mindedness, which might be a compliment, since my lukewarm response is singled out for your disdain.

      i suppose you are looking for "Amen's" or "so is your mother", the usual responses here and reacting to your post with a string of thoughts is so unwanted, that you cannot help but tell me to go away unless i have something grand to say.

      as to particulars: to include chaim weizman's "wrong kind of jews" with kapos and traitors is indicative of a black and white mind, and if that works for you, great, but it doesn't work for me.

      the issue here was first celebrity bds and then the use of "kapos", or the rhetoric that leads to the thought of kapos. celebrity bds is a topic that leads to meandering thoughts, n'est pas? and if you need an "amen" assaf wohl's comparison of bds to nazism is a pothole full of dirty water, something to be avoided.

      regarding this website's opposition to donald trump, i was referring to before the election, not since the election.

      assaf wohl sucks. i couldn't write twelve paragraphs on it. i read mondoweiss and write reactions in order to let my mind find outlet in the written word, if it is whataboutery to you, sorry for ruining this very exciting (sarcasm alert) thread.

    • This false dualism invoked here: Justine Sachs (the forces of light and goodness) on one side and Assaf Wohl (the forces of darkness and evil) on the other side is convenient and rings like a 7th grade comic book reading of the israeli public. including weizman's "wrong kind of jews" with "kapos" and "traitors" is similarly oriented for a black and white reading of all events and persons.

      Gideon Levy says that BDS is the only game in town and I will not attempt to argue that the Bibi govt. (and all it represents) would respond to nuance with nuance. Bibi is a man with a hammer and thus hammerlike essays like this one are appropriate to the general level of discourse.

      I might think that if there were any rabbis who were backing Lindy after his Des Moines speech, that comes pretty close to self abnegation past the point of a minimum of self esteem. but other than that usually early forties was a time of black and white and assaf wohl's prose is answered with black and white from ofir.

      this phase where performers choose to perform in israel and others choose not to is kind of interesting, not particularly pleasant phase, it makes the headlines and if any israelis change their minds based upon the entertainment boycotts at this point of time, this seems quite unusual. it is difficult for a layman to assess the economic impact of these boycotts, someone with an MBA working for the chamber of commerce of israel would probably have a better concept. the sheer propaganda value of "lorde" decides against. and conan pals around on the streets of tel aviv, seems juvenile, a type of sideshow, but probably the MBA I mentioned would put it in the context of other economics and could comment more astutely on the give and take.

      i suppose for me it is a way of taking my zionist temperature. how zionist am I feeling today? zionist enough to be offended by a new zealand pop star i never heard of before? leonard cohen comes to mind, his yahrzeit passed a month and a half ago and i know what kind of disrespect gets tossed to leonard from this website and so that's enough to tell me that emotionally, i am still as zionist as leonard cohen, olov hashalom.

      but honestly at this point the more interesting person is named donald trump, that the people on this web site did not oppose with anything approaching appropriate vigor. donald trump, "there are good people on both sides" in charlottesville, is an entirely suspect character and that is my primary reaction. The thing most wrong with this sentence: "Donald Trump, president of the United States, announced today American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital" is the subject of the sentence, donald trump. obviously hillary or obama would not have done it and it would take a maverick to do something like this, but trump is no maverick, he's a loose cannon, who says things like "good people on both sides" and that is the most worrying thing right now.

      seems to be that fatah really expected hamas to disarm, which is/was an outlandish expectation. and this lack of reconciliation is the background story of these antitrump rallies rushing the fence in gaza. On the other hand it is not quite clear what fatah's goal is right now, other than keeping up with the joneses (hamas) and showing that they are also "bad boys".
      the points of conflict are on the west bank, probably the same places they were on december 5th and so at points of conflict the demonstrations are "louder" and the friction is expressed by the israelis behind their plexiglass not allowing the palestinians to live in peace. (whatever the dynamics that are deeper than this, that is what the pictures say and have been saying for 30 years, it's 30 years since the beginning of the first intifada.) i would point to the arab world's turmoil as the key selling point for apathy towards the israeli offensive occupation on the american public's part. it will be interesting to watch the democratic party turn into the party of cornel west, but it doesn't strike me as something that will happen overnight, but as a white man (neglecting my faith for a moment, ha, ha, jew is just a faith) the democratic party is culturally alienated from white males and as much as i hate trump, i blame hillary for losing the election and not because of her neoliberal drone strike policies, i blame her for convoluted speech that makes people want straight talk and i think trump is not straight talk, he's a con artist from day one til today, til this hour, but it is the convoluted politically correct talk of hillary and her like that makes people want to hear someone talking different. and to fall for donald trump is a sign that the politics of the country is in a bad period and this tongue tied democratic double talk is what i blame.

      so the man of the year regarding israel/palestine is not ahed tamimi, but donald trump, the bad news that is hovering over the conflict.

  • Why liberal Zionists have nothing to say about Ahed Tamimi's slap and arrest
    • A simple statement: the occupation is ugly, gets disdain from mainstream zionists. The antizionist wishes to undo the nakba. Without showing a path from here to there, they say a wrong was done and must be undone. The liberal zionist says that undoing the nakba is an imaginary goal, but undoing the occupation is not imaginary.

      Meantime undoing the occupation also seems imaginary.

      Ahed tamimi is the face of the opposition to the occupation. It's useful for a movement to have a face.

    • The ahed tamimi incident/case. The occupation is ugly, but i must break bread with those who recoil at that statement and dismiss it. I, who break bread with relatives and old friends and come from a specific spot of demography and history.

      God bless the young uns not born in the shadow 10 years after, but born 40, 50 years after. Blessed are we to have young yehudim with a different point of view. Their energy should be a challenge and not an obstacle.

      Opposing the occupation means being in the opposition, but there is something known as the loyal opposition and many wish to claim this middle turf of loyal opposition, but the young uns will not put up with such politics and that's the way of the young.

      Yknow some yehudim grew up idealizing the partisans in the forest. (Think: bielski brothers) and there were others born to the Jewish faith of their nonbelieving parents who empathize with Buddhist monks self immolating in saigon. I don't think there is much choice involved in this difference. It's an accident of birth.

      And speaking for those who had ideations of the partisans, the journey from identity with a cause to leaving the loyalty of loyal opposition behind is further than the Buddhist monk ideation and the antizionist left.

  • Zionism didn't have to turn out so badly for Palestinians, says Roger Cohen
    • Phil- Schama's book and Cohen's piece were about western european history up until 1900. Your and Cohen's experiences in the post world war II era will be relevant when Schama's next book comes out. To inject Cohen's personal experience of a different period would not be relevant to the book being discussed.

    • I've been following the Israel versus Palestine story since 67 and in a daily way since 73, so you experts who speak neither of the languages and have never lived there for more than 2 months at a time, I'm supposed to prefer your analysis, you who've been following the story only since 2001?

      i would estimate that it is about fifty years away, the one state solution that you are aiming for. that time might be shortened by a campaign of some practicality, for example: encourage Jerusalem Palestinians to seek Israeli citizenship. Israel has turned most applicants away and a real effort to achieve single state civil rights for all status would be to start: on the front lines for full citizenship for Jerusalem Palestinians. there are a few valid reasons to oppose the idea of this campaign, but the current "campaign" (rushing the gaza fence) is pretty stale.

      ben gurion founded israel with great ruthlessness and some effectiveness for the short range. arafat was a major figure in the palestinian struggle, but the face that will achieve the breakthrough for the palestinians might still be in the maternity ward today, y'know the ones that bezalel smotrich dislikes because of the integration.

      if the future belongs to the one state paradigm, the roger cohen perception, which belongs to the two state paradigm, will eventually be clarified as an idea that didn't happen. i don't understand what phil weiss is harping on regarding roger cohen coming clean about the openness of western society to jews. Israel is not located in the west, nor are most of its citizens jewish or not, from the west. maybe all you really want is for roger cohen to channel the olov hashalom tony judt and call it an anachronism. i don't think it's an anachronism, i think it's a solution to a problem that does not exist globally but only in parts at times. the openness of america does not change the fact of israel's existence or explain the facts in the immediate vicinity of israel. arab hatred for israel is understandable and one can hypothesize a nonzionist alternate history where the jews who were integrated in arab society might serve a function of a bridge to the jews in western society and the entire dynamic might have been if not 180 degrees different, certainly quite different. but it's in fact a fact that the arab societies have been largely emptied of their jewish populations and that the influence of islam is such that coptic populations and christian populations feel insecure and to call jewish identity politics anachronistic is to treat the islamic part of the world as if they don't exist. in fact identity politics is certainly a major part of the culture in that part of the world and anachronistic means that the arabs are part of the past too, so the term anachronistic has got to go.

      i still feel the appeal of the two state solution and so i know where roger cohen is coming from. just read gideon levy about a debate between abunimah and some fatah bigwig. interesting.

    • There were a few factors that made the clash between Palestinian aspirations and Zionist aspirations inevitable on the level of the 47-48 nakba:

      1. Leadership- the choice of Husseini as mufti rather than someone from the less confrontational Nashashibi clan might have made a difference. Also Ben Gurion's ascendancy in the Yishuv eclipsed the more accommodating Weitzman.

      2.Demography- the increase of Jewish population from 90,000 before WWI to 175,000 in 1929 to 400,000 before world war I, which can be attributed to a. the closing of the doors of the west (not closing but certainly not open as in the 1881 to 1914 period) after WWI and through the 30's. and of course the added insecurity of Polish and German Jews in the years before WWII.

      and 3. History: One cannot determine what role the catastrophe in Europe played in the mindset of the leaders of the Yishuv and of Jews around the world, but certainly the mixed attitude in 1917 (Balfour) compared to the enthusiastic attitude in 1947 (UN Partition Plan) is largely attributable to the history that took place between the two dates. It is impossible to know what role that enthusiasm played in the decisions taken by Ben Gurion, but certainly it is impossible to dismiss it as minor.

      From the moment of the UN partition plan to the nakba, I have read nothing to indicate that anything could have been done to avoid the head to head clash that led to the nakba. (Given the leadership, the mindset and the array of forces, I cannot imagine that the Zionists or the Palestinians could have changed the course of history once the UN Partition Plan was passed.)

      (As far as the failure of Clinton and camp david 2000, there was a failure on the part of all the parties: Israel, the Palestinians and the Americans. The Geneva Initiative has its roots in the negotiations from that period that continued on by nongovernment representatives of Israelis and Palestinians. There were leaps of compromise that were possible when crafting an initiative rather than a peace treaty and a retrospective vision of the possibility of negotiating the Geneva Initiative in the summer of 2000 is a nostalgic mirage.)

  • The New York Times tries to make the Ahed Tamimi story go away
    • "settler Yossi Klein Halevi" settler is not used here to describe Halevi, but rather to dismiss him. The comments section here resembles that remark.
      Looking at Geneva accord maps of jerusalem. A likud govt. would only agree to such a map under extreme duress last seen in the first days of the yom kippur war, and such a scenario seems extreme. Maybe the tipping point in the Democratic party can revolutionize their party's attitude in a few short years.
      Been following this story nonstop since 73, so you newcomers might see what I'm missing.
      The Geneva accord map of Jerusalem does not entice. It is a cold vision. Better than the current state, an aspiration rather than conflict. Its day is not quite near.

  • Israeli Jews 'will never accept' giving vote to Palestinians -- liberal Zionist leader
    • Ritzl- It is not rationalization if you see it as survival. The settling of the west bank was not a means to achieve survival, but the existence of Israel is seen as survival for israeli jews.

      it is actually natural to wish to change the borders from june 4 67 to june 11 67 in terms of the west bank, in terms of security, and if i could push back the hands of time i would go back to june 11th and convince eshkol not to allow the return to gush etzion, for it is natural to wish to control that land, but if you settle it, then you have to have everyone having the same vote, and you can't have gush etzion electing a government that controls the army that rules the life of the man who lives 200 meters away, who has no vote.

      i can imagine a world where jews and arabs live in peace without such a preponderance of guns, unlike what exists today in jerusalem. and i think that imagination is useful. but one must realize the limitations of imagination as well.

      in answer to your question, most israelis view the settler enterprise as a fait accompli and thus the necessity of ruling the west bank becomes the necessity of depriving the west bank palestinian of his right to vote in israeli elections. what will it take to change that? something radical. israel is not a monolith and there is a left, as in those who regret the decision of eshkol in 67, the gush etzion mistake. maybe they have greater insight into what can change in the israeli psyche. but as i said, there are individuals. There are specific young israeli individuals who show that they are thinking about this problem and that gives me a glimmer of hope, but as for the masses. they don't regret the gush etzion mistake.

    • ritzl- I am not claiming that all things will stay the same forever. There is a possibility that the impossibility of perpetuity will be proven in the short term rather than the long term. but how can you prove that it will happen sooner rather than later? you can't. and what kind of a strategy is that? it's not a strategy, it's an attitude. I am saying that you guys need a strategy and as of now you don't have one and pointing out "in perpetual" is not a strategy.

    • Some differences: in south africa the ratio of the population was 10:1 black to white. In israel it is roughly 1:1. (When israel reaches 10:1, then expect a change of minds, until then, not?)
      South african buying habits caused the change of mind. Blacks boycotted white businesses and this is why the change happened. Such a boycott of Israeli Jews by Palestinian Arabs is not yet on the horizon and it is not clear that this will provide the necessary stimulus to change the minds.

      I have yet to see a rationale for what was the thinking of deKlerk. for example: i still hear people saying that de Klerk changed south africa overnight based upon rugby boycotts. If this is true, I can tell you straight up, that it will take a hundred more years, into a world of new minds for a rugby boycott to get Israelis to give up on the idea of a Jewish majority nation. This lack of an understanding of the South African revolution of mind is problematic if one is trying to conclude that it can happen here (in Israel/Palestine) as well.

      With the United Nations vague about the next step in 67, but quite clear that this side of the line is not Israel but occupied territory, the existence of two states as accepted by most of the nations in the world, the idea that Palestinians will be given full citizenship and abandon their united nations recognized right to an independent country, will certainly change the dynamic compared to south africa. All the talk of Palestinian leaders regarding one state is babble when in fact they are dedicated to either their one state on the legal side of the ledger and dedicated to denying the right of the presence of the Jews (as Abbas in his final stage of rejectionism) in any piece of the land, on the rhetorical side of the argument. South africa had an ANC that was asking for something specific: civil rights in South Africa, and Palestine has Fatah and Hamas not asking for this specific thing, how can one compare the two situations.

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