Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3932 (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 3932 - 3901

  • Countering Islamophobia means ending the structural silencing of Muslim voices-- including their critique of Israel
    • The US is in danger from the trump presidency and the Republican agenda. How to defeat trump and the republicans is an open question. There are those who say that purist progressivism will win at the polls and there are others that say centrism is where the votes are.

      Israel is not an issue that has many votes hanging on it, although it is a litmus test for two groups- the hard lefter than Bernie left and israel supporters in the opposite direction.

      There is no question that the defeat of ellison was due to his stance on israel, too far right for mondoweiss, but certainly too far left for most mainstream supporters of israel. (His vote regarding iron dome puts him out of line for mainstream israel supporters.)

      I myself have two added comments regarding ellison: 1. I respect the left wing jews of Minnesota who have built a relationship with ellison over the years and in general give him the benefit of the doubt based on their testimony. 2. Ellison is a politician, a talented one. But before he decided upon elected office he hung around with farrakhan and the nation of islam much too long. And his loose lips regarding 9/11 and the reichstag fire, I don't remember precisely, but I do recall loose lips, street corner rabble rouser rhetoric a little too easy off his tongue.

      But I don't think my specific objections really matter. Israel supporters defeated ellison. He was a useful middleman to negotiate a platform deal with the hillary faction, but if I were a mainstream israel supporter i would have opposed him too.

      The future of the Democratic party seems to be anti israel. And those who are pro israel are not going to let go of the party's platform so easily.

  • 'Destruction of Israel' is its abandonment by American Jews, in novelist's imagining
    • The book is about assimilation. The son who doesn't want a bar mitzvah, who wants to declare his resignation from the chosen nation and declare himself a member of the United nations. The descent from holocaust survivor to neoconservative son, to reluctantly loyal jew, to virtual jew and ultimately to no longer jew. That is the trajectory of the story. The obnoxious ness of the israeli cousin would have been more effective, if the israeli cousin had been more believable. It was a weak character. As was the wife. Poorly drawn. By the way, the wife's second marriage after the divorce is to an astrophysicist. This is Foer's joke. This means a member of the universe or a nonjew.

  • No room for Zionism in any movement for justice
    • Mhughes- Because of the Balfour declaration and the British mandate granted by the league of nations, British Zionism is an important historical factor, but from a Jewish point of view, I do not think that "a nation without a land and a land without a nation" played a real role in the Zionism, only in the sale of Zionism to outsiders. Daniel Deronda and such is significant in British (nonJewish) Zionism, but not significant to the masses in Eastern Europe.

      I am not sure how large an influence he had, but Pinsker's "Auto emancipation" of 1881 is cited by most Jewish historians and the earliest pioneers were called Hovevei Zion and came from Eastern Europe. The first Zionist Congress gathered in Basel in 1897 under the organizing eye of Herzl and inspired by Herzl's writings.

      The great numbers (not as large as the numbers who headed to America, but greater than numbers of any other Zionist pioneers) of Zionists who headed to Palestine between 1881 and 1914 came from Eastern Europe. The history of the Jews under the realm of the Czar is far more relevant to the Jewish movement than a motto from the 1840's.

    • The price paid by the Palestinians until this very day reveals the cruelty involved in the thrust of the Zionist vector. Given the crisis facing jews under the rule of the czar and facing jews in middle European societies that were traditionally anti Jewish and awakening to the nationalist movements which almost always viewed the jew as other, facing such a crisis without flinching, even over a century after the fact, I feel the crisis and see no single answer. The overwhelming flow was to America and a type of restart. But this was not an answer that paid off for everyone. Eventually the US went through an anti immigrant phase and this solution shriveled to a pittance. The existence of zionism, with its admittedly singular focus, was what provided refuge for hundreds of thousands. Consciousness of the needs of the wider group is good. Oblivious ness to the "other" is evil. To ignore the history of 1881 to 1945 is also a form of oblivious ness.

    • No supporter of assad's syria has any right to participate in a progressive movement. How does that sound? Kind of stupid in fact.

      I'm not about to join any march or any movement, so it's really not my battle. Attacking trump specifically is a priority now, specifically because of his Republican agenda, specifically because of his xenophobia and specifically because of his dangerous personality, a personality that will test our Constitution and our democracy.

      Rip down all hate. I hear you. But you only have to read the comments section here to appreciate that the bds movement (or at least many of its advocates) do not ground their thinking in respect of history and human nature. Israel did not pop up out of a desire for raw materials but out of the human need for security and self respect. Yes there was/is an almost inevitable clash between the mobilization of a conscious group of jews in the period between the wars, 1918 to 1939, and the indigenous and the clash continues until today and seeking or demanding a fair solution to that clash is reasonable. But please to pretend that the conflict between the Zionists and the indigenous can be resolved while ignoring the core history that led to the creation of israel sounds ignorant and these blanket condemnations and categorizations regarding zionism strike me as ignorant. Strident, absolutist and ignorant.

  • Zionism and feminism are incompatible, leftwing voices say
    • Oldgeezer, maybe you seek to communicate with the moderator and I should not confuse your words as communicating with me.

      I meant specifically that your cryptic message was surmised at, and let's put cryptic talk behind us.

    • I accept the existence of dietary advice. Happy?

      I've been listening a lot to malcolm x recently. Lot of stuff available on youtube, besides of course the essential documentary "Make it Plain". I envy that his post mecca humanism was not at all contradicted by his tribalism. Jewish tribalism which was certainly righteous in 1944 is much less so today.

      The turmoil of the Arab world makes utopians, in a bad sense, out of humanist advocates in israel palestine.

    • Fighting trump comes naturally to most left wing jews. Disowning israel does not. Show that photo of leonard cohen near ariel sharon 50 more times, you think that will win hearts and minds? Do I relish the thought of being on the same side as cornel west? Not really, although it always amuses me to hear academic jargon used for non-academic purposes. But I ain't that far left anymore.
      I don't know how to defeat trump in 2020, nor how to keep enough demo in the Senate in 2018 . The preponderance of white votes for Republican since 1968 is disturbing and indicates a lack of solidity in the American electorate. So these are my worries rather than picking a Palestinian bomber of civilians as hostess of a march. It doesn't bother me. Neither do I think that the left knows how to talk to identity valuing jews.

  • Some Jews support BDS 'from a place of love' for Israel, says AJC official
    • No one imagines the multi ethnic American majority voting white americans off the island. The Arab/Islamic majority might very well vote the jews out of israel.

  • A Palestinian state has always been a fiction for Zionists
    • Shamir, whose picture is featured here, is indeed the embodiment of resistance to withdrawal from the west bank. Is yossi Beilin a zionist? Most assuredly yes. Yet he is in favor of a Palestinian state. But he has never been prime minister nor was his point of view ever nearly popular enough to move the political map or envelope in his direction. Herzog is running for office trying to convince voters that he won't give away the store. In fact most Israeli jews, by a wide margin, would object to beilin's plan.

  • Wave of bomb threats renews charge that anti-Semitism is fueled by BDS
    • Antisemitism was basically dormant since 1945. In the west. Not in Russia and eastern europe, where it erupted at intervals, with antizionist trial of Slansky in Czechoslovakia in the 40's and systemic antisemitism in Poland 1968. *Also the white fight against desegregation in the South (of the US) involved a few bombings of synagogues, for "interloper" Jews were enemies to southern racists, and also the kkk emphasized whiteness but also Christianity. ( Christian identity rather than Christian ethics.)

  • Finders Keepers in the Holy Land: So who was there first?
    • Old geezer- sorry I offended you. You are not noteworthy for obscenity, you consider courtesy a nuisance, but nonetheless your usage of 4 letter words indicates some miscommunication.
      You aren't the only one who commented. A couple people here hate jews and my reaction to them spilled on you.

      I have a college yiddish textbook in my apartment and it devotes a chapter to the myth of the Jewish nose. It is not only racists who have dealt with this subject. Minstrelsy is part of America , its a deep topic and the jewish face or punim is worthy of chapters, but the geniuses here write two half baked sentences and consider the subject closed.

      When someone says, I have a Jewish face, for the mw choir to toss their broken bottles shows the low level here.

      Your conduct as a rule is not hateful towards jews and if I gave that impression I was wrong.

      Oh, yeah. Eat mierde.

    • People who can't say anything positive about jews suddenly the phrase, a Jewish face is forbidden to their sensitive souls. In a word, you're full of hooey and you should get a life. Given that the primary Jewish event of the 20th century focused on ashkenazi jews who were persecuted for racial rather than religious reasons, I consider you a collection of ludicrous idiots, who ought to stop telling jews how to talk about themselves.

    • People who can't say anything positive about jews suddenly the phrase, a Jewish face is forbidden to their sensitive souls. In a word, you're full of hooey and you should get a life. Given that the primary Jewish event of the 20th century focused on ashkenazi jews who were persecuted for racial rather than religious ressons, I consider you a collection of worthless scum.

    • Growing up in primarily ashkenazi jewish milieus, the common phrase, "he looks jewish" or "she doesn't look jewish" is just a part of where and when I grew up. ( I would imagine in a reform congregation today surrounded by converts or children of intermarriage such phrases might be frowned upon, and rightly so, converts should not be ashamed of their choice and highlighting the common roots of jews born as jews, might make them feel like outsiders, which is forbidden by jewish law.) Further jews of color and mizrachi jews have given voice to the false assumptions of the ashkenazi centric mindset revealed in such phrases.

      Nonetheless to pretend that such a concept as a Jewish face does not exist because of these above reasons is frivolous. It is precisely to deny the existence of a Jewish ethnic reality. It is ideological and venomous. The Jewish ethnic reality is fading with time and intermarriage. So it is not permanent. But it existed in a big way in america from 1880 to say 1980 and this game, there is no such thing as a Jewish face is a way of refusing to recognize the existence of a cultural concept. It is historically ignorant ideological and venomous.

    • Growing up in primarily ashkenazi jewish milieus, the common phrase, "he looks jewish" or "she doesn't look jewish" is just a part of where and when I grew up. ( I would imagine in a reform congregation today surrounded by converts or children of intermarriage such phrases might be frowned upon, and rightly so, converts should not be ashamed of their choice and highlighting the common roots of jews born as jews, might make them feel like outsiders, which is forbidden by jewish law.) Further jews of color and mizrachi jews have given voice to the false assumptions of the ashkenazi centric mindset revealed in such phrases.

      Nonetheless to pretend that such a concept as a Jewish face does not exist because of these above reasons is frivolous. It is precisely to deny the existence of a Jewish ethnic reality. It is ideological and venomous. The Jewish ethnic reality is fading with time and intermarriage. So it is not permanent. But it existed in a big way in america from 1880 to say 1980 and this game, there is no such thing as a Jewish face is culturally and historically ignorant ideological and venomous. But don't worry. I read somewhere: Ignorance is Strength! So you and the Donald are on the right track.

    • Amigo- you wish to make a specific point regarding jewishness/judaism as religion. I wish to make a specific point regarding the ethnic discrimination that existed for quite some time in the part of the world that boris comes from. Declaring anyone as unserious because of a different ( but historically accurate) perspective merely demonstrates your deafness to other perspectives. Obtuse ness does not make you serious. It makes you obtuse.

    • Google George s kaufman. Early in his career he was fired because he looked jewish.
      Charlie rose once asked jerzy kozinski about his travails in ww2. Jerzy said, if I looked like you, I wouldn't have had such a tough time hiding. So Google their faces and compare.

    • Amigo, in the relatively recent past under a specific regime, being Jewish was deemed a capital crime and many sought to blend in to society. Those of blonde hair and blue eyes had an easier job of that masquerade.

      Whether mizrachi jews can see a difference between themselves and the nonjews of their respective host countries, I don't know. And certainly since my people lived among blonds rather than in Greece or Italy the specific coloring difference I mentioned was not a universal factor.

  • 'We will not go back' in struggle against racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia -- Bernie Sanders
    • Magh- so short of bds, there is nothing to be done but watch and write anti bibi comments?

      Maybe so. Derfner has a new book coming out. Do you consider him useless?

  • Breaking the cycle of violence and inequality: an end to individualism and the hope in collaboration
    • Inequality is not growing. Inequality in western societies is growing. Worldwide there's been improvement in living standards in many countries. Global warming is a threat, because it will cause flooding and droughts, but capitalism and individualism is lifting more boats than communitarianism ever has.

  • Are Bannon and Trump turning U.S. anti-immigrant enforcement agencies into their own paramilitary force?
    • This is indeed quite alarming.

      My initial reaction to the possibility of ICE coming to the streets of new York city: it reminds me of those who came north pursuing fugitive slaves.

      Also: those who minimize the dangers of trump are part of the problem.

  • The 50th anniversary of the occupation will rock the Jewish establishment
    • Anne frank in the schools is a subject above my pay grade. But 999 out of 1000 people who play the ball point pen game are seig heil deniers and jokesters. Go ahead laugh, jack.

    • Mooser making jokes and winking at denialism.

    • Citizen- after your ball point pen comment, common decency would require you to cease and desist referencing anne frank.

    • Rosross- at the beginning of ww2 there were 18 million jews on the planet. Most of them lived or died in countries occupied or allied with the nazis. Use the word "most" as if it has a mathematical definition rather than as a word that has no precise meaning .

  • Commemorating 75 years of advancing prophetic Judaism, free of nationalism and politicization
    • If you have a text and merely have to change the noun from our nation to our world, if the text inspires and is of use as a result of a mere change in noun, then the text is indeed of value. You wish to give credit only to yourself for changing the noun and placing the crown where it belongs, but the text is a crown despite your animus to the nation or nationalism.

    • The idea that starting from scratch one would present torah and talmud as the purest thought, the thought which will bring peace to mankind, is preposterous. It is a highly faulty set of texts. Christianity is a little better on universalism vs particularism, as is islam. I think human nature is the key to getting the most out of texts.

      Google irwin kula judaism unbound if you are interested in modern rabbis.

  • History shows that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism have never been mutually exclusive
    • The genocidal antisemitism of the nazis was ideological rather than logical creating a super jew so as to counterpoint a super aryan. Natural logical nationalistic (defining nationalism as the essence of the right wing) movements viewed the jews as the other, but the globe is large. Go elsewhere.

      The left's antisemitic bias is anti particularism. Religion is bad was the left's initial attitude. That was adjusted to reject nonuniversalist religions. ( thus judaism is rejected as a particularly bad religion.) The left accepts nationalism reluctantly and sporadically. In recent times the left is far more tolerant of people of color nationalism and far less tolerant of white people nationalism. (I'm thinking Ukraine not kkk.)

      I sense bannon's essential racialist evil that will manifest regarding immigrants muslim and illegal Latinos. I don't see the necessity to disavow israel more now than I would under an Obama presidency. There is a type of "let's muslims and jews join together against trump despite our knowledge that we are avoiding a sore topic" that is embodied by sarsour's charity. Meanwhile purists wish to make a point regarding zionism irrelevant to the struggle against trump. (Inconsistency is part of human nature. You make allies where you can and where you must.)

  • The emergence of the Just Jew
    • Eljay- antisemitism is neither universal nor timeless. A study of judeophobia would reveal specificities of place and time, philosemites and prosperity and comity as well as the darker side of history.

      To question the phenomenon in the years 1881 to 1945 is to engage in denial ism rather than confront the primary factors in Israel's birth and widespread American Jewish support for israel.
      ( Yes, study the history of brandeis rising and contrast that to lenin's correctives to czarist repression that did not have enough room in his ideology to accept the Bundists' claim for cultural identity. But don't dismiss the topic with the suffering of the rothschilds.)

      Here's my image: 1943, split screen- one Jewish kid, (eleven years old in a dodgers cap)is lined up to get into ebbets field to see the dodgers play and the same age Jewish kid is on line to get selected by mengele. The contrast is inconceivable. Also manipulative.

      Zionism received support from American jews, (cue the sunlight and chirping birds), but it was born in the cauldron of a doomed European jewry. It is fine to analyze 2017 and not 1939. It is valid to study the accurate history of europe and its jews. (Frictions are inevitable. What can we learn to reduce frictions.) But dismissal of that earlier period is a dismissal of human history and is manipulative as well.

    • Keith is playing dumb. Look up on Wikipedia middleman minority. Not all minorities fit into pre made categories or preconceptions, sometimes you have to expand your categories or add a category.

    • Maghwatan, you are right. The issues of i/p are far more important than a handful of jew haters. Frankly the trump election and the reintroduction of right wing jew hatred has been quite disconcerting and I try to minimize my participation on mw since it is primarily repetitive and purposeless.

    • Page: 39
    • Mooser- a serious question in the mouth of a fool.

    • Keith's comment dismisses antisemitism based upon the existence of the rothschilds. This is street corner delinquency, not worthy of your noble defense.

      "All the fault of the gentiles" of course, is much more humorous and essentially nontoxic, unless one puts it into roha's context. He is friend to Bic pen purveyors of sewer talk and tells us they deserve the benefit of the doubt. He is friend to 1920's poland persecuting jews, who deserve it, because they are separatists. He is enemy to Jewish languages and culture, the jews are too few to deserve the option of cultural survival.
      In this context, the upshot of a joke-y " of course the gentiles deserve all the blame" is not innocent, but part of a consistent line, if ever the sides are jews vs somebody, roha roots for somebody.

    • Keith's comment dismisses antisemitism asserting that since Rothschilds are rich antisemitism cannot exist. This is ridiculous.

      Roha's statement: "all the fault of the gentiles of course", is far less ridiculous. Yet offering a sentence of eight words and to feel that this suffices is superficial and dismissive of the topic rather than an attempt at analysis.

      Certainly roha's defense of citizen's recent ball point pen comment on anne frank gave me the specific context for viewing his comment. Giving citizen the benefit of the doubt in what to me was an obvious hit and run places roha deep in a pile of feces. We can discuss this if you wish .

      I agree that the topic of jew versus gentile in practice and rhetoric in the post religious phase of European history needs a book like lindenmann's " tears of esau" to lend some gravitas to the discussion . The friction between jews and gentiles in czarist russia needs to take into account a few facts, including the fact that unlike central europe which was attempting to move out of its religious past into a secular future, the czar was resisting modernization's dictates regarding religious tolerance. Further one must account for the fact that until Catherine the Great annexed poland and other nonrussian territories, there were almost no jews under russia's domain and the czars were shocked appalled and unprepared for the very idea of jews as their citizens or subjects.

      A throw away line whose meaning can vary from, judaism- contains -anti- gentile- sentiments ( which is accurate) but also sounds a teensy bit like, the-jews- only -got- what- they- deserved, might have deserved the benefit of the doubt, if only it had contained a reference to some scholarly work like lindenmann's, but as a throw away line it can be judged in the context of roha's general attitude- protecting ball point pen comments as acceptable skepticism, as rejecting any rights that Europeans jews had regarding maintaining cultural autonomy when power changed hands. (Polish oppression of jews in 1920's and 30's is accepted by roha as copacetic, despite the existence of jews as a separate entity on their territory when the Polish independence was declared. Respecting the culture of the indigenous only applies to cases not involving jews and shifting European sovereignty.)

      Roha opposes all small nationalities and languages and thus his attitude that the Jewish culture should be crushed is of a piece with his equanimity in accepting the crushing of other small nations and languages. Maybe that gives consistency to his position, but ultimately opposing the jews because they stand in the way of roha's concept of progress is still being against the jews no matter the overriding opposition to all small nations. Add in his defense of ball point pen comments, I think a throw away line regarding jew vs gentile in eastern europe can be fairly judged in the context of roha's consistent opposition to the jews.

    • Keith and roha highlighting how antizionism and antisemitism make a beautiful combination.

  • Albert Einstein's advice to Jared Kushner
    • Rosross is allowed to define jewishness as he wishes and to categorize einstein as not fitting his definition. Yet einstein defined himself as a jew and to omit Einstein's self definition is a type of posthumous disrespect.

  • Jewish groups battle over Trump's choice for Israel ambassador
    • Sibiriak- I will let Remnick speak for himself. I am opposed to dictatorship and specifically Russian dictatorship. When Zbigniew brzezinski opposed the Soviet Union I felt, but of course, the history of Poland and Russia did not begin in 1945, but is much deeper than that. Thus I accept my own biases as well and watch others run the world and/or achieve certainty of their own objectivity. I support Ukraine vs russia because my people come from Ukraine and the mainstream Jewish reaction is: fuck the ukrainians, those nazi collaborators. I resist that tendency and purely emotionally try to empathize with ukraine. In my superficial knowledge russia is one sick mother, economically, and I view the failure of democracy in Russia as probably inevitable. There is an ebb and flow to history, one should not concede defeat to the nationalistic rightist movements, but one can try to assess the currents of history.

      ( since this is an anti israel site, let me add: Regarding zionism people of my age, that is yehudim of my age, view israel through the prism of the past. 1881- 1945. They also have sincere doubts regarding the immediate future of the middle east, where lebanon is the beacon of hope.

      (The settlement enterprise and conqueror's attitude towards the west bank was (and is and will be) disastrous morally and politically precisely as y. Leibowitz expressed so caustically.)

  • Israeli govt and its supporters admit the fight to defeat BDS has failed
  • New Israel Fund response to Ben Gurion harassment reinforces very system it claims to oppose
  • The centrist US political system will defeat Trump
  • Jewless Holocaust. Israel first.
    • I really try to avoid the term holocaust, because of its religious connotation. Shoah, which means destruction and hurban (h as in hummus) which means destruction are far more preferable terms. If hitler had not been so meshuga with the jews the roma would've had a far easier time. In regards to Poland and Ukraine, the conquering of this Slavic territory for German lebensraum was murderous racist colonialism without crossing the sea or the color line. A different type of genocide than that suffered by the jews and the roma. People in France had a deluxe occupation. Poland and Ukraine, quite different.

    • The loss of WWI drove German nationalists nuts. It seems that the nature of the surrender, (meaning: without suffering an apparent military defeat, but conceding everything at the peace table) was the perfect brew for the "stabbed in the back" motif. It drove them nuts. That German insanity used Judeophobia as it's channel of nuttiness, that would take someone like Freud to interpret. Jealousy, economic competition, seeking the spotlight, those are all rational responses to reality. The nazis frankly were nuts. Sick, destructive, self destructive. Like joni Mitchell said, "or maybe it's the time of man". Judeophobia has a rational phase and an irrational phase and like the plague carrying rats, different groups got infected, and like a freak avalanche an emotional breakdown chain reaction, Judeophobia as true insanity.

  • Jewish groups slamming Trump on refugees are hardhearted when it comes to Palestinian refugees
    • America's motto "e pluribus unum". Israel's national anthem, nefesh yehudi homiya. These are 2 very different ideas.
      Can the Zionist acceptance of the nakba as necessity allow for a full acceptance of Palestinian equality on the land?
      Palestinian rhetoric used to boast about the temporary, crusader like existence of the Jewish state.
      My own view: the unceasing war between Israel and her neighbors is an indication of a failure on Israel's part . Ben Gurion decried the lack of statesmanship. In a word that is what shamir and Netanyahu lack. Statesmanship.

  • What would Anne Frank do?
    • Roha= you start with a defense of citizen's ball point pen, and characterize it as a type of historical curiosity rather than the denialism that it represents. This shows that your seriousness is only in your language but not in your character.

      i don't know how america let alone god forsaken australia should teach the genocides of the last couple centuries.

      there is an overlap between judeophobia and anti zionism. i assume that the editors of this web site wish to say we are here (antizionism) but not there (judeophobia). sometimes they slip. i feel that introducing anne frank to this comments audience is such a slip.

      i have seen judeophobic literature and cartoons focusing on anne frank as a type of comic figure, something for the charlie hebdo (hustler magazine cartoons) part of our personalities. that is what this post and citizen's comment represent to me. the historical educational conjecturing is just the icing on the cake.

      i grew up twenty years after the german nazi european slaughter of the jews in german controlled territory and it is part of my family history. world war II was the start of the modern era in a way and the slaughter of the jews was an important feature of that war, if only for the german jewish scientists who contributed to the american atom bomb. i cannot objectively characterize its importance. the jewish contribution to european culture between 1848 and 1939 was not trivial. the jewish contribution to american culture from 1920 until today is not trivial. the slaughter of the jews in europe between 1939 to 1945 is certainly not trivial to the jews.

      if americans wish to teach the story of the genocides of the last two centuries featuring other genocides, go to it.

      but i can smell a judeophobe. sometimes i'm wrong. but not in this case, dude.

    • If you want to blur the line between jew hating and antizionism, be my guest. If you think a discussion of Anne Frank helps the cause of the Palestinians you are nearer to gilad atzmon than to me.

    • Mondoweiss, Phil Weiss, Kate miranda, skip the Anne frank. Just skip it. Cesspool in the comments section.

  • Netanyahu's tweet for Trump suggests two leaders have cut a deal on Jerusalem or Iran, says former ambassador
    • I think trump does not want to go to war against anyone, including iran. He wants to bluster and win without war. I think his brinksmanship style is dangerous, but his primary desire is to promote: anti immigrant anti muslim, anti media, america first.

    • Bibi and short term thinking go together like French fries and iced coca cola. This has always been true. In political trouble, which he is, only doubles the shortsightedness (half the distance for those keeping score at home.) Currently the man of the hour is Bennett and it seems that bibi feels he need not hide his natural affinity for trump, because it plays so well in Bennett's thinking. I'm not sure what bibi wants beyond his personal political survival and the far right is his key to survival for the short term.

  • American Jews will 'divorce' Israel if it is at peace -- Foxman
    • The weakness of the Arab world, dominated by Turkey, made Palestine a realistic goal to begin with. Carved up by Britain and France, this weakness did not cease with the end of colonialism. Maybe if there had been no oil the world would have given it space to blossom and mature. That does not seem to be the case.

      (Again trump and the danger to america prey on my mind. Who am I to talk about the weakness of regimes thousands of miles away, while in DC trump rules?)

    • The middle east is a messed up neighborhood. Israel hasn't helped, but the problem is deeper.

      (With trump as president the trajectory of American leadership in the post WW2 world has been interrupted. At least for the moment the victory of democracy has been put in abeyance. But let us hope that this is a hiccup and not the new future.)

      Just been reading some Ben Gurion bio material. Of course, the state was born because of him and the nakba occurred because of him. But if his forward looking spirit had inhabited ehud barak or ehud Olmert or ariel sharon, a two state solution could have been reached.

      The upshot is constant war. 45 years ago the threat was the conventional armies of surrounding states: egypt and syria. Today it is the hezbollah missile stockpile threatening havoc. But the headlines are of the suppression of bedouins and internal jewish versus Arab strife and checkpoints on the west bank, and gaza under siege. To my eye this aspect of the conflict is extraneous and symptomatic of myopia, the opposite of farsightedness.

      The constant war, according to some, has been enabled by blind American support, due to unthinking American Jewish support.

      In American Jewish life there have been three big bangs: the great migration of 1880 to 1920 was the local big bang and far as foreign big bangs there was the shoah and israel.

      The immigrant experience is not unique to jews, and sociologists might enlighten with statistics of identity 100 years after the original change of location. The disappearance or decimation of the Jewish subgroup in countries of origin might add some complicating factor. An identity based on religion, despite its ethnic features, will also have unique reactions at a time of secularism particularly modern urban cosmopolitan secularism.

      The joy of the settler element in israel to the trump victory, while the majority of jews disdain trump will cost israel when trump will, please God sooner rather than later, be in our rear view mirror. Some moments I wonder how america will survive this curse called trump, but most moments, I assume we, america, will. In which case those associated with trump will bear a stain and bibi and the settlers , with their short term focus, aren't concerned with 8 or 12 or 32 years hence, they're not thinking like that.

  • Trump's vow to move embassy to Jerusalem is now a 'decision-making process'
    • I certainly hope it won't move and since mattis and Tillerson are two decisive voices, I think there will not be a move. But trump is a wild man, so who knows?

  • Saturday's marches are going to make America great again
    • I agree regarding the pivotal role of the British mandate which was guided by the Balfour declaration. The american role at birth was to work for the partition resolution. Weapons came from the Soviet sphere of influence in that birth.
      Since 67 america has been a supplier of weapons and at the critical moment of 73 the US (nixon) saved Israel's life (more or less).

  • Obama 'betrayed' American Jews and Trump is a 'swineherd' -- Bernard-Henri Levy
    • The timing of that telegram from eshkol to lbj, was it the same day as the Jordan nasser abdication/rapprochement. When eshkol widened his cabinet and took dayan aboard on June 1st it was game over. As of that moment eshkol became a figurehead and dayan became the decisive voice.

    • Certainly the attack on the uss liberty is a black stain against israel.
      (1 American soldier killed would be too many but the number on Wikipedia is 34 not 74.)

    • Roha- You're right. I skipped the Syrian Israeli tension. (not on the Golan Heights, but on the armistice line, no man's land). Sorry about that. The es Samu incident occurred in november 66 and the clashes with syria were before that.

    • Because his parents were Algerian my analysis may not be enough. One recalls de gaulle's distancing himself from israel in the period before the war, and how a maoist mindset might react to de gaulle's "none of my business" attitude.

    • No matter Israel's sin against the Palestinians, the rhetoric of the Arab street in the weeks preceding the war was a bit much. And it was enough to push BHL to get on a plane to israel. I for one do not accept BHL's explanation that it had no connection to some nationalistic identity that was given to him by his parents, despite themselves. I think jews in France in the 50's and 60's who pretended that there was no past they were hiding from, communicated a terror to their children and the message was sent and received despite themselves.

    • Mysterioso: the June 11th commitment by eshkol is news to me. Quick Google found it unsourced. Do you have a source?

    • Let me add to the proximate causes the israeli attack on es Samu on west bank, then controlled by jordan in nov. 66. when rabin went to visit Ben Gurion in sde boker before the war BG had two criticisms, the mobilization of reserves and the attack on samu. Israeli oblivious ness re: the inter Arab rivalry (enmity) meant that in the name of deterrence they stirred the pot that brought on the war.

    • I suppose raising the issue of the cause of the 67 war was bound to attract negative reactions.
      The point that I was raising was not the immediate cause of the war (meaning in this case: who shot first) nor the underlying cause of the war (as in the 48 war and its effects on the region), but the intermediate causes of the war. Nasser did what he did (mobilizing forces, asking the UNEF to leave and declaring aggressive intents regarding the Strait of Tiran) based on two factors: russian, aka Soviet misinformation, and inter Arab tensions. Avi shlaim, not a propagandist, stated that the cause of the war was the inter Arab rivalries. That is what caused the escalation that triggered (rather than started) the war.
      Eshkol did everything in his power to avoid the war. Unfortunately, mobilizing the reserves (prematurely) put Israel in a tenuous position and decreased the flexibility he might have had to avoid the pressure of his generals to go to war. Also his disastrous address to the israeli public made the public feel less secure rather than moreso and that address forced him to acquiesce to the generals' demand that he appoint Dayan as defense minister. Once that appointment was done in the aftermath of the Jordan egypt rapprochement, the die was cast.

      Whatever speeches he made after the victory are relevant regarding the underlying tensions and the attempt to ballyhoo his or the nation's accomplishments, but are an inaccurate indication of the cause of the war.

    • You present certain aspects of the war. Presenting a simplified version: do over of 1948 in order to conquer the west bank is as propagandistic as anything I've heard.

    • Because BHL raises the topic of the six day war.
      I found in my notes (I think from avi shlaim), that the turmoil that preceded and caused the war had more to do with inter Arab rivalry (nasser versus syria. Syria versus jordan. Nasser versus king hussein) than it had to do with the Israel Arab enmity.

  • Trump 'promise' to move US embassy to Jerusalem stirs international furor
  • Obama's failure, and achievement, in Palestine
    • The end of the Obama administration is a landmark occasion, worthy of comment.

      The one state, two state argument. By chance I've been reading some biographical accounts of David Ben Gurion and besides wondering at the indomitable will of the man, I was struck by two things: there were many Zionists after wwII who were opposed to statehood at that time, sufficient numbers that I cannot ideologically invalidate proposals of new governance for i/p. My objections are not ideological, but practical.
      Second point: Ben Gurion's insistence in adjusting to the historical moment. Certainly he was guided by practicality rather than morality, but he consistently was trying to balance what he saw as Israel's interest versus the geopolitical and regional power dynamics.

      Obama plus bibi was never going to work. If olmert, livni, sharon, barak or rabin had been in power at the same time as obama, the situation would have had possibility. But bibi, no, nothing doing.
      It seems clear that if current trends continue, ultimately, the Democratic party will represent their voters rather than the donors and the party will pull away from supporting israel. Will future democrats cite obama in justifying the party's move away from israel? I don't know. According to pundits the short term health of the Democratic party is iffy, so it could be 13 years before democrats really get on top of their game. So in such a longer time frame Jimmy Carter and Obama will be mentioned by those taking over the rejuvenated democratic party, but dynamics on the ground in i/p and on the ground in the future democratic party will play the major role in the new policy and historic precedence and presidents won't play a major role.

  • Antisemitism and its useful idiots
    • Because of the existence of zionism and the facts of certain Israeli excesses, it is really impossible to gauge antisemitism. Certainly the real barriers of 60 years ago in many aspects and corners of society have fallen. America has undergone a revolution of openness in many ways and openness to jews is one category. On the other hand, though it is difficult to gauge the numbers represented by the likes of bannon and spencer, the sewer lids have been lifted. On the other side of the tracks, there has been no black jew hater of the severity of farrakhan since farrakhan, and he's an old man, but cancer didn't kill him, but if the anger of a young malcolm x feels like a bolt of lightning, the anger of the old farrakhan is the smoldering stick creating a breathing hazard.

      This is to say: zionism in Europe was a reaction to antisemitism. The reality of that hatred can only be denied by ignorant people. The political dynamics of enlisting jew haters to promote zionism is a valid point, but to assert it without some cognizance of where zionism came from, and that is: it arose from a bad situation that eventually became even worse, much worse. To omit that is to distort history.

  • The immaculate conception of Louis Brandeis
    • I recall an approximation that about 7% of the Palestinians of 1947 palestine were immigrants attracted to the economy of Palestine particularly after 1933.

  • Statement: Palestinian students in UK demand resignation of National Union of Students VP following Al Jazeera investigation
    • No
      It is the totality. No smoking gun.

    • Continue watching videos on the offered youtube set up ( not in talkback's video but in the al jazeera video in the main text) and catch some great stuff: be exposed to antisemitic caricatures and a defence of Ernst zundel.

    • Mr or Dr. Martin, with his calm mentions of farrakhan and David irving, and eliciting laughter with "I understand they have lots of high holidays", on a tape of an ihr event, a known holocaust denial organization, is a stain on talkback and on mw comments.

  • It turns out Jews are as stupid as everyone else
    • Einstein on what is a jew:

      What is a snail? A snail is an animal inhabiting a snail shell.
      What is a jew? A jew is a person professing the Jewish faith.
      It is known that a snail can shed its shell without thereby ceasing to be a snail.
      The jew who abandons his faith is in a similar position. He remains a Jew.
      End quote.
      I found this in the einstein and zionism book.
      It is arguable that Einstein's impression is based upon two features: the society of his birth and the recent ness of abandonment of faith. Einstein's society went nuts in the immediate aftermath of world War one, crazy with jew hatred. Not all of society, but vast sectors of society. Largely quiescent in Germany in the 20's, when the depression came it was bye bye germany. The abandonment of faith was recent in Einstein's case, so the echoes of faith, ensured the snail was a snail. But faded echoes of the faith are quite often not enough to make the snail aware of his snail-ness, it is not a biological category, (in most cases) but a psychological/sociological category, and it can be shed sometimes, echoing the abandonment of faith.

    • Rosross- maybe under different noninternet circumstances you'd have enough courtesy not to tell me what I need to study.

      You feel free to tell us what Einstein and Freud were, and although both wrote on the topic of jewishness, God forbid you should quote them, because then you'd have to argue with them regarding their self identities.

      Unfortunately many propagandists have twisted Einstein and Freud's words to make them into nationalists, which they weren't, but such misuse of these men and their words does not give you license to categorize then according to your limited 2017 perspective rather than allowing them to express their opinions in their own words.

      (Karl marx was a piece of fecal matter and including him with an original thinker like Freud and the preeminent scientist of the 20th century , albert einstein, is a real disgrace.)

      The possibility of a genetic component to Jewish accomplishments cannot be dismissed, although it is politically incorrect. But it is not an argument that i, as someone who has not studied genetics nor the relevant statistics am willing to make, nor have I made such an argument.

      The period in question: the last quarter of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century featured certain dynamics that were in play regarding the Jewish populations of central and eastern europe, totally unrelated to the rituals or theologies of judaism. The dynamics involved a suppressed population that saw educational excellence as their path out of the ghetto, both the ghetto imposed by the wider society and the insularity advocated by the society of Jewish conformity which individuals yearning to breathe free, found suffocating. As far as excellence in science and math, where the progress of the west was remarkable, attributing the excellence of Einstein to his roots seems farfetched and I offered the explanation of yeshiva people half tongue in cheek. As regards to the humanities exemplified by Freud ( whose scientific contributions were minimal, at least from 2017 eyes, but whose cultural contribution was gigantic particularly with the advent of cinema and early television ) I think his jewishness was a major contributor to his innovation, global perspective and stubbornness in the face of wholesale opposition of non-Jewish vienna. I cannot read kafka's Gregor samsa awakening to discover his roachiness, without thinking of the fact that the nazis were soon to treat kafka's ethnic group like insects needing extermination. The jew as middle man and obsessed with words and books, salesmanship and oratory, contrasted to the taciturn peasants of the other ethnicities of the region, certainly played a part in the development of media industries in the period involved.

      To pretend that because monotheism or sabbath observance or avoidance of bacon seem to be unrelated to the developments of an information society and then to conclude that jewishness, occupying a specific ethnic and sociological role in society, is an irrelevant factor strikes me as ignorant and arrogant.

      Both Freud and einstein were unashamed of their ethnic roots and for some punk to come a hundred years later and spout how they were non-Jewish because of their lack of attachment to the religion, is the height of juvenile sophomoric childishness. No one who has studied the issue with any degree of scholarship and seriousness would treat you as anything other than a child.

    • Jewish excellence in America in science and mathematics has decreased markedly as the generations have gotten further away from the immigrant experience.

    • Regarding a scientist like Einstein there is little to support the Jewish aspect of his genius. Yeshiva people automatically think, if only he would have studied torah he would have been a great rabbi, and the culture of books and queries involved in talmud study, we of the books attribute the culture of ours for producing einstein.

      Regarding the humanities and a pseudo science like Freud, I believe there was a significant Jewish element in the contributions, the Jewish story telling, literacy, yearning for meritocracy, pushing with two elbows, were a serious contribution to the cultures of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century and in Hollywood and radio/tv in america since the 1920's. Those are Jewish accomplishments, Western accomplishments, nations accomplishment, human accomplishment.

    • 1. Won't join club that would have me as a member. 2. Can my daughter wade in up to her knees, she's only half jewish.

    • As far as the golf club, all I can say is that groucho crystallized all there is to be said in two jokes.

      Makovsky and insular hillel and "Israel Lobby" raise some real questions. Israel diplomacy as exemplified by the handshake between rabin and arafat has collapsed and the new reality is much darker. The only valid point to make in Israel's behalf is the chaos of syria (and the region).

      Netanyahu's whole hearted embrace of trump in the aftermath of the Obama abstention was sure to alienate the majority of American voters who voted against trump, but bibi could care less. Narrow minded political survival short term thinking.

      Right now the trump presidency is about to begin and i cant say how embarrassing this moment is for america.

      Also the hope that the mozes yediot achronot scandal might sink bibi is too hard to believe. Out of superstition I feel it unwise to even mention it.

  • Video: Support for one democratic state grows as Palestinians lose hope in two-state solution
    • Maghwatan - a wish list is useful. But not quite what I have in mind. As far as hamas and fatah, on paper they are the "owners" of the west bank and gaza and any one man one vote proposition denies their ownership, something I cannot imagine either of them endorsing at this time. Individuals from West bank society who say one man one vote, they don't win elections. The insights of a wishlist contrasted to the social political dynamics of the parties which dominate.

    • Be specific: If the un or fatah or hamas would advocate a one state solution, what would be the statements and policies of those 3 institutions?

  • Democrats' sympathy for Israel has crashed nearly 25 percent in last nine months -- Pew
    • Since the election, even before the un resolution abstention, bibi was cozying up to trump at the precise moment when liberal democrats were recoiling at the reality wrought by the electoral college and the voters of Wisconsin Michigan and pennsylvania. Of course the extreme anti obama rhetoric after the abstention is still ringing in our ears.

      If the issue is #8 on the foreign policy concerns list of the constituents, but #1 concern of donors, what's a congressman to do?

      What percentage of democrats know who Keith Ellison is?

  • Netanyahu has isolated Israel and is driving the US 'off a cliff into chaos' -- Lloyd Doggett
  • New poll shows sharp partisan divide on UN settlements resolution, and between Jews and African-Americans
    • There are 2 separate issues: a Palestinian state on the west bank and settlements on the west bank. . I think the two issues overlap in many Jewish minds. I think retaining military occupation of the west bank, from a purely military point of view is safer than having a Palestinian state there. The settlers present themselves as being the obstacle to a dangerous military situation: the Palestinians control the mountain Ridge overlooking the narrow coast.

      Of course there is no such thing as purely militarily, the Palestinians are political beings, humans, with needs and demands that are festering wounds. The occupation is as corrupting as yeshayahu leibowitz asserted. His conclusion: the occupation is more dangerous or indeed toxic, than a Palestinian state.

      The lame duck out of the door, flipping of the bird on the way out, might not bother your average person of color democrat, but it certainly made an impression on Jews. Norm finkelstein's impression is widespread and not a cause for much Jewish cheer in the mainstream.

  • Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
    • The danger facing the Jewish tribe in Eastern Europe was not based on their religion primarily. in fact the sentiment that sought to exclude the Jews from the national identities of various countries was not based on Christ or the new testament, but upon race and ethnicity and nation.

      Zionism was in its start a reaction to external factors. There were certainly internal factors that drove its location (territorial goals) and attitudes. But the pogroms of 1881 and the nationalism of nonJewish host nations (with its heavy dose of Jew hatred) were the most important factors in the birth of Zionism.

    • The urge to survive is natural and good. The urge to reject the coercive powers of the czar and like minded ministers and peasants is good. Freedom is good.

      The choice of Palestine was a logical choice, for any urge for self rule required attracting large numbers and only a popular destination could attract the sacrifice and effort that would be required for the attempt at self rule.

      I have cousins who are alive today because of zionism. (They were able to escape poland where they were fated to be slaughtered and instead settled in palestine, due to the existence of the British mandate.) I do not expect Palestinians to value the life of my cousins to the degree of accepting their own loss of freedom and their homes. But in effect you are telling me to regret the survival of my cousins. I do not regret their survival.

    • Roha- I would put it as follows: the Jewish urge to self rule in 1897 was natural and good. The location chosen for that self rule was wrong, from the perspective of the Palestinians. Since in fact hundreds of thousands of jews who made it to palestine before 1939 saved their lives based upon the evil done to the Palestinians, it emerges that a great salvation and a great catastrophe occurred as a result of the same act.

    • Roha- as far as Zionism goes, the urge towards self rule does not suffice, because the oppressing nation or the nation that refused to recognize the Jews as one with the rest of the nation, did not have to pay a price for their treating them as "other" and instead it was the Palestinians who were not involved in European "otherness ideation" who paid the price for the "they are not of us" attitude of eastern Europe, so there is no justification (that I cited) for the specific place that zionism focused upon.

      but it is juvenile and puerile to compare the nationalism or urge to self rule of 1897 eastern (and central) european jewry to 2017 when someone who lives in a multicultural society stops believing in a belief that is no longer a key tenet of the society (or even if it is a key tenet, the belief does not cause the majority to relate to the disbeliever as other in his ethnicity but strictly other in terms of belief. ) 2017 britain or US or Australia has an openness to multiple ethnicities, let alone deviant belief systems, that does not at all describe the situation of the Jews in Eastern Europe in 1897. (The Jews were considered, "not one of us" by those nations and thus the urge to self rule is not some silliness, but serious business, resulting from serious exclusion which the excluding people or nations concocted through ideas that they based on nationalism.)

    • Mooser, you asked a serious question, but you are not a serious person. How should I respond?

    • In 1881 or 1897 or 1917 what percentage of Russians or poles or Ukrainians or Hungarians or Romanians said about the jews living in their geographic neighborhood, "They are of the same nation as us, they only pray to God differently than us." Very few. The nations considered the jews a nation apart. Jews who moved to the US were in a different category, because there was a separation of church and state in the constitution of the US and an aspiration for such enlightenment elsewhere in the west. In the east, not so.

      So play your games of anti historical analogies, the choir will cheer you on, but as soon as you are ready to deal with history rather than your college dorm nonsense let me know.

    • Zionism was based upon the Jewish will towards self rule in a specific place, viewing the natives as obstacles. It took advantage of the last gasp of British colonialism. The big dreamers saw the necessity of exiling populations, which in itself is an act of violence against civilians.

      The acceptance of the necessity of violence was essential. How do you unleash violence and then rein it in? There is no formula .

      The haavara agreement certainly causes discomfort. I'm not enough of a historian to assess the possible success of the boycott to assess the damage done to the cause by the agreement.

      My current frame of mind attempts to follow yeshayahu leibowitz 's logic. Accepting the very human Jewish urge to self rule, recognizing that violence was necessary, but ultimately was used carelessly by early israel, but the true catastrophe is the occupation, rather specifically the west bank.

      When I grew up there were riots in Detroit in 67, and h. Rap Brown said, "violence is as american as cherry pie." I'd say that violence is part and parcel of history. The urge to self rule occurred at a time of great tumult and violence in eastern europe and the move to self rule in that spot there, entailed violence and keeping that violence measured was never an easy proposition. The capturing of the west bank with its allure for settlers without giving citizenship to those already there was a gross error.

      I try to imagine a history without the nakba, but the only way I can write it out is by editing out hitler as well. A gradual increase in population could have created a Jewish homeland without full statehood, more coexistence and less violence. But history is a given and the tumult of 47 to 48 was a direct result of ww2. (33 to 45)

    • This piece is propaganda. The choir cheers. But it does not stand up to analysis.

      Try this paragraph:
      Indeed, most Jews and Jewish leaders dismissed Zionism as the latest anti-Semitic cult. They had fought for equality, and resented being told that they should now make a new ghetto—and worse yet, to do so on other people’s land. They resented being cast as a separate race of people as Zionism demanded. - See more at:

      Maybe this is true for British Jewry and maybe American Jewry. (Even regarding British Jews and American Jews, the language of antisemitic cult is certainly anachronistic.) But in 1897 the majority of Jews did not live in free societies, they lived under the rule of the Russian Czar. These Jews might have wished for equality rather than what most considered a quixotic quest for an opportunity to rule themselves, but they were still in a ghetto (the Pale of Settlement) and the opposition of most of their leaders (religious leaders) was based upon quietism, not rocking the boat, and had nothing to do with opposition to being viewed as a separate people, which indeed the majority of rabbis did view themselves. As far as "worse yet, on other people's land", this is clearly an anachronistic imagination by Mister Suarez, the idea of colonialism was still riding sufficiently high in 1897 that the concern for the rights of the indigenous certainly was not their first concern, even if we might wish to imagine their moral sensibilities being ahead of their time rather than of their time.

      No, Mister Suarez is basing these supposed thoughts upon an imagination of British Jewry, which was a small percentage of world Jewry and in fact putting his own thoughts in their minds and mouths.

      That the House of Lords would put up with listening to Mister Suarez is a testament either to the patience and politeness of the House of Lords or to their apathy and ignorance.

    • Never heard of Paul Nathan before and it seems he was referring to intra Jewish tensions over language. The clear implication here was that the violence was focused on arabs, but as far as I could tell from the times archive article it was a language war between jews that occasioned his statement.

  • Resolution for 2017: Stop substituting 'the occupation' for 'Zionism'
    • I do not consider myself an heir of yeshayahu leibowitz and if a student, a very reluctant student. It is rare to find a real liberal zionist, but I would propose him. His ferocity against the occupation was unparalleled, but he called himself a zionist. I am not saying what his precise answer would be when at this moment we face the death of the two state solution. (Gideon levy was once a zionist, but is one no longer, so a similar change might have occurred in leibowitz, but he was a Zionist given his time here on earth.)
      I've never seen him comment on the nakba and his disillusionment with Israeli actions preceded 1967. But he considered the 6 day war the greatest catastrophe of the Jewish people.

    • The perspective of the writer vis a vis herself or her people is clear.
      When I wish to clarify my thoughts I read yeshayahu leibowitz. He very clearly endorses the establishment of israel and furiously condemns the occupation. If it's a war of ideas, then it is his ideas which you need to defeat.

      I consider his ideas valid for his people and your ideas valid for your people.

  • Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu
    • Thinking about Obama's future, if there would be an open senate seat from Illinois that would be a perfect fit. Give him a public voice and a reason for opening his mouth. The Democratic party needs rebuilding throughout the country. But even in the Senate there are not enough strong eloquent democratic voices. Ideally he would take two years off and then find a Senate or congressional seat.

  • The formal end of the two-state solution
    • If things work well, the army will reflect the population, and the American army circa 1953 will be the goal, integrated and representing all sectors of society. (2016 American army with its all volunteer population ends up with over representation of blacks and hispanics, because poverty/need is the primary motivator for volunteering.) The precedent set by druse participation in the idf, is the ideal paradigm once a real peace is achieved. But this ideal should not blind us to the difficulty involved. Currently Arab Israeli participation in the IDF is minimal and a transition from the current situation to an ideal situation will not result overnight or by mere good wishes.

      The US military is not fighting any immediate neighbors of a different ethnic grouping and so the idealized us military ( except for its regrettable volunteer basis which makes the country less democratic) is not sufficient proof that the imagined Israeli, but nonzionist army, can work.

      The army is an essential element of zionism and an essential rite of passage for the youth of israel. There is a major war (major bloodletting) just north of israel in syria, and the war against isis ain't that distant either. The US military fighting across the ocean against forces whose populations are not highly represented in the US military is an entirely different dynamic and the example is useful only for scoring points in a debate, rather than an attempt to reckon accurately the challenge that will be involved in turning the imagined one state into an egalitarian democracy.

    • I have not changed my statement of purpose which is for a two state solution. But this is not the only place where i encounter people who are very involved in the israel palestine issue. and in those other encounters there are many advocates of the settlement enterprise and to them I always question their willingness to annex and offer citizenship. In pure honesty I offer you the same idea that I offer them. Frankly if one reads news of "death of two states" day in and day out, then one begins to believe it. And then I am forced to evaluate the one state destination. I appreciate that people here dream about disbanding the Zionist army. I do not and it is in the context of agreement with the original act of declaring a state and building a Jewish army that my opinions are formed. The borders needed for that state and the condition of constant war are questions that arise and rankle. There were paths towards peace in the time of sharrett that i wax nostalgic about. but time is one directional.

    • Sibiriak, you are a firm supporter of the 2 state solution, so your objections I accept, but those who are all gung ho on one state, how is that going to evolve. How is the un going to undo Israel's membership? What armed forces will control the lod airport?

    • Listen people, last I heard there are three paths here: 1. 2 state solution, 2. One state solution and 3. Status quo. The refrain I hear here is that the 2 state solution is dead and the essence of mw is opposition to the status quo, which leaves one state solution. Apparently you're imagining some armed forces other than IDF controlling Ben Gurion airport, (obviously renamed) and also controlling the country's other points of entry as well. Or you're imagining a UN revoking Israel's membership and here is your list of demands. Well give me a brief scenario or something to imagine this new reality you are waiting for. I gave a glimpse of the way a Zionist sees the evolution towards one state. First the west bank. Only later gaza. And then even later refugees. That's just stating plain sense.

      You imagine having a loaded gun pointing at zionism's forehead and the demilitarization of israel and the coerced dissolution of zionism.

      Meanwhile the Palestinian split "government" hamas and fatah consider themselves as the sole owners of gaza and the west bank, so my suggestion (which is only an attempt to flesh out the support Phil Weiss heard from the dude at the reform temple last week for the idea of annex and give citizenship and let history sort out the result.) is more in the realm of a thought experiment than a proposal that stands a chance at this time.

    • I knew the "timely fashion" would attract comment. I knew you would object. Caroline glick, not my favorite, advocates annexation and investigating each prospective new citizen for terrorist roots and requiring an oath of loyalty, although I'm not sure of her details. A timely fashion could be six months or a year. I am hedging, allowing myself a little wiggle room when the actual negotiations take place.

    • The obama-kerry farewell speech was inevitable given the circumstance of the incoming president trump. If a smooth hand-off to clinton had instead been the end of this transition period there would not have been this noisy send off. Trump will begin a new era, which I personally revolt against sensing from his manner and speeches and temperament that he will offend me and coarsen the world I live in. But he has made clear that all that has come before will not bind his hands as he faces the future, and therefore obama and kerry as custodians of the past were freed to say what was on their mind. Probably regarding israel palestine the trump presidency will be a hiccup, and thus as soon as a democrat returns to office the kerry statement will be the template upon which that future president will (with some stretching and tugging) base his/her policy. Although the Clinton parameters of December 2000 were never referred to by obama.

      Obama would have loved to work with an ehud olmert or an ehud barak, opportunities which his two predecessors had. Even sharon was far more pliable and certainly calmer than bibi.

      The one state solution (minus gaza) which is the logical consequence of the status quo is far from ideal, and "let the cards fall where they may" is hardly hard minded logical thought, but denying the reality of politics as given plus the facts on the ground requires something beyond un resolutions to give it reality. That is: the UN plus the kerry speech do not seem to bring the peace of two states any closer, and therefore though it seems irresponsible ( since I am not prime minister nor in the knesset where my opinion would be different for I would be a potential doer rather than just an observer) I favor annexing the west bank and in a timely fashion giving all its inhabitants full citizenship.

  • John Kerry gives the 'separate but not equal' speech to Israel
  • Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country's new status, as a rogue state
    • I am not surprised that Obama ended his term in office with a (UN) statement against the settlements.

      I am not surprised that the un statement made no distinction between the Jewish quarter of the old city and all other past the green line settlements.
      (Obama via samantha powers could have made that point in her statement. She didn't. Was that careless or intentional?)

      I am surprised that bibi has over reacted. I'm not sure what his rationale is. I think it is primarily for domestic consumption. I think it would have been difficult to react calmly, but a clear calm statement of his settlement policy would have been better than this tantrum.

      I think that even if olmert livni or ehud barak had been prime minister the last 8 years it would have been difficult for the Palestinians and Israelis to have reached a peace treaty, but I believe that Obama would have given it his all and he might have gotten close.

      (I think the easiest issue is borders and the toughest issue is Palestinians ' "Right of return" and a delineation of borders signed by the leaders even without agreement on refugees could have solved the conflict over settlements.)

      I think the israeli people (a majority) chose bibi over olmert livni and barak, because they opposed the delineation of borders that I consider worthwhile. Bibi is not prime minister despite his tough stance against the Palestinians, he is prime minister precisely because of his tough stance. He wants to solve it all ( on terms that Abu mazen cannot accept) and he does not want the borders delineated unless a complete end of conflict is signed.

  • Israel's political left also condemns the UN's anti-settlement resolution
    • The Abba eban history is relevant but there are other factors. The center left is convinced that a peace treaty between palestine and israel is impossible or at least far away and thus they too are committed to the status quo. If one terms this as: un declares jewish presence at wailing wall is war crime, then the center left sees this as a danger and an assault. The glee antizionists take in this defeat of bibi/israel is also cause for alarm among those who cherish israel, or shall we say, the Western wall.

  • Trump appoints ex-Israeli settler to oversee peace process
    • One can imagine reuven rivlin as prime minister advocating precisely bibi's platform minus bibi's personality and the resulting rivlin obama clash is far less troublesome than the bibi obama clash.

    • I wonder whether just being a student for a year or two makes you a settler. I suppose if he received training to carry a weapon and did guard duty then there is an additional factor.

  • Netanyahu accuses Obama of betraying 'commitment' to Israel and initiating U.N. resolution
  • 'NY Times' trivializes UN abstention, reducing it to 'tense and tetchy' relationship between Obama and Netanyahu
    • Eva- once upon a time journalists worried about accuracy and I thought James north was from that school. Even a minor factual error would embarrass a real journalist.

      Remind me. Have we (me and you, eva) ever had an exchange of thoughts or ideas that one could call civil? So why are you curious about my opinion all of a sudden?

    • It is not case of journalistic malpractice, but Netanyahu is not the longest serving prime minister of israel, that record is held by Ben gurion. Netanyahu's current premiership of 7 years and almost 9 months is the longest consecutive service, longer than Ben Gurion's longest stint of 7 years and almost 8 months. But bibi's total is 10 years and 9 months, less than ben gurion's total of 13 years and 4 months.

      (Ben Gurion's first term in office began before he was elected to office, from may of 48 until elections in January of 49. Since the election itself was for a constitutional assembly and not for knesset and the assembly renamed themselves as a legislative body, the knesset, strictly speaking his term as elected prime minister rather than putschist prime minister began later after the second knesset elections. But Israelis consider his elected term of office to have begun in February 49, making his total term in elected office still longer than bibi's so far, by about a little less than 2 years. )

  • Breaking: UN Security Council passes historic resolution against settlements as two-state solution 'slips away'
    • Read aluf benn on the topic. He captures my reaction.

    • Should obama have vetoed the resolution? No.

      Should obama be applauded? Yes, but tepid applause. (Two index fingers brought together three times would suffice.)

      Why are bibi and Bennett so upset? Because it is against their policy. Why am I not ecstatic? Because considering last acts of lame duck presidents is a depressing passive activity. Compare some previous lame duck moves: clinton parameters and reagan initiating talks with the plo. Clinton parameters before a change of party control over the white house is most comparable. That had the nature of a Hail Mary pass, if both sides had accepted maybe bush could have continued to pursue. Not that it worked out that way. This is enough to make bibi get upset and Annie robbins to celebrate.

      Is it a blow against the settler movement? More like a wagging finger than a blow. Will it be of use to liz warren when she is inaugurated on January 20th 2021? a small help. Will it increase the power of int'l bodies to take actions against israel? Maybe. Will it improve the footing or the potential for the bds movement? Maybe. If those two maybe's are the basis of your euphoria, then don't let me stop you. Do you think Palestinians are celebrating the victory? I doubt it. Bibi's prolonged rule is weakened a tad and as drama queen he brooks no dissent. Since chemi shalev considers it a major defeat for bibi, I suppose your position must have validity. But what will Gideon levy and amira hass say about this: I can't read their minds, but I predict that they will say, ho hum, not a big deal. Lame duck obama with one tiny step for the causes of peace.
      Is the two state solution closer today than yesterday? Yes. How much closer? The journey of a thousand miles is six inches closer.

    • The only reason this resolution was passed now and not earlier in the administration has to do with domestic politics warping foreign policy. You really think a lame duck toothless resolution unwarps that?

      Listen I hope trump is defeated in 4 years which will be by a democrat who will wave the banner of two states, whether its corey booker and aipac by his side or Elizabeth warren and j street by her side. In 4 years what will this resolution mean?

      Bibi has to make a choice. How adult is he willing to be re: settlements? With the adult (obama) in the room leaving one of the kids (trump) in charge, bibi must show how similar or dissimilar to bennett is he willing to be, or can he avoid choosing and find some halfway measure. Bibi on full throttle in opposition to obama is his natural position and is a play for support in the realm of Israeli politics. Please to realize: he's been in office this time almost 8 years and almost 3 years last time, so this is primarily survival in Israeli politics that is paramount. One cannot overestimate the contempt right wing and indeed 65 to 85% of Jewish Israelis have towards the un, so vociferous opposition is just a given politically for bibi. From what I've read it didn't add a jot or a tittle to the law. It will be up to corey booker or Elizabeth warren to figure out the next step if they or we can defeat trump in 2020.

    • BTW 2 p.m. xmas eve buries the story. America is too busy to pay attention to this.

    • Word choice regarding Russian involvement in syria was a bit loose. Could be Obama's choice re syria was wise. It was historic. It dwarfs this event.

    • Bibi is a drama queen.

      This resolution is as real as jimmy carter's in 1980. What did that one achieve?

      People were talking about a resolution with specificity to turn ambiguities of 242 by specifying parameters and setting a time limit with forced arbitration if the deadline wasn't met. Instead there is this statement. You're impressed, I'm not. Sue me.

    • I am 1. For a two state solution based on the 67 "borders", with agreed upon land swaps. 2. For the most part opposed to all settlements outside of the Jewish quarter in jerusalem and 3. Rooting for trump to be a one term president.

      Nonetheless this resolution seems feeble, particularly from a historic point of view, whereas the following historical events dwarf it: 1. The iran nuclear deal, the results of which will not be clear for ten to twenty years. 2. The iran versus Saudi Arabia conflict and its proxy wars. 3. The devastation in syria where russia has replaced the USA as the only power who really cares about the middle east enough to get down and dirty. 4. The mubarak to morsi to sisi revolution and counterrevolution in egypt. Compared to these headlines, a toothless un resolution approved by Obama in his last month in office seems like peanuts. Maybe in the future historians will see today's action at the un as pivotal. It's difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future, but from here it looks minor.

  • Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racist
    • Boehm is interesting. (He has written on Abraham and Isaac in a direction parallel to my thoughts.) Referring to the avraham/yair stern letter to the nazi's as the original sin is an eccentric choice of words. (Euphemism for false and misleading.) Aside from the season of 1941 that casts the shadow of coercion on any communication, stern was not near the center of power and was only accepted as an israeli hero after begin in 77. Not to denigrate lehi, nor their eventual role at pivotal moments, a letter from their leader in 1941 is far from the original sin, but just a convenient anecdote.

  • Historical evidence does not support Zionist claims re the Western Wall
    • Regarding Jonah and the fish or whale: television and comedy history reports that the smothers brothers comedy hour, satirical critic of the war , lbj and all things staid, was kicked off the air as a result of David steinberg's Jonah routine which cited the biblical language which used the term fish and rejecting the whale interpretation proceeded to tell of Jonah being swallowed by a giant guppy. ( The content of steinberg's routine was probably irrelevant, the fact that the script had not been submitted to censor/monitors was the cause of the show's cancellation, in fact it was a retreat by cbs away from controversy. )

      I have spent literally hours on the walls of the old city of jerusalem near the rova, aka the Jewish quarter, looking straight at the temple mount, the mount of olives and the silwan neighborhood which I think has been suggested as the alternative place of the temple. Certainly the buildings tip me to consider this as preposterous, muslim conquerors built their mosques on holy sites to claim all holiness proprietary to Muhammad and his crew, so I have not looked at the temple mount bare of its eye attracting buildings. But the topography feels obvious to me that the imagined temple being built in silwan seems ridiculous. If you had spent years looking at the old city from different angles then I would listen to you, but mere belief in the authority of scientists does not deprive a person who has spent time in those spots of having an opinion based on the sense of sight. Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? to quote Chico marx.

    • It was difficult for me to imagine that you were obnoxious enough to raise a topic from 4 weeks ago. To paraphrase menken, one would never go broke overestimating your obnoxiousness.

    • oldgeezer- jon s and i are two different people. the name jon usually is short for jonathan, son of saul, best friend to david. the english version of yonah is jonah. he was swallowed by a whale. two different biblical personalities.

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