Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5921 (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 5921 - 5901

  • Shmuley Boteach seeks to blackmail Obama over his legacy
    • Excuse me for stating the obvious, but this is an attack on clinton. The day after the elections would be the time for such an ad, if the true target was obama. (I accept Dennis ross's analysis that a trump victory would increase the chances for Obama to leave office with such a lame duck, last act.) Calling attention to the Obama legacy on the eve of the debates is an attempt to capture the attention of those for whom israel is a primary issue and for whom such a resolution would be a betrayal. (The vast majority of jews for whom israel is a primary issue back the likud rather than Roger alphel's vision). Despite mw's well based opinion that haim saban makes hillary less likely than Obama to pressure israel, those who hate Obama (for his middle east policies), hate hillary too and consider her Obama 2.0 when it comes to israel. So boteach is backing trump with this advert.

  • The two-stroke solution
    • Whereas Obama's predecessors, Clinton and bush, had extended periods with cooperative Israeli premiers rabin, sharon and olmert, Obama's entire presidency overlapped with Netanyahu's term of office. The idea that a lame duck president will sign onto a un SC resolution that the elected president would object to is almost laughable. (I mean a reset or definition of 242) (in this season of trump, the laughable is not dismissable, but I think we can dismiss it.) A hail Mary pass on the last play of the game only makes sense if you have receivers in the end zone and neither trump nor clinton will back up such a declaration, so there is no receiver.
      The obvious fact is that this is an election season and Obama is hillary's surrogate at the moment. I think that the primary change that occurred during obama's tenure vis a vis Israel has been the collapse of the regime in Syria in the context of the Arab spring. The array of forces in syria, including russia iran and hezbollah and the enmity of Saudi Arabia towards those backing assad is a very real bleeding wound and the events in israel palestine are a minor bomb in a dumpster in comparison to a major geopolitical event.
      Who can tell the Palestinians that they have to wait until things calm down in syria. Their desire for freedom and a new direction is not going to be put on hold. But from a global viewpoint and a historian's viewpoint, it will be Syria (and anti Muslim immigrant emotions in Europe and US) that will be what the years 2009 to 2016 will be known for.
      Obama's only hope to pressure bibi was to go over his head to the Israeli people and the odds against that were always slim.
      The topic of the presidential library is more fit for the comments section, than the rest of the post, but it does raise the question of an Obama post presidency. Friends have mentioned a Michelle Obama run for office, but I scoffed that she does not have the fire in the belly that hillary always had. And what about Obama himself. He's not going to build habitats for humanity. Carter had unfulfilled ambition when he left office and his post presidency reflected his need to not allow his defeat in1980 to define him. Obama has no such need. But he's young and one wonders after a year or so, how he will deal with his "retirement".

  • Trump praises Israeli policy of ethnic profiling following bombing in Manhattan
    • Objections to the phone alert by mayor DeBlasio seem flimsy. Including the public in a manhunt is common and including the wanted man's name is common as well.

  • In Brookings poll, most Dems say $38 billion aid package to Israel is 'way too much' while the GOP is split
    • Israel signed a peace treaty with egypt in 1979 not 1974. I assume the large influx of aid in 1974 was forgiveness of debt for the massive infusion of arms during the course of the October 73 yom kippur war. Israeli cooperation regarding separation of forces agreements with egypt in January 74 and with Syria later that year, could have been instrumental in the forgiveness of that debt.
      And the second separation agreement with egypt which was signed in 75, involved pressure of various sorts. The steady aid to israel began after the egypt israel peace treaty was signed in 79.

  • 'NYT' editorial on US military aid leaves out Palestinians because it knows it would lose the argument
    • This "israel birthed hamas" is more historical curiosity anecdote rather than useful history. Do you really believe that of all Arab states in the region, where everywhere there is an Islamic party but only in "Palestine" there would be no such party, except for the evil Israelis and their plan that backfired. Great, so Israel's hubris is revealed again, but believe me, israel did not create the Islamic awakening of the post nasser era and this "israel created hamas" repetition is a distraction. Hamas is real and Islamism and Islamic parties are real.

  • Amos Oz would never stand in the street in Tel Aviv shouting 'Kill all the Arabs'
    • Antisemitism was one of the primary movers of European history in the first half of the 20th century . Oppression by the czars ensured the large role a small group of jews played in the Russian revolution and antisemitism was one of the primary tenets of the nazi regime. If jews continue to use this term rather than some other term that came into the vogue later in history, there's history there that favors the "older" term. Because the jews are not a race, the term "racism", is not an exact fit.

      Because the jews are partially identified by the Jewish religion, opposition to that religion becomes partially identified as opposition to the jews. There is of course "the problem" of post religious Jewish identification. This habit has ebbed and flowed in america and maybe elsewhere, and lacking the texts of a religion or the strict facial characteristics of the western definition of the nonwhite races, some condemn post religious Jewish identity and label it a psychological illness. This too is in opposition to the jews and is a form of enmity.

  • 'Peace Now' chief slams AIPAC for misrepresenting Jews -- but Peace Now is on AIPAC exec committee
    • Politics makes strange bedfellows. Apn sees an advantage to be inside the tent, but Phil Weiss wants them to choose to be outside the tent, just like Phil's compadres in questioning zionism, jvp. Another vote for purity and against any form of community consciousness.

  • Broadway club cancels 'Black Lives Matter' benefit because of movement's stance on Israel
    • The language of genocide is used against Israel in an attempt to make israel a pariah. America is in no danger of becoming a pariah. To compare the use of the term vis a vis america and vis a vis Israel is a weak point of argument. The bds movement and it's agnosticism vis a vis recognizing israel has no analogy in regards to america.

    • Some are practical and others are purists. The BLM people (and Phil Weiss) have chosen purity and language designed to alienate. We'll see how this plays out.

  • Dozens of Spanish cities declare themselves ‘Free of Israeli Apartheid’
  • It's war between Netanyahu and the generals (and the PM may just have lost the corporal)
    • The dynamics of the tensions between the generals versus the "right" is clear enough in avnery's piece. But it is the mechanics of this coming coup that eludes my imagination. Will the generals surround the knesset with their tanks, will they assassinate bibi and replace him with Gideon saar? Although scenarios might seem frivolous, without such a scenario, I am left with the impression that bibi will be in power for at least a while longer and he will not be removed by a coup.

      (If the generals had already started secret negotiations with fatah or hamas, and thus could seize power temporarily, impose a peace treaty on the state of israel and then give back the power to the knesset after a fait accomplis, this would be a scenario. I do not believe that peace is so close that a 365 day coup d'etat can reach peace with fatah or hamas, so this scenario seems unlikely.)

  • There's no room on campus to be progressive and pro-Israel
    • "There's no room on campus to be progressive and pro israel" reads the headline.

      Anyone familiar with mw and the comments section here is unsurprised by this sentiment. The question that comes to mind is the college kids with sufficient energy motivation for some involvement in politics. That is: If you are playing all or nothing, "if you like israel, get lost," then those who are political through and through can be given this ultimatum, and will be forced to study and choose, but I assume many on campus have a less motivated outlook, as in, yes I am concerned, but I'm no fanatic, not like the gung ho extremist unreasonable types (if your gonna carry pictures of chairman mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow ) and when you start telling these people: no room for pro israel and progressive, this type of student will say sayonara, or l'hitraot, as in "later, dude."

  • Liberal Zionists see 'window of opportunity' for two states in last three months of Obama administration
    • If trump gets elected, God forbid, I doubt Obama would make a major move like a un SC resolution or even a speech with Obama parameters. Not Obama's lame duck role to present the president elect with a fait accomplis which a un resolution would amount to, and a statement of parameters would evoke laughter and scorn.

      If hillary gets elected it is still a long shot. I can't see her giving her approval and then the dynamic of lame duck and president elect will again apply. To present this as hillary disagreeing with this Obama move, but forced to accept the reality of one president at a time, it's tough to view this as a probable scenario.

  • Marc Lynch warns against the U.S. escalation in Syria
    • Annie robbins writes: "I've read several times over the years that popular support for the assad regime was over 50 %."

      1. Such a claim should be accompanied by at least one source, no?

      2. Tell us about the reliability of polling in a totalitarian state. Tell us about the reliability of polling in the time of civil war.

      And then annie robbins writes this: "they wouldn't need all these foreign fighters if the majority of the country wanted to oust assad."

      Why bother with democracy, elections or even polling, all you need is the proof of weapons and armies.

      If not for hezbollah iran and now russia, you think assad would still be in power?

      Here's what I think: the assad regime before 2011 was one of the worst in the world in terms of democracy.

      This did not make it wise to turn popular demonstrations into an armed conflict, but it does obligate honest people to recognize the oppression suffered by a majority of the Syrian people before armed conflict began.

      It turns out that however regressive and dictatorial the assad regime, there can be something even worse, including a stalemate civil war. But those who think that such a revelation allows them to label assad as the choice of the Syrian people ought to consider leaving the field of journalism and find a good propaganda news site who can use such nonsense instead of analysis. Oh, you found such a site. Oh.

  • Trump team campaigns hard for votes one place it stands to do well -- Israeli settlements
    • American citizens who are Jewish are being courted in israel as part of a general campaign to increase trump support among orthodox jews living in america.

      Electorally, this vote is most relevant in Florida.

      The supporters of Israel who are most passionately opposed to the iran nuclear pact, are portrayed as devoted to the settlement enterprise. The leftover anger at Obama and overflow to hillary, has very little basis on issues (compared to rhetoric which was wobbly from Cairo til more recently) for Obama (although questionable re: attitude during the war against gaza), in fact gave israel steady support. Regarding the iran treaty, not so. (This is the perspective of most israel supporters who have studied the pact. As for me, a 10 to 15 year respite from the "iran is a danger" drumbeat is welcome and I accept the logic of the world view of the pact as representing the interests of America as seen through the eyes of Obama's voters/supporters. But to those who are preoccupied with- good deal, bad deal, among those for whom israel is a major concern, the bad deal opinion of the pact is widespread.)

      As a population vulnerable to supporting trump out of hatred for hillary, the orthodox community is a primary target. They hate hillary. In part because they love the settlements and she doesn't, but I think mostly out of the attitude towards the iran pact.

      Have to mention immigration. Israel supporters are not gung ho regarding a wall between here and mexico, but limiting immigration of Muslims and thus limiting their electoral power, ( as embodied in the terrorist attacks of San Bernardino and orlando, the physical danger is a fear tactic regarding low probability events (relative to 300 million, less than 70 killed in those two events is low probability), but changing demographics and voting patterns are high probability.

  • Liel Leibovitz wants to excommunicate most American Jews, beginning with Beinart
    • Abraham son of Terach, is best known for almost sacrificing his son, but the text sings his highest praises in the context of teaching his family to do justice ( which the narration tells us, right before Abe bargains with God for the sake of the people of sodom). Clearly the text values justice and kindness and the artificial denial of the important role of kindness in the torah seems a trifle too pat.

      Although liebovitz emphasizes the giving of the torah, I would emphasize the content of the torah, specifically monotheism and shabbat. It is possible to be an atheistic jew, but it seems to be a passing phase. Some politician once pointed out to someone who touted a plan, arguing because long term gain outweighed short term pain, by saying, "People live in the short term." And it applies here too. Humans , each of us as individuals, are a passing phase. So any jew who wrestles with belief in God (let alone a revelation, especially one as specific as Sinai) is wrestling as a human being and conceivably as a jew with the question of belief.

      Sabbath is the primary Jewish ritual. Passover is only once a year, but sabbath is once a week, and if you are disciplined enough and innovative enough and creative enough and can succeed in keeping the sabbath, you have made a giant stride in the direction of ritual judaism and I am not surprised to hear disdain towards ritual, certainly in reaction to liebovitz 's denial of "love of neighbor" one can expect the retaliatory denial of "love god" and the disdain of ritual, but the sabbath is the ritual core of judaism.

  • Progressive foreign policy missing from revised Sanders revolution
    • Citizen- Is it that difficult to spell my name?

    • Palestine is not Bernie's primary cause. Wealth distribution is. His secondary cause at this moment of time is defeating trump.

      On November 9th, if things go well, there will be a new day and room for a new secondary cause.

  • Let's talk about Russian influence
    • If person A had info that there was no US ship in the area, based upon his assumption that the orders were carried out, then this person had no idea that he was endangering the US sailors, and assumed that he was helping israel without endangering americans.

    • Annie- altho the moment of the event is burnt into my memory, the details required that I reexamine the issue. It seems that the chief of staff rabin was in on the action. The assertion of dayan's involvement seems to be based on bias, rather than proof. The lack of a motive other than part of the war being fought on that day at that moment in egypt, which makes error the most likely explanation, does not restrain those who wish to find other explanations, way beyond the day's battles in Egypt. But here's a theory. The US Navy ordered the ship out of the area, but it stayed where it was in defiance of orders, because it did not wish to listen to orders, but preferred a different approach. Assuming someone knew they were ordered out and defied those orders, that navy person was to blame. Let's assume there was some collaboration between Israel and the US to the extent that Israel could call up the US Navy and ask, do you have a ship there, and the answer comes back, "No, our ship was ordered elsewhere." Does that not sound feasible. But instead of searching for the feasible, it is Israel's attack on the golan and a general rabid dog philosophy that explains what happened.

    • Page: 59
    • Believe it or not, I enjoy talking about the USS liberty, particularly getting responses from Keith and citizen is quite rewarding. Mostly because I remember hearing the news from my English teacher, mrs. Ingerman, so it allows time travel like no other event ever discussed here.

      A quick dip into the controversy is not refreshing. The death of Americans killed by Israeli pilots and sailors is the ultimate nightmare and a horrible act if intentional and a horrible mistake if it was a fuck up, which I suspect because I have yet to hear a convincing motive. Invasion of golan was being protected? I don't buy it. Dayan being aggressive to prove he's a rabid dog. When there is no motive this is the musings of sophomores.

      But moreso i don't buy lbj as Zionist stooge. Lbj was following that war blow by blow, you better believe and playing a chess game against the USSR, but the only motive we hear here is November 68. This i don't buy. I don't buy lbj as a traitor nor as an idiot.

    • The event itself of the attack on the USS liberty, has never made sense to me as a decision of someone high ranking, it seems like a low level error. As regards to lbj, I think that an analysis of the Glassboro summit of June 67 is necessary to get an accurate idea of lbj's priorities, and blaming him for being a Zionist stooge is ignorant. He had a strategy and I believe all decisions including reaction to the attack reflected his overall strategy.

  • A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics
    • Clearly the only way to combine the attitude of the Olympics and bds, is to forfeit any match against an israeli. To compete with an Israeli and then refuse the handshake looks petty. Everyone in the choir approves , but to everyone outside the choir you look childish.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
    • Roha- to clarify. The bad antisemitism says, "the only good jew is a dead jew", but the new (good?) antisemitism says, "the only good jew is a former jew".

    • My own opinion is that the Judaism/Jewish identity construction is a complicated burden and even without the facts of zionism and Israel's history a perfectly rational perspective on this historical and religious and identity formation construct would be difficult. And though for you it may have proven simplest to reject it from a to z, it ain't a one size fits all kind of thing. There are pulls and "rewards" that religion, tradition and identity provide for the individual and your choices, reactions and life story are yours and do not describe the totality of possible human experience, not even half, but certainly not all, and your condemnation of all other reactions to being born jewish, all others other than yours, ms abarbanel, they are all unhealthy and only your pure path is the healthy one. Such dogmatism is reminiscent of religious types: narrow minded religious types. Talk of your zero sum solutions. Follow me to the land of post Jewish health or else accept being called a cult, the only cure for which is radical reeducation. Right or wrong, you sound like a dictator.

    • If judaism and Jewish identity is a cult, and you are opposed to cults, are you then anti-jewish? And if you are anti jewish, then why get upset when people call you antisemitic? Why not explicitly say, "I am antisemitic and I'm proud to be antisemitic."

    • Regarding a Jewish face: before we get too scientific, let me offer this joke told in Brooklyn by Russian Jews on the topic of the dangers of returning for a visit to Mother Russia (or Ukraine) after taking up American citizenship:
      "They do not punch you in your American passport, they punch you in your Jewish nose."

  • The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism
    • I think that if any comment suggested the self destruction of Islam in the terms used to celebrate Judaism's failed paradigm, that the commenter would be censored and if not, condemned for islamophobia.

      The question raised by the comment: If one rejects the akeda story, does one necessarily root for the abolition of judaism and/or jewishness?

      (Akeda is the traditional term used to describe the binding, the near sacrifice of isaac. )

      There are ways of rejecting Abraham's attitude and accepting the story: as in seeing Abraham's willingness as less than optimal, that he misunderstood the command, or somehow was supposed to ascend to a different standard, but failed because he was unable to transcend the prevailing culture that valued obedience over rebellion, unable to toss his connection with God and face life bereft of his sustaining faith.

      The overwhelming traditional view of Abraham as hero can be rejected, without rejecting judaism.

      Nonetheless, he who has not delved deeper into the varieties of interpretations, in his superficial, rookie knowledge of the texts, might feel there is only the choice: endorse Abraham or reject him. And choosing to reject, he sees this episode as essential to judaism and to Jewish history, so once he rejects abraham, he feels he must disavow the whole kit and kaboodle.

      In fact a rejection of obedience and a rejection of the jews and their laws might be seen in paul's rejection of the law and his substituting the grace of god. (Ironic though, for the grace of God is achieved by the sacrifice of the son by the father, this time yahweh as father and Jesus as son, but unlike Abraham's incomplete act, this death/murder was taken to the end.)

      There are many reasons to reject judaism and a free discussion would subject the Koran to the same scrutiny that the torah and indeed the bible is subjected to here. He who is driven to reject the torah because of Abraham could easily have found other reasons for labeling torah as a failed paradigm. Yehudim who choose to continue the chain of existence of the Jewish experience, by having kids and teaching them torah, texts, traditions and history, are choosing to follow a path that contains much richness. If they can combine those particular riches with a rich worldly modern culture then they are on a good path, despite Abraham's failure.

    • Annie robbins- in fact the concepts "destruction of the jews" and "disappearance of the jews" are considered twin ideas by the superficial people who call the assimilation of the jews (through intermarriage) a silent holocaust, which I consider a superficial and facile and morally questionable equation.

      All humans should be concerned re: the physical destruction of the jews. (There are some here who will react: they only got what they deserved, or alternately: If only they would have moved back to brooklyn poland and Germany, back where they came from, they could have avoided this physical destruction.) But for the most part even here in mw's coment section advocacy of or apathy towards the physical destruction of the jews is rejected.

      The question of the survival of the cultures and languages of the jews is an entirely different question and I can appreciate that uninvolved bystanders might feel apathetic: the world is changing and so it goes, if Jewish cultures cannot survive the onslaught or challenges of modernity:so be it. Survival of the fittest (in terms of culture and not in terms of physical destruction) should be the rule. (Of course those who long for the disappearance of small cultures and small languages are in a separate category of rooting against all non utilitarian cultures, and I find their attitude suspicious and amoral, but that's a separate category. I am referring to the apathetic rather than the antipathetic.)

      In fact the survival of the Jewish cultures is a difficult task. Given human nature, an open society of free association and secularism, modernity and the Christmas season, without effort, the Jewish cultures will slowly or quickly disappear. And I do not expect someone with no stake in the matter to shed many tears over this disappearance. Only if someone claims to care about the jews and in the next breath to express this apathy, only that person do I consider to be full of it.

    • Yakov Hirsch- Thanks for mentioning my name out of nowhere. Your adaptation to the lower percentiles of MIA etiquette is impressive.

      I have never attacked Gideon Levy. He lives in Israel and his bona fides vis a vis his Jewishness are established by that fact.

      When Phil Weiss attacks Israel based on his American senses and his human senses, I have accepted his words as given. When he flashes his Jew card and says, "see, I'm a Jew and I'm against Israel," it is only then that my back gets out of joint.

      Some Jews do not care about the disappearance of the Jews. I don't see anything evil or blind or self hating in that attitude. But then when they pull out the Jew card and start up and claim to care about the Jews in one breath and then wax wise about how hundreds of languages disappear all the time, so who cares if the Jewish languages (and cultures) disappear, then there is something fishy.

  • Beinart calls anti-Zionists 'revolutionaries'
    • Every once in a while Phil Weiss compares zionism to the shabtai zevi movement. Why? Most people are unfamiliar with the name and those few familiar must scoff at the superficial nature of the comparison. It seems sophomoric, trying to prove Phil knows and cares about Jewish history.

      The shabtai zevi movement was irrational, without cause, focused on a specific human for a specific role. Zionism had two causes: assimilation and antisemitism, was focused on taking the initiative as a group rather than concede the moment to immigration with individualistic motives and designed to defy the passivism of the rabbis. At the center of any accurate story of zionism's prebirth is the turmoil of europe, the home of the birth of the movement. Nothing in the false messiah hood of zevi had any relation to history that compares to the turmoil of the first half of the 20th century.

  • Israeli settler leader, rejected by Brazil, gets warm welcome in New York
    • Poor Jane Eisner- no matter how left wing the roots of the Forward and her own roots as well, the Forward is as mainstream as it gets and she smiles when meeting the consul from Israel, no matter how right wing.

      As far as labeling Dayan a criminal of international law, though technically accurate, (so therefore inappropriate for the politician to counter with "liar"), it is very way out and in concert with other "over the top" uses of language that we have seen this past week.

  • 'LA Jews for Peace' proudly endorses platform of 'Movement for Black Lives'
    • This is off topic and a couple days later, but since Annie is present in this discussion and it is her "lament" (that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem was merely symbolic as embodied by their physical refusal to move en masse or even in significant numbers to Israel throughout the centuries) that is my focus, it's an opportunity to speak.

      Today is the 9th of Av. This year it is celebrated on the 10th of Av, (delayed by the concurrence of the 9th of Av and Shabbos, aka Shabbat).

      When Napoleon heard the Jews (of Paris?) lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem, he marveled at the continuity and solidarity of the peoplehood of the Jews.

      The Jews might have continued to long for Jerusalem at a distance on the 9th of Av, but a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, history. And history both the raw kind like the European tumult from 1914 to 1945 and the subtler kind like modernization, secularism, rationalism occurred to the group of people who identified themselves as Jews in contradistinction to the wider societies. This process lagged in Czarist Russia and it was there that most of the world's Jews lived in 1880. The process of moving to America and adopting America and Americanism, contributed to the dissolution of the peoplehood that Napoleon perceived. Nationalism is a construct and it is a construct that can be processed out of people through migration and secularization, and in fact the Jews of America are really not a nation, except if they pray and identify with the religion of old, or if they identify with the Zionist effort.

      The Jews were passive previous to Zionism. This sentence is obviously an exaggeration, but let me continue. The attachment to Jerusalem would have changed as a result of modernity, that is with the advent of television and frequent air travel, it would have been inevitable that the relationship of the Jews with the land would have changed. (that is those Jews who received their inspiration from the prayers and holy books of the religion.) But in fact, there was a long tradition of passivism, of suffering as a fate decreed, as paying for some sin of our fathers and viewing the exile as a state of mind, a distorted, even crippled state of mind.

      These are constructed images and ideas. The connection of the Jews to Israel, say in 1803, was totally different from most connections that people felt towards a land. When I was a kid some kid in my class knew of a place called Eden and thought of it as the Garden of Eden. (maye he meant Aden.) When a Jew sits as if mourning in reaction to the destruction of Jerusalem, that is significant. And secularism can rinse that nationalism away and so it has been and might have remained if only history had been a bit kinder.

      So, the Jews are connected to Jerusalem and for me the commemoration of the 9th of Av is a symbol of the incompleteness of the redemption and it is not only mankind that is unredeemed, but particularly Jerusalem.

      To my Arab and Palestinian brothers and sisters, (children of the one creator), the Jewish people of Jerusalem need you and for the most part they deny this. I don't know if there is anything to be done. It seems that history has its own momentum, but it is passivity that concedes defeat to history. I wish I had a way to wake up my Jewish Jerusalem brothers and sisters, but they don't hear me. This is not a proposal. It is a lament.

    • pabelmont- you disagree with this post, in that you think the term "genocide" fits some definitions. this post disagrees with you. based upon the content of the objection of LA Jews for Peace, I feel that they should express their objection even a little louder, that's all. those who have no objection to the use of the term, then the considerations are as you say, is it good for the Palestinians or bad for the Palestinians. My level of comfort is besides the point.

      my own take on "genocide": i've heard it before and i've read the textbook definitions. i think the excess killing of civilians in Gaza in 2014 was horrible and i seek to have the modus vivendi vis a vis gaza changed as soon as possible so as to avoid the next excess killing. i cannot say that i oppose the jews having an army of their own, okay, the zionist jews having an army of their own and I think the mindset of the use of the term "genocide" puts the conversation where it needs to be vis a vis stopping the next round in Gaza, but I think it miseducates people vis a vis the Jewish presence in Palestine. to be clear: Let BLM use whatever term they want. But I am allowed to react. I realize that when ADL reacts people listen and that's the essential question vis a vis big organizations like ADL and those who feel compelled to skewer and mock the ADL, fine. but as an individual person, my comfort level aside, i feel there is a whole rigmarole that comes with the language that was used and I think the use of the term miseducates people.

    • Since LA Jews for peace objects to the use of the term "genocide", shouldn't they have at least tempered their pride with critique and noted that the use of this term serves the purpose of putting Israel beyond the pale and such a perspective is unhelpful.

  • Netanyahu's Academy-award performance of dehumanization is why the conflict persists
    • annie- you've already informed us that you believe in only allowing the choir to participate in the comments' section. yakov hirsch seems to belong to your church. on the street on east 14th street in manhattan, there were people who were capable of conversation and those who were only capable of hearing their own voices. i am sorry that yakov and you are incapable of conversation.

    • yakov, I'm sorry that you feel that everyone has to react the same way to what you write.

    • I agree that Bibi's performance deserves to be mocked and skewered. The distance between Israel and the Palestinians vis a vis an agreement is difficult to determine at this time, partially because Bibi, who is in control for the foreseeable future, has no interest in an agreement. This lack of interest in an agreement seems to me to be impractical.

      if we consider the olmert proposals as point A and the Geneva "accord" of Beilin- Abed Rabbo as point B, there is not that much distance between point A and point B. Will Hamas, the newest player agree to Beilin-Rabbo?Unclear. So that's the other aspect of the distance from here to an agreement. in fact point A is bibi, point B is olmert, point C is geneva "accord" and point D is Hamas. that is the distance that needs to be covered and so there is a reason beyond bibi's stupidity or cruelty that this distance will not be easily covered soon.

  • Solidifying behind Clinton, foreign policy establishment gins up a cold war with Russia/Iran
    • Where my biases are: The US armed power was a force of good in the world during WWII and the cold war (European front. not such a force of good in other parts of the world, but nonetheless the defeat of the Soviet Union was a worldwide effort and my biases are in favor of the resulting "freedom" for eastern Europe).

      I am sort of biased against Ukraine because of Chmelnitsky and the experiences of my grandparents and because of that I work against that bias and want Ukraine to be as free as possible from Russian intervention and invasion and coercion.

      I think the Assad regime in Syria was one of the most repressive regimes in the world before the civil war started.

      Not a bias, but an adjustment: The rebels against Assad may be worse than Assad.

      Not a bias, but an adjustment: The US public feels that the war against Iraq was a waste. And President Obama's stepping back from the red line (vis a vis Syria) that he drew was a reflection of that attitude of the vast American public. Hillary's stepping towards making war is not part of the desire of the American public.

      I think Putin is a thug, but an assessment of what should be done in the world should reflect: 1. the will of the American people and secondly 2. the assessment of the foreign policy experts and Putin's thugness has zero effect on the will of the American people and foreign policy experts will certainly factor in Putin's thugness when considering their game plans, but an emotional reaction to Putin's character is not appropriate.

      I have not read enough to come across a game plan vis a vis Syria that has impressed me as wise and I am not sure where wisdom and discretion would lead in terms of an optimal US reaction to the situation of Russia vs Ukraine.

  • Black Lives Matter will defeat the Israel lobby (because the lobby can't debate reality)
  • Jewish organizations' response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel
    • It could be that the zero sum argument is ultimately most just or most predictably the way that history will travel. But I am opposed to the zero sum game argument.

    • Well, I've done more thinking than before about the word "genocide" and I really don't know enough about the Farhud and Iraq, but it seems clear that given various pronouncements by the Czar's ministers, the pogroms after the May Laws of 1882, were in fact genocide.

      The use of the world "genocide" like the use of the Nazi analogy, has consequences of the zero sum game. How can we talk to them? How can we think about them? They must be utterly defeated.

    • According to the UN definition, the pogrom of Kishinev was an instance of genocide. It seems to me that this is not the street meaning of genocide. There is a problem of the numbers game. Is 10,000 dead civilians genocide? Is 100,000? Is 1,000,000? There is a certain coldness in starting down that road. But the fact is that I do not consider Kishinev or the Farhud to be instances of genocide and so the UN definition is not really what I mean when I, a nonlawyer, use the term genocide.

      It is now 2 years after the Gaza conflict, in which Israel killed hundreds of civilians including children. I do not need to call it genocide to condemn it, and I actually am able to respect people who do not condemn it, but I do. As in: Israel under Bibi should (must?) negotiate a modus vivendi with Gaza despite its Hamas "owners", so that another occasion of "mowing the lawn" is not put into effect by the Israeli government.

      If you feel that adding the word "genocide" contributes to a discussion about Gaza, let me hear your argument.

  • Dream Defenders statement on the condemnation of Movement for Black Lives platform by some pro-Israel groups
    • No, not delayed until November, just delayed a few hours. I do not support BDS. I do not attack BDS as antisemitic, but I do not support it. The gap that has widened between my position and the position of Herzog for example compared to my support for Rabin, is what I study and analyze and wonder about and I wonder about the future. I do not stop reading Haaretz because a couple historians express their views and I went to hear Gideon Levy speak, maybe 6 years ago, not sure when, I agreed with everything he said, but I was "impressed" by his Israeli-ness, no real attempt to speak to anyone who does not agree with him, very Israeli compared to Beinart for example who is quite american.

      I understand that this site is dedicated to BDS and I sit on the sidelines and watch while Bibi continues to lead the country. My cause right now is Gaza. Let Israel reach a modus vivendi with Gaza, despite Hamas, because Hamas is going to be in charge for the foreseeable future and I say, negotiate a modus vivendi with Gaza as represented by Hamas. I fear that it is domestic politics which holds Bibi back rather than principle or pragmatics on the issue of Gaza.

      The political horizon vis a vis Jerusalem and the West Bank is far murkier than the clarity I have regarding Gaza.

      It is really possible to hold hands with Black Lives Matter and disagree on Zionism. I won't be holding hands with them anytime soon. Now, if BLM wishes to refuse to hold hands with Zionists, that's their business. I'm an old fogey and my experience is different from yours and from the young people of color at BLM and that's just the way the world is. The lack of realism on the part of Bibi and the right wing coalition that he sits atop is rather staggering. And I can dig the impulse that you have in favor of BDS and I accept most of the rhetoric of Shmuel regarding BDS, but i am of a different generation, with a different history than yours.

      I cannot wish that the Jews never got into the territory/army business. (I have four branches of family and two were sawed off by the Nazis, one reached America and one reached Palestine. Those who oppose Zionism, in effect wish that three of the branches had been sawed off instead of only two.) It is great to imagine a world in which the Jews had remained a wondering people with portable nationality and it is a bit of a shame that martial arts became the organizing principle of Jewish nationality. But I cannot approve Zionism circa 1935 and reject Zionism circa 2016, not to the extent of BDS, I can't. Because I approve of Zionism and disapprove of the settlement enterprise I am a spectator in comparison with those who either approve of BDS or approve of the settlements.

      The goal of BDS is for some army to take over Lod Airport and remove the Israeli soldiers from Lod Airport and put it under the UN or something. I can't support that. I don't support that. And if BLM cannot hold hands with people who agree with me, well, they'll find other people to hold hands with and people who agree with me, will have to figure out a way to work for peace in America (while opposing the removal of Israeli soldiers from Lod Airport.)

    • Some of the Jewish supporters of BLM are vociferous opponents of the settlement enterprise and although those who condemn Israel root and branch will not accept them, i feel that whatever complaints those individuals have against this manifesto should be respected.

      Because I feel that the Trump candidacy is the primary issue at this moment, I feel that the exact way of handling this attack on Israel root and branch, can be delayed by myself for the present. I am not a leader. I would wonder how Peter Beinart would react to this.

  • Out of 1.8 million Gazans, 250 over age 50 are allowed to travel to Jerusalem to pray
    • MHughes- I oppose Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount at this time. The Temple Mount was captured by Israel and as such its disposition is in the hands of the UN Security Council who declared it to be occupied territory. (a lawyer could phrase that better). So essentially I agree that prayer on the Mount should be limited by the circumstances.

      Those who doubt that there was once a temple on the Temple Mount, probably have never been in the old city of Jerusalem and are basing their surmises upon their readings. Because I have no such doubts regarding that there was once a temple on the temple mount, i accept that the impulse for Jews to pray there is strong and if this were not a war situation I would favor civil disobedience of Jews to push for prayer on the mount. But it is a war situation and it is wrong to use soldiers to force Muslims to accept Jewish prayers, this is not the way that the verse "and my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations" was meant to be read and thus I oppose Jewish prayer on the mount at this time.

  • Anti-occupation activists stand with Black Lives Matter as Jewish orgs attack movement over Israel criticisms
  • The 'New York Times' is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism
    • Harold Bloom suggests one of two English names for the old testament: the Original Testament or the Hebrew Bible.

  • Jews need to study the Torah in order to criticize Israel, Beinart says
    • old geezer- simply put - a Christian jew or a Muslim jew is a strange category to me and I must admit I am uncomfortable with these blurred lines, much moreso than the blurred lines of secular jew. Still my discomfort does not stop me from wondering about my fellow neighbor's sense of identity. I would be interested in asking the person how they define themselves and why they call themselves jewish? Here are some possible answers: 1. Christianity is an extension of judaism and my Christianity is how I best practice judaism. 2. Jewishness describes my social background, the culture I was raised in, the books I read, the movies I like, the foods I like, the politics I like, and Christianity is my belief system, totally independent from my culture. 3. Listen, to the nazis I still belong in the gas chambers, so even though I accept jesus as the son of god, they still want to exterminate me for being a jew, so screw them, I am a jew, hated by the nazis for my dna for the blood that flows in my veins, so if the nazi calls me a jew, then damn straight, I'm a jew.

      Having been raised in a Christian society, I m far more familiar with jews who have accepted jesus or jews who have mixed Jewish and Christian parents, so even though theologically islam is far more similar to judaism in terms of one god who has no body or physical offspring, I am far more practised in the attempts to decipher or imagine a Jewish Christian mixed identity rather than a Muslim Jewish identity, but I don't think my imagination would vary much from the Christian Jewish examples offered above.

    • Traditionally a place at the table for adults (which meant men in the eastern european jewish communities) was reserved for the men of means and the men of learning. For learning of texts to be an entrance ticket to the table today hearkens back to that earlier time.

      The survival of the Jews despite the persecutions, is an early indicator of the changing identity of the Jews, that is: it is no surprise that secular Jewishness and secular Jews, played a major role in the history of the world in the last century or so. The case of Karl Marx is not exemplary, i don't recall at what age Karl was dunked in the baptismal font, and his antisemitism that was expressed later, puts him in his own file of self hating Jew, (post baptism). The cases of Freud and Einstein on the other hand: 2 of the most famous personalities of the early twentieth century- and the persistence of Jewish identity in these two figures, although their place of origins: Germany and Austria and the eventual cataclysm of German Jewry might put them in a special file of their own, but nonetheless, all those who deny the existence of secular Jewishness who don't deal with Ziggy and Albert, sound like a bunch of know nothings.

      Einstein compared Jewishness to the snail and its shell. Even though the snail is known by its shell, even after it sheds its shell it still maintains its snail-ness. So the Jew and his religion, even after it sheds its shell, its religion, some basic Jew-ness remains (which Einstein defined in a tikkun way).

      Freud's secularism was self evident (establishing a new religion might not be a secularistic activity, but nonetheless) and his attachment to Jewishness can be denied if you wish, but is self evident to me.

      So spouters of the nonexistence of Jewish secularism are prima facie (?) spouting nonsense to me. Now, of course 2016 Brooklyn and 1938 Vienna are two different situations. The self evident need to define oneself in 1938 Vienna when a storm is approaching that made no difference between Torah knowledgeable Jews and Jews who converted to Christianity is self evident. (poorly constructed tautology, but still...) How is a Jew who has no affinity for religion in 2016 Chicago say, supposed to relate to the Jewish identity of his parents and grandparents and great grandparents. obviously the key phrase there is "supposed to", whereas in fact there is no "supposed to", there are different human reactions to different situations, different sets of parents, grandparents and great grandparents, different ways of relating to Christmas and Christianity and nonJews in a society that has been secularizing away from traditional Christianity to humanism as expressed by the culture in various forms. So there is no "supposed to". But those who dictate: if you don't believe in Torah, you may not call yourself a Jew and if you call yourself a Jew that means that you are a racist and ethnocentrist and partaking in the imperialistic urges of America and Israel, well, chill, guys, stop telling me what I can call myself or how I am allowed to relate to the history of the world as it effected a small corner of it: my siblings, my peers, my parents, their parents and their great grandparents. And the evolution of my knowledge of myself and Americans of my age group and the knowledge of the history of American Jews, certainly allows me a different perspective than the one limited by my immediate family, but certainly when someone comes along and says, "Thou shalt not call thyself a secular Jew!" I know that person is f***ed up and is part of the dark side.

    • Phil- I believe you are sincere in opposing Zionism, but you and Beinart are on two different pages. He wants to increase the communication of the dissenter with the "community". You want to decrease the communication of the dissenter with the community. Even in this piece your disdain for Samuel, Jeremiah and Judges (as representatives of the essence of Jewish learning) is apparent. How does that increase the communication between yourself and the community? It doesn't. It is just one more instance of playing to the choir and your choir (here in the comments section at least) really does not begin to think about caring about two generations hence, and in fact disdains Hebrew both ancient and modern, Yiddish, both spoken and written, and Torah both written and oral. Beinart is about building bridges between the Jewish present and the Jewish future and between the anti Zionist community and the Zionist community. That is not your thing whatsoever. Let the democratic party implode. Let one more language disappear, what do I care? You are not on the same page or involved in the same struggle as Beinart.

    • From a practical point of view, Israel needs to change its policy towards the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank and inside Israel, as well. If this argument can be made (I think it can be made, but it is not clear cut, particularly when the extent of this "change" is not yet clear, and particularly at this moment of Middle East turmoil), then obviously the person arguing this point of view deserves the attention of those who support Israel, no matter that person's identity. (If someone shows you a good chess move, you examine the utility of the move through analysis, not by saying, "you're not on my side.") when the practicality of the move is not provable, then clearly doubt is present and it is more likely (human) to say, "are you on my side or not?"

      It is clear that Phil Weiss is on the side of Jefferson and MLK rather than Jeremiah and Samuel as he puts it. (All of a sudden, Hillel disappears from relevance and it is only the Old Testament Jews that are relevant or to be more precise irrelevant compared to good old American values.) But aside from Zionism in what way is Phil Weiss on the side of the Jews. (more precisely to be read: aside from antiZionism in order to save the Jews of America from association with evil Israel, in what way is Phil Weiss on the side of the Jews.)

  • Sanders delegates recount 'Orwellian' message control by Clinton supporters during DNC
    • They yelled "Dump the Hump" at Humphrey in 68, elected richard nixon and the rest is history, as they say, and wilson dizard wants more of the same. (or doesn't want the same and imagines that a personality transplant by Hillary for the course of four days would have attracted disaffected Sanders supporters, like bees to honey. Unlikely.)

      The polls say Hillary got a bump from her convention and it
      was her convention. You win the nomination and the show is yours. true democracy disagrees, i hear you and admire your purity. There's plenty to hate about Clinton and suppression of free speech, I hear you. But the convention was unified enough to give Hillary a boost among independents and that was the goal.

      If hillary loses the election, then woe to all of us. It will not be the end of america, but it will not be pretty. If hillary loses the election there will be plenty of blame to go around and if ms. stein wins enough votes in some key state to give that state's electoral college votes to the Donald, then you will be able to say, I told you so.

      if hillary wins, the left and the right will oppose her from day one, unless, the dems can win a majority in both houses and thus the elimination of deadlock will excite possibility. but the odds are slim on that and divided government is the safest bet and thus hillary will be opposed from the right and from the left and the trump fever and the symptom of america's deep trouble will persist even after trump himself is defeated.

  • Using Rep. Johnson's innocent comment to stain his reputation was the real crime
    • Jon S- regarding the Christian Jew. It depends on who is writing the definition. Hitler killed Jews who had converted to Christianity (for the sin of their Jewish "race"), so obviously he did not accept that one could not be both.
      Jews for Jesus obviously believe that one can be both.
      In theory belief that Jesus is/was the Messiah is no more contradictory to Judaism than the belief that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is/was the Messiah. (Which is not a compliment to Lubavitch, but you get my point.)
      I would say that the combined Jew-Christian identity is complicated by two factors: Are Christians monotheists? They seem to fudge the God is one and god is son and father (and holy spirit) question so that the unity of god factor seems to be too elastic for strictly monotheist Jews. The other factor is that the content of the New Testament sets up an opposition between Jews and Christians that is tough to swallow. (opposition is a euphemism). If the New Testament is holy to Christians, it is difficult to see how one can be a Christian and a Jew simultaneously.

      if Judaism becomes Jewishness- Jewish humor, bagels and lox and what have you, then why not be Christian and Jewish at the same time? No contradiction between Jesus and Don Rickles or between Paul's letters and bagels and lox.

    • James North- Although Torah can be used as an all encompassing phrase referring to any study of Jewish texts, "Torah portion of the week" (in common usage) refers to one of 54 portions of the Torah. The Torah as a narrow term refers to the Pentateuch as in the Five books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy, and it is divided into 54 portions, so as to be read, one a week in the course of a year. (True, one would think that 52 portions would be the number. But the Jewish year is a lunar year, which is 354 days instead of 365, thus necessitating an added leap month approximately once every 3 years, so on those years, extra portions are necessary, and thus the 54 portions instead of 52.)

      Thus Hirsch's quotation from the Talmud is indeed a part of the Torah and thus to the uninitiated a "portion" of Torah study, but when he refers to the "portion of the week", he is referring to one of the 54 weekly Pentateuch portions. (This week the end of Numbers is read, and next week the beginning of Deuteronomy will be read in the weekly portions. In October at the end of the Jewish holidays, the cycle of the Torah is completed, Deuteronomy's last verse is read and the cycle is begun again with Genesis's: in the beginning God created...)

    • Jacob Hirsch- Your misspelling of names and ad hominem attacks means you have found a true home in the comments section of mw.

    • If the ADL, et al. had some credibility in opposing the settlement enterprise, which they don't, then sensitivity regarding the sloppy language of Rep. Johnson might be acceptable. But because they lack that credibility that focusing on the language and totally ignoring the context makes their preoccupation seem like game playing.

      Because the language in this comments section is so sloppy and wild, Rep. Johnson's language seems run of the mill. It was not. It was very stupid.

      y'know one of the first things out of donald trump's mouth in his acceptance speech, right after "law and order" was: no more political correctness and of course, we want our language to be as direct as possible. but a little common sense, rep. johnson! What's wrong with you, fool. you're a congressman for gosh sake. get your act together and try to talk like a gentleman rather than trash talking commenter on some web site.

  • Palestine stands for the larger divide in the Democratic party
    • Citizen- Another man who can't spell.
      I did not endorse the current system or my predictions. They are predictions, not prescriptions. Citizen loves David Duke.

    • annie robbins- If my words seemed to imply that Bernie Sanders' movement was a white movement, as in that it excluded black people or made a conscious effort to alienate black voters, then my words were imprecise. I meant simply this. If there had been no black voters in the democratic primary, Bernie would have won. The reason Hillary won, and she won by some 3 and a half million votes, was because of the black vote. She won the states with large black populations and that is a fact that you are not willing to face and that those who wish to focus on the "rigged" theory/explanation/whiny crybaby nonsense are not willing to face. If not for the black vote the candidate now would be bernie and not her and that is a fact, that you are unwilling to deal with.

      I think there are a few reasons why she won the black vote. Blacks never heard of Bernie before a few months ago and they vote for the familiar candidates who have been in the trenches with them, like voting for Humphrey over McGovern in 72. Hillary worked for Obama and was viewed as an Obama loyalist and Bernie was viewed as an outsider and thus the 70 to 30% victory of Hillary over Bernie in the black vote.

      There are times when the Palestine issue and the black issue line up precisely as in the candidacy of Jesse Jackson, then there are times when loyalty of Hillary to black causes and the black president was repaid with loyalty by black voters despite her stand on Palestine.

      (there were many voices in the Sanders campaign some in this very comments section who scolded the blacks for voting against Sanders and it was those voices that led me to label the Sanders movement as white. Sanders came from Brooklyn, but he won office in a white state: Vermont.)

      (I think the anger of the pro Trump movement is very much a racial anger: as in the fact that most whites supported Republican candidates in the past 52 years makes the whites who feel as if they run the country, as in the economy is in fact controlled by whites, that they should run the country, as in their candidates should be elected to run the country and the only reason that Obama was president was because of identity politics, blacks voting for a black man, minorities voting for a minority. and i think that anger is very relevant in this election and it will be the cause of much turmoil in hillary's one term presidency.)

      (of course the left wants to elect a left congress, but it is not nearly as easy electing a democratic, let alone a left, congress, than it is to elect a democratic president. it will require hard work. much harder work than occupying zucotti square and marching down the streets and blocking traffic. it requires knocking on doors and listening and talking to people. i don't think the left is anywhere near the place where it is up to listening and talking to the people. let alone the type of compromises involved in governing, the type of alliance building involved in governing. i think the left is tres tres immature, only marginally more mature than trump's right wing and that means quite immature.)

    • I actually think the activist left does not need to do much planning over the next 8 years, if their goal is to gain the white house rather than gain control of the congress. assuming a hillary victory i suspect one term hillary. but tho' the left should launch a vigorous primary attempt to dethrone hillary in 2020, it will fail and it will be left for the GOP to grab the presidency. after one term of a republican the left will then have their opportunity for a mcgovern democrat to win the nomination and to win the white house.

      to win congress would require strategy and hard work, compromise and alliances, respect for the voters and not just the activists. the deck is stacked against the democrats with gerrymandering and two senators from every state no matter how small and nondiverse the population. raising money from millions at $27 a pop, can this be replicated in senate and congress campaigns. the short answer is, no. only a presidential campaign can attract the audience and excitement for contributions, whereas senate and congress campaigns do not excite.

      street demonstrations are "great". winning elections: that's what democracy looks like.

    • In Congress, how many democratic congressmen and senators agree with this movement on foreign policy or on Wall Street corporatism? A movement that can get a few thousand for the convention when the Bernie people were predicting 100,000 and cannot elect more than 10 congressmen and more than 3 senators is still in its infancy and the frustration that you are advocating for has not done the leg work to call itself betrayed. they ran a candidate in one election and they could not build bridges to the black community in order to achieve victory. (any white movement that claims that it is better for blacks, but infers that they are just too backward to realize it, is an immature movement.) it is an insular movement that does not know how to make allies or build bridges. It is in its infancy. It has not mastered various key skills in politics and thinks, "we are pure and whoever opposes us is corrupt".

      The movement will be happier with a Trump presidency, because it believes in "get worse before gets better" and because then on November 9th their goal will be clear.

  • Democratic Party consultant asked about Palestinian rights: 'Not my problem'
    • annie robbins- given all that i have read that you have written regarding Israel Palestine and foreign policy in general, I would have been shocked had you chosen to vote for Hillary in this election.

      Personally I have never laid my eyes on a major party candidate in America as unusual as Trump, and I mean that in an entirely negative way. History books also reveal scant evidence of precedent for a major party candidate as "unusual" as Trump.

      I assume Hillary will win and I assume that the opposition to her across the country will be vociferous from day one and even before day one. And the opposition to her will be from the majority of the white voters in this country and I feel that a realistic assessment of who her opposition is, is key to understanding the next phase that America will experience.

      The downsizing of the American middle class has been proceeding for decades now, since the '70's. The Clinton years were a respite from that trend, but that has been the overwhelming trend. Trump and Sanders reveal that Network's "we're not going to take it anymore" is quite near to the surface and there is no reason to believe that domestic tranquility lies around the corner. Both the right and the left will be called into action and hopefully into expressing plans of action and not just closing down streets in protests.

      On the topic of the stealing of the primaries of 2016, it is a serious accusation and would require someone who really knows something about polling for me to believe. the accusation that bush stole Ohio in 2004 was the first time that this type of accusation was made and popular culture in the tv show "scandal" has added to the fear that elections can be stolen. I do not think that exit polls are as accurate as all that, but I think that belief in the nonhackability of our ballots is key to our democracy and if you subtract that and add street protests the end result is not democracy but rule by mob. if our elections are straight then our elected officials must deal with those who protest the untrained or poorly trained cop or out of control police force and protests play a role in moving society to face up to the need for the electorate to pay attention to this problem. but subtract elections from the mix and the answer is chaos.

      the RT tv guy that you linked to is equivalent to bill maher, in terms of how seriously I take him as an individual, intelligent, but not an expert in elections.

      But I must emphasize: Undermining belief in the electoral system is serious.

      (I have to add, that for someone who has so much faith in Iranian election results and Syrian election results, that suddenly this cynicism regarding election results is very convenient.)

    • We don't know what color Jesus was, but I'm betting his skin color was closer to that of Sirhan Sirhan and/or Yigal Amir than it was to that of Lee Harvey Oswald or Richard Speck.

      There are those who read Revelations 1:15 as descriptive not merely of the apparition/vision of Jesus, but also of his actual physical attributes and thus the color of his skin, (bronze) describes to them a brown skinned man.

    • There is no way that someone whose issue is Palestine (or foreign policy, as in reducing American military activism abroad) is going to see eye to eye with someone whose issues are centered on domestic American concerns. The Democratic urge towards unity is most difficult after an 8 year stint in the White House, and George W Bush was not enough to convince some to vote for Gore rather than refuse to play the game of the lesser of the two evils and today there are those who are unconvinced that choosing Hillary over Trump is a worthwhile effort.

      The Palestine effort is not in the forefront of the mind of the American people right now and this web site feels that there is no moment like now and now demands Jill Stein. But the American people have a bigger problem, as they see it, and its name is Donald Trump. And November 9th if we defeat Donald Trump, then will be your moment. I understand that you don't want to wait and who can deny your impatience. But really, Donald Trump is not your run of the mill threat and it really is understandable for the fear of Trump to win out over the wider perspective of the Middle East or the specifics of the wrongs done to the Palestinians for quite some time and the wrongs done on the West Bank and regarding Gaza to this day. Nonetheless Donald Trump is a present danger and trying to keep the democrats' eye off the goal of defeating Trump seems like a losing proposition.

      Hillary I hope will win the white house, but she lacks the political acumen to win more than one term and the left needs to be prepared for November 9th, because the republican will win in 2020, unless the left can pull the vote away from clinton in 2020 and run as something really different from clinton. but that won't happen because clinton will have the solid black vote like this time. but in 2024 the field is wide open, because the republican president Rubio will be very vulnerable because of gridlock government, rubio will be a one termer as well and 2024 is the year that a mcgovern democrat will be elected as president.

      how large a role Palestine israel will play in 2024 is difficult to know. trump's best hope is for 2 Orlandos and a San Bernardino in October. will terrorism recede as a threat in the next 8 years? Will the partitioning of Syria happen or will the blood letting never cease? Will the losing side of the Iraq war of 2003 be given enough power or land so that the motivation for violence will be mitigated thus leading to the end of Daesh? Can chaos in Iraq and syria be the dominant theme for another 8 years? How will Europe react to immigration and terrorism?

      in 8 years do you think this mcgovern democrat will be sufficiently anti Israel to satisfy the Palestine advocates? but the democratic party will still be dependent on jewish contributors, so how can a presidential candidate not worry about congress, and if money is still the lifeblood of politics, how far can a presidential candidate wander from the mainstream of the party. as the grass roots becomes less supportive of israel, how will this split between big donors and the grass roots play out.

  • Bill Clinton attacked all Muslim Americans during his speech to the DNC
    • Echo- obviously means Joe McCarthy's drawer rather than Eugene McCarthy's drawer. I know how easy it is to confuse a fat anti communist republican drunk from Wisconsin with a thin gray, anti Vietnam war democratic poet from Minnesota, but they are in fact very distinct individuals.

  • Democrats big tent shrinking as Clinton ties up nomination
    • Based upon a main stream media perusal of the events: if Hillary loses the election to Donald, one could not blame Bernie or even "Bernie or bust" people for the loss. History will blame: 2 terms seldom followed by same party, Hillary a weak candidate and probably some terrorist attack(s) in October will be necessary to give Trump the boost towards victory, so the Bernie or bust people need to be kept off camera by the conscientious party faithful during the convention (ever hear the phrase toe the party line, well, that's what parties are unfortunately like) but in the end, history will not blame them for Hillary's defeat, if god forbid, trump gets elected.

      if trump gets elected, bernie 2020 will begin on november 9th and not only bernie 2020 but warren 2020, as well, will begin on that day.

      if hillary gets elected, then things are iffier, warren will be coopted by the clinton administration, but hillary will not satisfy the bernie or bust wing, and add to that the fact that hillary probably lacks the political skills to make a success out of an obama 3rd term, so she is very vulnerable to defeat by a republican in 2020, so sanders should run again. (sanders has a unique appeal that is not easy to duplicate. that's what living in vermont with a brooklyn accent and as a social democrat will do for you, create a personality that is not easy to duplicate, so though it does not have to be sanders, it won't be that easy finding a replacement.) the first two years of clinton will be the most difficult for the sanders wing of the party, because the run against her cannot begin (by sanders, at least) until november 2018, so the first two years of hillary's administration (unless she goes to war right away, which will lead to an immediate sanders wing rebellion, but unless that, the first two years) will be a difficult period of waiting for the sanders wing of the party.

  • Jerusalem municipality 'taking advantage' of US elections to expand settlements
    • I suppose for people who have zero interest in the existing religions on the planet earth at present, an interest in Hebrew, spoken or written, would be limited to linguists and fans of Modern Israel.

      The revival of Hebrew preceded Zionism by some 30 years, it prepared the way for Zionism, maybe, in that it hearkened back to earlier times and contained more than a morsel of rejection of the spoken language of Yiddish, so maybe the Haskalah and its revival of Hebrew also deserves the disdain that usually is reserved for Zionism, but I think not.

      Mythically, biblically, the tower of babel is the origin story of the variety of languages in the world. The moral of the story is actually against the proliferation of languages. If only humankind were devoted to worthwhile efforts, then their purposes would be good and everyone speaking the same language would help their goals achieve accomplishment. It is a story of the proliferation of differences and languages as a type of exile from an eden of human unity.

      Nonetheless I do not regret the rebirth of Hebrew, certainly not because of an idealization of international languages and a rejection of small group languages. This is certainly affected by my affection for the Hebrew Bible. And it is certainly affected by my affection for the survival of the Jewish people (with uniqueness) despite the 20th century.

  • Netanyahu accidentally calls Arabs 'goats' in video intended to promote 'equality and dignity for all'
    • Citizen- Trump's failing is much deeper than that. When he proposed that the judge in the Trump U case oughta be disqualified because he was Mexican, that wasn't political incorrectness, that was cynical billionaire using his run for the presidency to help him in his personal court case. He is a fraudulent lying pompous idiot who uses racism to promote his court case and he deserves to be defeated soundly. that's not political correctness or naivete that is his fault. he is an evil selfish narcissistic dangerous man and it is really not about political correctness and you are obfuscating for some reason.

  • Clintonites knocked out platform references to 'occupation' and 'settlements' in fear of Adelson, Zogby says
    • i will now proceed to carefully study the statement by Ellen and discover other reasons why it is stupid and ridiculous.

      The Zionists ended up calling themselves Hebrews or Ivri, to differentiate themselves from Yehudim or Jews. The search for a different name to call themselves is indicative of a rejection of the status quo of the Jews to the point that we must act so differently from how we have in the past and thus come up with a new name for ourselves.

      The study of any group suffering from discrimination will reveal multiple strands of self hatred and pride interwoven. The Jews are condemned for their pride and now by Ellen for their self hatred.

    • Ellen- The idea that it was strictly Zionists rather than any other group of Jews who referred to Judeophobia as antiSemitism is an interesting one, and one without any historical merit, unless you can link to some source that indicates that this is anything but the product of your own mind.

    • Just watched keith ellison's speech to the convention. Unlike the true revolutionaries here at mw, who wish the democratic party to implode or break itself up over Palestinian rights and Israeli wrongs, Congressman Ellison stepped up and urged a vote for Hillary against Trump, as he introduced Bernie Sanders.

      Sanders has wider appeal than Elizabeth Warren, in my opinion. He has a long fought veracity and authenticity (to use a word) that will be hard to duplicate. Of course the age of the Bernie supporters is often cited, but his age is relevant too. He is old and I do not know what his political future will look like as he gets closer to 80.

      If Trump is elected, firstly odds are high that it would only be an electoral college victory. (People in states that backed Hillary should take to the street demanding an amendment to the constitution, under the banner one man/one vote.) the divisiveness of a trump presidency should be self evident to anyone with eyes in their head, but his victory through the electoral college and defeat in the popular vote will help create action in the streets against his presidency. at that point, bernie who will be young enough in four years can really start planning bernie 2020 on november 9th. elizabeth warren will also start planning warren 2020 on that same day. the competition between them will be interesting.

      but if hillary wins, elizabeth warren will be coopted and bernie should sit on the sidelines waiting for the issue of his choosing on which to base his bernie 2020 campaign. probably that will be two years down the line.

      presidential campaigns are more exciting than any other political event in america, and if hillary wins on november 8th, we, the majority of americans who will vote for her, will breathe a sigh of relief, but also a sigh of disappointment, because the next presidential race will be so far off and the letdown of the end of the baseball season after the last out in the world series, will also be present.

      the steady drumbeat of shootings by Muslims in Germany this past week or so, should also be noted and I worry about how many nutjobs with roots in the Muslim immigrant community will take to American venues to express their emotional unhappiness this fall. certainly if any of them will be watching tv and mister trump's inevitable provocative language, that will be enough to send some of them to their guns and so i fear that this will be a feature of this fall presidential campaign.

      One other note: if hillary wins, she will still lose the white vote badly. we live in a democracy, but face it, not the color blind society MLK spoke of, and in fact the rebellion by white people against candidates that they, the "true americans" voted against, will be a factor of grave instability for america with a president hillary, who will win based upon overwhelming support from nonwhite voters.

  • Clintonites on message: Vote for Trump, and you get Putin
    • Contrarian thought has its appeal. Yet some consistency over time would be appreciated as well. Before trump came up with the idea of giving the baltics to russia, please cite one post in which Phil Weiss came out for the idea of the dismantling of Nato.

    • Putin: I've got some e mails you may want, what will you give me? Trump: How about the Baltics. Atlantic City, monopoly, casino mogul Trump.

  • 'Does he believe in a God'? -- DNC leaders wanted to undermine Sanders
    • donald- nice to hear from you. i need to say, "grow up", before i can hear from you? (that line needs to be read with an exaggerated jewish mother singsong). but okay, now i've heard from you, so let me not dwell on your prolonged absence.

      i am looking at this election globally and on this eve of the democrat convention after hillary has chosen the most boring person in the country for a running mate, i wonder what will transpire that will help or hurt her a millimeter in her battle against donald trump. (how does it feel to share the first name with a presidential candidate of his dubiousness? not too many politicians with the first name of yonah. right away i am preparing for the onslaught from mooser. talk about seventh grade cliques, this place really sets a low bar for the democratic party to hopefully not emulate.

      Bernie Sanders lost the primary battle due to the fact that blacks voted overwhelmingly for hillary. (again, the only one who has even engaged me on this issue has been mooser, calling me podhoretz and implying me a racist.) again. bernie sanders lost the primary battle because of black voters. if biden would have run, it would probably have been the same result. democrats favor a sitting veep over a ralph nader type. yes, robert reich the tiny dude from game of thrones, is right. this is an outrage.

      certainly, debbie wasserman's career has peaked. i don't know what her district is like, so she might be a fixture for a while longer, but she did wrong and she resigned. and vamanos, muchachos. so long, debbie.

      if clinton loses it will be the radical left that takes to the streets to protest the donald. if clinton wins, she will be a very weak president and the country's polarization will increase. this kerfuffle about debbie wasserman is a tempest in a teapot from a global perspective.

      to me the story is that russia and putin are rooting for the donald. they leaked these e mails and for that, donald will trade them the baltics. like monopoly and atlantic city, see.

    • oh, please. Hillary Clinton for all her lying and triangulating and playing the game, is the first major party candidate woman for president. and Bernie Sanders until last november or whenever he filed, wasn't even a Democrat, and the Democratic party favored Hillary, but of course. That's politics. So grow up.

      Listen, if Trump wins, he'll win the electoral college and not the popular vote and he will not be considered a legitimate president by the people of NYC of color for example, so there will be a revolution beginning on January 20, 2017, so save up all your rhetorical nonsense and keep your rhetorical powder dry, because there will be plenty of reason to revolt against an electoral college white against mexicans and muslims presidency.

      And listen, Hillary, if she wins, will be very weak from day one and there is no reason why the rebellion against her cannot also begin on January 20th.

      Hillary was a freak candidate, as in the last of the old school. Trump and Sanders are the signs of the future: chaos and unicorns.

  • Israeli flag is wielded as weapon against Berlin protesters of apartheid
  • Freewheeling Trump has backed down on only one issue. Guess which one
    • This post takes Trump seriously and treats him with kid gloves. Here is a man, a billionaire, trying to use the highest office in the land in order to make more billions and because of Israel-Palestine, serious people like North and Weiss feel that Trump deserves serious treatment. Here is a man who uses his run for the presidency to get a judge dismissed because he's hispanic, but still let's treat him seriously.

      On foreign policy, here's a man who says, let russia invade the baltic states, we will do nothing. one billionaire to another, trump and putin are going to be big pals, but on mw, he is treated with respect.

  • Coexistence in the land of 'Hatikvah'
    • In about 1964 at a school assembly at my Jewish school in Canada, we were ending an assembly and about to sing Hatikva and one of the male Hebrew teachers handed off the duties to a female English teacher and though she stumbled through some of the words, one could see that there was a lump in her throat. She must have been born in 1928 or so.

      The symbolism of the anthem or of the flag is not the major issue. Acceptance of the reality of the existence of the Palestinians is still in a process, rather than achieved at all, and so there is much work to be done.

  • Why Trump's revolution succeeded, and Bernie's fizzled
    • The analysis of the net effect of the Trump versus Sanders foreign policy rebellion, might be accurate. But the post here includes no analysis of who voted for Clinton versus who voted for Sanders. The fact is that Sanders probably won the white vote and he definitely lost the black vote by a large margin. Blacks were loyal to the Clinton brand name and they never heard of Sanders before 2016 and never really warmed to him. The idea that what was missing in the Sanders message was a larger rebellion against Clinton's foreign policy is malarkey, if we are trying to figure out why he lost the black vote.

      The potential for a candidate as left as Sanders to take the presidential nomination is definitely there, but now that 52 years have passed since any democrat won the white vote, any candidate for the democratic nomination better have the solid backing of the black community if he/she wishes to overthrow the clinton branch of the party. (or at least avoid a situation where the clinton branch candidate wins the black vote in such overwhelming numbers.) this does not exclude foreign policy, but in fact foreign policy is not a key issue for the black democratic primary voters.

  • BDS and Normalization: A Palestinian perspective
    • Labeling Naftush as hasbara central really is an ad hominem attack and if this web site claims to be a war of ideas (which its primary comments editor disclaims at least once a week) then the reference to Gershon Baskin in today's jerusalem post is in fact part of the war of ideas. naftush should be faulted for not including a link to the jpost article not for being hasbara central. Here's the link: link to

  • With no evidence except ethnicity, media declared Nice attack terrorism
    • I would not label this post as silly, because it made me stop and think. But now after a little thought I think that this post is anti human. of course the media is not merely human, as in frail enough to see patterns where they DO exist, but exploitative. The question is not the media, but the individual and i think the individual would be better off not reading the papers or viewing the media, but if the individual is part of the world community to the extent of following the news, that it is natural and scientific to consider murders by muslim immigrants in a category by itself. if you prove to me that killings of more than 5 strangers in france or the US is not disproportionately Islamic. then you will have proven to me your point. but in fact, mass killings of strangers are disproportionately Muslim in the US and France, so this post is cause to pause and think but then to reject.

  • Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state-- hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton
    • There is currently a struggle for power in the middle east between Sunni and Shiite. I suppose that the attitude expressed herein is that the US should be neutral in regard to this struggle. It is also that the US should be neutral in regard to the Assad regime. I have not formulated a position on these issues, but I think that they should be argued rather than assumed, which seems to be the upshot of this post, to assume what would be a good position regarding Iran rather than to argue the point.

  • Powerful new game 'Liyla and The Shadows of War' dramatizes 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza
    • compared to the west bank in which security needs and settler presence are intricately intertwined, the conflict between israel and the palestinians vis a vis gaza is quite easy to "solve". of course the solution would satisfy neither side, but it would involve a hamas ruled gaza with limited sovereignty, but nowhere near the current siege, far greater flow of people and goods in and out, but with more limits than palestinians would like to see.
      it is my impression that it is primarily domestic politics that stops netanyahu from pursuing and reaching an agreement between israel and gaza.

  • Bible justifies rape in times of war, despite rabbis' efforts to spin or hide the teaching
    • michael lesher in the quoted facebook quote: "in other words, he must satisfy his lust," Shouldn't this read: in other words, he may satisfy his lust"?

  • The iron law of institutions versus Bernie Sanders
    • Stephen is correct regarding the end of the Jewish Sabbath, but the beginning of the Jewish sabbath is a bit before sunset. (in theory the sabbath should be 24 hours and a bit. (24 hours being a day and the bit, being adding a little bit). but because the precise time of the end of a day, which is signified by sunset, is not knowable, time is added after sunset until the three stars are seen in the sky.) (it is also traditional to light candles before the sabbath about 18 minutes before sunset.) (none of this affects voting patterns in our theoretical scenario.)

    • If the question is: how to turn the bernie sanders candidacy into a movement, then the new york times is besides the point.

      to me, a trump presidency is a disaster i'd prefer not to see. but i think a clinton presidency will be in toto inadequate to the tasks facing america. her weak political skills (speechmaking), the lack of an imaginative program (true, america might not be able to afford a truly imaginative program and i myself often call a lack of imagination realism) and the fact that she is going to lose the white vote big time, means that she will not be able to stir the country out of its divisions into something resembling hope. the left must be prepared to run a candidate against her in 2020.

      the primary political facts include the following:
      1. the middle class is shrinking
      2. people seem to be polarized and angry
      3. the republicans control more state houses and state legislative seats and congressional seats than they controlled in 2008
      4. particularly while a democrat sits in office, but even as a rule, democrats do much better in the presidential election years rather than in the congressional election years.

      how about moving election days to sundays. (republicans will never go for that, because they want to suppress voting, but it's something the american people would buy.) is the left ready to go to the streets with something as simple as changing election days to sundays? the answer i fear is no. the left is very weak and sanders shows that there is life there, but is there energy, patience, foresight, strategy and realism? it doesn't really seem so. (When will the left make a move to win over the white vote in this country? Never? Is demographics the be all and end all for the democratic party? is it really acceptable for the democratic party to ignore the majority of white voters?)

      The new york times is the gray old lady. that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be criticized. But it does mean if you are trying to start a revolution, you really don't go to the gray old lady to get things started. she's more like the party pooper, not the party starter.

      and for me to take the sanders movement seriously, there has to be something real happening after november, something a little more promising than just the occupy movement, which was fine, but tiny in comparison to the hitting the pavement selling the new gospel on the streets that a real revolution would be about.

  • Video: Asking Israelis to mark the Nakba on Independence Day
  • 'Palestinians ought to be free' -- Cornel West's historic moment
    • echinocuss- I understand that you don't want to hear from me, but MHughes expressed explicitly that he wouldn't mind hearing from me.

      As far as your two week old claim on my attentions- I am afraid that i do not esteem your opinion of me highly enough to care.

      if it was about gore vidal, i wish gore's bones well. i think his memory is not a blessing nor is it a curse. you, on the other hand surely add to the cesspool aspect of the comments section.

    • A massacre like the one in Nice is just human nature plus politics equals bloodshed. 1 in every 1,000 human males has murderous rage and between the ages of 18 to 42 a fair number will give expression to that murderous rage. In 2016, if you are muslim and male and young and angry, there is a cause or an excuse for you to kill.

      of course, when some nutjob goes off and kills 49 in orlando or 84 in nice, one does not engage in statistical analyses. if one has stomach enough to watch video tapes of news casts from the scene of ambulances and morgue and forensic crews, if one can afford to open their heart to the pain of such senseless death, those are two paths to dealing with it: reporter and feeler.

      the religious impulse has often involved a component of violence from the crusades to the inquisition. i haven't read william james recently enough, but as I recall much "sincere" religion involves anger and uncontrollable emotions that are channeled in a specific path and then there are the killers of orlando and nice who just needed an excuse to kill, and their religion was as superficial as an october frost.

      america's relationship to guns is quite atyical of modern civilization.

      as far as immigration: it is natural to react to an orlando and try to imagine how we might have acted differently to not have reached this point in time and limiting immigration is a very human reaction. i'm from brooklyn and immigration is as essential to brooklyn as are the subways and the attitude, so to attempt to put the genie back in the bottle and undo immigration goes against the code of brooklyn. (although also part of the code of brooklyn is to hate the other immigrants, or to hate the new immigrants. "a view from the bridge" by arthur miller is based upon such hatred and about one fifth of the episodes of the sopranos deal with immigration and mixed feelings towards newer immigrants.)

      as far as Turkey, i have very mixed feelings.
      From the Ottoman empire through the genocide of the armenians, to the role Turkey tried to take upon itself of secularizing itself and modernizing itself. to erdogan and his alpha male ways. to the confusion of how islam can be both modern and assertive. added to the role of turkey vis a vis iran and vis a vis the kurds and vis a vis syria and the role that they have been cast as the destination for refugees so that europe can stop the flow. to the future of europe and how turkey might fit into that future. mostly superficial impressions.

      (the fact that Arabic is so close to Hebrew, whereas Turkish and Farsi are so distant from both those languages.)

    • mooser- indeed the war against iraq sets a certain standard in fiascos for america in the post vietnam era.

      trump combines aspects of huey long, george wallace and ross perot (and not in a good way). i think he is unpredictable and i would prefer not to have my fears confirmed or denied by a reality of a trump presidency.

    • Recently i have read where Muslims were upset that westerners only focused on terrorism when western targets and western humans were killed. But til i mentioned it, really no one here bothered to comment, because no one here lives in france and it is not your primary concern.

      the uses politicians put to terrorist attacks is really an unworthy topic to raise. when a bus was blown up in jerusalem in 1996 and a friend's wife's first comment was: "i wonder what netanyahu is going to say", i was very offended, so you are right, pontificating politically is one step removed from a human reaction.

      i am sometimes surprised by how uninvolved in foreign policy analysis the primary commentators are here. not one comment on the attempted coup in turkey, is a further example of the nonglobal emphasis of the rhetoric of this comments section.

      The current headlines say about the Tunisian who did this that he was not religious, but under medical care for his unsocial personality. When the prick from Orlando was described as a jilted HIV fearing closet gay, did that change the net effect?

      These are half formed still unfinished reactions to these two events that can be described as tragedy: to human anger having gained access to guns, trucks and causes that espouse bloodshed.

      The anger in the US today is primarily expressed politically through the candidacies of Trump and now Jill Stein, since Sanders has taken the step away from the abyss and into the mainstream that some advocate for him. Frankly a Trump presidency scares me more than Orlando or Nice. I accept people who prefer the Trump foreign policy and thus are sitting this one out or coming out for Trump. It isn't foreign policy that scares me regarding Trump.

      it is american history and the presidency itself if not the health of the republic. When has the presidency been handed to someone as irresponsible as Trump? Never.

    • Off topic- I've looked at the comments and nothing to say about those killed in Nice? Truly i guess there is nothing to say, but no speculation about how trump will play this? no talk about how americans would react to something like this. well, of course, orlando was a bit like this too. i suppose that cool and calm treats this as a blip in the murder rate, and maybe we should aspire to cool and calm. but the chattering that goes on here and not one comment about Nice seems that people are willing to deal in superficials, just to avoid the thoughts conjured by a major terrorist attack in france.

  • Israeli rabbi who advocated rape of 'comely gentile women' during war becomes chief army rabbi
    • Shmuel- Thanks for the honorable mention. (a jewish gossip columnist in nyc used to end his columns praising in short sentences, the honorable menschen)

      Not particularly sensitive (at this particular moment) to the accusation of fetishization you have offered as an explanation of modern Orthodox attachment to land and people, but still wishing to participate in the discussion (since you alluded to me) here is a 6 by 6 down and across crossword puzzle that includes the words fetish and heresy.

      FETI SH
      T ITTE R

    • maria palestina,
      You, I assume, wish to kick the Jews out of Palestine, tell them to go back to where they came from. If you can prevail in the market place of ideas then it will be a formidable obstacle to Jewish survival in the region and Jewish sovereignty over any land in the region, understood.

      Ben Gurion pointed to the tanach (hebrew bible) as his title deed to the land and to go from Plonsk to Tel Aviv required a belief in the historical moment, that the Jewish existence to reach the 20th century meant something essential certainly to those born Jewish and that the moment of world turmoil and threats and change was a moment that required bold action regarding turning the Jews from a nomadic people to a landed people.

      Currently the status quo is very different from what it was a hundred years ago. The idea of kicking the Jews out persists, but lacks a certain seriousness or shall we say willingness to face the seriousness of your opponent. certainly clownish behavior from the prime minister and brutish behavior from the populace and the army, seems to demand a scoffing attitude.

      yet, in fact the jewish people are not worthy of scoff and even if the zionist movement is something that must undergo some sort of very basic change in order to survive the changing of the guard, there needs to be some sort of seriousness in regards to jewish history, and how we reached here. the fact that christian society is less religious now than it was 200 years ago and certainly than it was 500 years ago, versus the fact that muslim society is much more religious today than it was 50 years ago, this does not guide us how to deal with the bible, but it does suggest that history is a tangled ball and any attempt to merely dismiss religion is in fact dishonest. there were many causes that went into the creation of israel and they include european dynamics, global colonial dynamics and the long range survival of a group that adheres to jewish religious texts. I understand that you really don't wish to understand what went into the creation of israel, you merely wish it to disappear, but it seems to me that the odds are strong that its disappearance will not happen short range, so that gives you plenty of time to put yourself into zionist shoes. maybe if you had been born to another mother and father, you might have found yourself born in tel aviv, if i should imagine being born in Dheisheh and I should, then it is not wrong for you to imagine being born in tel aviv.
      the role that the biblio book has played in the creation of israel and how the book plays a role in the current war situation and how the book might play a role in a future peace situation are all questions. people who have studied the book if not day and night then at least year in and year out, certainly realize that it is not just as simple as tossing the book onto the bonfire or into the ash heap and the presence of pre geneva convention rules of war in the books represent going backwards instead of forwards and those who give too much credence to these verses in deuteronomy are part of the problem and not part of the solution, but if you want to take the book away from me, because the book was used to take the land away from you, then there will be a tug of war over the book and that is the path of conflict. certainly conflict is our bread and who am i to tell you how to fight your war against me, but imaging and imagining the future of peace is also part of the war and that will require deeper thought.

    • The Bible is not a god given document nor is it a perfect document. it is a product of a specific time (and place). (or times and places) Those who expect perfection or godliness from every verse of the five books of moses are bound to be disappointed. those that must see the godliness in every verse, because their lifestyle is based upon acceptance of the torah as the supreme document, are in an awkward position. It is an ancient document containing pillars of western society, plus other stuff that is not really worthy.

  • BDS is a war Israel can't win
    • Stanley Cohen- I knew that there were rabbis and couples who broke the law and could be sent to prison, but you are saying that the jailing has actually occurred. If true, please link. If untrue, please correct.

      "even going so far as to jail couples marrying illegally, or rabbis conducting such ceremonies." - See more at: link to

  • Israeli scholar refuses to shut up despite university punishment for saying settlers exhibit 'psychosis'
    • It must be observed that a gratuitous mention of the democratic platform and Hillary clinton reveals a monomaniacal tendency to harp on something that is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand.

  • Hillary Clinton has a decision to make
  • US media fail to report video of soldiers shooting desperate Palestinian girl holding knife overhead
    • i think mondoweiss should do away with much of its comments policy page, because it truly does not mean its words.

      One of the goals of this site is to promote critical discussion and debate on US foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We want Mondoweiss to be a place that everyone feels comfortable visiting, to read and comment, regardless of political perspective. People might not always like what we post, but everyone should feel invited and encouraged to join the discussion, share their opinions, and engage in debate. - See more at: link to

    • Yakov Hirsch- betcha that hasn't happened in the last 85 years in iran. so you've got to choose something a little more likely.

      there was some deranged jew with a knife shot by cops in boro park about three years ago. i certainly didn't comment here about it.

      cops going to deal with deranged citizens is a different dynamic than occupiers dealing with deranged occupied.

    • ideally whenever one can disarm a person with a knife, you ought to do so, without killing the person. I have never been in such a situation. obviously these soldiers are given a rifle and not a baton and not a taser and not a bayonet. they are apparently guarding a spot in occupied territories at a time of attacks by knife and car on soldiers and settlers, so they are targets of the course of the occupier versus occupied dynamic that has been established.

      if you're not an american right now, i allow you extra umbrage at the fact that this is not in the media. but to americans dealing with cops shooting men for selling videos in front of a convenience store or a man reaching for his driver's license, the idea that this video of a woman with a knife getting shot is not receiving adequate media coverage is silliness.

      the occupation i grant is evil. and this woman allowed her soul to be possessed by an anger that would undo this evil with her very life. if the soldiers had been equipped with taser guns and batons and shields, then the use of the rifle is horrible and criminal. but it is the army's fault, not the soldiers' fault. and right now the army is not about to change its modus operandi to tasers, batons and shields.

      and let me pose this question: who shot this video? have they come forward or has this been submitted anonymously? did they know that this woman was about to attack? if the driver and rider in the car were aware that an attack was about to take place, then that changes the entire dynamic, doesn't it?

    • Experiment: Pick a city. A woman with clearly unstable frame of mind comes at two policemen with a knife as in this video. What is the result?

  • As Dems vote against Palestine, Cornel West warns it is the 'Vietnam War' of our time
    • kalithea- I was stating the obvious. That to compare Vietnam, which effected every American male turning 18, to an issue in which the only stake is justice, is comparing apples and oranges or is comparing something that effects the selfish aspect of a person rather than the selfless aspect.

      in the 1960's there were two issues that burned and they were race and Vietnam. This is history. Since the 1960's there has been no unifying issues compared to those two issues.

      A world that values justice would be a great world to live in. This is not the world that we have today and believing that it is, makes you vulnerable to all sorts of deceptions.

      in regards to israel palestine, the average american is more concerned about the recurrence of an orlando or a san bernardino, than they are about justice between israelis and palestinians. that's a fact of life.

      an america that will turn on a dime and become an enemy of israel is an america that will not be trusted around the world and to believe that foreign policy should suddenly wake up and declare that it has seen the light is some kind of mind trip that some people think makes them admirable and just and clean and pure and superior and that's your trip.

      i feel that the US should be honest with itself regarding the middle east and the first fact of honesty is this: most americans really don't give a damn about things that take place overseas. and that fact is kind of like gravity. it makes it easy to walk around, but if you drop an egg, it's going to break. both consequences of gravity.

      i wish the world was different, but it is what it is.

      cornel west is interested in making palestine israel the issue of the day. (foreign policy issue of the day.) i have news for him and you. muslim terrorism is the foreign policy issue of the day. you can blame israel for sirhan sirhan and for 9/11 and for san bernardino and isil and the war between iran and saudi arabia, but the american public is not buying your hooey. either that or they don't have time to see the truth that you in your superior wisdom have garnered about the world. the american public is concerned about its own borders and keeping foreigners out. that's one half and there is also the other half that doesn't care about keeping foreigners out, but really doesn't think much about the world outside of the us borders or if they're not into politics, they're not into thinking about the world outside of their neighborhood. that's just a fact of life.

      i can't rewrite history or human nature or the fact that gravity is a force applied by the earth at an acceleration rate of 32 feet per second per second, and maybe our european brothers will enlighten us what that is in meters per second per second, but beyond such translations, gravity is a fact of life. and if you can't deal with human nature as given and if you can't appreciate that justice didn't cause americans to turn against the war in vietman but the draft turned the tide against the war, then i suggest that you fly to the moon and back because the laws of gravity don't apply to you any more than the laws of human nature.

      so if you want to talk facts, we might have something to discuss. (might, like 1 in 20,000, because like most of the folks around here, you haven't had a discussion with someone who didn't agree with you in a few decades.) but if you want to pretend that american politics is some kind of a search for justice in foreign policy, then i'd suggest flying to the moon ten more times in the next day, because the laws of nature obviously mean nothing to you.

    • As if the Vietnam protests did not have the aspect of a draft and a war with large losses of American lives. Vietnam altered a generation's perceptions of government and warmaking.

      Certainly the argument about the importance of the I-P conflict/oppression can be made, but vietnam, no argument had to be made, you had to report to the draft board, it was your front page news naturally. this is entirely different.

      But of course he was cheered by the crowd and that proves the historical accuracy of his comparison.

      certainly mw is trying to give momentum to the movement that views I-P as THE issue of the day.

  • Ozick says Obama needs 6-volume history of Jews on his bedside table
    • if one wished to write a book about the overlap of antisemitism and antizionism, keith's comments would be a fine place to start.

  • Life as Israel's hostage (or when will Palestinian dispossession be reckoned in the Diaspora?)
    • thank you

    • Abba Solomon:
      Could you please provide a link to this quote of Moshe Shertok (Sharett): "in March 1948 said to UN Security Council members that the existence of so many “Jewish hostages throughout the world” would be a guarantee of the good behavior of the “Jewish” state in Palestine towards Arabs after implementation of partition. - See more at: link to

  • Modern-day lynchings: an international view
    • This post smells of "All evil comes from Israel." Maybe connecting the dots from one evil to another makes for a good sermon to some believers, but it plays to nonbelievers like silliness or worse.

  • How Israel accidentally validated my activism
    • Being raised Jewish in America is tied into a few things, including the immigrant experience. If someone is a Brit who moved to Australia there are resemblances, but because of the fact that Britain's empire included Australia, the experience of eastern european jews moving to america is much more similar to italians moving to america than to a brit moving to australia.

      how does a child relate to jewishness? if a child is told, we are jews, we keep shabbos because we are jews, whereas in fact most of the surrounding jews do not keep shabbos, then identifying what it means to be a jew might get even trickier. one meets one's grandparents who come from the old country and speak with a yiddish accent and one thinks, that is where i come from. other jews who speak in yiddish accents like one's grandparents: that is where i come from.

      when a grown man looks back on the experience, i might call it authenticity, but it really has more to do with identity formation than anything else. maybe the professor can enlighten us about sources that deal with identity formation in grandchildren of immigrants. authenticity has a certain ring to it that is not present in the formulation identity formation and maybe i am misusing the word "authentic", but to a kid grandchild to immigrant grandparents, there is something intangible about the exotic history of: we used to live there, we moved here (and everyone over there of us, who we left behind, was murdered, adds an extra twist.)

  • Jewish entitlement, and Jewish populism
    • off topic. those of you who hate jewish navel gazing will hate this. and plus this is brought by shmuel rosner a man whom this site really dislikes. but it asks an interesting question: regarding the contradiction between jewishness and liberalism.
      link to

  • In latest pander to Israel lobby, Clinton smears Max Blumenthal's criticism of Wiesel as 'hateful'
    • annie- well, then in terms of ideas, you are also talking about the future and not the present, because consciousness of Israel's oppression of the Palestinians is not a front burner issue for 93% of Americans or residents in America at this point of time. You are being a cheerleader regarding the future rather than an analyst of july 2016 america.

    • you might have a crystal ball and a pulse on the future of the american people, but at this moment in time, despite the clinton condemnation, max blumenthal's name means nothing to at least 92% of American voters, (eligible voters, those over 18 and I include all illegal aliens as Americans as well, so not even eligible voters, merely residents of America over the age of 18) and I'd bet closer to 94% of Americans would not be able to identify the name.

    • Max blumenthal is one of the most influential jews in the world. Ha! He has name recognition in the single digits. this is nonsense.

  • Mainstream obits for Wiesel offer barely an asterisk for his intolerant views of Palestinians
    • Two names I'd like to mention in relation to Wiesel. The first is Michael Jackson. Celebrity killed Michael Jackson and to attempt to view Wiesel without the celebrity culture that we live in cannot suffice.

      The other is Zalman Schachter Shalomi. Here is Zalman's obit by Shaul Magid from two years ago, precisely this time of year.
      link to

      I think it is useful to compare and contrast with Wiesel. Zalman did not experience the Shoah in the same way as Wiesel. He was not in camp. He did not watch his father get beaten halfway to death and then die in front of him. But Zalman was close enough to the Shoah experience that his many paradigm shifts must include the Shoah in order to understand Zalman's changes. (I think people who were religious before WWII really had their world shaken by the experience and trying to compare Wiesel to secular survivors is faulty.)

    • All the world did not welcome the Iran deal. Saudi Arabia and I assume most Sunni Arab states opposed the deal. (They might not have gone public with their opposition, but Obama's need to calm Arab opponents of Iran was clearly reported at the time.)

  • Israel's political crisis wouldn't be happening if not for violent Palestinian resistance
    • here's my prediction. Netanyahu will survive the revolt of the generals and he will run in the next israeli elections and win.

      Palestinian violence of varying levels and sorts has existed since 1921 and certainly since 1936, so this statement that without Palestinian violence the current crisis wouldn't be occurring really says next to nothing other than an opportunity to wax wise about the role violence plays in political change.

      This is netanyahu's habit: forcing powerful personalities out of the Likud. Both Bennett and Lieberman began their careers as allies of Bibi and they were not sufficiently servile, so they had to go. They achieved their own power bases outside of Likud and now Bibi makes coalitions with them.

      (If the generals have influence over judges and prosecutors, there is a possibility that scandal will bring Bibi down. if judges and prosecutors are truly independent then there is also a possibility that scandal will bring Bibi down. But meanwhile the far right parties did not get stronger in the last elections, and there is nothing to indicate any short term vision of Bennett or Lieberman being the next prime minister of Israel.)

  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
    • shmuel- in fact it seems that wiesel was buried in nyc and environs. i imagined him buried in israel, his body on an el al jet, his soul spending time hovering around his wife and kid in first class: (a young kid, i assume wiesel's son has to be in his thirties by now) and hovering around the people on the plane.

      (dead souls, in recent movies, are often invisible to most people but visible to some, so too a 6 year old kid can see wiesel's soul hanging out in the aisles of the el al flight as his body travels below with the suitcases. but then they announce that due to mechanical difficulties the plane will be landing in europe (this will be tricky, because logically geographically no plane would land in hungary or poland and germany is too over the top, but it could be paris as well, because he spent some time there.) as the plane lands the 6 year old says to elie, "it's landing because of you."
      dead souls get on the flight in paris, they are elie's yeshiva friends from hungary who had studied the texts with him. elie expects them to be proud of all that he has done, but they are not proud. the specifics are not clear, but it is clear that it is over emphasis on jewishness of victims that alienates his friends, because they themselves give the reason for their mixed reactions: they are no longer jewish. a soul that dies for sanctifying the name, kiddush hashem, is freed from the prison of jewishness through their violent deaths. These friends ceased to be jewish upon their death, (which is kind of ironic, because all they do is tell jewish jokes and study talmud for pleasure not for the mitzvah which no longer applies to them).

    • It shifts away from wiesel's "realism" and shifts towards his idealism. There are two lessons from auschwitz- 1. Jewish powerlessness must be undone. And two: We must build a better world. It was much easier to buy guns, and build a Jewish army, than it is to build a better world.

    • Paradigm shift is the phrase that comes to mind. Ben Gurion posed the question, "Does zionism need peace in order to be a success?" His answer was, no. This was in keeping with the Zionist dictum "b'yadeinu", which means "in our hands", that is: we can accomplish our fate by our acts alone. Whereas peace needs two to tango. The net result of B-G's attitude was the undermining of sharret's peace efforts, and bibi's declaration " we must live by the sword forever". Given the tumult of Syria and iraq, the questionable stability of egypt, the dependence of jordan, the troublemaking of Iran, the lack of monopoly regarding an army existing in lebanon, whereas Israel's ability to live by the sword has improved over the last 43 years (using the yom kippur war as the measure of the most recent extreme military vulnerability), the paradigm shift from war to peace is quite far.

      Mark Ellis's paradigm shifted long ago. But the result is that he and the Zionists are not even in the same ballpark, let alone on the same page.

      If I had to summarize the shift it would be based on the irgun's slogan "rak kach" meaning only thus. A slogan accompanied by a hand lifting a rifle towards the sky. The new Mark Ellis "rak kach" would be accompanied by an Arab shaking hands with a Jewish zionist. We are far away from this shift.

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